CHINESE ALCHEMY: Taoism, the Power of Gold

CHINESE ALCHEMY: Taoism, the Power of Gold

JEAN COOPER    Book Number: 90783    Product format: Paperback

Chinese alchemy was nourished by Taoism with its two distinct branches: the classical Tao Chia, grounded in mysticism, and the popular Tao Chiao, with its magical, alchemical bias, arising traditionally in the time of the Yellow Emperor and his Three Immortal Ladies. Non-theistic and working in accord with nature, Chinese Alchemy operated through the complementary principles of yin and yang. Many Taoist texts have yet to be translated, but the Alchemical movement must predate 144 BC when an edict ordered execution for anyone making counterfeit gold. The later Han Dynasty (AD 25-220) was a time of interest in science and astronomy, and at this time the first alchemical book was written by Wei Po-yang, while the earliest complete treatise was the work of Ko Hung in the 4th century, dealing with gods, genii, prescriptions and medicines, maintenance of life, extension of years, and banishing misfortune. Ko Hung argued that alchemical change was one aspect of the universal transformation in nature, and that the creation of gold and silver was a logical step from this general principle, with immortality a further possible gain from good living. According to some experts, Chinese Alchemy derives from the northern influence of shamanism, and the author investigates links to shamanism and also to the western tradition of alchemy, with its common principle that death precedes a harmonious renewal. 156pp, paperback, line drawings.
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ISBN 9781473635852
Browse these categories as well: Mythology, Religion & Philosophy

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