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By Louis Komjathy

Utilising a comparative spiritual stories strategy, this e-book offers a complete dialogue of early Quanzhen as a Daoist non secular move charactized through asceticism, alchemical transformation, and mystical experiencing. Emphasis is put on the complicated interaction between perspectives of self, spiritual praxis, and non secular adventure.

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Extra resources for Cultivating Perfection: Mysticism and Self-transformation in Early Quanzhen Daoism

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In fact, the present study would probably have remained unwritten if not for earlier Sinological studies of Quanzhen Daoism. 7 7 For a different interpretation of the relationship between Sinology and Daoist Studies see Kirkland 2004. 8 introduction Daoism is a Chinese religious tradition which has been continually modified and transformed for some two thousand years and which is currently being transmitted and adapted to a global context. Daoism is no longer simply a Chinese religious tradition; it is now a global religious and cultural phenomenon, existing in Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and practiced by people of a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds.

It is not capable of quanzhen. ” (Zhuangzi zhuzi suoyin [Lau and Chen 2000b], 29/87/16–29/88/22) In typical Zhuangzian fashion, there is an inversion of conventional ethical and social standards: Thief Zhi, who should represent the worst of humanity, actually expresses a set of spiritual insights beyond Kongzi’s limited and limiting moral assumptions. According to Thief Zhi, one must rest and rejoice in a state of carefree play, within which one has abandoned sickness, mourning, and worry. The person who wishes to live through and merge with the Dao, “the inexhaustible,” must recognize his or her own limited perspective.

23 For helpful overviews of scholarship on early Quanzhen Daoism see Yao 1980, 220–40; Eskildsen 1989, 24–37; Goossaert and Katz 2001. See also Belamide 2002, 33–35; Ding 2000; Li 2000. 24 My characterization of early Quanzhen as an alchemical movement receives support from the names of some of the early Quanzhen associations (hui 會), including the Yuhua hui 玉華會 ( Jade Flower Association) and Jinlian hui 金蓮會 (Gold Lotus Association). According to Wang Chongyang, “The Jade Flower is the ancestor of qi, introduction 23 there is definitely ambiguity in the tradition, the primary characteristics of early Quanzhen outlined herein parallel other Song-Jin religious movements.

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