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Cultivating the Tao: Taoism and Internal Alchemy (Masters) (Volume 2) Paperback – November 28, 2013
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About the Author
Fabrizio Pregadio has taught at different universities in Italy, Germany, the United States, and Canada. He is the author of Great Clarity: Daoism and Alchemy in Early Medieval China (Stanford University Press, 2006) and the editor of The Encyclopedia of Taoism (Routledge, 2008). In addition to his scholarly activities, he publishes translations of original texts on Taoism and Taoist Internal Alchemy (Neidan) addressed to a wider audience. These translations, published by Golden Elixir Press, include the Cantong qi (Seal of the Unity of the Three); the Wuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality); the Ruyao jing (Mirror for Compounding the Medicine); the Yinfu jing (Scripture of the Hidden Accordance); and Cultivating the Tao, a work by the great Taoist master, Liu Yiming.
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This volume is one such commentary. Written in the 18th Century it gives the wide explanation of the Tao, its cosmology, its application to humans, and in the process eloquently reveals the deep mysteries of the universe.
This tract explains the Tao and comments on other commentaries. Yet all is revealed. The origin and cycles of the universe, the origin of consciousness, the oscillating movements of the ying and the yang, the explanation of internal alchemy, the operation and purpose of the Great Elixir, the mystery of birth, life, and death. These are the great issues. The Tao refers to these core topics in an indirect, poetic way; the treatment in this commentary is direct, illuminating and insightful.
The central emphasis is internal alchemy. The alchemy in this book contain all those elements you would think are found in an alchemist’s den: the Mercury, Tin, implements, furnaces, the fire, all with the purpose is the find the Elixir. In internal alchemy the elements and implements are metaphors and the Elixir the symbol of that original pre-material, the precelestial state.
The language of alchemy is a secret coded language, with ordinary words having deeper, occult meanings. The alchemy of the Tao is no different. This commentary is useful in deciphering the imagery used in the alchemical aspect of the Tao.
This commentary is prefaced with an excellent introduction. It is very comprehensive and is written by the translator, Farbrizio Pregadio. It could probably be read in lieu of the text it is so complete, but do yourself a favor, read the text, in addition to the introduction. It will be a great experience.