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Great ClarityDaoism and Alchemy in Early Medieval China$
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Fabrizio Pregadio

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804751773

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804751773.001.0001

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The Ritual Sequence

The Ritual Sequence

(p.79) 5 The Ritual Sequence
Great Clarity
Stanford University Press

In Chapter 4 it was shown that compounding an elixir restores the state prior to the emergence of time. When the ingredients are placed in the crucible, matter reverts to its state of essence, which is equivalent to the essence (jing) spontaneously issued from the Dao, the seed of existence. The Taiqing texts share this understanding of the purport of the alchemical process with all Chinese waidan sources. What distinguishes them from other works is the parallel emphasis that they give to the rites and the ceremonies performed at the single stages of the practice. Together with the underlying doctrines, these rites and ceremonies distinguish alchemy from a mere set of technical procedures. This chapter outlines the ritual sequence of the alchemical process, reconstructed on the basis of several Taiqing sources.

Keywords:   Chinese alchemy, Taiqing texts, rites, ceremonies, elixirs

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