Society for the Study of Chinese Religions, Indiana U.


No. 27 (1999)

pp. 1-12 Paul W. Kroll : "The Light of Heaven in Medieval Taoist Verse".






T>ien-c^>u: ("Crossroads of Heaven")


in constellation Fan (‘Chamber’) = part of Scorpio


T>ai-hsu: ("Grand Void")


aithereal space


Tzu-wei ("Purple Tenuity") of the numinous tally


15-star constellation, seat of Ta-ti (Great God) = part of Draco


C^>an-ho Gateway ["Trees of jade grow there, alongside the way; White tigers close in the hinges of the gate." (p. 3)]


space between the eastern and western halves of the wall of Purple Tenuity, wherethrough is entered the realm of higher spirits


Fu-san westward


tree which is climbed by the sun each morning


Jo Water eastward


its source is in mt. K>un-lun


Hsu:an-t>ien ("Darkling Heaven") northward




Tan-c^>iu ("Cinnabar Hill") southward


vitality of the immortals


Pa-hun (‘8 Cordings’)


connecting ties (the world’s capstrings) at bounds of 8 directions


Wen-c^>an (‘Patterned Glory’)


cluster of 6 red stars, repraesenting 6 branches of caelestial government

4 (‘Grand Tenuity’) [of halls (p. 3)]


10-star strand, caelestial court of Son of Heaven = parts of Virgo & of Leo


Yan ku ("Sunlight Vale")


gorge at the eastern brink of the world


Yu:n-c^un C^u:n ("Lord Amidst Clouds’)


"a spot of vibratory light"


Highest Clarity of "Cloudy estrades ... in iridescence"



C^ian-ho ("Rose-gold River") of mystic palaces


"the Milky Way seen in its pristine chromatics"


Tzu C^>in ("Purple Clarity") of golden galleries


"crystalline light of heaven’s far profundity"


"Palace of Watchet Whitecap ... the Eight Hollows. ... The Perfected Ones on high chant in rose-gem abodes; Lofty Transcendents carol in blue-gem chambers."


["... "Watchet Whitecap" [Ts’ang-lang ...] is ... a seamount far in the blue-gray (watchet ocean) of the east" ...

The "eight Hollows" [pa k’ung ...] ... refers to celestial music." (p. 10)]


pp. 13-34 Stephen L. Field : "The Numerology of Nine Star Fengshui".

p. 21, Table 1 auspices of the 9 stars [2 are subsumed into 1 (fn. 32)]


its auspice

Tan Lan (Ravenous Wolf)

Life Breath

Wu Qu (the Military)

Extended Years

Ju Men (Gate Guard)

Caelestial Doctor

Zuo Fu, You Bi (Left, Right Guardian)


Lu Cun (the Mandarinate)

Accident & Injury

Wen Qu (the Scholars)

6 Curses

Lian Z^en (Virtue)

5 Ghosts

Po Jun (Conquered Army)

Shortened Life

p. 28 Yi-wei Qian-zuo-du, on the S^uo Gua commentary



function (for crops)
























end & begin

No. 28 (2000)

pp. 1-30 Liu Shufen : "Death and the Degeneration of Life".

cave-exposure of corpses




"... the nun Facheng ... During the early Tang, her father Xiao Yu ... had served as Guardian to the Heir Apparent ... also being a member of the Three Stages movement. ... Following her dead in 729 [Chr.E.], her corpse was exposed in a cave [kong] near Chang’an."


"the Empress Yifu ..., wife of Emperor Wendi of the Western Wei (r. 535-551 [Chr.E.]) ... had ... become a nun ... Her body was exposed in a cave on Mount Maiji ..., Cave 43."


"... examples of lay cave exposure from Chang’an.

One lay woman who died in 754 [Chr.E.] asked for her corpse to be exposed in the cave containing the remains of her exposed husband.


Another woman was exposed in a cave by her bereaved husband ...


Madam Dong ... while on her deathbed in 657 [Chr.E.] told her son : "After I die, I will not require a coffin or burial. Put me in a cave atop a peak, so that I can see far into the distance." Her son ... exposed her in the mountains".


pp. 127-144 Philip Clart : "Opening the Wilderness for the Way of Heaven".

p. 127 Tian-dao (‘Heaven’s Way’) = Yi-guan Dao (‘Unity Way’)

p. 131 san-cai ("spirit-writing team")

pp. 131-132 organization of a gon-tan (‘public hall’) into work-groups

__-bu (‘__Department’)

__-zu (‘__ group’)

Yi-gon (Voluntary Work)

qin-jie (cleaning)

zai-yun (transport)

gon-c^en (engineering)

c^en-quan (supplementary)

C^u-wu (Kitchen Duties)

c^u-wu (kitchen duties)

giu-mai (shopping)

Jie-dai (Reception)

wen-s^u (documents)

dan-z^i (on-duty)

z^i-hui (information)

kai-ji (accounting)

dian-nao (computer)

Xuan-hua (Preaching)

qin-min (looking after members in need)

er-ton (children’s)

fa-s^i (preaching)

Li-yue (Rituals & music)

kan-le (entertainment)

li-fu (for ritual garments)

lian-li (ritual training)

yin-yin (tape recording0


No. 29 (2001)

pp. 1-69 Ursula-Angelika Cedzich : "Corpse Deliverance, Substitute Bodies, Name Change, and Feigned Death",

p. 20 minerals for resuscitation of corpses, according to Ge Hon


element / direction

dan-s^a ‘cinnabar’

fire / south

xion-huan ‘realgar’

earth / centre

bai-yu ‘arsenolite’

metal / west

cen-qin ‘laminate malachite’

wood / east

ci-s^i ‘magnetide’

water / north

p. 22 Wu-s^an Bi-yao 87:11b-12b -- the 5 old immortal lords of pellets (quartz boiled for 5 days with shallots, pepper-seeds, and honey) for resurrection

"They were clad in brocade

with tallies jangling from their belts.

In their hands they held fly whisks;

their heads were covered by purple caps; and

their feet floated above the ground."

p. 32 Z^en-gao 4:15a-b – results of deliberately ingesting poisonous elixirs

poisonous elixir

result to ingesters

Jade Essence

in "their coffins, ... their corpses putrefy"

Blossoms of Jade

"maggots streamed out under the door."

Liquidified Gold

"stench was perceptible a hundred li away."

(9 crucibles)

"his grave is still to be seen."

cloud powder

"his head and his feet ended up in different places."

rainbow elixir

"threw himself into a river."


"leapt into the fire."


"entered the abyss of Ch’ing-leng"

(held in vital breaths)

"his entrails rotted three times over"

p. 36 Tai-qin Jin-ye S^en-qi Jin (‘Tai-qin Liquidified-Gold Divine-Breaths Scripture’) 2:1a-b – method of how, by changing one’s identity in the divine register of the August Sovereign of Humanity

the August Sovereign of Humanity

"knows the personal names of [min]

of the hundred ghosts and

records the clan names [xin]

of the ten thousand spirits."


to the August Sovereign of Humanity

"you should send a memorial ..., including your

clan and personal name,

date, and your exact address –

province [z^ou],

commandery [jun],

district [xian],

township [xian],

village [li],

post station affiliation [tin], and

earth god community [s^e].

At your grandfather’s {a man would usually be named after his grandfather} burial[-site], you place this memorial in the tomb. [At "ancestral banquets, ... a grandson of the deceased ... impersonated the latter." (p. 39, fn. 141)]

It prayer {to be recited thereat during the said emplacement} says :

"... My name was not yet recorded on the register of the Great Storehouse of Darkness [in the netherworld]. Now I find myself already in Haoli ... [region in the realm of the dead], wandering through darkness without end!"

... then you return home."


"Beyond that, you should

change your clan and adult name [xin-zi],

as those must not be the same as before ...

Having done so, you will not die in a thousand or ten thousand years.

For ... your death entry has been permanently erased."

fn. 136 "the distinction between clan name [xin], personal name [min], and adult name [zi] in the text has some significance ...". {The "adult name", also called the "style name", is in China, for women (but not for men), kept secret (first given when she is betrothed, "it is revealed to no one else but fer future husband’s family" } -- a secret name for one’s self would be most idoneous for communicating with deities; so, therefore, this ritual procedure would most likely have been originally enacted only by women, who would have been performing it at their grandmothers’ grave-site.}

p. 41 feigned death

"in a Tang dynasty "transformation text" [bian-wen]" (Wang Zhongmin et al. : Dun-huang Bian-wen Ji. Beijing, 1984. 8-9)

"... escaped recognition ... by

splashing water over his head,

sticking a piece of bamboo below his navel, and

placing an overturned wooden clog beside himself.

He drew ... on the ground, ... marked by the Door of Earth [Di-hu] and the Gate of Heaven [Tian-men], and

then he lay down in the brambles."


incongruous assignment (according to the Wu-xin Da-yi) of duodecenary Branches in corners, in the Dun-jia (‘Hiding Jia’) layout for withdrawal to the mountains by death-feigners

"the two surplus signs of the twelve Branches are labeled "orphans" [gu] and assigned to the northwestern corner of the cosmos.

In the opposite, southeastern, corner lays [is laid out] the Door of Earth, which has no Branch signs assigned to it and it therefore called "void" [xu]."

pp. 42-43 technique for becoming invisible, according to Ge Hon : Bao-pu-zi Nei-pien Jiao-s^i 17:302

"With your left hand ... pluck grass from [the position of] the Green Dragon [Qin-lon].

Take one half [of this grass] and place it beneath [the position of] the Feng Star.

Proceed from the position of the Bright Hall [Min-tan]

to [the position of] Grand Yin.

Do this according to the pattern of the of the Steps of Yu [Yu-bu].

Then incant three times : "Nuo gao ..., Great General of Grand Yin! ... Make that those who see me take me as a bundle of kindling ... " ...

With your right hand take up the grass and cover yourself.

Hold out your left hand in front of yourself.

[Then] walk [the diagram positions] until you arrive at the sixth gui mark."

p. 44 [text composed in 4th century Chr.E. in south China] Z^en-yi Tian-s^i Gao Z^ao S^en Kou-jue (‘Oral Instructions Conveyed by the Caelestial Master of the Correct and One Pneuma, to Z^ao S^en’) 4a – the dead at advent of era of Great Peace

"humans, just like the divine Laozi himself, could

pass through the Door of Earth [Tu-hu] after a full cycle of one hundred twenty years,

to be "smelted ten times and recycled nine times."

If their names had been entered in the "Purple Books of Grand Darkness" [tai-xuan zi-bu],

their hun and po life forces would go straight up to the Purple Administration [zi-fu]

to await the beginning of the period of Great Peace (Taiping) under the Sage Lord Li.

At that time ... the hun and the essences of persons thus elected were to be reunited in their previous shapes,

their bleached bones would be resuscitated, and their blood and breath would start to flow again.

Ordinary sinners, however, ... faced torture and extinction through the Three Bureaus. ... they would sink into the Yellow Springs, where their flesh and bones would decompose."

pp. 46-48 Z^en-gao 4:9a-12 -- protection, by officers of Fan-z^u, from threats of punishment by the 3 Bureaus


threats & protection


"the authorities in the Three Bureaus ... found out that he had taken refuge with a group of more advanced immortality candidates ...

Two functionaries arrived from the dark regions presenting ... with a long list of accusations and intending to drag him to the headquarters of the shadows. ...


Although, so the fierce envoys explained, the family, by enlisting itself with the Three Bureaus, had been able to escape the consequences of the guilt accumulated in the course of generations, ... father as well as his sons ... once again transgressed the blessed laws, violating ... the true breaths of the Dao ... tricking the "Most High Administration" [Tai-s^an Z^i Cao] into granting him immortality by inscribing his name in the Purple Registers of no-death ...

From his forebears, so he claimed, he had inherited ... merit ... certainly quite substantial enough to weigh out the violent acts ... This ... merit was recorded in the books of the Lord of Heaven; ... virtue was engraven in the numinous pavilion.

Generations of family descendents ... were destined to transcend birth and death [du-s^i] , and ... would be able to ascend on high [den-s^en]. Their names had already been recorded in the Most High Green Palace [of the Green Lad on the immortals’ island of Fan-z^u in the Eastern Sea (fn. 177)] where the appointment tablets were stored. ...


Just as ... persecutors burst into embarrassed laughter, help arrived in the form of an immortal emissary, whose fire bell weapons quickly persuaded the netherworld mission to turn around and leave the scene."

pp. 48-50 S^an-qin ledgers of immortals




"The Fangzhu ledgers belong to a class of registers quite different from the listings of the ordinary living and dead held by the shadow administration. They were ... kept in the realms of the immortals themselves and ... contain the names of rightful immortality candidates – those who attained the goal without resorting to fraud.

Persons registered in them ... were beyond the grasp of netherworld officials and ... had been re-determined under different terms and were governed by a higher authority : the bureaucracy of the immortals ...

Corresponding to the manifold ranks and divisions to be filled in that hierarchy, the Shangqing texts elaborated a complex system of registers, which stipulated the ... enlisted, as well as their future functions and status as immortals."


"Annals of the Sage of the Latter Age [S^an-qin Hou-hen 9b-11b] ... describes a system of classification that correlates ... fated enrollment on one or the other divine register.

Among the ... recipients of of the Shangqing revelations, there ... existed ledgers that contained, in coded form, the names of those destined to receive revealed texts at fixed times. {similarly as the (much later) Bon & rN~in-ma coded lists of names of future gter-ston} Because these lists also determined who was to fill what position in the government of immortals – which the Shangqing scriptures, quite like the ... Celestial Masters text, expected to materialize in the world of the living still within the fourth century [Chr.E.] – they ... were a matter of heightened secrecy."


"The hagiography [in Yun-ji Qi-qian 105:1a-26b] of ... one of the Shangqing Perfected, prescribes an elaborate ritual ... through which adepts could transfer their names from the registers of the Three Bureaus to the ledgers of immortality.

Another Shangqing scripture recommends that initiates prepare different sets of golden tablets and jade slips inscribed with the practitioner’s


date of birth,

the cyclical signs governing his or her life,

the exact address and

the current date, along with

a formal request for enrollment in the lists of the Green Palace of Fangzhu.

The text provides detailed instructions how these supplications were to be carried in visual meditations to their destinations in

the paradise of Fangzhu,

the Palace of the Golden Porte [Jin-que Gon], and

the three Celestial Passes [Tian-guan]."

p. 52 S^i-jin Jin-guan Can-jin Lu-xin Jin (‘Scripture on How to Conceal One’s Light and Reduplicate One’s Body by help of the Metallic Glow of Mineral Esesences’), as quoted in the Tai-pin Yu-lan -- sword as substitute-body

Tai-pin Yu-lan



100 days

"ritual fasting ... , before adepts could even begin with the forging of such a sword."

3 years

"That process [of forging] in itself"


13 years

"practitioners carry the precious object [that sword] on their bodies"



"at last, ... the adept inscribed the sword with an elixir,

ingested an elixir-inscribed talisman himself,

pretended to be sick, and

lay down embracing the sword.

In due time, the god Taiyi would appear with a heavenly mount.

The practitioner draped his clothes around the sword,

changed into new clothes brought by the deity,

mounted the heavenly animal, and was free to go wherever he wished."


for life

"If a person chose so, she even could stay at her native place. ... Wei Huacun ..., Yang Xi’s divine preceptress, is said to have taken advantage of this method""


pp. 139-160 Stephen Eskildsen : "Seeking Signs of Proof : Visions in Early Quanzhen Taoism".

p. 142 Qin-he Z^en-ren Bei-you Yu-lu 2:16a-b -- vision, at night under a peach tree, of the Authentic Man


experience : coming of a male deity who :

during the 4th watch

"had the bones of the Tao and

the wind of immortality ...

He bore a golden radiance and

a jade-like lustre ...

When he arrived ... he wielded a sword and

cut off my head ...

The master then cheerfully placed it ... back".

10 days later

"he came again and cut out my heart ..."

another 10 days later

"he came again,

holding a plate of deep-fried cakes ...

The master then cut open my belly".

p. 148 Z^en-xian Z^i-z^i Yu-lu 1:14b-16a -- strange phainomena, from the immortals


"Amidst empty space ... only see a human head fall down ... Thus the golden elixir will be completed." [p. 158 "Suddenly one day a human face came falling down from the ceiling. It ... emitted a long mouthful of breath." (ibid., 2:5a-b)]


"where his spirit is stable and his energy is harmonious, he feels his kidneys become hot. [The heat from the kidneys] steams his four extremities and dissipates in one or two hours. Then there appear the forms of mountains, streams, the sun, and the moon. ...

I wait until I have thrust through the gate of heaven three times. With the sun and moon right below me, I see the myriad forms [of the heavenly bodies] spread out before me."

p. 150 Da-dan Z^i-z^i 1:17b-18a -- signs of response during the practice of the exercise

"At first you will gradually feel ... in your Elixir Field – Yellow Court ... warm.

Your true energy [z^en-qi] will rise up and

your ears will hear the sounds of wind and rain.

Gradually inside you head you will hear sounds of harps and of gold and jade.

Within ... the Heavenly Pool – the Metal Liquid will gush out ...

Some of it will flow onto the face,

some of it will flow up into the brain,

some of it will be in a pearly dew-like form, and

some of it will enter the mouth ... Its flavor will be sweet and delectable.

After a long while, inside the head there will be the sounds of sheng ... lutes, se ... and qin ... harps, and bamboo chimes.

Also there will be sounds such as a crane’s call, a monkey’s cry, and a cicada’s chiming.

However, when you first practice this, amid your dreams, you will hear the noise of ferocious thunder. This is your true energy thrusting open ... and then penetrating the Nine Palaces. ...

When [your internal] spirit[s] first enter the room [Lower Elixir Field], they will after a short while jump upwards. You will naturally be frightened. ... it is essential that you do not become frightened. ...

After a long while ... The future will spontaneously be known ..."

p. 151 Da-dan Z^i-z^i 2:4b – music : devils, countermanded through singing by spirits, during visions

"In accordance with the proper day and time, refine the five viscera.

The trueness of energy will spontaneously appear, and

the trueness of spirit will come out on its own.

Illuminate both of them, and they will ascend and enter the Heavenly Palace. ...

At this time, ... the spirit adhering to the energy will rise from the Central Field [heart] into the upper Field [brain].

Yin demons wish for people to age quickly and

external devils do not rejoice when people are at peace.

[Therefore,] they falsely create [illusions of] armies and

deceitfully give rise to floating flowers [i.e., visions of wealth & grandeur].

They also disguise themselves as yang spirits {cf. the devil appearing disguised as an "angel of light"}, mingling [with] and rising up together with them. It will thus be ... hard to distinguish between who is a real form and who is a false form.

The sound of flutes will surround you, and chariots and horses will together arise. {cf. the "chariots and horsemen of Yis`ra>el" as seen warlike contexts in visions}

If you wish to tell them apart, ... arouse the perfect fire ... inside the vermilion.

One [type of arousal] is called "burning the body," {cf. fire of the Holy Spirit}

a second is called "subduing the demons," {exorcism}

a third is called "expelling the Three Corpses [in the 3 Elixir Fields],

a fourth is called "chasing away the seven po ...," and

a fifth is called "gathering the yang spirits." ...

In a short while, the ones who rise up singing music will be your yang spirits, and

the ones wailing and sobbing and going away will be the yin demons in your body."

p. 152 temptations from the 10 devils, amid "a vast panorama of mountains and rivers" (according to the Da-dan Z^i-z^i)

ord. #

devil of __



6 desires

flute-music, beautiful flowers, sweet flavors, excellent fragrances, and good feelings


7 emotions

breezes, sunshine, thunder- and lightning-storms, [?gong-]music , and pathetic wailing voices






royal & military pomp & gallantry



family & relatives undergoing severe difficulties & tragedies



one’s own body facing various hazards


swords & soldiers

armies engaging in battles


Holy Sages

the 3 Pure ones, the Jade Emperor & other supreme deities [viz., devils disguising themselves as such]


female entertainment-enjoyment

Immortal Beauties & Jade Girls dancing & performing music {viz., female devils disguising themselves as such}


women & sex

gorgeous women trying to seduce one’s self {cf. daughters of Mara}

p. 153 the 3 Corpses (according to the Jin-dan Z^en-yan)

"the adept may feel is "wise spirit leap and dance," and

this will cause him to dance and sing spontaneously

utter crazy words from his mouth, or

write poems incessantly without being able to control himself.

This disorder ... is caused by the evil Three Corpses ...

The Three Corpses can also cause the adept to be prone to excessive moods of joy or sorrow and

compel him to constantly engage people in jovial conversations and discussion of the Tao."

p. 155, fn. 69 "Three Corpses and Nine Worms"


pp. 191-231 Monica Esposito : "Longmen Taoism in Qing China".

p. 196 metaphors of religious practice

Bi-yuan Tan-jin, ZWDS __


metaphor for it


subduing & taming body, mind, & intention

marvelous jewel of the jin-dan (‘Golden elixir’)


dhyana (din ‘concentration’)



s`ila (jie ‘discipline’)

way to go home


prajn~a (hui ‘wisdom’)



all beings


p. 206 Jin-hua Zon-z^i 1 -- the 3-dot character for Brahma of one’s intention

visualize the central dot of this 3-dot character at mei-xun (between the eyebrows)

"the spiritual light of the two human eyes will spontaneously converge in the middle of the eyebrows."

this is tian-mu (‘Caelestial Eye’)

"the main gate ... where the three luminous ones [sun, moon, and polar star] converge."

If one is able to use the three eyes "as" ... of Brahma, and if one can subtlely use one’s intention to move "as if" polishing a mirror,

"then at once the three lights gather in the middle of the eyebrows, and their light shines forth "as if" the sun was appearing in front of you." {cf. sun-like brightness in Radha Svamin visions}

"Then, by your Intention guide [the spiritual light] to the region behind the heart and in front of the Pass.

It is this point which is regarded as the Gate of the Mysterious Female."

pp. 210-211 Xie Tian-ji -- the 3 paths for mastering the qi (‘pneuma’) ["These three channels belong to the system of the eight extraordinary channels." (p. 210, fn. 94)]


of __ (-mai ‘channel’)

whose path is located in __ of one’s body

travelled by the pneuma of the __

its nature __


ren ‘function’


xin ‘heart’

blazeth up


du ‘control’


s^en ‘kidneys’

drippeth down


z^on ‘central’

middle fissure (behind the heart : in front of the spine)

("an immortal or an ordinary embryo")

"opening and closing"

p. 212 orbits as Heavens

locus of points

is likened to / described as __

"places in the body ... of "physical markers.""

"fingers pointing at the moon"

"microcosmic orbit"

[da] hout-tian "state after Heaven" [Latter Heaven]

"macrocosmic orbit"

da z^ou-tian "state before Heaven" [Former Heaven]

pp. 221-224 contents of the Dao-zan Xu-bian = DZXB (‘Taoist Canon, Supplementary Collection’)

ord. #



"The quintessential doctrine of the golden flower of the great one of the emptiness before heaven" (revealed via spirit-writing) by patriarch Lu:


"Immortals’ scripture of the Perfected Yin testifying to the path of opening and closing the sovereign ultimate according to the orthodox lineage of the eastern efflorescence"


Quaestions and answers of the Perfect Yin from the Liao-yan hall


Disclosing the caelestial mechanism (transmitted by the divine Li Ni-wan)


Uncovering the subtleties of the 13 principles concerning the antient methods of nourishing life


"Alchemical process of superior degree" (recorded by Li De-qia)


"A personal view" (by Min yi-de)


"Record of the realization of rectitude" (by Lu S^i-c^en)


Epistle to master Lin Fen-qian (by Lu S^i-c^en)


Explanations of the 3 Sages’ Doctrine of Healing the World (revealed via spirit-writing) by patriarch Lu:


A personal reading of the explanations of the 3 Sages’ Doctrine of Healing the World (by Min Yi-de)


Practices & formulae on the 3 Sages’ Doctrine of Healing the World by patriarch Lu: (transmitted by S^en Yi-bin)


Heart-to-heart transmission of caelestial immortality (text, commentary, and mysterious litany transmitted by S^en Yi-bin)


Indispensable prohibitions for the path to caelestial immortality (transmitted by Li Ni-wan)


Pretious principles for the path to caelestial immortality (transmitted by Li Ni-wan)


Heart-to-heart dialogue between the 2 Leisurely (Masters)


"Complete collection of the mysterious words" by the Perfect (Z^an) San-fen


Thus have I heard (recorded by Tian-s^ui)


10 principles of the Queen Mother of the West on the correct path of female cultivation (expounded by Lu: Don-bin)


Pretious raft of dual cultivation in feminine alchemy by patriarch Li Ni-wan


Commentary and explanations on 400 words on the Golden Elixir (text by Z^an Bo-duan)


"Sequel to an ignored transmission" (transmitted by S^en Yi-bin)


"Annotations to the Debate on the Cultivation of Perfection" (by Liu Yi-min)