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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Daoist Alchemy in the West: The Esoteric Paradigms

"Daoism, as the primary indigenous religion of China, is a highly esoteric tradition. Constructed of many different strands, over several thousand years, Daoism has a complex history of integrating various techniques of meditation, spirit communication, consciousness projection, bodily movements, medicine, and “internal alchemy” with a profound transpersonal philosophy of nature and a metaphysics of human relationships based on an ideal of spiritual transformation leading to immortality. The mythically structured world of Daoism is rooted in the tripartite division of Heaven, Humanity, and Earth which interact through a rich web of symbolic correlations and correspondences centered on the Daoist sage as a master of a parallel integration of spirit, mind, and body. Thus while Daoism emphasizes bodily disciplines like T’ai Chi and Chi Gong, a healthy diet, and a natural life in harmony with nature and natural processes, it also emphasizes a paradigm of embodied spirituality that seeks to actualized various inner potentials that can lead to the radical transformation of the natural. Rather than seeking to attain transcendence “beyond nature,” Daoism emphasizes the value of nature as the ground of all transpersonal development.[1] Such a paradigm is highly congruent with certain streams of practice and thought in Western esotericism as well as with current, emergent models of participatory spirituality influenced by Daoism.[2]"

posted by NEXUS  # 11:19 AM


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