AbstractThe key concepts of Chinese cosmology - the Dao (道, the "Way") and Qi (気, "energy" or "material force") - were introduced by philosophical Taoists. Philosophical Taoism was succeeded by religious Taoism, whose teachings and practices, especially those of Neidan (内丹, "inner alchemy"), are closely tied to a traditional Chinese cosmogony based on the concepts of Qi and Dao. Research into Neidan thus sheds light not only on Chinese cosmology, but also on the wider issue of the relationship between the sacred and the profane, between man and nature. Through a special technique which purifies Qi, Neidan has formulated a systematic process for the attainment of immortality, unification with the Dao, and spiritual awakening. This system is theorized with the terminology of Waidan (外丹, "outer alchemy"). There are two basic trends within Chinese cosmogony. One identifies the Dao with Qi, while the other differentiates them and considers the Dao to be transcendent. The former trend has been dominant within the tradition of religious Taoism, while the latter has been prevalent within Chinese Buddhism. But Neidan, as seen within the Wuzhen pian (『悟真篇』, Awakening to Truth), integrates both these trends. The Wuzhen pian unifies the Taoist world view with the Buddhist theory of kong (空, "voidnss") by relying on the expansive concept of the Dao.
TypeDepartmental Bulletin Paper
東京大学宗教学年報. ⅩⅣ , 1997.3.31, pp. 81-95