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Self In Cultivational Context

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Chapter Summary

Through dedication to Quanzhen training regimens, one could actualize latent spiritual capacities and become an alchemically-transformed being. Such transformative techniques required and embodied alternative views of self, of human psychosomatic possibility. The early Quanzhen religious community adopted an understanding of the human body that parallels classical Chinese medicine, as documented in such texts as the Huangdi neijing suwen. Traditional Chinese understanding of self is part of the religio-cultural milieu of early Quanzhen. According to early Quanzhen Daoism, the human body is inhabited by malevolent entities and spiritual forces that seek to bring about disease and premature death. Members of the early Quanzhen movement also perceived and interacted with the body as an alchemical crucible. The early Quanzhen adherents and religious community had a unique conception of self, which simultaneously incorporated earlier Chinese medical views, Buddhist conceptions, and contemporaneous neidan understandings.

Keywords: alchemical crucible; alchemically-transformed being; Buddhist conceptions; Chinese medicine; human being; Quanzhen training regimens; spiritual forces

10.1163/ej.9789004160385.i-554.26
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004160385.i-554.26
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