The Literati Path to Immortality: The Alchemical Teachings of Lu Xixing
- About the Book
The Literati Path explores the life and teachings of the Ming author and alchemist Lu Xixing (1520–1601). It begins by examining his biography, religious community, alchemical doctrine, and methods of practice. Lu was special in that he embodied the literati tradition of self-cultivation, engaging in the alchemical arts without ever leaving his habitual life. He did not abandon his family, was never ordained, and had no connection to Daoist or other institutions. He learned internal alchemy from books and through spirit-writing seances where he met Lü Dongbin and other immortals.
Next, the work expounds the cosmological doctrines at the foundation of internal alchemy, including those found in the Yijing and the Cantong qi, and outlines the universal ebb and flow of yin and yang as the basis of the immortal elixir. It moves on to describe just how the practice serves to overcome destiny, modeling techniques on biological gestation and creating a new being deep within. It explains major alchemical concepts as applied by Lu Xixing and systematically describes his path to immortality, all the while questioning the validity of his reputation as a sexual alchemist.
Shedding fascinating new light on the religious life of Ming literati and providing a first access to a unique take on internal alchemy in late imperial China, The Literati Path to Immortality is a must for anyone interested in traditional Chinese religion and culture!
- About the Author(s)
Ilia Mozias, AuthorIlia Mozias received his Ph.D. in Chinese Studies from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2019. He lives in Israel.