Thursday, 8 July 2010

Sweet Dew

I'm still pondering over this one. The notions of 'rain and dew' are recurring narrative elements in early Chinese texts. 'Dew' is associated with life, fertility and growth. Whilst the Laozi has subject to a wide range of interpretations typically philosophic or political, the clear associations with the balance nature, of the effects the skies (heaven) upon the soil (earth) are clearly outlined. Man is seen as a microcosm with the parts of the body sharing correspondences with the primary and secondary forces of nature. (Huai-nan-tzu ch. 7).  In the practice of neiye, the ruler (the volitional mind) harmonies earth (lower dantian, yin forces) with heaven (upper dantian, yang forces) then the sublimated procreative forces gather as the 'golden dew' that restores physical and emotional well-being. This is embracing the dao, a state of mind in which names are abandonned and the limitations upon the personal existence vanish, as expressed in imagery given in Chap 32 of the Laozi, of the valley stream merging in the ocean. The creation of 'dew' is the essnetial experience of wholeness.

The occurance of such Cultural References in the Daoxing is by no meand an indicator of the presence of 'daoist ideas' or 'influences'. The use of such of such terms implies that these were familiar to the scribe who was paraphrasing within his own personal lexis those ideas presented to him. It does not imply either that the translator was familiar with the technicalities behind the origins of such terms, they are simply what they are, cultural references. Mythologically, the gods () led by the Jade Emperor (玉皇) are sustained by the peaches of immortality, but this is not consistent with amrta being a liquid.

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