By Bo-yang Wei & Richard Bertschinger
Trade paperback book
292 pages, 6.00 x 9.00″
Wei Bo-yang’s Can Tong Qi (Akinness of the Three) is an early and important alchemical classic that stands supreme in the Daoist canon of books. It is dated around AD 142 during the Eastern Han period of Chinese history, a time of great activity in the early alchemical sciences. One of the four great classics of Daoist internal science, the Can Tong Qi explicitly advocates the contemplative life as a means of achieving immortality. Yin and yang, the male and female counterparts of the Dao, the eight trigrams and sixty-four hexagrams of the Yi Jing are among the many layers of image and metaphor that lend to our understanding of the essential philosophical truth offered by the text: by learning to meld our various parts — our energies, essences, soul, body, mind, spirit — into a oneness, we begin to realize everlasting life; because there is neither death, nor life, only an all-pervading and all-suffusing energy that engenders and eventually absorbs all things. In the realization of this consolidation and dissolution is found the alchemical process whereby the fashioning of an elixir of everlasting life and its ultimate truth are confirmed.