JDS 7 (2014)

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Paul D’AmbrosioBlending Dao: An Analysis of Images in the Daode jing
Thomas E. SmithThe Many Faces of Master Redpine
David BoydThe “Other” Dao in Town: Early Lingbao Polemics on Shangqing
Paul CroweDao Learning and the Golden Elixir: Shared Paths to Perfection
P. G. G. van EnckevortThe Three Treasures: An Enquiry into the Writings of Wu Shouyang
Eske MollgaardSage-Knowledge and Equality in the Zhuangzi
E. Leslie WilliamsBecoming One with the Dao: Meditation in Daode jing and Dōgen
Kenneth CohenSpirit and Life in Balance: Zhao Bizhen’s Lasting Influence on Qigong and the Martial Arts
Ju Keyi & Lü XianlongTiandi jiao: The Daoist Connection
ChristopherInterviewing Daoist Masters: A Reality Check
Martin SchönfeldLaozi and the New Green Paradigm

Paul D’Ambrosio – Blending Dao: An Analysis of Images in the Daode jing

The well-known ambiguity surrounding the concept of Dao, especially in the Daode jing, has led some scholars to argue for “religious” interpretations. They find the difficultly in defining Dao intentional and argue that Dao cannot be appreciated through language, but requires some personal change. In this essay I will argue that these types of interpretations, generally speaking, reduces the text to a mainly religious (i.e. faith based) thought by ignoring important philosophical elements of Daode jing. The inability to put Dao into words does not negate any or all comprehension of Dao; it merely informs readers that Dao cannot be exhausted in words. Accordingly, elucidating this idea seems to be one of the major focuses of the text, which is done mainly through the wide use of a variety of images. In order to tackle this issue I propose a “cross-cultural image analysis.” I will use metaphor interpretation of Western cognitive science to examine images in the Daode jing and show how they are related to aid in an understanding of Dao. I employ the “multiple blend” metaphor analysis purposed by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner (2003), a template that explains how a series of metaphors can work together to produce new dimensions of comprehension. When Fauconnier and Turner describe multiple blends they do so in order to explain how the mind works (2003, 17-18). This “multiple blend analysis” is slightly different: it explains how one could think of the images in Daode jing.

Thomas E. Smith – The Many Faces of Master Redpine

This paper discusses early beliefs concerning Master Redpine, using his biography in the Liexian zhuan as a point of departure. After briefly discussing the Lie-xian zhuan account’s relationship to ancient rain-making rituals, it illustrates Master Redpine’s relationship with other ancient Chinese rain gods, with reference to the findings of Max Kaltenmark

(1953), particularly through their associated colors (red and green) and movements. The author concurs with Kaltenmark’s description of Master Redpine, on one level, as a kind of tree sprite, specifically of the Chinese tamarisk, and provides more supporting textual evidence for this. This paper then explores Master Redpine’s role in the early Higher Clarity Daoism, in which Redpine becomes but one manifestation of a deity who can appear in many different guises—a primordial being of pure energy, the Star of Longevity, the planet Mars, a wandering teacher, and even a terrifying spirit who comes to mete out punishment. The possibility that Master Redpine is effectively the father of Yang Xi’s (330-386) celestial spouse, Consort An, is explored. The paper finally returns to consider the significance of the placement of Master Redpine’s biography at the head of the Liexian zhuan, and to contrast it with the last biography in order to bring out that text’s broader perspective on the world.

David Boyd – The “Other” Dao in Town: Early Lingbao Polemics on Shangqing

Most studies on Daoist polemics have focused on the conflict and competition between Buddhism and Daoism. An equally important and hitherto understudied field of inquiry is the polemics revolving around the early conflicts and competition between different Chinese religious movements commonly labeled, or rather aspiring to the label “Daoist.” This paper examines polemics in early Daoist scriptures concerned with issues of “identity” and “orthodoxy.” Ironically, the use of the label “Daoism” has had a homogenizing effect on our understanding of the internal relations of the various traditions subsumed by it and has smoothed over internal competition with a thin veneer of semantic unity masking the historical competition over just who should rightly be called “Daoist.” The 4th century saw the rise of two distinct forms of Daoism: Shangqing and Lingbao. Rarely in the history of religion have two traditions emerged in such close temporal and geographical proximity to one another. This proximity created fierce competition for patronage and prestige. This article examines the direct, indirect, and camouflaged ways in which the emergent Lingbao tradition sought to assert its superiority over its neighboring Shangqing rival.

Paul Crowe – Dao Learning and the Golden Elixir: Shared Paths to Perfection

This article is, to some extent, a continuation of thoughts expressed in a previous article in the Journal of Daoist Studies (Crowe 2010), where motion and stillness were examined as sources of continuity between the “three teachings” as imagined by Li Daochun and his disciples. The present article considers that continuity from a different vantage point, turning the focus on our characterization of the relationship between ru (literati), daoxue (Learning of the Way), and jindan (golden elixir) ways of cultivation. It is suggested here that common ground is found, not by bridging two essentially and categorically differing groups, but rather by bringing to light shared perspectives on soteriological ends and on the framing of praxis intended to realize those ends.

P. G. G. van Enckevort – The Three Treasures: An Enquiry into the Writings of Wu Shouyang

This essay examines the concept of the three treasures—jing, qi and shen—in the writings of Wu Shouyang as an example of late imperial discourse on internal alchemy (neidan). A well-known concept basic to Daoism as well as Chinese culture in general, the three treasures are differently interpreted in various contexts, and the specific ideas associated with each of them shape the views of human nature and immortality in which they play a central role. While the metaphorical registers are the most distinctive characteristic of inner alchemy discourse, the three treasures are presented by Wu and other inner alchemy authors as the basic ontological categories to which most metaphors refer. As such, they connect the theory and practice of cultivation with ordinary human experience, and place both in a broader cosmological perspective. Moreover, one of the main soteriological objectives of cultivation—the creation of a yang spirit (yangshen)—should be understood within the matrix of ideas associated with the three treasures. A close analysis of these ideas, therefore, reveals much about the fundamental aspirations of internal alchemy and the meaning of immortality (xian) in this context.