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Full Version: Zhouyi Cantong Qi (周易参同契): The Ultimate Internal Alchemy Master Works
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Zhouyi Cantong Qi is the work written by Weibo Yang, a person from Hueiji Shangyu (now Zhejiang Shangyu) of Eastern Han Dynasty. This book has been referred to as "The Eternal King" among Taoist internal alchemy classics. Internal alchemy, as the book tries to explain by borrowing the symbolic concept of I-Ching, should be a great summit accomplishment where the big threes (i.e., "Big Change", "Huang Lao", and "Firing Process") should converge to form an indivisible oneness. In the explanation of alchemy process, Qian trigram and Kun trigram make up the cauldron, Yin and Yang represent the earth dam to prevent the flooding, water and fire symbol the elements for taking charge of the transformation, the five elements are the assistants, and the primeval Jing is the medicinal substance, in such way the book gives an systematic exposition detailed outline upon the principles and methods for the whole process of internal alchemy practice.

Notes and commentaries to this book have always been a lot, of those the most famous were "Zhouyi Cantong Qi: The True Meaning of Sub-Chapters" by Xiao Peng of later Shu State,; "Examination and Comparison of Zouyi Cantong Qi" by Zhu Xi of Sone Dynasty,, "Commentary upon Zhouyi Cantong Qi” by Chen Xianwei of Song Dynasty; “Elaboration upon Zhouyi Cantong Qi" by Shu Yan of Yuan Dynasty, etc. People can find them in the Orthodox Taoism Canon.

In the ancient Chinese books collection "Si ku quan shu zong mu", this book is included in Taoism category. Borrowing the conceptual symbol and meaning from "I-Ching" the author narrates the process for making the elixir pill for the purpose to cultivate innate nature, to extend life expectation, and to gain a strong physical body. The so-called "Dan", according to ancient scientific study, refers to the human body's internal energy flow, yet, modern science has not been able to understand everything because more understanding is often accompanied with more questions and doubts. Chuang Tzu mentioned there are the persons with blind vision, who can deny there are the persons with blind thinking.

The author has been offered the "Dragon and Tiger Scripture". After training, he mastered the generation and flow pattern of energy. This book summarized the energy flow according to the author's own experiences. The book also adopts peculiar exposition means, for example, using ideographic symbols, such as heaven and earth, sun and moon, yin and yang, five elements, lead and mercury, parents, couples, men and women, as well as the ancient Chinese astronomy terminology (though they really do without their original meaning). Widely adopting the external alchemy terms and stories, the author uses furnace to represent the body, uses the changes taking place within the cauldron to demonstrate the evolution of energy flow.

Those symbols representing the medicinal substance include Kan trigram, Lee trigram, water, fire, lead, mercury, rabbits, turtles, Golden Toad, jade crows, etc. Although the symbols are different, their meaning is not much different sometimes. As a result of so many symbols or metaphor to be used, it is difficult to pass on the exact meaning even with so many commentaries and notes, which leads to much misunderstanding.
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