By Mircea Eliade

ISBN-10: 0226204030

ISBN-13: 9780226204031

In quantity 2 of this huge paintings, Mircea Eliade keeps his magisterial growth during the historical past of spiritual rules. The religions of old China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his contemporaries, Roman faith, Celtic and German religions, Judaism, the Hellenistic interval, the Iranian syntheses, and the start of Christianity—all are encompassed during this quantity.

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Lao Tzu criticizes and rejects the Confucian system, that is, the importance of the rites, respect for social values, and rationalism. "Let us renounce Benevolence, let us discard Justice; the people will recover the true virtues of the family" (19. O. For the Confucianists, benevolence and justice are the greatest virtues. Lao Tzu, however, regards them as attitudes that are artificial and hence useless and dangerous. "When one abandons the Tao, one has recourse to Benevolence; when one abandons Benevolence, one has recourse to Justice; when one abandons Justice, one has recourse to the Rites.

95 Chinese alchemy, as an autonomous discipline, is a compound of (1) the traditional cosmological beliefs; (2) the myths concerning the elixir of immortality and the Holy Immortals; and (3) the techniques whose goal was not only the prolongation of life but bliss and spiritual spontaneity. These three elementsprinciples, myths, and techniques-were part of the cultural inheritance from protohistory, and it would be a mistake to believe that the date of the earliest documents that attest to them also tells us their age.

75. Chuang Tzu, chap. 2, after the translation by Kaltenmark, Lao tseu, pp. 117-18. 76. "By inner contemplation we find a way to satisfy ourselves in ourselves" (Lieh Tzu, after Kaltenmark's translation, p. 118). 77 133.. ' '79 Another group of scholars maintains the fundamental unity of all the historical forms of Taoism. 80 And in fact the "metaphysicians," the "mystics," and the adepts in quest of physical immortality all shared the same paradoxical conception of the Tao and sought to reach the same result: to unite in their person the two epiphanies of ultimate reality (yang and yin, matter and spirit, life and death).

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