• The main ideas of Chinese Daoism were first documented in writing in the Daodejing which is attributed to the legendary sage Laozi (6th century BC). The mystical goal in Daoism is the personal experience and knowledge of the power on which all existence is based. Even though this absolute power cannot be put in words, the term “Dao”, “the path”, was chosen for it in the Daodejing.

    If man on his mystical path recognises the Dao in its all-inclusive meaning, he gains the ability to control this power in his own body. He becomes the human incarnation of the Dao and thus an immortal. For the immortal, the limitations of time and space lose their validity. He can leave the world of humans and enter the world of the deceased, ghosts and gods. Or he can transform into air, light and water and move freely within these elements.

    The path to the Dao cannot be explained or prescribed with words. Nevertheless, various methods have been developed during the history of Daoism which can assist the mystic in his search. Some of them belong to the “Inner Alchemy” which focuses on concentration exercises and manipulation of one's own power; other methods are based on the “Outer Alchemy” and recommend the ingestion of mind-expanding plants, mushrooms or drugs.

  • 1

    Li Bai (701-762) More »
    Lin Moniang (960-987) More »
    The Eight Immortals More »
    The Daoistic cosmology More »
    The Daoistic pantheon More »