Declarations of the Perfected is the first complete, annotated translation of the Zhen’gao, Tao Hongjing’s (456-536) masterful compilation of the Shangqing or Higher Clarity revelations, setting the stage for the heyday of medieval Daoism. This volume presents its first part (fasc. 1-4), centering around the practice of achieving “spiritual union,” a spiritual analogue to sexual intercourse, with Perfected partners. The book is the first to examine in depth the full process of this practice—from preliminary courtship to the mechanics of the act of intercourse, the gestation of the Perfected embryo in the body of the adept, and finally the adept’s rebirth.
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