The Golden Elixir Taoist Alchemy Articles The Seal of the Unity of the Three (Part 1)

Introduction to
The Seal of the Unity of the Three (Cantong qi)

Fabrizio Pregadio

(1) Anonymous

Zhouyi cantong qi zhu 周易參同契注, ca. 700

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Zhengtong Daozang 正統道藏 ed., 1445

Zhengtong Daozang 正統道藏 ed., 1445

While Peng Xiao's commentary has often been cited as the earliest extant exegesis of the Cantong qi, Chen Guofu 陳國符 was the first scholar to show that the anonymous Zhouyi cantong qi zhu dates from between the late-seventh and the mid-eighth centuries.

The single extant edition of this work, found in the Taoist Canon, contains only the first of the three Books (pian) in which most other redactions are arranged. Internal evidence shows that it originally included the whole text of the Cantong qi.

This is the only extant commentary to contain a Waidan interpretation of the Cantong qi. It presents a somewhat unrefined state of the text, which is not yet divided into sections and contains more references to Waidan compared to the later redactions, where certain Waidan terms are replaced with other terms.

 

 

 

(2) Yin Changsheng 陰長生 (attr.)

Zhouyi cantong qi 周易參同契, ca. 700

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Zhengtong Daozang 正統道藏 ed., 1445

Zhengtong Daozang 正統道藏 ed., 1445

Not long before or after the year 700, another anonymous author wrote the second Tang commentary of the Cantong qi exclusively preserved in the Taoist Canon. Attributed to the immortal Yin Changsheng, a legendary master associated with several early Taoist traditions, this commentary is distinguished by a cosmological interpretation, but contains incidental references to Waidan practices.

The text found in this commentary is closely related to the text found in the anonymous Waidan commentary (see the previous page). Taking as a unit the single verses of the Cantong qi, the Yin Changsheng and the anonymous redaction together diverge more than 150 times from the text established by Peng Xiao about two centuries later (see the next page). About two thirds of these variants are shared by both works, which in many other instances differ from one another only in minor details.

 

 

 

(3) Peng Xiao 彭曉 (?-955)

Zhouyi cantong qi tong zhenyi 周易參同契通真義, 947

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Jindan zhengli daquan 金丹正理大全 ed., 1538

Jindan zhengli daquan 金丹正理大全 ed., 1538
Guoli Gugong Bowuyuan 國立古宮博物院
(National Palace Museum), Taipei

The commentary by Peng Xiao contains the first extant interpretation of the Cantong qi as a Neidan work. Peng Xiao submitted the Tang text of the Cantong qi to a substantial rearrangement. He divided it — mainly on numerological grounds — into ninety sections; placed the "Song of the Tripod" ("Dingqi ge" 鼎器歌) in a separate "book" (pian); and appended a section entitled "Chart of the Bright Mirror" ("Mingjing tu" 明鏡圖) to the third and final chapter of his commentary.

Comparison of his text with the two earlier Tang redactions shows that the variants introduced by Peng Xiao consist of several inversions and relocations of verses, and of a large number of substitutions of single words. The exact extent of these innovations, however, cannot be easily ascertained. In 1208, the astronomer Bao Huanzhi 鮑澣之 produced what he thought would be a critical edition, incorporating several dozen readings drawn from Zhu Xi's redaction into Peng Xiao's text. Since these readings are found in all extant editions of Peng Xiao's work, none of them preserves his original text.

The Jindan zhengli daquan is a compilation of eleven Neidan texts. The exemplar reproduced here is one of the two preserved at the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

Zhouyi cantong qi tong zhenyi 周易參同契通真義, 947

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Jindan zhengli daquan 金丹正理大全 ed., Ming dynasty

Jindan zhengli daquan 金丹正理大全 ed., Ming dynasty

The second edition of the Jindan zhengli daquan is reported in several catalogues to date from the Ming dynasty. The page layout is the same as the layout of the 1538 edition.

The picture is reproduced from Meng Naichang 孟乃昌 and Meng Qingxuan 孟庆轩, Wangu danjing wang: "Zhouyi cantong qi" sanshisi jia zhushi jicui 万古丹经王—『周易参同契』三十四家注释集萃 (Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe, 1993).

Zhouyi cantong qi tong zhenyi 周易參同契通真義, 947

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Daoshu quanji 道書全集 ed., Ming dynasty

The Daoshu quanji includes the entire Jindan zhengli daquan and fourteen other works (one of which consists, in its turn, of a compilation of eleven texts). The page layout is different compared to the two editions of the Jindan zhengli daquan.

The picture is reproduced from Meng Naichang and Meng Qingxuan, Wangu danjing wang: "Zhouyi cantong qi" sanshisi jia zhushi jicui (Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe, 1993).

 

 

 

(4) Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200)

Zhouyi cantong qi 周易參同契, 1197

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Zhuzi chengshu 朱子成書 ed., 1341

Zhuzi chengshu 朱子成書 ed., 1341
Guoli Gugong Bowuyuan 國立古宮博物院
(National Palace Museum), Taipei

The best-known commentary of the Cantong qi outside the Taoist tradition was composed by Zhu Xi. His Zhouyi cantong qi kaoyi 周易參同契考異 (as it is usually known) is the first of several works, written through the Qing period, that testify to the attention paid by Neo-Confucian thinkers and scholars to the Cantong qi. It is also the work that more than any other lifted the Cantong qi out of an exclusive relation to Taoism.

The Kaoyi was first published in 1198, shorty after its completion. Later, in the first half of the 14th century, it was edited by Huang Ruijie 黃瑞節, who included it in his Zhuzi chengshu. This is the earliest extant edition of Zhu Xi's commentary. Huang Ruijie supplied additional notes consisting of his own comments and of quotations drawn from other works by Zhu Xi.

In clear contrast with its title (Investigation of Discrepancies in the Zhouyi cantong qi), and with Zhu Xi's own statements about his philological work found in his preface and postface, the commentary contains only a handful of critical notes. Internal and external evidence suggests that a number of critical notes were expunged either by Huang Ruijie or by an earlier, unknown editor.

 

 

 

(4, 8) Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200) and Yu Yan 俞琰 (1258-1314)

Zhouyi cantong qi kaoyi 周易參同契考異, 1197

Zhouyi cantong qi fahui 周易參同契發揮, 1284

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Undated Korean edition

Undated Korean edition
Naikaku Bunko 内閣文庫 (Cabinet Library), Tokyo

This edition contains both Zhu Xi’s and Yu Yan’s commentaries. The respective works are labeled as “Fahui” 發揮 and “Zhu zhu” 朱註. On Yu Yan’s commentary, see the next page.

Another Korean edition of Zhu Xi’s work was published in Hamhung 咸興 in 1709. This edition is reproduced on the left from the exemplar preserved at Tōyō Bunko 東洋文庫 (Oriental Library) in Tokyo. The “Fulu” 附錄 label marks Huang Ruijie’s own notes. The lower right corner of the page is defective in the original.

 

 

 

(6) Chu Yong 儲泳 (fl. ca. 1230)

Zhouyi cantong qi 周易參同契, ca. 1230

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Zhengtong Daozang 正統道藏 ed., 1445

Zhengtong Daozang 正統道藏 ed., 1445

Zhu Xi's Zhouyi cantong qi kaoyi did not enjoy particular prestige within the Taoist tradition. His redaction, however, served as basis for the commentary by Chu Yong 儲泳 (also known as Chu Huagu 儲華谷), which is preserved only in the Taoist Canon.

This work, which bears no preface or postface and includes a final "Eulogium" ("Zan" 讚) in verses, is distinguished by short, straightforward annotations, and by a sentence placed at the end of almost every section to summarize its central meaning.

 

 

 

(7) Chen Xianwei 陳顯微 (?-after 1254)

Zhouyi cantong qi jie 周易參同契解, 1234

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Zhouyi cantong qi jie 周易參同契解, 1234

Siku quanshu 四庫全書 ed., 1782

Chen Xianwei was a Taoist priest at the Yousheng Guan 佑聖觀 (Abbey of the Helping Saint) in Lin'an (Zhejiang).

The text of his Zhouyi cantong qi jie is based on the redaction established by Peng Xiao, but Chen Xianwei also appears to have known Zhu Xi's Kaoyi. His text, in addition, contains several unique readings not found in the received editions of either Peng Xiao's or Zhu Xi's redactions.

The picture is reproduced from the reprint found in Zhouyi cantong qi huikan 『周易參同契』彙刊 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe, 1990).

 

 

 

(8) Yu Yan 俞琰 (1258-1314)

Zhouyi cantong qi fahui 周易參同契發揮, 1284

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Cuncun zhai 存存齋 ed., 1310

Cuncun zhai 存存齋 ed., 1310
Beijing University

Although Yu Yan 俞琰 is sometimes said to have become interested in alchemy late in life, his commentary to the Cantong qi dates from his middle twenties. It is complemented by textual notes collected by Yu Yan in a separate final chapter, entitled "Shiyi" 釋疑. In these notes, Yu Yan points out variant readings for about 230 verses or individual terms, about 80 of which he rejects as wrong.

Yu Yan displays a remarkable knowledge of Taoist and other works. While he cites more than one hundred different authors and texts, his work is firmly rooted in the textual legacies of the Southern and Northern lineages of Song and Yuan Taoism (Nanzong and Quanzhen).

The Cuncun zhai edition, which was published by the author himself, is the earliest extant printed edition of a commentary to the Cantong qi. One of the prefaces (reproduced on the left) bears the printed seal of Zhang Yucai 張與材 (?-1316), the thirty-eighth Celestial Master.

This edition also includes a final section entitled "Houyin" 後音. The illustration is reproduced from the Rare Books website of the National Library, Taipei.

Zhouyi cantong qi fahui 周易參同契發揮, 1284

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Edition of 1522/1566

Edition of 1522/1566 (Jiajing 嘉靖 reign period)
National Library, Taipei

This edition rearranges Yu Yan's commentary according to the ordering of the "Guwen" 古文 ("Ancient Text") version of the Cantong qi.

Zhouyi cantong qi fahui 周易參同契發揮, 1284

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Ming edition

Ming edition
Library of Shanghai cishu chubanshe 上海辭書出版社
(Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House)

 

 

 

(9) Chen Zhixu 陳致虛 (1290-ca. 1368)

Zhouyi cantong qi zhujie 周易參同契注解, ca. 1330

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XXX ed

Jinling shufang 金陵書坊 ed., 1484
Shanghai Library

Chen Zhixu's commentary was almost certainly composed around 1330. In addition to the customary three Books (pian), the text is subdivided into thirty-five chapters or sections (zhang). Although these subdivisions are based in part on numerological considerations, it is not hard to notice that are more appropriate than those of most other commentators. Chen Zhixu, in particular, takes account of the changes of subjects and rhymes in the sequence of the text.

No commentary to the Cantong qi was published more often than the Zhouyi cantong qi zhujie in premodern times. At least sixteen different editions—or at least twenty-four, if one also counts reeditions of the same work—were published between 1484 and ca. 1885. In addition, at least five editions were published or republished between 1912 and 2003. (These data do not include reprints.)

The redaction established by Chen Zhixu is at the basis of several Ming- and Qing-dynasty commentaries. It also became well known, albeit anonymously, to a large number of literati through its inclusion in the expanded version of the Han Wei congshu 漢魏叢書 (Collected Works of the Han and the Wei Dynasties), published in 1592.

Chen Zhixu's work is not contained in the Taoist Canon, but the Shanghai Library preserves an apparently unique exemplar of the earliest known edition, published by the Jinling shufang in Nanjing in 1484, about four decades after the printing of the Ming-dynasty Canon.

The picture on the next page is reproduced from Meng Naichang and Meng Qingxuan, Wangu danjing wang: "Zhouyi cantong qi" sanshisi jia zhushi jicui (Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe, 1993).

The Naikaku Bunko 内閣文庫 (Cabinet Library) in Tokyo preserves a Japanese manuscript of the Edo 江戸 period (1603-1868). This manuscript, reproduced on the left, is based on a Chinese edition published by the Xinshu tang 新書堂 in 1501, which is not reported in the library catalogues that I have seen and is apparently lost. Each half folio of the manuscript contains 10 columns of 20 characters. Its title and layout suggest that the 1501 edition derives from the Jinling shufan edition and belongs to same textual lineage as the "Yifu" edition.

Zhouyi cantong qi zhujie 周易參同契注解, ca. 1330

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XXX ed

Yifu 伊府 ed., 1552
National Library, Beijing

Edited and published by Yao Ruxun 姚汝循 (1535-97). Rearranges parts of Chen Zhixu's commentary according to the ordering of the "Guwen" 古文 ("Ancient Text") version of the Cantong qi.

Yao Ruxun's work was reedited and republished in 1820 and again in 1840. The picture shows the exemplar of the 1820 edition preserved at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. The 1840 edition bears the name of Ma Yizhen 馬一貞 as editor.

Guwen cantong qi 古文參同契 (or Cantong qi jingwen fenjie jie 參同契經文分節解)

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XXX ed

Edition of ca. 1575 (?)
Shanghai Library

Edited and published by Dong Xizu 董希祖 (hao: Huangyang zi 黃陽子), who also added a preface dated 1604. Rearranges Chen Zhixu's commentary according to the ordering of the "Guwen" version of the Cantong qi.

The Daoshu wuzhong is a collection of Neidan texts published by the Guizhen tang 歸真堂. In addition to Chen Zhixu's commentary to the Cantong qi, it contains his s 悟真篇三注 as well as works by Dong Xizu.

Cantong qi jie 參同契解 ( or Gu Cantong qi jijie 古參同契集解)

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XXX ed

Daoshu wuzhong 道書五種 ed., 1604
Naikaku Bunko 内閣文庫 (Cabinet Library), Tokyo

The original version of the Daozang jiyao was compiled by Jiang Yupu 蔣予浦 (1756-1819) during the Jiaqing 嘉慶 reign period (1796-1820). There is no bibliographic or material trace of a Daozang jiyao by Peng Dingqiu 彭定求 (1645-1719), to whom an earlier version is sometimes attributed.

Cantong qi fenzhang zhu 參同契分章注, ca. 1330

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XXX ed

Daozang jiyao 道藏輯要 ed., ca. 1800
Kyōto Daigaku Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyūjo 京都大學人文科學研究 (Institute for Research in the Humanities, Kyoto University)

 

 

 

(10) Zhang Wenlong 張文龍 (fl. 1546-66) and Zhu Changchun 朱長春 (fl. 1583-1612)

Zhouyi cantong qi jiejian 周易參同契解箋, 1566

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XXX ed

Edition of 1612

The author of the commentary, Zhang Wenlong, served the Qing administration with a minor office in Chengdu (Sichuan). The author of the sub-commentary, Zhu Changchun, was Secretary in the Ministry of Justice.

Zhang Wenlong's text is divided into 35 sections and is based on Chen Zhixu's redaction. It contains, however, the "Eulogium" ("Zanxu" 讚序), drawn from Yu Yan's redaction.

The text of the Cantong qi found in this work—which is ultimately Chen Zhixu's text—was included in the expanded version of the Han Wei congshu 漢魏叢書, published in 1592.

The picture is reproduced from the reprint found in Xuxiu Siku quanshu 續修四庫全書 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1995-99), vol. 1292.

 

 

 

(11-12) Lu Xixing 陸西星 (1520-1601 or 1606)

Zhouyi cantong qi ceshu 周易參同契測疏, 1569

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XXX ed

Fanghu waishi 方壺外史 ed., 1571/1572

Lu Xixing, the reputed founder of the Eastern Branch of Ming-dynasty Neidan, wrote two commentaries to the Cantong qi. The first is the Zhouyi cantong qi ceshu, which was completed in 1569 and is divided 49 sections. The second is the Zhouyi cantong qi kouyi, which was completed in 1573 and consists in a considerably revised version of the Ceshu. The Kouyi contains only 46 sections, and refers the reader to the Ceshu for the final three sections.

Although Lu Xixing praises Chen Zhixu in his preface to the Ceshu, and although the titles of several sections in his text are identical or similar to those found in Chen Zhixu's work, Lu Xixing's text is based on Yu Yan's redaction.

The first edition of the Fanghu waishi was published in 1571 or 1572. The picture shows the first page of the second edition, from the exemplar preserved at the Kyōto Daigaku Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyūjo 京都大學人文科學研究 (Institute for Research in the Humanities, Kyoto University).

 

 

 

(13) Xu Wei 徐渭 (1521-93)

Fenshi guzhu Cantong qi 分釋古注參同契, ca. 1570

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XXX ed

Late Ming or early Qing edition, ca. 1600/1650 (?)
Naikaku Bunko 内閣文庫 (Cabinet Library), Tokyo

The famous dramatist, poet, and calligrapher Xu Wei wrote his commentary to the Cantong qi in jail. Xu Wei rejects the arrangement of the "Ancient Text" of the Cantong qi, disputing the view that "Canon" and "Commentary" respectively consist of the portions in four- and five-character verses. In his view, the portions that in most redactions of the Cantong qi correspond to Book 1 are Wei Boyang's "Canon"; those that correspond to Book 2 are Xu Congshi's "Commentary"; and those that correspond to Book 3 are equally divided between "Canon" and "Commentary."

In Xu Wei's edition, each section of the "Canon" is immediately followed by the corresponding section of the "Commentary." The result of this rearrangement is actually similar to the version that Xu Wei criticized: the correspondences between the sections that he designates as "Canon" and "Commentary" often match those pointed out by commentators of the "Ancient Text". The main difference is that, in Xu Wei's text, "Canon" and "Commentary" are not set apart from one another according to their meter, but principally according to their placement within the standard text.

The individual sections of Xu Wei's text correspond to the chapters established by Chen Zhixu. The text is also partly based on Chen Zhixu's redaction.

 

 

 

(14) Wang Wenlu 王文祿 (1503-86)

Zhouyi cantong qi shulüe 周易參同契疏略, 1582

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XXX ed

Bailing xueshan 百陵學山 ed., 1584

In addition to the Zhouyi cantong qi shulüe, the bibliophile and prolific author Wang Wenlu also published in 1568 an edition of the Cantong qi without commentary, entitled Cantong qi zhengwen 參同契正文. The Shulüe is meant to be read with the Zhengwen: it does not contain the entire text of the Cantong qi, but only the first four and the last four graphs of each section, followed by Wang Wenlu's short annotations.

The untitled and unnumbered sections correspond to the chapters of Chen Zhixu's redaction, except for chapter 33, which is subdivided into six parts, and for chapters 34 and 35, which are merged into a single chapter. The text is based on Chen Zhixu's redaction, but Wang Wenlu also accepts features peculiar to Yu Yan's redaction.

 

 

 

(16) Peng Haogu 彭好古 (fl. 1586-99)

Guwen cantong qi 古文參同契, 1599

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XXX ed

Daoyan neiwai bijue quanshu 道言內外祕訣全書 ed., 1599/1600

No precise information about Peng Haogu and his life appears to be available. Certain details found in his prefaces to the Daoyan neiwai bijue quanshu and to his Cantong qi commentary suggest, however, that he was in touch with Taoist circles.

The text found in his Guwen cantong qi follows the sequence of the original version of the "Ancient Text" of the Cantong qi.

The picture is reproduced from the reprint found in Zangwai daoshu 藏外道書, vol. 6 (Chengdu: Ba-Shu shushe, 1992).

 

 

 

(17) Huang Shiying 黃士英 (late 16th century ?)

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XXX ed

Chongzheng Guwen zhouyi cantong qi zhenyi 重正古文周易參同契真義, late 16th century (?)
Xiangqi tang 祥啟堂 ed., late 16th century (?)
National Library, Taipei

Huang Shiying's Chongzheng Guwen zhouyi cantong qi zhenyi is one of several works that include commentaries by more than one earlier author. Despite its title, which contains the name "Ancient Text" ("Guwen" 古文), Huang Shiying's work is based on the standard text of the Cantong qi, as shown by its first section reproduced here.

The illustration is reproduced from the Rare Books website of the National Library, Taipei.

 

 

 

(19) Zhen Shu 甄淑 (fl. 1636)

Zhouyi cantong qi yi 周易參同契譯, 1636

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XXX ed

Edition of 1636
Naikaku Bunko 内閣文庫 (Cabinet Library), Tokyo

Having obtained his jinshi degree, Zhen Shu began a career as official that eventually led him to become Minister of Justice in 1639. After a short time, he was accused of corruption and sentenced to jail, where he died.

The front matter of his commentary contains several writings variously dated between 1626 and 1637. The text of the Cantong qi is reproduced twice, first without commentary, and then with Zhen Shu's annotations.

The text, which is divided into 35 chapters, is mainly based on Chen Zhixu's redaction. The textual notes found at the end of several sections show, however, that Zhen Shu also knew the redactions by Zhu Xi and Yu Yan.

 

 

 

(20) Zhu Yuanyu 朱元育 (fl. 1657-69)

Cantong qi chanyou 參同契闡幽, 1669

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XXX ed

Daotong dacheng 道統大成 ed., 1900

Zhu Yuanyu's commentary to the Cantong qi is signed with the appellation "Disciple of the Longmen branch of the Northern Lineage."

Zhu Yuanyu rejects the arrangement of the "Ancient Text." His edition is divided into three Books (pian). Each of the first two Books is divided into three "chapters" (juan), and each chapter deals with one subject: government (i.e., the portions on cosmology that include advice to the ruler), self-cultivation, and alchemy. Book 3 combines these three subjects. Despite Zhu Yuanyu's views, these subdivisions match in principle those found in the "Ancient Text."

Zhu Yuanyu appears to have known both Chen Zhixu's and Zhu Xi's redactions, but his text includes several peculiarities not found in earlier works on the Cantong qi.

His work was first published by the Tiande tang 天德堂 in 1721. The picture is reproduced from the reprint of the Daotong dacheng published by Xinwenfeng chubanshe (Taipei, 1975).

 

 

 

(22) Tao Susi 陶素耜 (fl. 1700)

Zhouyi cantong qi maiwang 周易參同契脈望, 1700

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XXX ed

Daoyan wuzhong 道言五種 ed., 1915

Tao Susi was employed in the Qing administration as Commissioner of Salt Distribution, but was soon dismissed. While he praises Chen Zhixu's, Lu Xixing's, and Qiu Zhao'ao's commentaries, he is especially critical of Yu Yan, whom he even accuses of "not knowing the Great Medicine of the Golden Elixir."

His text is divided into three Books (pian) and 40 sections, and is mainly based on the one found in Lu Xixing's commentary. However, Tao Susi differs from Lu Xixing in certain details.

The Daoyan wuzhong was first published in 1700 or 1701, and was republished several times. The picture is reproduced from the reprint of the 1915 edition found in Daozang jinghua 道藏精華, vol. 8.1 (Taipei: Ziyou chubanshe, 1962; repr. 1980). This edition contains additional notes printed on top of the page (dingpi 頂批) by Yuxi zi 玉溪子 (identity unknown).

 

 

 

(23) Li Guangdi 李光地 (1642-1718)

Cantong qi zhangju 參同契章句, ca. 1700

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XXX ed

Anxi Li Wenzhen gong jieyi sanzhong 安溪李文貞公解義三種 ed., 1719

The classicist Li Guangdi held several important offices in the Qing administration, and also served in the editorial boards for the compilation of imperially-sponsored editions of the Book of Changes and of Zhu Xi's works.

In Li Guang's view, the Cantong qi consists of two main parts. The first part, corresponding to Book 1, is the Cantong qi proper. The second part, corresponding to Book 2, is the San xianglei 三相類 (Three Categories). The remaining portions, corresponding to Book 3, consist of the end of the San xianglei and of the postfaces to both main parts.

Li Guang's text derives from Chen Zhixu's redaction, but the format of Chen Zhixu's work is almost unrecognizable under the new arrangement created by Li Guangdi, which is made unique by further subdivisions, and by the relocation of several portions of the text.

The picture is reproduced from the reprint found in Siku quanshu cunmu congshu 四庫全書存目叢書, "Zi" 子, vol. 257 (Jinan: Qi-Lu shushe, 1995).

 

 

 

(24) Qiu Zhao'ao 仇兆鰲 (1638-1713)

Guben zhouyi cantong qi jizhu 古本周易參同契集注, 1704

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XXX ed

Hecheng zhai 合成齋 ed., 1873

Qiu Zhao'ao served the Qing administration for some time as Vice Minister in the Ministry of Personnel.

In addition to his own annotations, his work quotes passages from sixteen earlier commentaries.

Although Qiu Zhao'ao preserves the basic threefold subdivision of the "Ancient Text," he disagrees with the view that "Canon" and "Commentary" are divided into three main parts, respectively devoted to cosmology, Taoism, and alchemy, and reads the whole Cantong qi as a Neidan text. Since the arrangement into three parts is irrelevant to his views, he merely subdivides both the "Canon" and the "Commentary" into 18 sections, and relocates a large number of portions of text. This disrupts the carefully crafted ordering of the "Ancient Text," and disregards its very purpose.

Qiu Zhao'ao's work was first published in 1710. The picture is reproduced from the reprint of the Hecheng zhai edition in the series Qigong yangsheng congshu 氣功養生叢書 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1989; repr. 1990).

 

 

 

(25) Yuan Renlin 袁仁林 (fl. 1732)

Guwen zhouyi cantong qi zhu 古文周易參同契注, 1732

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XXX ed

Xiyin xuan congshu 惜陰軒叢書 ed., 1846

In addition to the Guwen zhouyi cantong qi zhu, Yuan Renlin is known for a study of grammatical particles entitled Xuzi shuo 虛字說.

His commentary is inspired by the principles of Neo-Confucianism. The arrangement of the text follows the sequence of the original "Ancient Text." The commentary contains illustrations.

The picture is reproduced from the reprint found in Xuxiu Siku quanshu 續修四庫全書 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1995-99), vol. 1292.

 

 

 

(27) Wang Fu 汪紱 (1692-1759)

Du Cantong qi 讀參同契, ca. 1750

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XXX ed

Wang Shuangchi xiansheng congshu 汪雙池先生叢書 ed., 1895

Wang Fu was an independent scholar who never held official positions, and supported himself by teaching. His extant works include commentaries and studies on the classics and on early Confucian works, and a commentary to the Yinfu jing.

Wang Fu arranges the Cantong qi into two main parts and a postface, containing altogether 67 sections. The first part, which is untitled, corresponds to Book 1 in most other editions, and Wang Fu deems it to contain the Cantong qi proper. The second part is entitled San xianglei 三相類 and contains the remain portion of the text. At the end is found Wei Boyang's "Postface."

Wang Fu relied mainly on Chen Zhixu's text, but intralinear glosses that point out variant readings show that he knew several earlier commentaries, including those by Zhu Xi and Yu Yan.

The picture is reproduced from the exemplar preserved at the Kyōto Daigaku Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyūjo 京都大學人文科學研究 (Institute for Research in the Humanities, Kyoto University).

 

 

 

(29) Dong Dening 董德寧 (fl. 1787-88)

Zhouyi cantong qi zhengyi 周易參同契正義, 1787

XXX

XXX ed

Daozang jinghua lu 道藏精華錄 ed., 1922

Dong Dening, who was associated with the Longmen lineage, wrote commentaries to the Daode jing, the Wuzhen pian, the Yinfu jing, and the Huangting jing, and edited the works of several masters of the Nanzong lineage in his Daoguan zhenyuan 道貫真源, published ca. 1788 to ca. 1804.

Disagreeing with the arrangement of the "Ancient Text," Dong Dening maintains that the division of the standard text into three Books is the most appropriate because each part focuses on one of the main subjects of the Cantong qi: cosmology, inner cultivation, and alchemy. Despite Dong Dening's views, it is evident that these subjects correspond to those at the basis of the threefold subdivision of the "Ancient Text".

Dong Dening established his text on the basis of more than one earlier redaction. Nevertheless, he appears to have mainly accepted readings found in Yu Yan's and Chen Zhixu's redactions.

The Daozang jinghua lu contains the second edition of Dong Dening's work, which was first published in the Daoguan zhenyuan.

 

 

 

(30) Ji Dakui 紀大奎 (fl. 1779-1822)

Zhouyi cantong qi jiyun 周易參同契集韻, 1797

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XXX ed

Ji Shenzhai xiansheng quanji xuji 紀慎齋先生全集續集 ed., 1852

Ji Dakui served the Qing administration in various offices before being named District Magistrate of Shifang (Sichuan). His wide literary production includes a work on the Daode jing, but he has been known especially for a manual on rainmaking entitled Qiuyu jing 求雨經.

The Zhouyi cantong qi jiyun includes quotations from Zhu Yuanyu's commentary rearranged according to the ordering of the "Ancient Text," with additional notes by Ji Dakui.

The picture reproduces the exemplar preserved at the Tōyō Bunko 東洋文庫 (Oriental Library) in Tokyo.

 

 

 

(31) Liu Yiming 劉一明 (1734-1821)

Cantong zhizhi 參同直指, 1799

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XXX ed

Fushou baozang 福壽寶藏 ed., 1936

Liu Yiming was an eleventh-generation master of the Longmen lineage. His Cantong zhizhi represents a major revision of the "Ancient Text," based on its own principles. The individual portions within the "Canon" and the "Commentary" are rearranged according to their subjects—cosmology, Taoism, and alchemy—in such a way that they follow corresponding sequences. This enables Liu Yiming to precisely point out for each portion of the "Commentary" a corresponding portion of the "Canon."

Liu Yiming's version of the "Ancient Text" derives from Chen Zhixu's redaction of the standard text. Complying with other versions of the "Ancient Text," however, Liu Yiming includes the "Eulogium," which he incorporates as the preface to the "Commentary."

Li Yiming's work was first published in 1819 in his collected works, the Daoshu shi'er zhong 道書十二種, which available in other several editions and reprints.

Li Shixu's commentary is partly inspired by the principles of the "Ancient Text" of the Cantong qi, but does not follow its arrangement. In his text, each portion of the "Canon" (the four-character verses) is immediately followed by the respective portion of the "Commentary" (the five-character verses), or stands alone when there is no corresponding portion in the "Commentary."

One of the introductory sections of Li Shixu's work contains illustrations of a remarkable quality, including the one reproduced here.

 

 

 

(32) Li Shixu 黎世序 (1773-1824)

Zhouyi cantong qi zhushi 周易參同契注釋, 1823

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XXX ed

Qianyu zhai 謙豫齋 ed., 1823
Tōyō Bunka Kenkyūjo 東洋文化研究所 (Institute of Oriental Culture), Tokyo University

 

 

 

(33) Lü Huilian 呂惠連 (fl. 1879)

Cantong qi fenjie bijie 參同契分節祕解, 1879

XXX

XXX ed

Wanjin tang 萬金堂 ed., 1911

The Cantong qi fenjie bijie was composed by Lü Huilian, who signs his preface as Apprentice Physician (yiyuan 醫員) in Fushan (Shandong).

His remarkably long work essentially follows the arrangement of the original "Ancient Text," with two main exceptions. First, Book 1 of the "Canon" is immediately followed by Book 1 of the "Commentary." Second, Books 2 and 3 of the "Commentary" are merged into a single chapter. In addition, each chapter is introduced by a preface by Lü Huilian.

The picture is reproduced from the reprint found in Zangwai daoshu 藏外道書, vol. 25 (Chengdu: Ba-Shu shushe, 1994).

Gong Yitu's work was published under his sobriquet, Hanjing daoren 含晶道人. It contains selections from earlier commentaries, including those of Peng Xiao, Chen Xianwei, Chen Zhixu, and Lu Xixing, rearranged according to the ordering of the "Guwen" version.

 

 

 

(34) Gong Yitu 龔易圖 (1835-94)

Guben zhouyi cantong qi 古本周易參同契, 1891

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XXX ed

Edition of 1891
Shanghai Library