Golden Elixir Press, 2012
PDF, US$ 9.95 (list price)
For the unabridged translation, see this page
This abridged edition contains 32 of the 88 poems of the Cantong qi. The text of each poem is translated in full, and the explications and line notes are the same as those found in the complete version. The Introduction, the tables, the glossary of Chinese characters, and the list of works quoted are reproduced entirely. The textual notes, the appendixes, and the final index of subjects are omitted.
"The Cantong qi is the forefather of the scriptures on the Elixir of all times. Its words are ancient and profound, arcane and subtle. No one can fathom their meaning." Thus begins a preface found in one of the commentaries to the Cantong qi. These words express several significant features of the work translated in the present book: the charm of its verses, the depth of its discourse, its enigmatic language, and its intimate relation to Taoist alchemy (Waidan and Neidan).
Under an allusive poetical language and thick layers of images and symbols, the Cantong qi hides the exposition of a doctrine that inspired a large number of commentaries and other works, and attracted the attention not only of Taoist masters and adepts, but also of philosophers, cosmologists, poets, literati, calligraphers, philologists, and bibliophiles.
Neidan (Internal Alchemy) is the legacy that has shaped the dominant image and understanding of the Cantong qi in China, by placing this work at the origins of its teachings and practices. Besides this one, there has been, within the Taoist tradition, a second, less well-known way of reading the text: the Cantong qi is concerned not with one, but with three major subjects, namely Cosmology (the system of the Book of Changes), Taoism (the way of "non-doing"), and Alchemy, and joins them to one another into a single, unique doctrine.
In addition to the translation of 32 poems of the Cantong qi, this book the fruit of more than 20 years of work contains explications, notes, and a detailed introduction to its history and doctrines.
For a sample and free translations and excerpts (based on the unabridged edition), see this page
"[Pregadio] offers a glimpse of the painstaking detective work required to produce a high quality translation. . . . He faithfully translates the Can Tong Qi into readable English without sacrificing the richness of the original. . . . Fabrizio Pregadio's translation of the Zhou Yi Can Tong Qi is a remarkable contribution to those interested in the study of Taoism and Internal Alchemy. Very few of the old texts have been translated into English, let alone with such high quality." (Shawn Cartwright, Traditional Chinese Culture Institute International - Read the original review)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Best translation of Cantong qi. [Pregadio] offers in this translation with commentary, a very readable and clearly explained version of an extremely important inner alchemy work called "Can tong qi" (Pronounced "tsan tong chi" in modern accent). In a very readable introduction (pp. 1-63) the origin and content of the present text is examined, after which the text itself is translated, pp. 69-126. The most important contribution of Pregadio's work is found in the extensive notes, pp. 130 to 244, which are easily understood by the lay person . . . A must read! Recommended for university courses as well as the general public! (M.R.S. - Read the original review)
"[This book] has already opened my eyes to things that I would not have appreciated before." (Email from a Reader)