By Mircea Eliade

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

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A gesture made in accordance with the rule constitutes a new epiphany of the cosmic harmony. " A discipline whose object is the "transmutation" of gestures and behavior into rituals, at the same time preserving their spontaneity, undoubtedly has a religious intention and structure. 57 From this point of view, Confucius' method can be compared with the doctrines and techniques by which Lao Tzu and the Taoists held that they could recover 56. This aspect has been well brought out by Herbert Fingarette in his Confucius: The Secular as Sacred.

The Taoists and the Chinese alchemists took up and perfected this traditional method; that is, instead of limiting it to curing various diseases, they applied it especially to curing man from the wear and tear of time, that is, from old age and death. 42 THE RELIGIONS OF ANCIENT CHINA By combining, the forces of Yang and Yin engender the "mysterious embryo" (the "elixir oflife," the "Yellow Flower"), the immortal being that will finally escape from the body through the occiput and ascend to Heaven (cf.

And vol. 3 of the present work. 107. See The Forge and the Crucible, p. 119. This "return to the womb" is only the development of an earlier and more widely disseminated concept, already documented on archaic levels of culture: cure by a symbolic return to the origins ofthe world, that is, by reactualizing the cosmogony (see Myth and Reality, pp. ). The Taoists and the Chinese alchemists took up and perfected this traditional method; that is, instead of limiting it to curing various diseases, they applied it especially to curing man from the wear and tear of time, that is, from old age and death.

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