Xiu - xiū - 修 - (Selbst-) Kultivierung

修煉 xiūliàn | 修身 xiūshēn | 修己 xiūjǐ | 修仙 xiūxiān

修 - xiū - reparieren, ausbessern, kultivieren, bauen, konstruieren, studieren
煉 - liàn - läutern, verfeinern, raffinieren, härten
身 - shēn - Körper, Leib
己 - jǐ – eigen, selbst
仙 - xiān - göttliches Wesen, der Unsterbliche

"The doctrines concerning Nature and Existence are deemed to be fundamental in Liu Yiming’s works and in many earlier or later texts. Earlier masters, for instance, called Nature and Existence 'the roots of self-cultivation,' 'the secret of the Golden Elixir,' 'the essentials for refining the Elixir,' and 'the learning of the divine immortals.' 8 Liu Yiming himself writes in another work: 'The Way of the Golden Elixir is the Way of cultivating Nature and Existence.' 9 In Cultivating the Tao, Nature and Existence are repeatedly mentioned and are the main subject of Chapter 5, where Liu Yiming gives an important explanation of their properties. The shift from the precelestial to the postcelestial, he says, involves that both Nature and Existence take on two aspects: (1) A true (precelestial) Nature bestowed by Heaven, and a false (postcelestial) nature consisting in one’s character (or personality, temperament); (2) A true (precelestial) Existence consisting in the Breath of the Tao, and a false (postcelestial) existence consisting in one’s 'destiny.' With 'true Existence,' Liu Yiming means that each individual is given life by the One Breath of the Tao, and is in fact nothing but a transient form created by the One Breath. Within this broad framework, each individual is supposed to perform its own function as part and parcel of existence as a whole. This is one’s 'true destiny,' different from the ordinary concept of destiny as a passively acquired or endured sequence of events that make up one’s life. Just like one’s true Nature can be hidden by one’s false personality, so can one’s true Existence (one’s 'true destiny') become concealed by 'following the course' (shun) of life. With its gradual backward process - which, in fact, is an upward process - Internal Alchemy provides a means for 'inverting the course' (ni), making it possible first to 'return to one’s destiny,' and then to 'see one’s Nature.'" Cultivating the Tao - Taoism and Internal Alchemy, By Liu Yiming (1734-1821), Translated by Fabrizio Pregadio, Golden Elixir Press, 2013, S. 6-7

Buchtipp: Cultivating the Tao

This book contains the first complete translation of one of the main works by the eminent Taoist master Liu Yiming (1734-1821). Divided into 26 short chapters, Cultivating the Tao is at the same time a comprehensive overview of the basic principles of Taoism and an introduction to Taoist Internal Alchemy, or Neidan, written by one of the greatest representatives of this tradition. Liu Yiming was an 11th-generation master of the Longmen (Dragon Gate) lineage. Having recovered from severe illness in his youth, he undertook extended traveling that led him to meet his two main masters. In 1780, he visited the Qiyun mountains, in the present-day Gansu province, and settled there. He devoted the second half of his life to teaching and writing, and to charitable activities including restoring shrines and buying burial ground for the poor. His works mainly consist of original writings on Neidan and of commentaries on major Neidan scriptures. Few other masters have illustrated the relation between Taoism and Internal Alchemy as clearly as Liu Yiming does in this book. Grafting Internal Alchemy into the teachings of the Daode jing (Book of the Way and Its Virtue) and of the later Taoist tradition, he shows how the Way of the Golden Elixir can lead to the highest state of realization according to the Taoist principles. © Bild und Text Golden Elixir Press. Cultivating the Tao - Taoism and Internal Alchemy, By Liu Yiming (1734-1821), Translated by Fabrizio Pregadio, Golden Elixir Press, 2013

Buchtipp: Original Tao

Revolutionizing received opinion of Taoism's origins in light of historic new discoveries, Harold D. Roth has uncovered China's oldest mystical text - the original expression of Taoist philosophy - and presents it here with a complete translation and commentary. Over the past twenty-five years, documents recovered from the tombs of China's ancient elite have sparked a revolution in scholarship about early Chinese thought, in particular the origins of Taoist philosophy and religion. In Original Tao, Harold D. Roth exhumes the seminal text of Taoism - Inward Training (Nei-yeh) - not from a tomb but from the pages of the Kuan Tzu, a voluminous text on politics and economics in which this mystical tract had been "buried" for centuries. Inward Training is composed of short poetic verses devoted to the practice of breath meditation, and to the insights about the nature of human beings and the form of the cosmos derived from this practice. In its poetic form and tone, the work closely resembles the Tao-te Ching; moreover, it clearly evokes Taoism's affinities to other mystical traditions, notably aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism. Roth argues that Inward Training is the foundational text of early Taoism and traces the book to the mid-fourth century B.C. (the late Warring States period in China). These verses contain the oldest surviving expressions of a method for mystical "inner cultivation," which Roth identifies as the basis for all early Taoist texts, including the Chuang Tzu and the world-renowned Tao-te Ching. With these historic discoveries, he reveals the possibility of a much deeper continuity between early "philosophical" Taoism and the later Taoist religion than scholars had previously suspected. Original Tao contains an elegant and luminous complete translation of the original text. Roth's comprehensive analysis explains what Inward Training meant to the people who wrote it, how this work came to be "entombed" within the Kuan Tzu, and why the text was largely overlooked after the early Han period. About the Author: Harold D. Roth is professor of religious studies and East Asian studies at Brown University. He is the author of The Textual History of the Huai-Nan Tzu. © Bild und Text Columbia University Press, 1999. Original Tao - Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism, Translated by Harold D. Roth, Columbia University Press, 1999

Buchtipp: Dimensionen der Selbstkultivierung

"Selbstkultivierung" ist ein Grundthema der Philosophie in Indien, China und Japan. Die hier ver­sam­melten Beiträge legen dar, in welcher Weise die Gestaltung des Lebensweges in den Traditionen Süd- und Ostasiens philosophisch reflektiert worden ist. Aber nicht nur in Asien sind Formen der Selbstkultivierung von zentraler Bedeutung gewesen, sondern auch in Europa. In der Einleitung zu den Metaphysischen Anfangsgründen der Tugendlehre formulierte Immanuel Kant die prinzipielle Pflicht des Menschen, sich selbst zu kultivieren, um dem eigenen Menschsein gerecht werden zu können: "Mit dem Zwecke der Menschheit in unserer eigenen Person ist also auch der Vernunftwille, mithin die Pflicht verbunden, sich um die Menschheit durch Cultur überhaupt verdient zu machen, sich das Vermögen zu Ausführung allerlei möglichen Zwecke, so fern dieses in dem Menschen selbst anzutreffen ist, zu verschaffen oder es zu fördern, d.i. eine Pflicht zur Cultur […]." Kants kritische Erörterungen aufnehmend, haben sich die Autoren dieses Bandes der Frage nach der "Pflicht zur Cultur" neu gestellt und zu zeigen versucht, dass der Einbezug einer Philosophie asiatischer Lebensformen ein gegenwärtiges Philosophieren über "Selbstkultivierung" weiterführen und um wichtige Dimensionen bereichern kann. © Bild und Text Verlag Karl Alber. Dimensionen der Selbstkultivierung - Beiträge des Forums für Asiatische Philosophie, Marcus Schmücker u. Fabian Heubel (Hrsg.), Verlag Karl Alber, 2013


Weingarten, Oliver: "Self-Cultivation" (Xiu Shen 修身) in the Early Edited Literature: Uses and Contexts, in: Oriens Extremus 54.2015, S. 163 - 208
Website: www.oriens-extremus.de