Isabelle Robinet, The World Upside Down: Essays on Taoist Internal Alchemy

Submitted by Fabrizio Pregadio on Sat, 08/27/2011 - 08:46
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This book contains four essays on Internal Alchemy, originally published in French and translated here for the first time into English. The essays are concerned with the alchemical principle of "inversion"; the devices used by the alchemists to "give form to the Formless by the word, and thus manifest the authentic and absolute Dao"; the symbolic function of numbers in Taoism and in Internal Alchemy; and the original meanings of the terms "External Elixir" (waidan) and "Internal Elixir" (neidan).

The book is available in paperback and PDF editions.

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Isabelle Robinet
The World Upside Down: Essays on Taoist Internal Alchemy
Edited and translated by Fabrizio Pregadio
viii + 129 pp.
Golden Elixir Press, 2011
ISBN 978-0-9843082-6-2


Acknowledgements, vii

The World Upside Down in Taoist Internal Alchemy, 1
The Alchemical Language, or the Effort to Say the Contradictory, 17
Role and Meaning of Numbers in Taoist Cosmology and Alchemy, 45
On the Meaning of the Terms Waidan and Neidan, 75

Tables and Pictures, 103
Appendix: Works by Isabelle Robinet, 113
Glossary of Chinese Characters, 117
Works Quoted, 123

Golden Elixir Press is grateful to the following institutions, and the respective journals, for their consent to translate and publish the essays collected in this book: Collège de France (Revue de l’Histoire des Religions); Presses Universitaires de Vincennes (Extrême-Orient — Extrême-Occident); Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft (Asiatische Studien / Études asiatiques); Society for the Study of Chinese Religions (Taoist Resources).