Метафора мистического преображения в даосском тексте «Древо без корней»
The present papers discuss the authenticity and content of one of the most metaphorical Taoist text “Wu gen shu” (“Rootless Tree”) - a collection of 24 chants ascribed to immortal Taoist Zhang Sanfeng (14thcentury). The text was included in several Taoist compendiums and became widely popular not only among Taoist adepts but also among connoisseurs, aristocrats and poets of the late Qing period. This research is based on several versions of “Wu gen shu” including two versions of outstanding Taoist masters Lu Yiming (1813), Li Hanxu (1840’s) as well as at the recently discovered (2014) stone carved version. All these versions are represented by the same main body text with slight variations in characters and by different order of paragraphs. All this gives the idea that the main text was set up no earlier than at the end of the 18th– beginning of the 19thcenturies and existed in flexible form, so different chants could change their order according to local traditions.
There are some controversies among Chinese traditional scholars about the understanding of the symbolic title of the “Rootless Tree”. Li Hanxu argues that this is a symbol of qi (universal energy) that support the human body as an invisible root, while other commenters understood it as a vulnerability of the body without special practice.
In spite of the fact that “Wu gen shu” was included in several collections of the Longmen (“Dragon Gates”) School of Taoism, it undoubtedly belongs to the syncretic Taoist-Buddhist tradition of the late Ming-beginning of the Qing dynasties. The texts could be divided into three main parts (chants 1–10, 11–18, 19–24) corresponding to the three levels of transformation(Earthly, Human and Heavenly immortality). This scripture being a manual for alchemic and sexual practice for sake of immortality seek to avoid ascetics in favor of enjoying wine, flowers, and carnal desires. Some other passages are closely connected to the Tiantai School of Buddhism looking to emptiness (shunyata) as the “ultimate form” (rupa) and vice versa. The text was addressed not only to initiated Taoist adepts but mostly to the amateurs of traditional symbolism and sacred poetry, so the symbol of the test should be interpreted as symbolic codes (golden toad and jade crow, crescent furnace). The laughter (chants 13, 20, 22) also plays an important role as a symbol of the gaining of the state of true immortality as well as an idea of the unattached wanderings and freedom of spiritual transformation.