Ascending to Heaven with One's Whole House
This story was recorded in the eleventh chapter "Biographies of Twelve Perfect Sovereigns" ( 《十二真君傳》 Shier Zhenjun Zhuan ) of the Extensive Records of the Taiping Era ( 《太平廣記》 Taiping Guangji ) and other documents. In the story, Xu Xun spent most his life as a farmer in the Jin dynasty. After his brother died, he gave up his most fertile land for the benefit of his sister-in-law, whereas he himself cultivated the waste hills to support his mother. In the later period, he started to study Dao, and became the county magistrate in Jin Yang where he used his power and Daoist arts in favor of his people. Years later, however, he was so disappointed with moral degeneration in the society that he resigned. After that, he went to Mt. Xiaoyao in Yuzhang, starting to cultivate Dao along with many followers. In that moment, people in that area suffered from some evil snakes and flood dragons. Xu and his disciples fought bitter battles and killed them ultimately. His good merits were widely recounted among the local people.
Xu Xun based the Dao on filial piety, which was considered to be the guideline of cultivation. In the process of practicing Dao, he committed himself to good deeds, and encouraged others to do so as well. As the result of years of cultivation, he ascended to heaven with his whole house on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the second Ningkang year of the Jin dynasty. It was said that more than forty family members went up to heaven along with Xu Xun on that day.
In Daoism, this story is used to serve as an example, encouraging people to cultivate Dao. In another word, it has become the symbol of successful cultivation.