Lu Xixing

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The Life of Lu Xixing (1520-1606)

Lu Xixing( 陸西星 Lu Xixing ), who lived in the Ming Dynasty, was from Xinghua, in Yangzhou (in today's Jiangsu province), and he was the founder of the Eastern Sect of Inner Alchemy. Lu was styled Qianxuzi, with the alternate name Changgeng.

His Experience of Realization of Dao

Lu Xixing was very clever since he was a little child, and quite different from normal persons. 'He had already easily understood human nature and the essence of the divine order of the world when he received education in his teens." He was a master of the Chinese language, and good at painting and calligraphy. He once passed the imperial examination at the county level, and became famous for his abilities, but later, in his twenties, failed nine times at the provincial level. Thus he gave up Confucianism and turned to Daoism. While living in seclusion in the mountains, he ran into a peculiar man many times, from whom he gained the secret skills of Daoist immortality. After that, he declared that Lu Dongbing had descended down to his cottage of Beihai, and personally imparted an elixir formula to him during his 22-day stay. In his Author's Preface to the Tablet of the Golden Elixir ( 金丹就正篇:自序 Jindan Jiuzheng Pian Zixu ), he mentioned his adventure of running into the Immortal. 'In 1547 or so, I happened to run into the revered Mr. Lu, one of the Daoist founders of Inner Alchemy, at the cottage of Beihai, because of my affinities with Immortals, and I entertained him and talked to him sincerely, being on good terms with him. Later I often called on him. He not only encouraged me, but taught me the Songs on Concocting the Embryo ( 結胎之歌 Jietai Zhi Ge ), the pivots of sexual activity, and offered me quite a number of his records and ten volumes of the Collections of the Man of Mt. Zhongnan. I studyied all these for 20 years, unaware of how time flied. At the beginning of 1568, I evaded to the wild areas in the remote country and lived as a recluse, before I understood some of his instructions. Thus I came back to my cottage for the Inner Elixir ( 內丹 Neidan ), and accomplished it within a few years." Lu Xixing also mentioned that he almost simultaneously felt what his master had instructed to him in his dream. Finally I realized what the revered Mr. Lu meant and tried to recall what he said, and I seemed to comprehend 80%~90% of it. Comparing it with the Three Ways Unified and Normalized ( 周易參同契 Zhouyi Cantong Qi ) and the books and songs of elixir formulas, I thought about it over and over again. Until one day, while I was taking a nap, I seemed greatly inspired, and immediately realized most of his instructions. That was why I wrote this essay. In a word, he thought that he had got the true essence of Lu's idea of Inner Alchemy ( 內丹 Neidan ), so that he wrote some books to elaborate the pivots of Inner Alchemy and instituted the Eastern Sect ( 東派 Dongpai ) of Inner Alchemy. Lu was respected as the founder of the Eastern Sect of Inner Alchemy by the Daoist believers of later times.

His Thought on Inner Alchemy and Works

Lu Xixing epitomized the Daoist theories of the integrated cultivation of the inner elixir of the Song and Yuan Dynasties. He advocated that Yin and Yang, or male and female could engage in Integrated Cultivation ( 雙修 Shuangxiu ). Lu thought that if the law of Yin-Yang or that of male and female were followed, the young would be produced, while Integrated Cultivation would produce the Elixir if it was followed in the reverse way. He wrote the book On the Seven Refutations ( 七破論 Qipo Lun ) to illustrate his idea and attack other skills of refinement and of Nourishing Life ( 養生 Yangsheng ). Another book of his, the Tablet of the Golden Elixir ( 金丹就正篇 Jindan Jiuzheng Pian ) (one volume) was the first thesis about Integrated Cultivation in the history of Inner Alchemy. His On the Mysterious Skin ( 玄膚論 Xuanfu Lun ) described the general theory of Inner Alchemy. Lu discussed in his book such crucial questions as the interrelation of the alchemical skills of the triple origin, the division of Inner and Outer Alchemy, the difference between Pre-Existence ( 先天 Xiantian ) and Post-Existence ( 後天 Houtian ), and the connection between cultivation of Spiritual Nature ( 性 Xing ) and perfection of Bodily Life ( 命 Ming ). In addition, his Obscure Meaning of Laozi's Book of Dao and its Virtue ( 老子道德經玄論 Laozi Daodejing Xuanlan ) was preserved in the Unofficial History of Fanghu ( 方壼外史 Fanghu Waishi ). In his late years, he practiced Buddhist meditation, and wrote the Elaboration of the Pivot of the Book of Lengyan ( 愣嚴經說略 Lengyan Jing Shuolue ) (one volume) and the Brief Explanation of the Book of Lengyan (one volume).