Record of the Mysterious Pearl

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Records of Mysterious Pearls ( 玄珠錄 Xuanzhu Lu ) was transmitted orally by Wang Xuanlan and written down by Wang Taixiao of the Tang dynasty. This two-volume work of quotations was collected according to people's notes, by Wang Xuanlan's disciple, Wang Taixiao. It is an important source for the study of the Daoist thought of Wang Xuanlan. The whole book collects about more than 120 quotations from Wang Xuanlan that expound theoretical problems such as Dao and substance, body of Dao, Dao-nature, being and nonbeing, the true and the untrue, motion and motionlessness, and mind and nature. A distinguishing feature of the book consists in that it integrates Buddhism into the learning of Laozi, that is to say, it applies the Buddhist philosophy of the Middle Way ( 中觀 Zhingguan ) to its argument. A typical work that mixes Buddhism and philosophical Daoism, this book reflects the tendency of the development of Daoist theories in the Tang dynasty. In the author's opinion, Dao, existing in all things universally and absolutely, is in every place and everything comes into being with Dao; the originally motionless Dao comes into motion in correspondence to outside things, yet it is not confined by them, but instead, "the perfect body keeps motionless"; the true form of the body of Dao is "nothingness" just as "the body of a mirror"; in the pair of categories, i.e. mind and context, the major one is often the mind, whose existence and disappearance determine those of outside phenomena, and the "perfect nature" of man's mind has unlimited power; and so on. The book is collected in the Supreme Mystery Section ( 太玄部 Taixuan Bu ) of The Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ).