The Three Ways Unified and Normalized of the Book of Changes

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The Three Ways Unified and Normalized of the Book of Changes ( 周易參同契 Zhouyi Cantongqi ), which is also known as the Three Ways Unified and Normalized ( 參同契 Cantongqi ), is an early Daoist scripture written by Wei Boyang of the Eastern Han dynasty. The whole book discusses Refining Elixirs using the concept of transformations and integrates the three theories of "Great Changes", "the Huanglao School" (derived from the Yellow Emperor and Laozi), and "stove flames". By taking Heaven and Earth as cauldrons, Yin and Yang as dikes, water and fire as burning devices, the Five Agents ( 五行 Wuxing ) as assistants, and Mysterious Essential Matter ( 玄精 Xuanjing ) as the basis of elixirs, it illustrates the principles and methods of Refining Elixirs and is the earliest Daoist scripture that systematically elucidates the Refinement of Elixirs. There are many commentaries on this book. The famous ones include the Perfect Explanations to Each Chapter of the Three Ways United and Normalized of the Book of Changes ( 周易參同契分章通真義 Zhouyi Cantongqi Fenzhang Tongzhen Yi ) by Peng Xiao of the Later Shu dynasty, the Investigations on the Different Versions of the Three Ways Unified and Normalized of the Book of Changes ( 周易參同契考義Zhouyi Cantongqi Kaoyi ) by Zhu Xi of the Song dynasty (under the name of Kongtong Daoist Zou Xin), the Interpretations of the Three Ways Unified and Normalized of the Book of Changes ( 周易參同契解 Zhouyi Cantongqi Jie ) by Chen Xianwei of the Song dynasty, and the Elaboration on the Three Ways Unified and Normalized of the Book of Changes (周易參同契發揮 Zhouyi Cantongqi Fahui ) by Yu Yan of the Yuan dynasty. All of them are collected in the Pervasive Mystery Section ( 太玄部 Aixuan Bu ) of the Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ).