The Venerable Sovereign Opening the Sky
As the patriarch of Daoism, the Venerable Sovereign appeared in many stories, among which was the story about opening the sky. According to the Book of the Supreme Venerable Sovereign's Opening of the Heaven ( 《太上老君開天經》 Taishang Laojun Kaitian Jing ) the Venerable Sovereign inhabited the emptiness and void prior to the creation of the sky and earth. Having gone through the Great Origin ( 洪元 Hongyuan ), Original Chaos ( 混元 Hunyuan ), and the Supreme Origin ( 太初 Taichu ), he created the sky and earth. Since then, he came down from the emptiness and void, teaching his people. Whenever he appeared in the human world, out of his mouth came a scripture, which was used to teach the kings and people about human affairs. In the Book of the Supreme Venerable Sovereign's Opening of the Heaven, the mysterious cosmology of the eight trigrams, which was detailed in the Book of Changes ( 《易》 Yi ), was combined with the cosmology of Dao initiated by Laozi in explaining the creation of the sky and earth as well as the development of human society. According to Daoism, 'opening the sky' symbolizes not only the creation of the material universe but also the beginning of human civilization. The Book of the Supreme Venerable Sovereign's Opening of the Heaven used 'three powers' ( 三才 Sancai ), a concept from the Book of Changes to explain heaven, earth and human beings, suggesting a strong influence of Images and Numbers from the Book of Changes. On the other hand, stories of the Venerable Sovereign Opening the Sky also borrowed philosophical principles and concepts in explaining the creation and evolution of the myriad beings and of the universe itself.