Immortal Lu's Flying Sword

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Immortal Lu referred to Lu Dongbing, who used to call himself 'Double Mouth Daoist', based on his last name in classical Chinese, which combined two Chinese characters for "mouth". In Daoism, he was popularly known as patriarch Lu or patriarch Chun Yang. Stories about patriarch Lu were found in many Daoist books, among which were those about Lu's flying sword. In paintings, patriarch Lu wore a sword at his waist. For example, the Records of the Flying Sword ( 《飛劍記》 Feijian Ji ), a novel by a man known as the Leisurely Man of Bamboo Brook in the Ming dynasty, based all its stories on Lu's sword and anecdotes associated with his sword. Not all stories were groundless. According to the Daoist book Record of Imperial Sovereign Chunyang's Mysterious Salvation and Sublime Communion ( 《純陽帝君神化妙通紀》 Chunyang Dijun Shenhua Miaotong Ji ), Zhong Liquan used a sword to illustrate Daoist ideas when teaching Lu Dongbing. Moreover, as a Daoist as well as a traveler, there is no doubt that Lu had been trained how to use the sword to protect himself. Meanwhile, the sword at his waist stood for some Daoist ideas. According to Lu himself, his swordsmanship was actually of spiritual cultivation in that he aimed his sword at greed, desire and vexation. It was a spiritual sword, which not only helped him illustrate Daoist ideas, but also motivated him to compose several poems associated with the sword and spiritual cultivation, both of which served as important agents in his religious and artistic pursuits. His poetry was considered to have an obvious mark of unique spiritual swordsmanship.