On Supreme Correspondence

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The Tablet of Supreme Correspondence is called the Tablet of Correspondence ( 《感應篇》 Ganying Pian ) in short. Its author is unknown to us. It is one of the Daoist books of persuasion, which gets its ideological sources from the Book of the Supreme Peace, the Inner Commandments from the Book of Change ( 《易內戒》 Yi Nei Jie ), and the Book of the Master of the Red Pine Tree ( 《赤松子經》 Chisong Zi Jing ) of the Wei and Jin dynasties. It was probably composed in the early Northern Song dynasty, and handed down in block-printed editions in the Southern Song dynasty when Emperor Li Zhong was in power. The book is no more than 1,200 characters long and takes the following characters in its introductory song as its guiding principle: "Good fortune or bad fortune befall when allured; good and evil are closely associated like the shadow follows the person." Then it goes on saying that if one hopes to live long and happy, one must do good works. Besides, this book offers more than 20 good deeds and 100 bad deeds as standards of judging good and evil. In the end it persists: "no evil deeds, more good deeds." This book was so successful that it was printed and reprinted both officially and non-officially. The printing of the book itself was regarded as a good deed. What is more, there were varied annotations of the book, among which the most influential were Hui Dong's Annotation of the Tablet of Supreme Correspondence ( 《太上感應篇注》 Taishang Ganying Pian Zhu ) and Yu Yue's Inheritance from the Tablet of Supreme Correspondence ( 《太上感應篇纘義》 Taishang Ganying Pian Zuanyi ).