The Book of Transformations

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The Book of Transformations ( 《化書》 Huashu ), written by Tan Qiao of the Five Dynasties, has 110 essays in 6 volumes about six transformations: Dao, skill, merit, benevolence, food and simplicity. Combining Daoist theory with Confucian thought, it holds that the world is rooted in the Emptiness ( 虛 Xu ). The Emptines transforms into spirit, spirit into breath, breath into form, and form returns to the void. The void is the root and destiny of all things. As for life and death, it says, the void transforms into spirit, spirit into breath, breath into blood, blood into form, form into infant, infant into child, child into youth, youth into adult, adult into elderly, elderly into death, and death returns to the void. Life goes on in such an endless cycle. He who masters this truth can enter the realm of eternal life where "spirit does not transform and form does not come into being". The book also discusses the transformation of society, reveals the cause of turmoil, and proposes a remedy. As an important book in the history of Daoist philosophy, the Book of Transformation occupies a certain status in the history of Chinese philosophy. It is collected in the Supreme Mystery Section of the Daoist Canon of the Zhentong Era. In addition, it has commentaries in New Voices about the Book of Transformation ( 《化書新聲》 Huashu Xin Sheng ) by Wang Yiqing, a Daoist of the Ming Dynsaty.