The Golden Elixir Taoist Alchemy Masters and Texts The Seal of the Unity of the Three

The Seal of the Unity of the Three (Cantong qi)

Commentaries and Editions (Part 6)

Fabrizio Pregadio

These materials on the The Seal of the Unity of the Three, the main text of Taoist Internal Alchemy, are excerpted from:

Cantong qi: The Seal of the Unity of the Three, vol. 2

The Seal of the Unity of the Three. Vol. 2 — Bibliographic Studies on the Cantong qi: Commentaries, Essays, and Related Works

Fabrizio Pregadio
Golden Elixir Press, 2011
Paperback

Part 1 of this book contains a bibliographic catalogue of about 150 extant and lost commentaries, essays, and other works related to the Cantong qi, with details on authors, dates, editions, and reprints. Part 2 contains a survey of the textual tradition of the Cantong qi, focused on the composition and contents of about 40 major texts.

NOTE: This article contains notes on 28 of the 34 extant premodern commentaries of The Seal of the Unity of the Three. Commentaries are numbered according to numeration found in The Seal of the Unity of the Three, Vol. 2.

(25) Yuan Renlin 袁仁林 (fl. 1732)

Guwen zhouyi cantong qi zhu 古文周易參同契注, 1732

Commentary on the Ancient Text of The Seal of the Unity of the Three

Cantong qi, Commentary by Yuan Renlin (Xiyin xuan congshu ed., 1846)

Xiyin xuan congshu ed., 1846

In addition to the Guwen zhouyi cantong qi zhu, Yuan Renlin is known for a study of grammatical particles entitled Xuzi shuo 虛字說.

His commentary is inspired by the principles of Neo-Confucianism. The arrangement of the text follows the sequence of the original "Ancient Text." The commentary contains illustrations.

This page is reproduced from the reprint of the Xiyin xuan congshu 惜陰軒叢書 edition (1846) found in Xuxiu Siku quanshu 續修四庫全書 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1995-99), vol. 1292.

Book IconThe Seal of the Unity of the Three, Vol. 2, pages 67-68 and 194

(27) Wang Fu 汪紱 (1692-1759)

Du Cantong qi 讀參同契, ca. 1750

A Reading of The Seal of the Unity of the Three

Cantong qi, Commentary by Wang Fu (Wang Shuangchi xiansheng congshu ed., 1895)

Wang Shuangchi xiansheng congshu
ed., 1895

Wang Fu was an independent scholar who never held official positions and supported himself by teaching. His extant works include commentaries and studies on the classics and on early Confucian works, and a commentary to the Yinfu jing.

Wang Fu arranges the Cantong qi into two main parts and a postface, containing altogether 67 sections. The first part, which is untitled, corresponds to Book 1 in most other editions, and Wang Fu deems it to contain the Cantong qi proper. The second part is entitled San xianglei 三相類 and contains the remain portion of the text. At the end is found Wei Boyang's "Postface."

Wang Fu relied mainly on Chen Zhixu's text (no. 9 above), but intralinear glosses that point out variant readings show that he knew several earlier commentaries, including those by Zhu Xi (no. 4) and Yu Yan (no. 8).

This page is reproduced from the exemplar of the Wang Shuangchi xiansheng congshu 汪雙池先生叢書 edition (1895) preserved at the Kyōto Daigaku Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyūjo 京都大學人文科學研究 (Institute for Research in the Humanities, Kyoto University).

Book IconThe Seal of the Unity of the Three, Vol. 2, pages 69 and 178

(29) Dong Dening 董德寧 (fl. 1787-88)

Zhouyi cantong qi zhengyi 周易參同契正義, 1787

The Correct Meaning of The Seal of the Unity of the Three

Cantong qi, Commentary by Dong Dening (Daozang jinghua lu ed., 1922)

Daozang jinghua lu ed., 1922

Dong Dening, who was associated with the Longmen lineage, wrote commentaries to the Daode jing, the Wuzhen pian, the Yinfu jing, and the Huangting jing, and edited the works of several masters of the Nanzong lineage in his Daoguan zhenyuan 道貫真源, published ca. 1788 to ca. 1804.

Disagreeing with the arrangement of the "Ancient Text," Dong Dening maintains that the division of the standard text into three Books is the most appropriate because each part focuses on one of the main subjects of the Cantong qi: cosmology, inner cultivation, and alchemy. Despite Dong Dening's views, it is evident that these subjects correspond to those at the basis of the threefold subdivision of the "Ancient Text".

Dong Dening established his text on the basis of more than one earlier redaction. Nevertheless, he appears to have mainly accepted readings found in Yu Yan's and Chen Zhixu's redactions (no. 8 and 9 above, respectively).

The Daozang jinghua lu 道藏精華錄 (1922), of which one page is reproduced here, contains the second edition of Dong Dening's work, which was first published in the Daoguan zhenyuan.

Book IconThe Seal of the Unity of the Three, Vol. 2, pages 70 and 178-79

(30) Ji Dakui 紀大奎 (fl. 1779-1822)

Zhouyi cantong qi jiyun 周易參同契集韻, 1797

The Verses of The Seal of the Unity of the Three

Cantong qi, Commentary by Ji Dakui (Ji Shenzhai xiansheng quanji xuji ed., 1852)

Ji Shenzhai xiansheng quanji xuji
ed., 1852

Ji Dakui served the Qing administration in various offices before being named District Magistrate of Shifang (Sichuan). His wide literary production includes a work on the Daode jing, but he has been known especially for a manual on rainmaking entitled Qiuyu jing 求雨經.

The Zhouyi cantong qi jiyun includes quotations from Zhu Yuanyu's commentary (no. 20 above) rearranged according to the ordering of the "Ancient Text," with additional notes by Ji Dakui.

This page is reproduced from the exemplar of the Ji Shenzhai xiansheng quanji xuji 紀慎齋先生全集續集 edition (1852) preserved at the Tōyō Bunko 東洋文庫 (Oriental Library) in Tokyo.

Book IconThe Seal of the Unity of the Three, Vol. 2, pages 70-71 and 194

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