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The Tao-tsang began to be compiled in the 8th century and a definitive version was printed in the early 12th century.Taoist practitioners of all schools engage in purifying and strengthening the “Three Ones” (san-i), the three aspects of primordial Life-Force: spirit (shen), breath-energy (ch’i), and sexual essence (ching).

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They address many topics, not just spirituality, including botany, astronomy, etc.

argue it was a single sage who wrote the majority of its 81 short chapters.

Half the text consists in rhyming lines likely of an earlier date.

Meanwhile, more popular, organized forms of “religious Taoism” or Tao-chiao were emerging in the late Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) and subsequent Wei-Chin era, based on the Lao-tzu, Chuang-tzu, et al., but more strongly patterned after the activity of the court magicians (fang-shih), involving shamanic, yogic, spiritualist and magic practices.

(Henri Maspero and Izutsu think some of these practices pre-dated Chuang-tzu and Lao-tzu in the southern Ch’u state.) The earliest and most prominent of these religious Taoist schools were the theocratic, liturgical, magical Meng-wei Heavenly Master Taoism (also known as Wu-tou-mi “Five Pecks of Rice” Taoism), founded in the mid-2nd century CE by the long-lived Chang Tao-ling and his son and grandson, later headquartered on Lung-hu Shan/Mountain in Kiangsi province; T’ai-p’ing Supreme Peace Taoism, founded by Chang Chüeh in 2nd century, based on repentance of sins, healing ceremonies and the book on commanding spirits miraculously gotten by the semi-legendary Yò Chi; the equally popular Ling-pao Magic Jewel Taoism (4th/5th century CE, liturgical, influenced by Buddhism, emphasizes fasting and reliance on celestial deities), founded by Ko-hsòan, Hsu Ling-ch’i, et al; and Shang-ch’ing Highest Purity Taoism (elite, monastic, meditative, and mystical, based especially on Chuang-tzu and the Yellow Court Canon), founded in 370 CE by Yang Hsi and the two Hsu’s, father and son, atop Mao Shan (near Nanjing).

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