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Alchemical Walrus

Dialog between Qiu Chuji and Chinggis Khaan

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So recently I read Li Chi Chang's account of Qiu Chuji's expedition to the West to teach Chinggis Khaan about the Dao and the nature of immortality. (I found the translation here if anyone is interested) Seeing as I have an interest in Mongolian culture, this story interested me greatly, and I found it rather fascinating to read a Daoist's outside observations of Muslim rituals and practices.

But while it was a fascinating read, it doesn't go into much detail about the part of the story that I was most interested in, that is, what was actually discussed between the Daoist and the Khaan. Therefore I was wondering if anyone knows of an English translation of any text that details the content of their discussions.

(I found what might be a fragment inside Legend of the Condor Heroes. :P At least the translator of my copy claims that part of the chapter was copied over from the story of Qiu Chuji and Chinggis Khaan, but as Condor Heroes is a fictional Wuxia book, I don't know what part of the dialog is a copy of the story and what part is fiction, and the translator of my copy hasn't really specified which is which.) 

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10 hours ago, Alchemical Walrus said:

was actually discussed between the Daoist and the Khaan.

Li Chi Chang's account contains both the face to face conversation (fully included in the translation above); and an appendix with letters between the protagonists (not translated in full there or elsewhere)

The epistolary in chinese

https://ctext.org/wiki.pl?if=gb&chapter=99608&remap=gb

 

A short excerpt in English (accompanied by somebody's idiotic comments)

 

https://witchfromfareast.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/the-love-story-between-genghis-khan-vs-taoism-master-qiu-chuji/

 

The reason why the conversations are not fully recorded in the original account, is their insignificance compared to the momentous confluence of two auras - one of sublime sanctity and the other of tremendous power. The actual words exchanged between the heroes do not matter.

 

 

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Master Lee Po Nang (30th gen) discusses Qiu Chuji and the origin and branches of Dragon Gate in this short interview with a student.

 

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Hi Alchemical Walrus,

 

Perhaps a more worthwhile text to study in regards to actual alchemical knowledge would be the Liber de compositione alchimiae, the very first alchemical text translated from Arabic to Latin, thus marking the beginnings of this science in Europe in the late 12th century.

 

This book comes to mind because - not unlike the text you mentioned - it revolves around a dialogue between an alchemically educated hermit and a king (Morienus and the Umayyad king Khalid, a Muslim too).

 

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/Compressed_archive/HRS10/HRS10_Book_of_Composition.html#p=6

 

Not sure, if this is relevant to you, though. If not - ignore! :)

Edited by Michael Sternbach
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21 minutes ago, Michael Sternbach said:

Hi Alchemical Walrus,

 

Perhaps a more worthwhile text to study in regards to actual alchemical knowledge would be the Liber de compositione alchimiae, the very first alchemical text translated from Arabic to Latin, thus marking the beginnings of this science in Europe in the late 12th century.

 

This book comes to mind because - not unlike the text you mentioned - it revolves around a dialogue between an alchemically educated hermit and a king (Morienus and the Umayyad king Khalid, a Muslim too).

 

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/Compressed_archive/HRS10/HRS10_Book_of_Composition.html#p=6

 

Not sure, if this is relevant to you, though. If not - ignore! :)


Thanks! I'll add it to my list, as currently I've been gathering various books on the topic.

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This book was also translated by Arthur Waley in 1931, as The Travels of an Alchemist.  I never found it of much use for alchemy, but in the interim I have gained enough knowledge of Confucianism to recognize the first letter ostensibly from Genghis:

 

Quote

Heaven has abandoned China owing to its haughtiness and extravagant luxury. But I, living in the northern wilderness, have not inordinate passions. I hate luxury and exercise moderation. I have only one coat and one food. I eat the same food and am dressed in the same tatters as my humble herdsmen. I consider the people my  children, and take an interest in talented men as if they were my brothers. We always agree in our principles, and we are always united by mutual affection. At military exercises I am always in the front, and in time of battle am never behind. In the space of seven years I have succeeded in accomplishing a great work, and uniting the whole world in one empire. I have not myself distinguished qualities.

 

But the government of the Kin is inconstant, and therefore Heaven assists me to obtain the throne (of the Kin). The Sung to the south, the Hui ho to the north, the Hia to the east, and the barbarians in the west, all together have acknowledged my supremacy. It seems to me that since the remote time of our shan y√ľ such a vast empire has not been seen. But as my calling is high, the obligations incumbent on me are also heavy; and I fear that in my ruling there may be something wanting. To cross a river we make boats and rudders. Likewise we invite sage men, and choose out assistants for keeping the empire in good order. Since the time I came to the throne I have always taken to heart the ruling of my people; but I could not find worthy men to occupy the places of the three (kung) and the nine (k'ing). With respect to these circumstances I inquired, and heard that thou, master, hast penetrated the truth, and that thou walkest in the path of right. Deeply learned and much experienced, thou hast much explored the laws. Thy sanctity is become manifest. Thou hast conserved the rigorous rules of the ancient sages. Thou art endowed with the eminent talents of celebrated men. For a long time thou hast lived in the caverns of the rocks, and hast retired from¬† the world; but to thee the people who have acquired sanctity repair, like clouds on the path of the immortals, in innumerable multitudes. I knew that after the war thou hadst continued to live in Shan tung, at the same place, and I was always thinking of thee. I know the stories of the returning from the river Wei in the same cart, and of the invitations in the reed hut three times repeated. But what shall I do? We are separated by mountains and plains of great extent, and I cannot meet thee. I can only descend from the throne and stand by the side. I have fasted and washed . I have ordered my adjutant, Liu Chung lu, to prepare an escort and a cart for thee. Do not be afraid of the thousand li. I implore thee to move thy sainted steps. Do not think of the extent of the sandy desert. Commiserate the people in the present situation of affairs, or have pity upon me, and communicate to me the means of preserving life. I shall serve thee myself. I hope that at least thou wilt leave me a trifle of thy wisdom. Say only one word to me and I shall be happy. In this letter I have briefly expressed my thoughts, and hope that thou wilt understand them. I hope also that thou, having penetrated the principles of the great tao, sympathisest with all that is right, and wilt not resist the wishes of the people.¬† (Emphasis mine and I deleted some page references to the original text, ZYD)

 

Is obviously written by someone deeply familiar with Chinese norms based on Confucianism and who is basically claiming for Genghis the Heavenly Mandate to rule.  This is something that Genghis himself believed:

 

Quote

Genghis Khan, the founder and Great Khan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire,  and his followers, were believers of Tengrism. Tengrism included the ideas of animism, shamanism, and ancestor worship.  The original Great Khans were thought to have received a mandate to rule the world from Tengri, the ruler of Heaven and the supreme Mongol deity. (Religion in the Mongol Empire)

 

Which among other things should be a caution to those who believe that only Western Abrahamic religions promote world conquest based on a divine revelation.

 

As I noted above, I never found the book of much interest to alchemy, but as a piece of history and travel it has much to recommend it.  I suspect that it was basically created as a piece of pro Daoist propaganda to aid in the Daoist/Buddhist rivalries in China.

 

ZYD

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