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Celestial Masters Historical question

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.philosophy.taoism,talk.religion.misc,alt.mythology
From: xiwangmu 
Subject: Re: Celestial Masters Historical question
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 22:30:21 GMT

50020322 vi

norenxaq :
> I have recently embarked on researching the history of Taoism. 

big research project, could take all your life, depending on where 
you live, what your relation is to the actual practicing community, etc.

> In my studies I have come across sevaral references to the leader 
> of the Celestial Masters being an hereditary office commencing with 
> Chang tao-ling.

yes, this is a popular Taoist religious rendition of history, complete
with authority-structures for religious rites and talismans. Chang

Tao-ling is reputed as a great (and primordial?) Taoist alchemist.
there are many Taoist religious stemming from the South during the
Warring States period and others, especially centering on shamanic
or possessory and magical religion, in particular surrounding the
persons of Chang Tao-ling and Hsi Wang Mu. some of these cults have
got really excited participants, very ecstatic!
> I am interested in locating a complete list of these people along with
> their birth and death dates. If anyone has such a list, in full or in
> part, could you let me know how I could acquire a copy? Or, if you have 
> bibliographic references to where I can find one, let me know.
> Or post it here?

my guess is that there are more than one of these lists, depending on
what spin the religious will wish to provide to their potential converts.
each of the sects will probably be happy to supply you with 'lineage
information' which describes the ancientness and authority-centered
approach they are taking. 

from texts about which you are asking, you'll probably have to get to
the more specialized anthropological and depth-oriented Taoist studies,
perhaps in French or German. in the end my suspicion is that you will
at BEST be able to accumulate the vast number of legend-based lineage
tracings to compare, finding little to no historical basis for more than
the latter half or 2/3rds of the list, but I'm no sinologist. good luck.


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