Charlie5 Translations

Original text

Following Norman Goundry's lead, I wanted to help translate the Dao Zang, and I wanted to start with more of DZ#5 which Norman has already translated five scrolls of. While much of each scroll repeats, each scroll also has unique sections called the "32 Heavens", and the "32 Heavens" sections of Norman's translations caught my attention the best, because they required some contemplation to understand, and because they provide poetic insight into the vision of Ling Bao Daoism, a bright highlight in the history of mankind's religious and spiritual imagination and vision, the fifth century Daoist scriptures a panorama of imported Buddhist ideas and older Chinese folk religion and shamanism.

The work of translation is arduous, and I soon realized I couldn't single-handedly translate the whole Dao Zang in a lifetime. But what I have set out to do is to translate the foundational scriptures from each of the three "caverns", or "comprehensive collections", the three sects of Daoism that together make up the Dao Zang.

First, representing Ling Bao Daoism, the "Book of Five Talismans", DZ#388, is a large scripture in three scrolls. The first of the three scrolls contains some of the sacred history of Daoism, like an "Old Testament"; it's the polemical stories of the Five Emperors and of the Great Flood. The second scroll is all recipes for "immortality", enumerating the foods and herbs cooked and consumed ritually by mountain dwellers, much of which can be found in Traditional Chinese Medicine stores today. And the last scroll is about the transcendent vision of Ling Bao Daoism, a universalist, monist vision of the One and the place of man's world within that.

The "Book of Boundless Universal Salvation", DZ#5, is the first Ling Bao scripture in the Dao Zang, Ling Bao's main foundational text of 61 scrolls, five of which were translated in full by Norman Goundry. I have translated the "32 Heavens" sections of all 61 scrolls as an accompaniment to Norman's translations, along with other parts of the scripture that present unique aspects of the Ling Bao vision, about transcendence, the universe, Yin and Yang, and the stars, where the stars are the eldest brothers, Earth is the middle brother, and mankind is the youngest brother, altogether in a transcendent limitless beauty that is the school of "Original Mystery".

Below is also a link to a formative text of Shang Qing Daoism, the "Book of the Supernatant Clarity", DZ #6. Shang Qing is the "highest" cavern of teachings in the DZ, having been "revealed" just after the time of the Ling Bao scriptures. This is the main scripture of the "Mao Shan revelations", a syncretistic effort that includes many of the same concepts as Ling Bao, including talismans of divine script, but with more of a focus on inner alchemy, and using interior visioning to build up the body and spirit.

The last of the three caverns , the Dongshen, is not yet represented here. My hope is to translate one or more of the foundational texts of the Dongshen cavern, and to add those translations here, in an effort to provide more of a panoramic view of early Daoist ideas.

Charlie 5

Printed copies of these translations are available on Amazon at Book of the Five Talismans