The Authentic Person as Ideal for the Late Ming Dynasty Physician: Daoist Inner Alchemy in Zhang Jiebin’s Commentary on the Huangdi neijing

De Vries, L. 2014. The Authentic Person as Ideal for the Late Ming Dynasty Physician: Daoist Inner Alchemy in Zhang Jiebin’s Commentary on the Huangdi neijing. Synthesis Philosophica. 29 (1), pp. 63-82.

TitleThe Authentic Person as Ideal for the Late Ming Dynasty Physician: Daoist Inner Alchemy in Zhang Jiebin’s Commentary on the Huangdi neijing
AuthorsDe Vries, L.
Abstract

At the end of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Daoist inner alchemy had a significant influ- ence on the medical theories of some of the most prominent scholar physicians in Jiangnan China. In this article, I zoom in on Zhang Jiebin’s (1563–1640) commentary on the Huangdi neijing (Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor), the foundational text of Chinese medicine. In the first chapter of this text, four exemplary types of human beings are described. I analyse how Zhang Jiebin elaborates on one of them, the Authentic Person (zhenren). Abundantly referring to inner alchemical sources, his focus is on the essential constituents of the body: essence (jing), qi, and spirit (shen). I further show how Zhang emphasizes strong connec- tions between medicine and inner alchemy in a discussion on concrete practices, which could not only dispel disorders but also lead to the Daoist ideal of becoming a zhenren.

KeywordsChinese medicine
Ming dynasty
inner alchemy
qi
soteriology
JournalSynthesis Philosophica
Journal citation29 (1), pp. 63-82
Year2014
Web address (URL)http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=203792

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