Time, and Again, and Forever: The Somatic Experience of Time in Daoist Philosophy and Religion

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Rather than considering time from a comparative philosophical perspective, the essay discusses the lived experience of time in the Esoteric Biography of Perfected Purple Yang, a Daoist hagiography associated with the fourth century ce Daoist movement that came to be known as the Way of Highest Clarity. This interpretation reveals three modes of time as experienced by the Daoist practitioner: singular time; repeated time; and forever time. Unlike the Biblical concept of time, ordained by God and calculated by the rotation of the stars, the hagiography points towards a Daoist experience of time that is experienced somatically through the individual’s metabolism.


Journal for the Study of Time



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