Religions predating judaism
Path to Immortality pursues longevity and immortality by trying to eliminate perishable elements in human body through spiritual and physical purification.The method includes ingesting various powdered metals and stones as magic portions.Biblical scholars face similar problems of determining who wrote which parts and when.) It was during the Han dynasty era (206 BCE–220 CE) when Daoism as philosophy got organized and became a school of thoughts known as dao jia.Daoism as philosophy ponders over the different manifestations of dao (the Way), the guiding principle of the universe.It developed slowly, incorporating various folklore and folk religions, myths, and philosophy of different schools, as well as divination and medicine.China is a country that includes many ethnic groups.
Just like Christianity according to theology professors are different from Christianity people practice everyday, popular Confucianism is different from academics’ understanding of Confucianism.There is a debate if Path to Immortality is an integral part of Daoism or not.In any case, Path to Immortality has given Daoism a bad name. (These ancient books are known by the names of the authors.) Daoism as philosophy regards Laozi as the greatest sage.Still, because Zhuangzi, like Laozi, went under many editing, determining what he actually thought and wrote can be tricky.
(This is a shared problem of studying ancient scripts.Currently 56 ethnic groups are recognized in China, including the dominant Han that constitutes over 90 percent of the population.(Since being a Han is socially advantageous, many mixed ethnicity people call themselves Han, too.) The Chinese also had contacts with far away places such as India and Rome through the traders of the Silk Road.In its pursuit of magical perfection, Path to Immortality is similar to Western alchemy.