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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

This paper is aimed at facilitating the study of Daoism, a collection of Chinese philosophical

beliefs and psychospiritual practices with a history of thousands of years and a living

community that stretches throughout East Asia, from a transpersonal psychology perspective.

Transpersonal psychologists who wish to embark upon a study of Daoist phenomena

must first be cognizant of the often nebulous parameters of the Daoist field of inquiry.

Therefore, an overview is offered of the two primary Daoist informational sources: the living

Daoist tradition as represented predominantly by the Quanzhen and Tianshi traditions,

and textual sources in collections such as the Daozang and the Zangwai Daoshu. Some

critical issues are highlighted, such as the fact that transpersonal psychologists need to be

mindful of various inherent difficulties associated with the study of Daoism (e.g., problems

interpreting allegorical and even deliberately encoded texts in the absence of the necessary

oral transmissions). Finally, a number of avenues for future research are put forward in the

interest of facilitating the transpersonal study of Daoism.

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