October 2011

China's Demonic Genius

The Poetry of Li Ho

One of the most ancient Chinese alchemical tracts is the “Can Dong Qi,” which describes a method of Taoist mysticism. In a chapter on so-called “Perverted and False Paths,” the author describes unorthodox Taoist sects that tried to work with the spirit world. The author rejects such practices as being heterodox and dangerous, leading to enchantment by the eerie beings of the ghostly realms. The work of T'ang Dynasty poet Li Ho (also known as Li He) was rejected by the Chinese literary establishment for the exact same reason.