Thursday, January 23, 2014
[Asian Apocrypha] The Tao Yaomo Jing
In DEMONSTRA there is a rumored text of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu referred to as the Dao Yaomo Jing: 道 妖魔 經. Literally, the Path/Way Demon Classic/Text or more figuratively, the Classic of the Demon Way. It only appears once in DEMONSTRA, mentioned in the poem "Laonomicon." This almost makes it a hapax legomenon. It emerged from questions of how a Chinese philosopher might interact with the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft and other 20th century writers.
Of course, this is where I must explicitly assert that no such text 'exists' any more than the Necronomicon or the Golden Goblin Press editions of various occult texts such as Nameless Cults or the Revelations of Hali. The idea that it exists is as preposterous as a surviving copy of Aristotle's supposed lost treatise on comedy, or the lost manuscripts of Bruno Schulz, Were such a text to exist, we can only hope they would be preserved in a remote, well-secured library or archive of some note, awaiting discovery by one destined to make good use of such forbidden knowledge.
But WERE any aspect of the horrendous Dao Yaomo Jing to have survived into Lao Tzu's more well-known Taoist text, the Dao De Jing, or more commonly, the Tao Te Ching, perhaps the most concrete hint is found in Chapter 25. In the common, albeit controversial translation of Gia-fu Feng and Jane English the chapter is typically presented as:
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name.
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows.
It flows far away.
Having gone far, it returns.
Therefore, "Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
The king is also great.
"These are the four great powers of the universe,
And the king is one of them.
Man follows the earth.
Earth follows heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao follows what is natural.
For reference, Chapter 25's original Chinese is typically written as:
Scholars of the Lovecraftian and the Cthulhu cult doubtless need no further remarks. Religious scholars understand the name Lao Tzu or Laozi is occasionally translated into "Old/Venerable Master," and was worshiped as "Supreme Old Lord," or given the title "Supremely Mysterious and Primordial Emperor" in at least one dynasty. This is not to suggest connections to the rumored Great Old Ones or Elder Things, of course.
Of minor interest to scholars who dabble in such matters, there are numerous Taoist myths that purport Lao Tzu's conception was the result of a "falling star" his mother gazed upon. He was born a fully grown man after 62 years in his mother's womb, imbued with physical characteristics typically associated with wisdom and almost unnaturally long life. This account is, of course, rejected by reasonable and rational souls as patently absurd. It is no more plausible than some giant, bat-winged octopus-dragon falling from the stars to slumber in some sunken city of impossible geometry until celestial bodies are in some arbitrary alignment.
There are additional legends that claim Lao Tzu was eventually reborn 13 times, and in the last incarnation lived 930 years, traveling to reveal the Tao. Naturally, this, too, is impossible within a conventional understanding of historical time and space.
Let it also be firmly noted that it is quite unlikely Lao Tzu conversed with any denizens of Innsmouth, Im Boca, or similar cities and villages, despite his rumored nigh-immortality. Researchers are advised to treat any rumors of an actual copy of the 道 妖魔 經 with great skepticism as it will most likely not be labeled as such by those preserving it for whatever particular purpose they may have. One is more likely to find an intact copy of the 7 Cryptical Books of Hsan. But do with this information what you will.