- Divine incantations scripture
The oldest known book that details the coming apocalypse was also produced in this period under the name
Taishang dongyuan shenzhou jing, or The Divine Incantations Scripture. [DeBary & Bloom, "Sources of Chinese Tradition", v.1, (1999), p. 406.] The earliest portions of the book have been traced back to the beginning of the fifth century B.C.E. They offered a new route to transcendence that was different from the Heavenly Mastersmovement from which it branched. The Divine Incantations Scripturesought to clarify the gods are, "in a word, merely the officials of the celestial bureaucracy." [DeBary & Bloom (1999), p. 407.] The text was unique for the time in that it promised the aid of celestial "ghost troops" to those who upheld its teachings and acknowledged the dynamic obedience and simultaneous danger of various "daemon kings" that also existed in a fantastical version of the metaphysical world. These characteristics draw interesting parallels with the cosmic and celestial warfare depicted in the Book of Revelationfrom the Christian New Testament Cannon. The book also urges Daoists to "assiduously convert the unenlightened," and demands scriptural exclusivity when receiving the Divine Incantations Scripture[DeBary & Bloom, (1999), p. 409.] .
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