China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
As Daoism specialists know, Master Zhou’s Records of Communications with the Unseen Realm (Zhoushi mingtong ji) is a four-scroll-long document presented by Daoist master Tao Hongjing to Emperor Wu of the Liang in 517 CE and later collected into the Daoist canon. Tao crafted the text’s outer frame, recounting how his disciple, Zhou Ziliang, came to live on Mount Mao and eventually ended his own life at age nineteen by ingesting an alchemical elixir. Inside this frame are Zhou’s own records, carefully arranged and commented on by Tao, of the visions and dreams he had over a fourteen-month period prior to his death.