The Cantong qi is deemed to be the earliest book on alchemy in China. The title has been variously translated as Kinship of the Three, Akinness of the Three, Triplex Unity, The Seal of the Unity of the Three, and in several other ways. The full title of the text is Zhouyi cantong qi, which can be translated as, for example, The Kinship of the Three, in Accordance with the Book of Changes.
According to a well-established traditional view, the text was composed by Wei Boyang in the mid-second century CE, and deals entirely with alchemy—in particular, with Neidan, or Internal Alchemy. Besides this one, there has been, within the Taoist tradition, a second way of reading the text: in agreement with its title, the Cantong qi is concerned not with one, but with three major subjects, namely Cosmology (the system of the Book of Changes), Taoism (the way of "non-doing"), and Alchemy, and joins them to one another into a single doctrine.
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