Told You So: Extreme Longevity and Daoist Realization

  • Livia Kohn
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Future of Humanity and its Successors book series


The Chinese have traditionally believed that human life has a predetermined duration of 120 years, and Daoists have always claimed that there are not only ways to reach this life expectancy on a regular basis but to extend it to far longer periods, mentioning sages who remained on earth for 400, 800, or even thousands of years. Matching the developments of modern efforts to extend life, they have insisted for millennia that one can expand the human body to its energetic best and sublimate its physicality to a very fine and even spiritual level. Thereby, one can achieve a state called “immortality” (xian), an existence that allows people to remain alive in the body for as long as they wish and then ascend to the heavenly spheres to enjoy an everlasting spiritual existence.


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Copyright information

© Derek F. Maher and Calvin Mercer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Livia Kohn

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