Shenming 神明 is an important term in pre-Qin Daoist thought, notably appearing in three excavated texts from two locations, Mawangdui 馬王堆 and Guodian 郭 店. The Mawangdui texts of the Shiwen and the Huangdi sijing show how shenming, both as a cosmological and a concrete physical concept, derives from the heavenly and is then applied to the human. In the Guodian text of the Taiyi shengshui, the term occupies a crucial position in the process of creation, beginning with the Great One and ending with the formation of time. The concept ranges from cosmological and metaphysical to ontological and physical meanings. The observation of its usages within their textual context contributes to understanding Pre-Qin thought and a better understanding of the development of thought and language of the time.