This article examines Daoist concepts of the relationship between the body and the mountain through the lens of ritual steps and pilgrimage, as observed in the famous Southern Marchmount (Nanyue). The lived relationship between the body and the mountain makes it possible for pilgrims to engage in a process of transformation. Several factors stand out: the immensity of the landscape, where the ritual practitioner or pilgrim progresses; the concentration and effort invested in the walk following the topography; the work of interior sincerity (cheng) necessary to engage with the gods in a formal audience; and the fluidification of thoughts. They all contribute to blur common social benchmarks and conventional cognitive processes. The moment of liminality offers the pilgrim the opportunity to reassemble certain representations of his or her existence through first stammering, then gradually uttering a clear and foundational statement about his life.


Additional Information

pp. 112-137
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.