This article discusses two important Daoist terms, Hengxian 恒先 (Ante-eternity) and Taiyi 太一 (Great One), as well as the related Daoist cosmological concepts, sheng 生 (giving birth or generating) and fu 復 (returning) based on both excavated and transmitted texts. It argues that sheng includes at least three phases in early Chinese cosmology, i.e., from non-being to being, from being to being, and generating anew from existing generations, and that sheng zhi sheng 生之生 (generating anew from existing generations) in Phase III is termed fu, “returning,” in the bamboo-slip text Hengxian. Three types of fu “returning” in the Hengxian and the Guodian bamboo-slip text “Taiyi sheng shui” are also identified and examined.
Xing, W. (2015). Early daoist thought in excavated Bamboo slips. In Dao Companion to Daoist Philosophy (pp. 101–126). Springer Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2927-0_5