The Xi shi (惜誓 "Sorrow for Troth Betrayed")
Type of Spiritual Experience
The "Xi shi" (惜誓 "Sorrow for Troth Betrayed") resembles the "Yuan You", and both reflect Daoist ideas from the Han period. "Though unoriginal in theme," says Hawkes (1985:239), "its description of air travel, written in a pre-aeroplane age, is exhilarating and rather impressive."
A description of the experience
The "Xi shi" (惜誓 "Sorrow for Troth Betrayed")
We gazed down of the Middle Land with its myriad people
As we rested on the whirlwind, drifting about at random.
In this way we came at last to the moor of Shao-yuan:
There, with the other blessed ones, were Red Pine and Wang Qiao.
The two Masters held zithers tuned imperfect concord:
I sang the Qing Shang air to their playing.
In tranquil calm and quiet enjoyment,
Gently I floated, inhaling all the essences.
But then I thought that this immortal life of [僊] the blessed,
Was not worth the sacrifice of my home-returning. (tr. Hawkes 1985:240)