Taoism has a long history of mystics, alchemists and magicians.
There are many colourful accounts of oddball recluses who studied arcane practices in order to gain great skill and wisdom.
At the heart of the teachings is the desire to attain an altered state of consciousness.
To see the world through different eyes.
Taoists aim to become a "real human being"; in-touch with reality is a tangible, earthy way.
They avoid fame, worldliness and repute; remaining in the shadows, in secret and aloof.