Practising breathing and daoyin, exhaling the old and inhaling the new breath, and ingesting medicines of herbs and plants can extend the length of one's life, but does not allow one to escape death.
When a man ingests the Divine Elixirs, he becomes a divine immortal and transcends the generations [of mortals].
The immortality referred to in Taoism is physical immortality.
The highest goal of many devotees of Taoism is the attainment of immortality through a total channeling of energies to reach harmony with Tao.
[(1) The commentary explains this saying that one becomes a "celestial spirit" (tianshen) and helps to regulate the Celestial Breath (tianqi) smoothly according to the sequence of the four seasons.
Lightly you will ascend riding the clouds, and rise to heaven.
Living alone in a cave like hermits combined the two and was often see as the ideal.
The basic idea behind the Taoist diet is to nourish the body and deny food to the "three worms"---disease, old age, and death.
The Emperor Shi went through great lengths to try and achieve immortality.
See History Good Websites and Sources on Taoism: Robert Eno, Indiana University indiana.edu; Religion Facts Religion Facts Religious Tolerance ; Stanford Education plato.; Taoist Texts Chinese Text Project ; Taoism ca ; Chad Hansen’s Chinese Philisophy hku.hk/philodep Good Websites and Sources on Religion in China: Chinese Government White Paper on Religion ; United States Commission on International Religious Freedom uscirf.gov/countries/china; Articles on Religion in China forum18; Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Council of Foreign Relations ; Brooklyn College edu ; Religion Facts religionfacts.com; Religious Tolerance ; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ; Academic Info ; Internet Guide to Chinese Studies sino.RELATED ARTICLES IN THIS WEBSITE: TAOISM factsanddetails.com; RELIGION IN CHINA factsanddetails.com; CONFUCIANISM factsanddetails.com; CLASSICAL CHINESE PHILOSOPHY factsanddetails.com; BUDDHISM IN CHINA factsanddetails.com; FOLK RELIGION, SUPERSTITION, FUNERALS factsanddetails.com; TAOISM factsanddetails.com; HISTORY OF TAOISM factsanddetails.com; TAOIST BELIEFS, PRACTICES AND DIETIES factsanddetails.com; ZHUANGZI factsanddetails.com; PASSAGES AND STORIES FROM THE ZHUANGZI factsanddetails.com; JIXIA AND THE NATURALIST SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT IN CLASSICAL CHINA factsanddetails.com; RELIGIOUS TAOISM, TEMPLES AND ART factsanddetails.com; TAOISM AND SAGES, HERMITS AND SEX factsanddetails.com; TAO TE CHING: CHAPTERS 1 TO 40 factsanddetails.com; TAO TE CHING: CHAPTERS 41 TO 81 factsanddetails.com; GUANZI, QI AND INNER ENTERPRISE Methods to achieve immortality fall into two basic categories: 1) religious---prayers, moral conduct, rituals and observances of commandments; and 2) physical---diets, medicines, breathing methods, chemicals and exercises.