- Shennong, who invented agriculture.
- Cangjie, who invented Chinese characters.
- Yao, Shun, and Yu, who tamed the river floods and irrigated the fields.
The ultimate stage of ascended beings will be Tao itself, the advanced stage is celestial being, and the intermediate stage is god, and the beginning stage is 'trueman'.
Celestial beings have freedom to create new rules/universes with certain backfiring possibility which may cease their own existence. Normally they don't care about earth and human beings except for promoting new gods.
Gods are anthropomorphic and every one has a job. They either enforce specific rules or govern certain domains to maintain the human world.
Truemen are long lived human beings and they can self-educate themselves ascending to be new gods or destroyed by Tao if they fail to purify themselves.
Therefore, Taoism has two ways of creating anthropomorphic gods: promoted/guided by Celestial beings or self-help to ascend.
The first way is for great inventors and heroes etc.
The second way is for Taoist priests and emperors, but neither of them succeeded.
In China history, many famous emperors were poisoned by mercury because Taoist alchemists believed it's an essential ingredient for any elixir (on purpose?) ;D
Being there many times when I was living in Sichuan province. Its significance though never really struck me util I was in adulthood. It's indeed a magnificent project considering it was built more than 2000 years ago. It is still in use today!
Good to zoom out and see the context of the mountains vs. plain.
So taking the nearest estimated value of a "tael", 100,000 taels of silver * 4130 CNY / 6 CNYUSD, the irrigation system costed around USD $68m in today's dollars to build, back during the Qin dynasty.
There were an estimate of 20 million people living in Qin china.
By the time of the Han dynasty, just 200 years later, the population tripled to almost 60 million .
Cutting the channel proved to be a far greater problem as
the tools available to Li Bing at the time, prior to the
invention of gunpowder, were unable to penetrate the hard
rock of the mountain so he used a combination of fire and
water to heat and cool the rocks until they cracked and
could be removed.
My favourite is the Zarch Qanat, which is about 3000 years old and has a tunnel into the water table which is about 71 kilometres long with over 2000 vertical shafts into the tunnel.