The Secret of the Golden Flower

Discussion in 'Tao' started by Vajradhara, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Reading Group: The Secret of the Golden Flower

    Namaste all,

    without ado...

    The absolute unity refers to what cannot be surpassed. There are very many alchemical teachings, but all of them make temporary use of effort to arrive at effortlessness; they are not teachings of total transcendence and direct penetration. The doctrine i transmit directly brings up working with essence and does not fall into a secondary method. That is the best thing about it.

    The golden flower is light. What color is light? It is symbolized by the golden flower, which in Chinese characters also conceals the words one light within. This the absolutely unified real energy of celestial immortals; this is what is meant by the saying "the lead in the homeland of water is just one flavor."

    The whole work of turning the light around uses the method of reversal. The beauties of the highest heavens and the marvels of the sublimest realms are all within the heart: this is where the perfectly open and aware spirit concentrates. Confucians call it the open center, Buddhists call it the pedestal of awareness, Taoists call it the ancestral earth, the yellow court, the mysterious pass, the primal opening.
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Apologies for not replying before - I was trying to make suer I didn't approach this topic too tired. I have to admit though, that I do not understand some of the use of language within the piece. Although I believe I can understand something fo the semantics involved, there seems to be an underlying reference to Eastern philosophy that I - lamentably - am not familiar with.

    I would love it if you could expound a little on the second and third paragraphs in particular.
     
  3. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Brian,

    i'd be happy to...

    before i begin....

    do you think it would be of value to explain some of the alchemical terms? generally speaking, Taoist texts are metaphor and allegory.. with most, if not all, of the alchemical terms relating to something else and something very specific.

    many of these things were inherently understood by the people for whom the text was written and, as such, no explanation was necessary. as the texts themselves say, people declined and became fixated on the words and not the meanings.

    so... it may be of some use to define some of the terms....

    to that end, here's what i propose. when i use some of the alchemical terms, as i'm bound to do, i'll () and explain the meaning of the word within the marks.

    sound like a good plan? if not, i'm really open to suggestion here :)
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Sounds great - my question was because I wasn't actually sure whether you were quoting from a text in the original post, or making your own commentary on meditation practice. My bad. :eek:
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    as this is more Eastern in orientation, i'm going to start a new thread over there and continue with this topic.
     
  6. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Turning the Light Around and Keeping to the Center

    1. Where did the term "turning the light around" begin? It began with the dept Wenshi. When the light is turned around, the energies of heaven and earth, yin and yang, all congeal. This is what is called "refined thought," "pure energy," or "pure thought."

    2. When you first put this technique into practice, there is seemingly nonbeing within being. Eventually, when the work is accomplished, and there is a body beyond your body, there is seemingly being within nonbeing.

    3. Only after a hundred days of concentrated work is the light real; only then is it the fire of spirit. After a hundred days, the light is spontaneous: a point of true positive energy suddenly produces a pearl, just as an embryo form from the intercourse of a man and a woman. Then you should attend it calmly and quietly. The turning around of the light is the "firing process."

    4. In the original creation there is positive light, which is the ruling director. In the material world it is the sun; in human beings it is the eyes. Nothing is worse than to have a running leakage of spirit and consciousness; this is conformity. so the way of the Golden Flower is accomplished completely through the method of reversal.

    5. Turning the light around is not turning around the light of one body, but turning around the very energy of Creation. It is not stopping random imagination only temporarily; it is truly emptying routine complusion for all time.

    6. Therefore each breath corresponds to one year of human time; and each breath corresponds to a century in the various pathways of the long night of ignorance.

    7. Usually people wind up pursing objects and come to age in conformity with life, never once looking back. When their positive energy fades and disappears, this is the netherworld. Therefore the Heroic March Scripture says, "Pure thought is flight, pure emotion is fall." When students have little thought and much emotion, then sink into low ways. Just observe clearly, and when your breath grows quiet you then become accurately aware. This is the application of the method of reversal.

    8. This is what is meant in the Yin Convergence Classic when it says, "The mechanism is in the eyes" and the Plain Questions of the Yellow Emperor when it says "The light rays of the human body all flow upward into the aperture of space." If you get this, long life is herein, and so is transcendent life.

    9. This is a practice that pervades the three teachings.*

    10. The light is neither inside nor outside the self. Mountains, rivers, sun, moon, and the whole earth are all this light, so it is not only in the self. All the operations of intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom are also this light, so it is not outside the self. The light of heaven and earth fills the universe; the light of one individual also naturally extends through the heavens and covers the earth. Therefore once you turn the light around, everything in the world is turned around.

    11. The light rays are concentrated upward into the eyes; this is the great key of the human body. You should reflect on this. If you do not sit quietly each day, this light flows and whirls, stopping who knows where. If you can sit quietly for a while, all time - ten thousand ages, a thousand lifetimes - is penetrated from this. All phenomena revert to stillness. Truly inconceivable is this sublime truth.


    *Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.
     
  7. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    I just happened to note this reading list and quite circumstantially the Richard Wilhem translation was on my desk. Grasping the book, I attempted to "follow along" and grasping for concordance my mind spun. Does that count???

    There are concepts that had struck a resonance within and others that had left me quite puzzled. Yet to be honest I can not truly state "which is which" at this time. It is time for sleep here in the mountains, it may be that some sense of this will yet emerge with the dawn. Thank you for starting this reading, Vajradhara.
     
  8. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercur├Žn Buddhist

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    Welcome to IO, DrumR. :)

    You can find Walter Picca's translation available online here.

    (Which translation of the I Ching do you prefer?)
     
  9. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Thank you for the welcome and the link, SeattleGal

    Currently I have The Thomas Cleary trilogy and Mandalas, Wilhelm & Wilhelm, Wang bi / John Lyon, and Legge. I am looking to add the Ritsma and other translations. My favorite translation of the I Ching is the one I am reading at the time.
     
  10. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Drum,

    thank you for the post and the kind words.

    let me say this about that... i would, strongly, encourage you to read a more accurate transliteration of the original text if you can find it. the Cleary transliteration is quite excellent, imo. then again i find his exposition to be quite lucid and insightful perhaps it is due to his own practice, who can say?

    in any event, Cleary's transliteration goes into detail regarding the mistranslations that Wilhelm employed and the subsequent effect that had upon Jung's theories which derived from this text. quite fascinating if you like that sort of thing ;)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  11. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercur├Žn Buddhist

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    Very interesting. Thank you, Vaj. :)
     
  12. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Thank you for the favor of a reply and you are most welcome Vajradhara.

    I am somewhat of an admirer of Mr. Cleary's works for the excellent background material that is found presented within. Mr. Cleary's works constitute a goodly portion of my basic library on Eastern Thought. I thank you for advising me that such a translation of the "Golden Flower" exists. I shall place it on the must have list.

    Quite so, I am of the belief that comparative studies assists one in reaching one's own conclusions, and again, my thanks Vajradhara.
     
  13. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    The Cleary translation has been placed on order, I should receive it in about two weeks. I Thank you again Vajradhara.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
  14. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    enjoy :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  15. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    I have today received the Cleary translation.

    Practicing the Hap-Hazard Way of Tigger, I have bounced hither and yon through the work as a part of my initial examination and exploration. I must say that I am most favorably impressed and, just as importantly, my mind 's angular rotation has reduced quite considerably.

    Again my most humble thanks for your introduction to this translation Vajradhara. I shall read it most carefully a few times before initiating a few tentative steps towards actualization.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  16. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste DrumR,

    i hope this message finds you well.

    have you spent any more time with the text and it's practice? if so, would you be inclined to talk about it so far?

    metta,

    ~v
     

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