Secret of the Golden Flower, Cont.


One of Many
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Secret of the Golden Flower

Namaste all,

this is a continuation from the Comparative Studies forum:Reading Group thread.

The Secret of the Golden Flower (The Classic Chinese Book of Life): Ch 1.

From the point of view of the universe, people are like mayflies; but from the point of view of the Way, even the universe is as an evanescent reflection. Only the true essence of the original spirit transcends the primal organization and is above it.

Vitality and energy degenerate along with the universe, but the original spirit is still there; this is the infinite. The production of the universe all derives from this. If learners can just perserve the original spirit, they live transcendentally outside of yin and yang. They are not within the three realms.

This is possible only by seeing essence. This is what is called the original face.

What is most wonderous is when the light has crystalized in a spiritual body, gradually becoming consciously effective, and is on the verge of moving into action. This is the secret that has not been transmitted in a thousand ages.

The conscious mind is like a violent general of a strong fiefdom controlling things from a distance, until the sword is turned around.

Now steadily keep to the chamber of the origin, turning the light around to look back, and this is like having a heroic leader on top with great ministers helping. Once the inner government is orderly, the strong and violent naturally become tame.

The highest secrets of alchemy are the water of vitality, the fire of spirit, and the earth of attention.

The water of vitality is the energy of the primal real unity. The fire of spirit is illumination. The earth of attention is the chamber of the center, the celestial mind.

The fire of the spirit is the function, the earth of attention is the substance, the water of vitality is the foundation.

People create the body by attention. The body is not just the physical body, because there is a lower soul therein. The lower soul functions in association with consciousness, and consciousness develops based on the lower soul. The lower soul is dim; it is the substance of consciousness. If consciousness is not interrupted, transformation and transmutation of the lower soul go on endlessly from lifetime to lifetime, generation to generation.

Then there is the higher soul, which is where the spirit is concealed. The higher soul resides in the eyes during the day and lodges in the liver at night. When it resides in the eyes, it sees; when it resides in the liver, it dreams.

Dreams are the roaming of the spirit. It transverses the nine heavens and nine earths in an instant. If you are dull and depressed on awakening, that is a sign of clinging to the body, which means clinging to the lower soul.

So turning the light around is a means of refining the higher soul, which is a means of preserving the spirit, which is a means of controlling the lower soul, which is a means of interrupting consciousness.

The ancients' method of transcending the world, refining away the dregs of darkness to restore pure light, is just a matter of dissolving the lower soul and making the higher soul whole.

Turning the light around is the secret of dissolving darkness and controlling the lower soul. There is no exercise to restore the creative, only the secret of turning the light around. The light itself is the creative; to turn it around is to restore it.

Just persist in this method, and naturally the water of vitality will be full, the fire of spirit will ignite, the earth of attention will stabilize, and thus the embryo of sagehood can be solidified.
Chapter 7

As you go along practicing turning the light around, you need not give up your normal occupation. An ancient said, "when matters come up, one should respond; when things come up, one should discern."

If you manage affairs with accurate mindfulness, then the light is not overcome by things, so it will do to repeat this formless turning around of the light time and again.

If you can look back again and again into the source of mind, whatever you are doing, not sticking to any image of person or self at all, then this is "turning the light around wherever you are." This is the finest practice.

In the early morning, if you can clear all objects from your mind and sit quietly for one or two hours, that is best. Whenever you are engaged in work or dealing with people, just use this "looking back" technique, and there will be no interruption. If you practice in this way for two or three months, the realized ones in Heaven will surely come to attest to your experience.
Thank you for all of this.

What translation of "The Secret of the Golden Flower" do you prefer? I looked online and I going to buy one of them, what is your recommendation?

The message is clear: we need to turn the light upwards. When the light is turned downwards it creates more light, as children. When the light is upwards it creates more light as the Higher Soul.

Do you agree?
Namaste neoxenos,

thank you for the post.

neoxenos said:
Thank you for all of this.

What translation of "The Secret of the Golden Flower" do you prefer? I looked online and I going to buy one of them, what is your recommendation?
whilst the Wilhelm translation is the first, i would go with the Cleary translation. Wilhelm, unfortunately, superimposed his Christian ideas when transliterating some of the terms and, as a result, ends up missing the point. the Cleary translation discusses this quite extensively.

The message is clear: we need to turn the light upwards. When the light is turned downwards it creates more light, as children. When the light is upwards it creates more light as the Higher Soul.

Do you agree?
up, down, left, right... these are relative terms... usually, in the context of Chinese and Taoist thought... the creative or light streams outward from the eyes... scattering the consciousness, so the practice is to turn the light around... i.e. instead of streaming out from the eyes, to have the light stream inwards.. towards the essential nature of mind.
Chaper 12

The Cycle

For the complete cycle, energy is not the main thing;
mental attainment is the sublime secret. If you wonder what it
ultimately is, the cycle helps growth; it is maintained without
minding, carried out without deliberate intention.

Look up at the sky; it changes from hour to hour,
through 365 days, yet the polar star never moves.
Our mind is like this; mind is the pole, energy is the
myriad stars revolving around it. The energy in
our limbs and throughout our whole body is basically
a network, so do not exert your strength to the full
on it. Refine the conscious spirit, remove arbitrary
views, and then after that medicine will develop.

This medicine is not a material thing; it is the light of
essence, which is none other than the primal true energy.
Even so, it is necessary to attain great concentration before
you see it. There is no method of culling; those who speak
of culling are quite mistaken.

When you have seen it for a long time, eventually the light
of the basis of the mind becomes spontaneous. When the mind
is empty, and all indulgence is ended, you are liberated from the
ocean of misery.

If it is "dragon and tiger" today, "water and fire" tomorrow, in the end
they turn into illusions.

There is a cycle in each day, there is a cycle in each hour; where water and fire interact, this is a cycle. Our interaction is the "revolving of Heaven."
As long as you are unable to stop the mind directly, as a consequence
there are times of interaction and times of noninteraction.

Yet the revolving of Heaven never stops for a moment.
If you are actually able to join yin and yang in tranquillity,
the whole earth is positive and harmonious; in the right
place in your central chamber, all things simultaneousley expand
to fulfillment. This is the method of "bathing" spoken of in alchemical
classics. What is it if not the great cycle?