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.