August 12, 2006 at 8:53 pm #16393
Fajin, I’m using your comments that prenatl and primordial are the same, as a jumping off point. I’ve posted your response to NN below as reference.
Of course everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but I think you’ve grasped onto one that is rather unworkabale.
I know some Taoist and Buddhist writers mush the terms Early heaven and Primordial together, but my observation is that they do not fully understand the alchemical process of transformation that exists in nature. It is not easy to experience the difference between the two, and hence the confusion.
But even conceptually, they have ignored the most obvious symbolism of the terms even as it is recorded in Chinese culture in the I Ching.
The quantum physicists you quote as well – do you really think that they have peered into the wuji? Brother,
they are looking at “kong” – post natal emptiness. The fact that they can measure that 99.9% to the 1 % already suggests that they are only looking on the surface. The wuji is not measureable! By defintion – it is the unknowable. Don’t get sucked into quantum new age think! Telescopes do not measure dimensions! When they have a machine they can piont inside me, and measure how deep my inner space is, let me know!
The scientists have not even penetrated into “xu” – the pre-natal emptiness level which I think (suspect?) you may be confusing with the “wu” in “wuji”. This is the “xu” in early Taoist texts used to describe the emtpy center of the Wheel – again, always in order to improve one’s understanding of the movement of the wheel (concept I am sure you agree with, but I am distinguishing it from wuji).
Why do I say that pre-natal is not the wuji? Just look at the symbol for “Early Heaven” in any I Ching book.
You will find 8 gua, or four pairs of polarized trigrams, representing an energetic arrangement.
Are you saying the wuji is polarized four-ways? Never heard of anything like that in any Taoist texts!
Lao Tzu in verse 42 talks of process from Tao to One to Two toThree to 10,000 things. Not a word about the four way polarity (or even core yin-yang polarity) in the beginning One. How can the One be Four at very start?
Tao is process, cosmology is process, and NN correctly challenged your claims about stillness making the physical plane some kind of illusion. (Glad you agreed with him – but it rasies questions about some of your other positions).
I think iphysical plane is a virtual reality, like all realities, created out of the primordial ground. The perspective from the primordial ground of it self may be one of eternal stillness, but how can it be separate from its creation? As you say, they form a Oneness, but that means ONE PROCESS, not one state of permanent stillness being sought by the Primordial. If the Primordial is seeking movement in Creation, shouldn’t we imitate it?
The obsession with stillness in general I’ve found to obscure the issue of Free Will that the Primal Ground has injected into Creation, and especcially into Humanity. If we use the quantum 1% of existence is physical, it may just imply that we are the cutting edge of Primal Ground’s explroation. One we work it out, there may be more diemensions of Free Will being birthed.
That tension here is the function of humans to resolve – and resolve here in the physical plane, by aligning it with the deeper soul and primal consciousness.
Is it the destiny of the physical plane to become still? I dobut it -I believe that is wishful thinking, and why i ascribe escapism to all colors of absolutist philosophies.
I often hear silly responses to this – that Science proclaims that the EArth is doomed, our sun is doomed to end, within a few billion more years, so why not go into Permanent Emptiness directly, why wait the few billion agonizing years of suffering?
First of all, a big mistake to believe scientists know anything much about the end of evolution. I don’t think Creation itself knows – its all an experiment in my book, the very nature of process itself.
Second, it assumes that Humanity will fail to evolve into higher dimensions within those next few billion years.
It not that Humanity will die and fall into Emptiness, the Pro”cess keeps going, the Primal Ground is BEHIND the process of Creation, so it cannot stop! What does the word stillness” really mean within this unstoppable Process? That is the correct question to ask.
I believe the correct answer iis that “stillness” is a concept of the post-natal mind that offers only a relative value to obvious movement of thoughts and feelings in the post-natal heart-mind. Energeticlaly, I define stillness as simply yuan chi – which can function at many different levels.
Stillness of mind doesn’t initially refer to the subtle planes underpinning creation. That is the stillness within the stillness often mentioned as part of higher practice. One shoulldn’t even pretend to talk about achieving primordial stillness of wuji until one has intgrated one’s energy body sufficiently that one can still the binary tension in the personal soul – that creates worldly karmic/astrological movement (ming). And then it doesn’t make sense to talk about deeper stillness until the tension betweent he different streams of Stellar /Collective Soul Consciousness have resolved their Process, their battle over the outcome of Free Will being given to humans.
Is it really possible to bypass all these levels of cosmic creative process and leap straight into the Primal Ground beneath our soul’s feet, by simply quieting one’s post-natal mind of thoughts? I doubt it.
This is the common illusion I’ve found – first in myself, and later in others, in desiring that their meditation match a metaphysic of some perfect Still/state. It leads me to believe that the Stillness of the primal ground is basically just an axial support to be sought in the creative process, not sought in isolation from Process. And I know you agree that they are integrated, but I still hear a void that beleives in absolute stillness being achieved. How would you know it if you achieved it? There would be no “movement” of even self-awareness!
That is why I believe Humanity has been created – we are the process of refining self-awareness within the mirror of physicality. Stabilizing that self-awareness within the physical and other planes is the process is immortality – not the galse quest for physical immortality that Bagua alludes to as throwiing seekers off their track.
NN is correct – Nature is the alchemist, it creates the dimesnional distinctions, they are not invented by human alchemists who imitate her transformations.
Of course, some Chinese writers (as Bagua points out) get heady and create escessive distinctions, always a problem with writers, and why most alchemists never both to write. Then you have to write more, to explain your experience, which is all unexplainable and indescribable. The only point of writing about immrortality is to get people to think differently about who they are and what is possible.
AS for the original question:
> Is there a difference between ‘guarding the thoughts’ and ‘sweeping
> away miscellaneous thoughts’ ?
> I will appreciate the explanation.
> I’m rather confused, because Zhang San Feng, in his ‘Tai Chi
> Alchemical Secrets’, says that in order to cultivate the Golden
> Elixir, at first the work is a matter of extinguishing emotionalism
> and sweeping away miscellaneous thoughts.
I think both are alluding to a post-natal process that Chan borrowed from Early Tao of “forgetting the self” (post natla heart mind) in order to start remembering the more subtle levels. Then one can begin to function (express Free Will, which is NOT simply thoughts or emotions) at the subtle levels.
More to chew on,
peace and smiles,
ps. Talk to WudangAlientAlchemist on General forum
Date/Time 2006-08-08 11:13:10
Remote IP: 184.108.40.206
I will help you and others to understand. But this is something that must be practiced to be understood. This is beyond intellect.
>>I simply don’t understand! How can the ‘stillness’ of the primordial be ‘final’? ‘Final’ implies something inside some kind of sequential time, which the primordial certainly is not. It cannot be any more a ‘goal’ than it is a ‘starting point’… if there is no time when it is not, how can it be final?<< *We have primordial, postnatal, and prenatal. Yuan means original, which refers to prenatal as in prenatal qi. This is the one thing of Michael's model that I do not agree with because he refers yuan to neutrality, ie. the line in the Tai Ji. That is Wu Ji, not yuan. Yuan is yin or prenatal. Postnatal is yang. Primordial is Wu Ji, or stillness, the void (macrocosmically), yuan shen (microcosmically). In the microcosmic sense, ie. ourselves, we attempt to return to our primordial nature. That is the final goal of Daoist and Buddhists. In Daoist nei dan, the shen to wu stage is the return to nothingness. So it is final because it is beyond time, or transcendent. It is the moment. To understand how to experience the moment, you have to practice Zen. Do you still not understand, or do you get a better picture? About what Bagua said, Daoists work with yin-yang to achieve Wu Ji, does that clarify what I mean about using movement to achieve stillness? It is a working process, whereas Zen is about keeping up with consistency all the time. That way yin-yang moves into a balance by itself. Smiles, FajinAugust 13, 2006 at 9:37 am #16394
Hey Michael and Fajin –
This is an interesting discussion, but frankly I think it is something I have already quite settled in my own mind by saying there is really nothing to settle! A careful reading of the few Taoist books I have gives that impression VERY strongly. I have pondered this alot by now. I must say that I ask questions of everyone to see what they think – but my own mind is made up and it tells me there is no argument. The very fact that Fajin can BOTH ‘keep to the centre’ AND practice birthing an immortal infant PROVES IT.
>>Is it really possible to bypass all these levels of cosmic creative process and leap straight into the Primal Ground beneath our soul’s feet, by simply quieting one’s post-natal mind of thoughts? I doubt it… How would you know it if you achieved it? There would be no “movement” of even self-awareness!<<
And it seems sensible. But I think it's wrong. You CAN do it that way. All of the old Taoist texts focus on stillness as the ultimate and final thing… I believe it is indeed possible. It is not necessary however! And there are some who suit that method and some who don't – perhaps many more who don't.
So yes, sitting and forgetting is of use too, in the right person. However that does not mean I think that what Michael is teaching is unimportant.
I myself have great problems meditating in stillness and certainly believe that reconciling interior polarities through movement is at the heart of being able to hear and understand what is beyond them for me. Since the Taoist immortality formulas are effective it is worthwhile to practice them if one feels led towards them, which I do. They are a different method for the same ultimate thing. There is no conflict at all! It is only because everyone is assuming there is 'one right way' that there appears to be a conflict.
I believe Michael has given the answer himself in saying that, in leaping directly to the primordial, 'there would be no movement of anything, even self-awareness'. That seems to me to be *precisely* the point of the highest zen practices, from what I gather – no movement of anything, no difference between one thing and another thing. Whether One Cloud's final formula produces this or not (probably does), the 7 formulas undoubtedly get close. From there the final realization will be seen, if there still is one to make, and it will have been approached in an orderly and graceful manner. That is the alchemical method.
There is, my heart tells me, there MUST BE, a final realization which does place oneself outside of the loop. But still one must be able to know where to go – and what is going. The point is that of the many methods to get there none is supreme and all are effective.
I have a quote or three.
In Cleary's 'Vitality Energy Spirit – A Taoist Sourcebook', at the back, several modern (20th century) Taoists speak a little about their process. It is, encouragingly, still a very eclectic group of viewpoints. But in general there seems to be a concensus that there is a 'Northern School' which primarily attunes to emptiness, and a 'Southern School' which 'focuses on openings'. What Michael is teaching here on this site can be called 'Southern School' – which is hardly a unified school since no two teachers appear to teach the same. The general tenor of all the remarks one reads in this part of the book is: the two schools are BOTH correct. There is not and can never be an 'orthodox' taoism! How could there be if everyone keeps their methods secret?
We can see this from the following quote, by Yuan-hua-tzu:
"The Southern school lays predominant emphasis on mastery of life, while the Northern branch lays predominant emphasis on mastery of essence. The Southern school seeks spirit from the "other", while the practice of the Northern branch depends on oneself. The effects of the Southern school are rapid, the effects of the Northern branch are slow. In general, although the Southern and Northern schools have their own special emphases, YET WHEN IT COMES TO MASTERY THEY ARE ONE." [my emph.]
All of the modern taoists in that section of the book claim to have attained the whole tao. Of these, some began with Tai Chi Chuan and then 'suddenly realized' that they had only to sit in emptiness. Others began by sitting in emptiness but then took up alchemy. Still others practiced the same approach from beginning to end. The only conclusion one can draw is that there is no conclusion to draw. Everyone must progress in the manner they feel is fit and no-one can claim there is a 'true taoism'. Everyone must discover what is out there and what works.
Only that well-known ingrained secrecy of the various Taoist lineages in China prevents this from being seen more easily, I feel.
I'll give a couple more quotes on this subject and in a way I kind of consider the 'argument' settled at that point, to the extent that there was ever anything to settle.
"In immortalism there is a distinction between sudden and gradual. The sudden method is direct transcendence in a single step [which Michael says is impossible]; the whole process is no more than "keeping to the centre" [exactly what Fajin would say!] and "returning to openness". The transformations are very few.
In the gradual method, there is stage after stage, so it is imperative to progress gradually, in an orderly manner [exactly what Michael would say!]; it is impossible to approach at a single bound [Right Michael?]."
"In the practice of the Southern school, some start from energetics, some start from quiet sitting… The experiences of those who study the Southern school are individually different; the transmissions from teacher to teacher are not the same. The Northern branch's practice of clarity and calm may be less powerful, and its results may come slower, but if it is continued and built up little by little, there is no doubt that it can also result in attainment of the Way… However, it may be hard for any but those of the highest faculties to enter into it [I agree strongly!] … but when the power of the practice is realized, it certainly has the marvelous function of "myriad openings opening at once"…. [right Max/Bagua/Fajin?]
Among Taoist meditations there are those that involve focusing on openings, and there are those that do not focus on openings. There are those that do not focus on openings but do focus on emptiness, and there are those that do not focus either on openings or on emptiness [!?]. Focusing on openings is easy to get into, but final realization is hard. Not focusing on openings is hard to get into but final realization is easy."
… all of which goes to show I think that there is no right way, no argument, no truth and no answer apart from whatever works for the individual.
That's my thoughts on this one! NNAugust 13, 2006 at 10:59 am #16396
But to clarify my position, I am not taking strict Southern School approach, there are mixtures of the two.
I am just trying to make a point about approaching Tao from PROCESS (of interacting yin-yang-yuan chi fields) point of view vs. STATE OF MIND point of view that focuses on stillness as final and absolute GOAL.
The summary of this viewpoint: Humans are polarized and find it difficult to escape yin-yang movement, even have trouble balancing the two. So its easy to develop a metaphysic worshipping stillness/yuan chi as solution and end of yin-yang process. But from Primordial point of view, I intuit that the opposite experience/viewpoint is experienced. It is the primal ground, that is its “given”, and its focus is the polarization process we call creation. So as soon as you cultivate any level of stillness/yuan jing-chii-shen cultivation, you get flipped around, and re-focused back onto polarization process of creation.
The Sudden Schools of Enlightenment are traditionally STATE OF MIND oriented. The Northern School – Quanzhen is the one that absorbed the most from Chan Buddhism, i.e. monasticism, celibacy, vegetarianism, etc. that is not part of earlier Taoist sects or early Taoism.
I am certainly not arguing against using stillness methods of quieting the mind, letting go of distracting thoughts, emotions, etc. I think they are great METHODS and centering the post natal mind is of course essential.
I think its easy to confuse the different levels of stillness and intermediate states of Enlightenment with the development – gradually – of a consciousness that is permanently (eternally) functional after death. So the question is not whether one should adopt a stillness method first or a yin-yang opening method first, those are just strategies. I applaud anyone who can take any of the 10,000 methods to profound levels.
The questions arising here is whether there is any useful distinction to be made between enlightenment and immortality. For immortality, my experience is that it is not enough to be neutral /still only. That is a good possible definition of enlightenment, as stillness indicates centering.
For immortality, one needs to concentrate the Life Force and use the jing-chii-shen refining process to ultimately and CONSCIOUSLY GRASP THE YUAN JING.
And while I think there are infinite paths in life, I think few of them lead to higher levels of immortality.
I don’t think you can go from physical plane direct to wuji – and stay there. WE are sometimes graced with sudden glimpses of the vast beyond. But Even the Northern Schools suggest you have to sit in the “empty” state for nine years while your immortal seed gestates, and that the entire process can be destroyed in a moment’s lapse. That is not sudden enlightenment nor sudden immortality!
And they have meanwhile used tons of alchemical techniques to prepare the process (I cited 30 different methods in the Jade Lock/Gold Pass treatise of Wong Chongyang, the founder of Commplete Perfection Northern School, that I found in Louis Komjapthy PhD thesis).
you can make leaps certainly, but there will be long plateaus, making it s long journey and a long process. Life and the whole of Nature is simply deeper than the ability of our tiny minds to grasp the whole. A baby does not mature into a full grown adult in a moment. Neither can you plug a 5 watt bulb into a socket that has trillions of volts flowing through it. When you leap up to 25 watts you experience a great moment of enlightenment.
That is why I believe the gradual path is the only real one – you have to slowly build your ability to hold consciously the higher voltage. And that requires grasping the nature of jing, which is the key to the manifestation process. Simple awareness is the first step. Shaping the jing, which gives you free will/personal shape and destiny, the next step. Then learning to do that on different levels matures that Free Will.
This is why I believe the bypass of jing-chi-shen straight to wuji as a permanent mind state is ilusory. It doesn’t develop the Free Will, which is the evolutionary focus of the Original Spirit-Breath-Essence. (not to be confused even with wujii, the mystery from which yuan is born).
Focusing on wuji is great, it holds open the Mystery of the Supreme Unknown within each of su at every moment. That is why I love the wuji gong form – it brings all the cycles of Heaven and EArth into relation to the core wuji at the center. But I’ve noticed in the traditions that focus on final end states of primal emptienss that it often leads to abandoning focus on the yin-yang process of co-creation between human free will and the original spirit-breath-essence trinity.
I think focusing on absolute states of Emptiness/Primordial Stillness as a goal can become an unconscious sabotage of Free Will; one can unconsicously align themselves with streams of higher consciousness that oppose the human free will experiment, and offer you the promise of better (non-individual) existence elsewhere. They offer you a bliss in which only the higher collectives have Free Will.
These different paths are all just free will choices that humans have – and I am simply making mine clear.
YOu don’t have these same free will choices in the states in between the Primal Ground and Later Heaven – the Early Heaven states where most spirits reside.
It is a mistake to assume the human free will experiment will always continue – it s a choice that requires staying with an evolutionary process. It requires loving your own body-mind, loving humanity, loving our free will within the plane of the physical, and accepting the suffering that has come with it, and holding faith that this suffering (war/disease) will gradually be resolved.
That is the resolution that I seek – not on the strategy whether one should focus first on stillness or movement. But on briging that entire process to focus on cultivating yuanjing and the free will it has birthed here.
michaelAugust 13, 2006 at 12:24 pm #16398
You are wise, you have it.
My post was aimed at saying there is no disagreement. (Mind you, other people have said that same already.)
*Religious* Buddhists tie themselves up in knots trying to explain one moment that life must be lived right and the next moment that it is meaningless. The point is as you say that it is all about strategy, and not leaving one’s humanity behind. Philosophically speaking, you cannot say human life is a mistake, not when you are human! I was testing to see whether anything in Fajin’s approach starts to go in that direction, but it doesn’t seem to. That is not a question of technique but of respect for the incredible nature of human life.
I agree with you that Tao is ALL about process. Indeed I cannot understand how any other point of view is vaguely tenable.
I am content. NNAugust 13, 2006 at 4:14 pm #16400August 13, 2006 at 4:38 pm #16402
Michael, a saying of Lu Dongbin tr. Cleary again. Would you mind giving an interpretation?
THREE LEVELS OF ATTAINMENT
There are three levels of attainment of the Tao. One is the alchemy of nondoing. Another is the alchemy of spiritual power. The third is the alchemy of preserving unity.
In the alchemy of nondoing, the mind is the crucible. The intent is the fire. Walking, standing, sitting, and reclining are the laboratory. Joy, anger, sadness, and happiness are the firing process. Humanity, justice, loyalty, and truthfulness are culling and ingesting the elixir. Spring, summer, autumn and winter are the extraction and addition. Essence and sense are the medicinal ingredients.
In this alchemy, a month is condensed into a day, and the elixir takes one year to refine. When you use it all your life, you go beyond the heavens, leave being, and enter nonbeing. This is the method of unsurpassed true adepts, in which myriad practices are completely fulfilled. Tranquil, open, empty, mystery of mysteries, one joins the ancestor of heaven and earth. Even before the achievement is complete, the human heart is universal; even before the virtue is consummate, the mystic wonder is inconceivable. Thus one is an assistant of heaven and earth. This is the highest level.
In the alchemy of spiritual power, heaven and earth are the crucible. The sun and moon are the medicinal ingredients. Spirit, energy and vitality are culling and ingesting the elixir. Exhalation and inhalation are extraction and addition. The inner circulation of energy through the psychic channels is the firing process. This is the path of spiritual immortals. It is not easy to fulfil. One year is concentrated into one month, and it takes ten years to cultivate. When you use it all your life, you transcend the realms of desire, form, and formlessness, and become the same as heaven. If its highest attainment is consummated, three thousand practices are fulfilled and one becomes a spiritual immortal able to liberate people. In the middling grade there are eight hundred lofty achievements, and one becomes a flying wizard able to rescue people. In the lower echelon, one gathers medicine that boosts and enhances, and becomes a celestial wizard able to bring one’s whole family to heaven. This is the second level.
In the alchemy of preserving unity, truthfulness is the crucible. Works are the medicinal ingredients. Humanity and duty are the firing process. Chronicles and history are culling and ingesting the elixir. Speech and action are extraction and addition. This is the path of the lower adepts. The method is easy to practice but hard to perfect. Ten years are concentrated into one day, and it takes one hundred years to cultivate to completion. The higher echelons forget themselves for the public welfare and are deputies of heaven. The lower echelons include the benefit of others in what they do for themselves and are lesser functionaries of heaven. The very lowest ones ingest herbs for long life and become earthly wizards. These are the lowest of the three levels, the dregs of the path of immortality.
Those on the foremost level leave being and enter nonbeing and are unfathomable, not trapped by life or death. Those on the second level can transform and die at will. They plunge into the origin, embrace the pristine, free the spirit, leave the body, and disappear from the world. They have birth but not death. Those on the third level work hard and accumulate achievement, becoming immortal after death. Even if they live a long time, it is not more than five hundred years.
… apologies for the length of that one! Snowlion recently provided an example of the third type in his medieval taoist ascetics. As for the other two, I would say that Michael’s path seems much closer to the second than to the first.
But I would like to have Michael’s or anyone else views on that!
best NNAugust 13, 2006 at 9:16 pm #16404
Part of a speech given by a a entity named Kryon. I just thought it fit here. I have enjoyed every ones posts. This forum has helped me alot. Kryon was not speaking to taoists so it is not in that language. The hole speech resonates with what I have gotten from studing inner alchemie. The link below is the hole thing. I find it nice to get info on a topic from multiple angles.
Human Beings are so funny! You wish to put God in your own dimension, and then say, “That’s who God is.” You feel that there’s a place where God must exist that is physical… and it looks a certain way – perhaps it’s the third star to the left? [Laughter]
A fun metaphor: What if blood cells had consciousness? Ever thought about that? These are living things, aren’t they? They reproduce; they go to work; they have purpose; they live a life; they’re born; they die. It sounds like you! For the sake of this metaphor, let’s say they have a consciousness in blood cell-dom. Then let’s say they got together and decided that perhaps there was a higher purpose in why they were there. Racing around in the darkness in the veins of the body, whom do you suppose they might worship? The heart? Perhaps the kidney? Maybe even the lungs? After all, that’s where they stop and transfer energy. But how many of them do you think would be able to think outside the body “neighborhood” for answers? “Maybe we’re inside something that is bigger than we can imagine?” they might say. “Maybe there’s a consciousness that’s above where we are? Maybe there is purpose here that we’re not seeing?” Instead of worshiping the heart or the liver or the lungs, perhaps they might choose to think that there’s something outside of all they know, something they’ve never seen yet, or can’t. Would they do that? Not likely. Instead, they’d see God as a large blood cell with a light, perhaps?
Why do I bring this up? Because it’s much like what Humans perform. They want to make God into an object and put Spirit in a physical place in the seeable universe. Most Humans don’t understand that God is not in Human reality. You may say you understand that, but then with angels… you have to put skin and wings on them, and even give each one a name just to talk to them! What if I told you that every entity was like a cloud of gas the size of Texas? Everywhere and nowhere… and that each cloud of gas was also with other clouds of gas. How could you name those? There’s nothing to really see, and no form at all. Yet you want to bring them into your reality to deal with them. I have an idea. Why don’t you be the one to turn into the cloud and join them?
Just like the blood cells carry oxygen, giving life to the Human Being, Humans carry the life of God. And that’s the truth! You’re actually a piece of the wholeness of what you call God. Spirit cannot exist without you. Every single one of you is an integral piece of divinity, and without you this beautiful tapestry called God wouldn’t exist. Oh, it’s true that you’re here in duality and seemingly in the dark and you don’t understand everything. But we’re telling you that these last years, what has happened is that you’ve given permission to turn on the light! Much of what is happening now is due simply to that.
The gifts of Spirit and self-empowerment lay there waiting for your discovery in what used to be the darkness. They represent the new tools of life. They represent what you’ve called ascension. And what is this ascension? Did you know that this word doesn’t mean “leaving the planet”? Ascension means moving to a higher vibration where you stay on the planet in an enhanced form and make a difference! How about that? How do you make this connection? How do you turn on the light? Now, this is plain talk.
How many steps are there to ascension? Only one. There has been great criticism in this statement. “Kryon, you never give anybody any information that is specific in the way of procedure. How are we going to proceed with something like gaining a higher vibration when you never give us any steps?” You’re right – absolutely right. There’s nothing you can grab a hold of because I’m not giving four-dimensional instructions anymore. Plain talk. It’s about time you sat down and figured something out: Gone are the old ways of spiritual progress! You’re being invited to a cooperative arrangement where you take the hand of your Higher-Self and move into areas that simply can’t be delineated, measured, counted, or notated. There are no beads to count, no phrases to say, no meetings to attend, no altars to prepare, and no masters to beg forgiveness of.
The “one step” is a catalyst to a thousand personal ones. Say with pure intent: “Dear God, tell me what I need to know to start this process of becoming interdimensional. What do I need to know in order to start vibrating higher?” Then allow Spirit to slowly work with you. Don’t expect a four-dimensional answer! You’re using your own master-hood to create answers. Expect synchronicity. Expect passion to change in your life. Expect a different consciousness to develop. Then when each one begins, you’ll work with it until the next begins. Each Human is different, and each path is unique. It’s a work in progress for the rest of your life.August 14, 2006 at 11:12 am #16406
Firstly, I do not confuse prenatal and primordial as the same thing. I don’t know where you draw your conclusions from.
Next, being consistent does not mean that you are letting go of your free will.
You tend to look at Wu Ji as something far away, an unreachable goal. It is right here, right now. Practice stillness meditation and then you’ll get it.
We can get very intellectual about all this but we will end up nowhere (the origin of myriad things).
The Tao is so close, yet everyone looks so far.
Ch’en Hsü-pai says in Compass Centre Directions:
“Spirit, energy, and vitality are the three higher medicines. The essential secret of the “seven reversion and nine restoration” is to refine vitality into energy, refine energy into spirit, and refine spirit to merge with the Way.
“There are many different names for the medicines, all of them metaphors: red lead, black mercury, wood liquid, metal vitality, crimson sand, liquid silver, white gold, black lead, the metal man, the go-between, the fire woman, the water man, the blue tortoise, the red snake, the fire dragon, the water tiger, white snow, yellow sprouts, the gold raven, the jade rabbit, the horse of heaven, the ox of earth, sunrays and moonbeams, the celestial soul, the earthly soul, the lead in the homeland of water, the mercury in the metal cauldron, metal in water, wood in fire, yang within yin, yin within yang, white within black, the female within the male.” [TCV3, p. 170]
You can call it yuan chi as stillness, but that is just something else.
Let’s take your xu portal theory. In a 4th higher dimension, there exists a greater bandwith of colour and sound frequencies so yes, you may say it is colourless on this dimension and refer to it as neutral qi, but it is not. There exists only one permanent stillness, one that is unchanging, beyond time, beyond matter, etc., yet within every physical plane, dimension, you name it.
It’s like what quantum science is theorizing about monatomic elements, that they are 4th dimensional. Coupling red and blue yields the body’s own metals, that’s what it was in the science of alchemy, when combusting mercury (water) and sulfur (fire).
That’s not Wu Ji, stillness, void, etc. That is permanent reality, it is constant, unchanging. The rest (yin-yang) is moving, changing, etc. It is not stillness. The point of Zen is not to reach stillness, and then kaboom, you’re enlightened. We are already unlightened, already still/moving, etc. It’s all about keeping up with consistency, living each and every moment in the here and now as Max and Bagua always say. I’m sure they’ll agree with me. Wu Ji is not somewhere else, it is RIGHT HERE.
My main point is that nei dan and stillness are both required to reach the way. I think that one alone is too difficult but may still get you far in the end.
Your model is ineffective and it tends to make you speak in the wrong direction. Here’s my and my lineage master’s Zhang, Sanfeng’s model:
The Preserver of the Truth says:
“Zhang Sanfeng said, ‘The absolute is the Way of nonresistance and spontaneity. The two modalities are yin and yang. The absolute is the basic spirit; the two modalities are vitality and energy. The absolute is the matrix of alchemical elixir; the two modalities are true lead and true mercury.'” [PT, p. 26]
Po is the spirit of jing, that’s yin. Hun is the spirit of qi, that’s yang. Spirit is in between, it is constant, or Wu Ji. That’s the real model. There is no such thing as something being beyond the Tai Ji as you have pointed out the case with Wu Ji. It is the line in between yin-yang. It’s what makes yin-yang one whole. That is the stillness.
All of the Immortals of Daoism have reference to stillness. Just look at this site:
My advice for you, Nnonnth is that you keep practicing sitting in forgetfullness and get some good books on Zen. It can take a while until you understand by yourself, but when you get it, then you’ll know you’ve got it.
FajinAugust 14, 2006 at 11:19 am #16408
Zen is a process too. It’s a constant process of becoming the “true you”. It is very difficult to have an understanding of it when you haven’t practiced it yet. Try it.
FajinAugust 14, 2006 at 11:35 am #16410
>>get some good books on Zen<<August 14, 2006 at 11:57 am #16412
Zen is something that takes alot of practice and lots of discipline until you get it, especially by yourself. Here’s a good forum that can help you alot.
Bagua recommends Master Seung Sahn and Max recommends Master Nan Huai Chin. I haven’t read Seung Sahn’s works yet but Nan Huai Chin is pretty good. His “Grass Mountain” was a very good book. Look at wikipedia and check Japanese Zen, my favourite. Check out zazen and shikantaza. Japanese Zen consists of two major schools, Rinzai and Soto. I like Soto. Rinzai favours koan practice and following the breath.
In Soto school, shikantaza is the main method of practice. That is Lao Tzu’s, sitting in forgetfulness, except it is more detailed in method. Try this book on it, “The Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza”. You might want to read some sutras like the Diamond Sutra. The information I provided you here should give you a good start, the rest is up to you.
FajinAugust 14, 2006 at 2:00 pm #16414
I don’t understand all the technical talk, but isn’t this –
>>My main point is that nei dan and stillness are both required to reach the way<<
– what *everyone* is saying?
I can't help feeling this is an argument about language mostly, which was the intent of that post before with the quotes from Cleary.
NNAugust 14, 2006 at 2:06 pm #16416
Yes Brother Fajin, tell it like it is, no more, not less.
baguaAugust 14, 2006 at 2:19 pm #16418
I think it is about making nei dan rigid. Tyring to make one formula or method different from others, this is an attempt to distuinguish one method of nei dan from others and I feel it is very polarizing. Just pay attention to the posts, which ones polarize you and which ones harmonize you. Words should reflect the level of consciousness and awarenss.
I agree with Fain.
Wu Ji is present in every level of consciousness or awarenss. As michael points out, Yuan is in every level of cosmoloy. In tai chi: yin-yuan-yang or five phases: Yuan or the center is the holding the four forces together, the glue to keep it all together. As Yuan exists in all apsects of tao alchemical cosmology, Wu Ji does too. No Wu Ji, no Yuan.
Be aware of the attempts to integrate human psychology and the development of the emotions/mind to tao alchemical cosmology. The are not apples to apples often, they have their place and their limitations.
baguaAugust 15, 2006 at 9:07 am #16420
Hmm… ok, I’ll bite.
>>I think it is about making nei dan rigid. Tyring to make one formula or method different from others, this is an attempt to distuinguish one method of nei dan from others and I feel it is very polarizing.<>Just pay attention to the posts, which ones polarize you and which ones harmonize you.<>Words should reflect the level of consciousness and awarenss.<>Wu Ji is present in every level of consciousness or awarenss.<>Be aware of the attempts to integrate human psychology and the development of the emotions/mind to tao alchemical cosmology. The are not apples to apples often, they have their place and their limitations.<<
I am very aware of that. These things are personal however… ultimately there *is* I think a relationship, but each person feels it differently. All the individual feelings are valid, none is 'correct'.
Fundamentally this is ALL a question of, where do you feel your SELF to be? Is there a 'correct answer' to that one?
just my thoughts! NN
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