Chapter 1: The Secret of the Magic of Life
Master Lu-tsu said:
That which exists through itself is called the Way, Tao. Tao has neither name nor shape. It is the one essence, the one primal spirit. Essence and life cannot be seen. They are contained in the light of heaven. The light of heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes.
The Great One is the term given to that which has nothing above it. The secret of the magic of life consists in using action in order to attain nonaction.
The Golden Flower is the light. One uses the Golden Flower as a symbol. The phrase “The lead of the water-region has but one taste” refers to it.
The work on the circulation of the light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together. The heavenly heart lies between sun and moon.
The Book of the Yellow Castle says: “In the square inch field of the square foot house, life can be regulated.” In the middle of the square inch dwells the splendor. In the purple hall of the city of jade dwells the God of Utmost Emptiness and Life. Therefore when the light circulates, the energies of the whole body appear before its throne, as, when a holy king has established the capital and has laid down the fundamental rules of order, all the states approach with tribute; or as, when the master is quiet and calm, man-servants and maids obey his orders of their own accord, and each does his work.
Therefore you only have to make the light circulate; that is the deepest and most wonderful secret. The light is easy to move, but difficult to fix. If it is made to circulate long enough, then it crystallizes itself. It is the condition of which it is said: “Silently thou fliest upward in the morning.”
In carrying out this fundamental principle you need to seek for no other methods, but must only concentrate your thoughts on it. By collecting the thoughts one can fly and will be born in heaven.
The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life. Although it works very accurately, it is yet so fluid that it needs extreme intelligence and clarity, and the most complete absorption and tranquility. People without this highest degree of intelligence and understanding do not find the way; people without this utmost capacity for absorption and tranquility cannot keep fast hold of it.
Once there was a very rich magician who had a great many sheep. But at the same time this magician was very mean. He did not want to hire shepherds, nor did he want to erect a fence about the pasture where his sheep were grazing. The sheep consequently often wandered into the forest, fell into ravines, and so on, and above all they ran away, for they knew that the magician wanted their flesh and skins, and this they did not like.