Chapter 23: The Moon Gathers Up the Ten Thousand Waters
Master Lu-Tsu said:
Four words crystallize the spirit in the space of energy.
In the sixth month white snow is suddenly seen to fly.
At the third watch the sun’s disk sends out blinding rays.
In the water blows the wind of the Gentle.
Wandering in heaven, one eats the spirit-energy of the Receptive. And the still deeper secret of the secret: The land that is nowhere, that is the true home..
These verses are full of mystery. The meaning is: the most important things in the great Tao are the words: action through non-action. Non-action prevents a man from becoming entangled in form and image (materiality). Action in non-action prevents a man from sinking into numbing emptiness and dead nothingness. Heretofore we have spoken of the circulation of the light, indicating thereby the initial release which works from without upon what lies within. This is to aid one in obtaining the Master. It is for pupils in the beginning stages. They go through the two lower transitions in order to gain the upper one. After the sequence of events is clear and the nature of the release is known, heaven no longer withholds the Way, but reveals the ultimate truth. Disciples, keep it secret and redouble your efforts!
The circulation of the light is the inclusive term. The further the work advances, the more does the Golden Flower bloom. But there is a still more marvelous kind of circulation. Till now we have worked from the outside on what is within; now we stay in the center and rule what is external. Hitherto it was a service in aid of the Master; now, it is a dissemination of the commands of the Master. The whole relation-ship is now reversed. If one wants to penetrate the more subtle regions by this method, one must first see to it that the body and heart are completely controlled, that one is quite free and at peace, letting go of all entanglements, untroubled by the slightest excitement, and with the heavenly heart exactly in the middle. When the rotating light shines towards what is within, it does not develop a dependence on things, the energy of the dark is fixed, and the Golden Flower shines concentratedly. This is then the collected light of polarity. Related things attract each other. Thus the polarized light-line of the Abysmal presses upward. It is not only the light in the abyss, but it is creative light which meets creative light. As soon as these two substances meet each other, they unite inseparably and there develops an unceasing life; it comes and goes, rises and falls of itself, in the house of the primal energy. One is aware of an effulgence and infinity. The whole body feels light and would like to fly. This is the state of which it is said: Clouds fill the thousand mountains. Gradually it goes to and fro quite softly; it rises and falls imperceptibly. The pulse stands still and breathing stops. This is the moment of true creative union, the state of which it is said: The moon gathers up the ten thousand waters. In the midst of this darkness, the heavenly heart suddenly begins a movement. This is the return of the one light, the time when the child comes to life.
There was once a king who had three sons. Desiring to determine the fitness of each of them for the prospective job of ruling the kingdom, he hit upon a strange test.