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The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life (Anglais)
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A manual written symbolically for the practice of meditation, where thoughts are reduced to the square inch between the eyes, the eye lids half closed, eyes centered near the tip of the nose, the heart rate next to nothing in quietude, controlled breath of a circular motion that becomes quiet. The "white light" so spoken in Buddhist terms and various states of consciousness are related. However, this is far more than a mere meditation manual, but symbols which convey non-intellectual ideas, that is, non-Western rationalism, and yet significant and advanced in both it's teaching and applications.
Ultimately for myself, it is Jung's commentary that my Western mind needed to interpret the text itself and the subsequent interpretations. I am moved in profundity on Jung's analysis that man's consciousness advances non-rationally, but psychically. Where the advancement cannot be spoken or written of in intellectual terms but rather can be done so in symbols. In this, Jung expounds on the idea that symbols convey advanced images that relate to the psyche and can never be proved intellectually or rationally. This is where images, as in Mandalas, come in. Images and symbols speak what words cannot. They are of a higher conscious level awareness, a psychical advancement. None of this is rationally or mathematically equated, none, nor can it be languistically conveyed. Humans can only point, using symbols and images, they can not expound, explain and reason on such.
Jung's acknowledges the law of opposites and how the Chinese contain a higher culture or mind than the West, one that can contain contradictions or opposites without one-sided fundamentalism. And this is no doubt far ahead of most Western thinking in terms of black and white thinking, or what Jung calls barbarism. This reminds me of Walt Whitman's self poem of containing all contradictions and Keats "negative capabilities" and Shakespeare's comments on having all thoughts together without becoming irritable over such, and that including the beat poet, Allen Ginsberg, who spoke of the same.
In Jung's memorial words dedicated to Richard Wilhelm, he relates to his thoughts on Synchronistic principle, which confirm his validity on the practices of Chinese wisdom found in I-Ching and Astrology, both sciences based not on Newtonian, or causality principles but rather through a remarkable phenomena of the unconscious, psychic parallelisms based which cannot be related to each other causally. The Tao will never be created with words and concepts, a teaching that is absent from the history of philosophy since the time of the pre-socratic, Heraclitus, and only reappears as a faint echo in Lebinitz.
I spent two years breaking it down. Sure , I became frustrated. Sure, I doubted, but in the end I understood that this method was part of the Buddha's practice. If He'd learned and mastered these principles and passed them on to us, there must have been a reason: that, with effort, we, too, could master the science of Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time.
On the practice side, the choice of texts is excellent: "Secret of Golder Flower" deals with the leading role of "human nature" (collective unconscious)in Taoist meditation with full supportive theory, whereas "Hui Ming Jing" deals with the procedural details of the practice itself (a combination of Taoist and Buddhist practice, the author himself a Buddhist monk of Zen tradition). Though an English translation might not be able to present and differentiate finer points that can only be understood if one can read the Chinese language, one benefit is that a translation can do away with some unnecessary mystical elements (for example in the book symbols from I-Ching are replaced by alphabets)that often times leads would-be practitioners into unnecessary maze. Though I have to complain that more of the Hui Ming Jing had not been translated (included) for a more complete manual for practice reference.
For those who are interested in the texts as a living practice, do not miss Wilhelm's excellent summary on the practice of Hui Ming Jing quoted by his wife in her Forward. For those who seek for historical similarity between this practice and similar western practice (now for all intend and purposes is extinct), do not miss Wilhelm's "Discussion of the Text" concerning past persecution in China towards some serious practitioners due to their (sometimes unavoidable - guess why!) linkage with political intrigues and peasant uprisings. In comparison, similar persecutions in the West had been more religious in nature.
On the psychological commentary, Jung is as usual, profound in his analysis. More of his analysis towards other Eastern text can be found in his Psychology of Eastern Religion (a collections of his articles on the subject matter - also highly recommended).