Monday, May 06, 2013
Circulation of the Light and I Ching (2)
The ancient Circulation of the Light – as taught in the Secret of the Golden Flower - and its relationship with the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing) can be explained in brief thus:
“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.”
“Master Lu-tsu said, since when has the expression ‘circulation of the light’ been revealed? It was revealed by the ‘True Man of the Beginning of Form’ (Guan Yinshi). When the light is made to move in a circle, all the energies of heaven and earth, of the light and the dark, are crystallized.” [The Secret of the Golden Flower of Lu Dongbin as translated by Wilhelm / Baynes]
The Judgment in Hexagram Fu / Return contains the term, “To and fro goes the Way (Tao)” while the first verse of Chapter 40 in the Tao Te Ching says: “Return is the movement of the Way”.
The following paragraphs explain the terms: the backward flow movement and the Circulation of the Light. And what are depicted in the accompanying picture - [the picture is scanned from the book, “Tai Chi Chuan and I Ching – Second Edition – by Da Liu, 1981 R&KP].
The picture tells the profound story of how the Light circulates together with the Qi where from the bottom they progress up the back of the body to the top of the head before their descent down the front making a full circle or an orbit.
For Hexagram #24 Fu / Return represents the start of the waxing of the moon reaching Full Moon at Hexagram #1 Qian / The Creative Heaven while Hexagram #44 Gou / Coming to Meet represents the first waning phase of the moon and ends with the New Moon at Hexagram #2 Kun / The Receptive Earth. And the Circulation continues to complete a full circle or an orbit.
Therefore the Circulation of the Light crystallizes all the energies of heaven and earth and of the light and the dark – represented respectively by Qian and Kun and the lines of the twelve sovereign hexagrams.
This is the correct way to practise neidan (inner alchemy) meditation – the Circulation of the Light - for the return to Tao. For neidan practitioners would then be practising the Way of Heaven that of the Light and the Dark - as indicated in the ancient method of the Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes.
While it is profound, ancient neidan meditation follows that of nature (ziran) and can - more often than not – be supported by science. For once an orbit has been duly completed - similar to the eight planets orbiting our Sun - the Light together with the Qi continues its natural circulation course over the duration of the meditation.
Those already with good aptitude – having receiving confirmatory sign(s) according to Lu Dongbin in his Secret of the Golden Flower – in the Circulation of the Light would have to acquire the profound ability to ignite the fire in the furnace to cook the medicine - represented by Kan (Moon) and Li (Sun) - in the cauldron (as depicted in the centre of the body in the picture). This ability to ignite the fire in the furnace is another major eternal signpost of the Way that would appear naturally (ziran).
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