‚Master Lü-tsu said: That which exists through itself is called the Way (Tao)’ – The Secret of the Golden Flower begins. The Hui Ming Ching begins with the words: ‘The subtlest secret of the Tao is human nature and life.’
It is characteristic of the Western mind that it has no concept for Tao. The Chinese character is made up of the character for ‘head’, and that for ‘going’. Wilhelm translates Tao by Sinn (Meaning). 1)↓ Others translate it as ‘way’, ‘providence’, or even as ‘God’, as the Jesuits do. This shows the difficulty. ‘Head’ can be taken as consciousness, 2)↓ and ‘to go’ as travelling a way, thus the idea would be: to go consciously, or the conscious way. This agrees with the fact that ‘the light of heaven’ which’dwells between the eyes’ as the ‘heart of heaven’ is used synonymously with Tao. Human nature and life are contained in ‘the light of heaven’ and, according to Liu Hua-yang, are the most important secrets of the Tao. Now ‘light’ is the symbolical equivalent of consciousness, and the nature of consciousness is expressed by analogies with light. The Hui Ming Ching is introduced with the verse:
If thou wouldst complete the diamond body with no outflowing,
Diligently heat the roots of consciousness 3)↓ and life.
Kindle light in the blessed country ever close at hand,
And there hidden, let thy true self always dwell.
These verses contain a sort of alchemistic instruction, a method or way of creating the ‘diamond body’ which is also meant in our text. ‘Heating’ is necessary; that is, there must be an intensification of consciousness in order that the dwelling place of the spirit may be ‘illumined’. But not only consciousness, life itself must be intensified. The union of these two produces ‘conscious life’. According to the Hui Ming Ching, the ancient sages knew how to bridge the gap between consciousness and life because they cultivated both. In this way the sheli, the immortal body, is ‘melted out’, and in this way ‘the great Tao is completed’.
If we take the Tao to be the method or conscious way by which to unite what is separated, we have probably come close to the psychological content of the concept. In any case, the separation of consciousness from life cannot very well be understood to mean anything but what I have described above as an aberration, or deracination, of consciousness. Without doubt, also, the realization of the opposite hidden in the unconscious, i.e. the ‘reversal’, signifies reunion with the unconscious laws of being, and the purpose of this reunion is the attainment of conscious life or, expressed in Chinese terms, the bringing about of the Tao.
C. G. Jung, Commentary to „The Secret of the Golden Flower”
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|1.||↑||Also as the Way|
|2.||↑||The head is also the ‘seat of heavenly light’.|
|3.||↑||In the Hui Ming Ching, ‘human nature’ [hsing] and ‘consciousness’ [hui] are used interchangeably. (Both are opposites to life [ming] but are not identical with each other.|