The secret of the golden flower: the Chinese Taoist book on meditation

The secret of the golden flower: the Chinese Taoist book on meditation

The secret of the golden flower is a book on meditation and Chinese alchemy translated by Richard Wilhelm and commented by Carl Jung. It is based on a metaphor that each of us would be forced to wake up and open our consciousness to the Light. This would be a primordial opening symbolized by a golden flower, a center of power where everything circulates and transcends itself.

To speak about this work makes it possible to refer to one of the texts of the most important Taoist religion but also one of the most controversial. The book The secret of the golden flower is a "Westernized" translation of one of Asia's greatest spiritual legacies. So, as happened with The Tibetan Book of Life and Deathmany details have been simplified. This helped convert the book into a Chinese yoga textbook perfectly understood by the Western world.

The nature of Secret of the Golden Flower

On the other hand, you have to know that it is much more than that. We know that the first testimony of this text has its origin in the seventh century on a wooden board. It was a very ancient Chinese treatise on esotericism that was transmitted orally. Its principles, codes and other information were grouped together by a member of the Religion of Light whose leader was Lu Yan. It is thought that all these described methods come from ideas developed in Persia and whose roots go back to Egyptian traditions.

As we can see, it's a passing book. The complexity of this religion is immense. This is the description of the alchemical process in which we illuminate the spiritual consciousness. For this, we must focus our attention on a sacred internal site, on this golden flower that represents both our origin and our goal. Also, Although Wilhelm and Carl Jung left out certain aspects, they managed to offer us a work that introduces us to these ideas and this philosophy.

"The golden flower is the light, and the light of the sky is the Tao, that is where the germinal vesicle is, where the essence and the life are a unity." The birth of the alchemical process occurs when darkness gives birth to light. "

-The secret of the golden flower-

The secret of the golden flower, an inner search

In his writings, Carl Jung says he has always been interested in Eastern philosophy. Around the 1920s, he began his research with Yi Jing. Thus, he ends up deepening this ancestral wisdom almost without realizing it through this figurative language and oriental traditions that interested him so much. It was during this period that he met Richard Wilhelm, sinologist, theologian and German missionary specializing in the translation of works from Chinese to German.

The idea of ​​translating the book of The Golden Flower went from there; after a first meeting at "The School of Wisdom" and later at the Psychology Club. In 1923, the work made its appearance with a prologue and comments by Jung. In 1931, Carl Baynes translated it into English, which marked the beginning of his world tour. The work found its place on the bedside table of many people who were interested in Chinese yoga. However, The secret of the golden flower does it only deal with yoga and meditation? In absolute.

The importance of the development of our personal golden flower

The original title of the book looked like this: "Instructions for developing the golden flower ". To understand the subject of this book, we must understand what the golden flower is.

  • The golden flower is a metaphor, but a metaphor referring to a certain type of alchemy, to an internal transformation.
  • Taoist philosophy affirms that there is a spiritual energy transcending us all. A light that symbolizes our consciousness.
  • To awaken this light or our golden flower, we must complete a series of meditation sessions and exercises that are presented in the original text as energy alchemy.
  • These continuous exercises allow us gradually to concentrate our light and to conform (and to germinate) the golden flower.

From a Western point of view, it is very likely that the principles set out in this book seem distant, even strange. However, let us carry a moment by what prompted Carl Jung. Let us be carried away by this nuance that captivated the psychiatrist and pioneer of analytical psychology for a large part of his life. The golden flower compels us to leave aside our busy and socially conditioned minds in order to reach a higher, free, creative and even heavenly spirit.

"The light always seeps into vortices that belong to us.Our consciousness is spreading in our environment, in what we desire, in what we dream or in our surroundings. We must center our minds inward to allow the golden flower to sprout and awaken the consciousness. "

Calm the mind to open the heart

Arriving at this level of the article, many readers will ask themselves a more than obvious question. What type of alchemy / meditation should I lead to achieve this light described in the secret of the golden flower ? The answer lies in a simple appearance that requires a lot of attention, practice and will: we must learn to calm our minds to open our hearts.

  • We can begin to wonder who we are. After this interrogation and almost without realizing it, we will manage to visualize our face. However, what defines who we are is not our body; it is our thoughts. The most likely is that they talk too much, tell lies and make us believe uncertain things. It is best to ignore them.
  • To calm the sound of our thoughts, we must practice deep breathing in order to gradually soothe our interior. It's something we will not reach in a day or a week. Calming our mind requires time.
  • Once the internal silence is reached, the reflection will happen. At this moment, we will make contact with the spirit of our body, with the pedestal where our consciousness is and with which to work regularly.

The secret of the golden flower is based on the regular practice of meditation. At some point, when this painstaking work will have eliminated one by one the layers that have trapped and conditioned our mind, we will visualize a mandala. A figure containing this resplendent alchemical symbol that will free us completely: the golden flower.

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