11) Nei-yeh — Inward Training / Taking people to places they might not otherwise go as we follow harmonious vibrations

The world has always been filled with nuance and distinction. After the shaman, it was left to the poet and music to convey the message in such a way that people could see themselves and want to follow.

A111

The Eternal Bells at the Temple of Zeng Zi south of Jiaxiang in Shandong

It was the one who could convey the universal symbols showing connections that would define man’s yearning for love and understanding that would carry the day. It would be the sage, the metaphysician who wove it all together, who others looked to for guidance and direction that made it all seem so transcendental.

What today we would call mystical. It was the rhythm of life and death with symbols that conveyed the vibrations of love and compassion that connected it all together like the stars they followed every night. It was always the poet, the storyteller, the one who had a way with words and the music they hung to that defined their thoughts and feelings. They remind us of the way we once were. Times may change, but words that touch our heart never do. For the Taoist, it’s like A112being in tune with music, a harmonious vibration that leads to a natural life. Or as Leo Tolstoy, the famous Russian writer would say, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” In my favorite Tolstoy quote, he adds, A real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist.” The same idea speaks to the great writer. His novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”, took us to places we would have never gone without his storytelling, his art for writing and illustrating harmonious vibrations. As if when you think about history – our stories are all we have.  Or as the famous writer Johann Goethe said, “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” 

Several writers/poets, it could be hundreds, for me have served as examples of how words, music, and even dance can help to expand our thoughts and A113imagination that take us there. From the past people like Rumi known for the Whirling Dervishes and his poetry, Khalil Gibran and The Prophet, and As a Man Thinketh by James Allen all spoke to a higher reality. So many of the musicians of my generation going back to the 1960’s and 70’s were first poets. Smokey Robinson, Bob Dillon, the Beatles (John, Paul, George and Ringo) etc., were first great writers and poets who shaped and spoke to a whole generation with music that continues to do so. Even the Beach Boys sang about “Good Vibrations”. After going to India in 1966, George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord, changed the perception of Eastern spirituality forever in the West making us all transcendental with the song’s lyrics reflecting Harrison’s often stated desire for a direct relationship with God, expressed in simple words that all believers could affirm, regardless of their religion. John Lennon’s song Imagine – took us beyond the confines of religion to universality of spirit that originates from within.

Other singer/poets like Van Morrison took us Into the Mystic, “Where we were A114born before the wind – Also younger than the sun – Let your soul and spirit fly (or flow) into the mystic – and when that fog horn blows, I will be coming home.”  Then of course to Woodstock and Joni Mitchell and her words “We are stardust, we are golden and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” So many more – too numerous to count. They inspire us to discover our own sensibilities, cosmic awareness and even perhaps awaken us to see beyond the reality of who we are and what we think is true. I love them all because they give me the freedom to wander back and forth where I can see where things began and to where they might end and most importantly the freedom to go there. As in living in the ancient Chinese sense of wu wei. With wu wei meaning rising to the true self effortlessly – in this case through our music. Again, with Morrison… “Just like the days of old I’ll be coming home.” Giving the ultimate meaning to living in the present moment as if you are already there.

Music takes us back to the stories – to our memories – as if we were always present just waiting to be reminded. Just as storytellers throughout history have been the ones who could best A118remember. I’ll never forget my second day of teaching in China in March 2011 at Jining University in Qufu. I was teaching English to a class of future tour guides and using audio-visual. The textbook I was using began the lesson with Mick Jagger’s “I can’t get no satisfaction”.  No kidding.  Later in the Spring there was a track meet at the university with nine other colleges/universities attending. Every school had cheerleaders in skimpy outfits dancing to Motown and rap music. Of course, Michael Jackson a117was the favorite. American pop culture (Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber) had captured the hearts and minds of all the students. It was the music first then A116the words that seized their imagination as they tried to interpret what was really meant. China would never be the same again. The music contributed to them becoming universal and wanting more and helped to see beyond themselves. Teaching English in that environment was mystical. The music serving to remind them of who and where they’ve been and who they are destined to become. It seems nothing ever changes as everything forever does. Simply following or knowing the past tells us the direction we need for the future.

Years later after graduation and seeing the girls who had come from the 100_3384country-side wearing little or no make-up and worn clothes… who were now flight attendants and teachers who could pose on the cover of a fashion magazine was amazing. When asked how they made such a transformation – they all said it was easy – it was the music and their teacher that carried them to who they saw themselves becoming.

Nei-yeh — Inward Training

Twenty-one

As for the life of all human beings:

the heavens bring forth their vital essence, the earth brings forth their bodies.

A119

Ringing the bell – Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian

These two combine to make a person.
When they are in harmony there is vitality; when they are not in harmony there is no vitality.

If we examine the Way of harmonizing them, its essentials are not visible, its signs are not numerous. (The Way of Virtue – the Tao).

Just let a balanced and aligned breathing fill your chest and it will swirl and blend with your mind, this confers longevity.

When joy and anger are not limited, you should make a plan to limit them. Restrict the five sense-desires; cast away these dual misfortunes. Be not joyous, be not angry, just let a balanced and aligned breathing fill your chest.

Twenty-two

As for the vitality of all human beings:

A1110

Tortoise and Rites   Qingyang Temple  Chengdu

It inevitably occurs because of balanced and aligned breathing. The reason for its loss is inevitably pleasure and anger, worry and anxiety.

Therefore, to bring your anger to a halt, there is nothing better than poetry; to cast off worry there is nothing better than music; to limit music there is nothing better than rites; to hold onto the rites there is nothing better than reverence; to hold onto reverence there is nothing better than tranquility.

When you are inwardly tranquil and outwardly reverent you are able to return to your innate nature and this nature will become greatly stable.

The above translation of the Nei-yeh is by Harold Roth, and excerpted from his book, Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism.

By way of introduction to the text, Mr. Roth writes:

“Nei-yeh (Inward Training) is a collection of poetic verses on the nature of the Way (Tao) and a method of self-discipline that I call “inner cultivation” — a mystical practice whose goal is a direct apprehension of this all-pervading cosmic force. It contains some of the most beautiful lyrical descriptions of this mysterious cosmic power in early Chinese literature and in both literary form and philosophical content is quite similar to the much more renowned Lao Tzu (also called the Tao Te Ching).

The Nei-yeh is a Taoist scripture, believed to have been written in the 4th ATEN7century BC, making it — alongside the 6th century BC Lao Tzu Te Tao Ching and the 4th century BC Chuang Tzu — one of the earliest articulations of Taoist mysticism. The Nei-yeh has been translated into English variously as: Inner Cultivation, Inward Training, Inner Enterprise or Inner Development. Though less known than the Te Tao Ching and Chuang Tzu, it is increasingly being recognized and honored as a foundational text of early Taoism. Though belonging primarily to the Taoist Canon, the Nei-yeh resonates strongly with other non-dual spiritual traditions, Chan / Zen Buddhism in particular. Mysticism and being transcendental know no boundaries. Part of being open to new and different thought and philosophy is exploring other ways of thinking. Knowledge does not equate with adopting what we choose not to believe. It often serves us by enhancing innate wisdom we are inclined to adopt more agreeable to us.

For myself, three people considered as metaphysicians or mystics in their own rite, have always been of interest. I have always liked Rumi’s poetry. Back in college here at SMSU in Springfield, I was given a copy of As a Man Thinketh by a friend who thought I should read. Khalil Gibran was also someone I read years ago who inspired me and I think ultimately led A1113me to begin writing myself. Brief summaries of all three appear below.

Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions, Muslims especially have greatly  appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries.  His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats.

Three of my favorite Rumi quotes are:

  • “We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.”
  • This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet”.
  • A third would be, “I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”

Talk about becoming transcendental and taking us to places we would not otherwise go.  It’s what connecting with spirit does, it’s letting go and letting the universe flow unimpeded through us.

Sufi practices have their foundation in purity of life, strict obedience to Islamic law and imitation of the Prophet. Through self-denial, careful introspection and mental struggle, Sufis hope to purify the self from all selfishness, thus attaining absolute purity of intention and act. “Little sleep, little talk, little food” Rumi2are fundamental and fasting is considered one of the most important preparations for the spiritual life. Mystical experience of the divine is also central to Sufism. Sufis are distinguished from other Muslims by their fervent seeking of dhawq, a “tasting” that leads to an illumination beyond standard forms of learning. However, the insight gained by such experience is not valid if it contradicts the Qur’an.

The Sufi way of life is called a tariqah, “path.” The path begins with repentance and submission to a guide. If accepted by the guide, the seeker becomes a disciple (murid) and is given instructions for asceticism and meditation. This usually includes sexual abstinence, fasting and poverty. The ultimate goal of the Sufi path A1114is to fight the true Holy War against the lower self. On his way to illumination the mystic will undergo such changing spiritual states as constraint and happy spiritual expansion, fear and hope, and longing and intimacy, which are granted by God and change in intensity according to the spiritual “station” in which the mystic is abiding at the moment. The culmination of the path is ma’rifah (interior knowledge, gnosis – that which is considered as mystical or spiritual knowledge), or mahabbah (love), which implies a union of lover and beloved (man and God). The final goal is annihilation (fana’), primarily of one’s own qualities but sometimes of one’s entire personality. This is often accompanied by spiritual ecstasy or “intoxication”. After the  annihilation of the self and accompanying ecstatic experience, the mystic enters a “second sobriety” in which he re-enters the world and continues the “journey of God.”  

A1115

Rumi gathers Sufi mystics

In the mid-9th century some mystics introduced sessions with music and poetry recitals (samba) in Baghdad in order to reach the ecstatic experience. The well-known “Whirling Dervishes” are members of the Mevlevi order of Turkish Sufis, based on the teachings of the famous mystic Rumi. The practice of spinning around is the group’s distinctive form of sama. The whirlers, called semazens, are practicing a form of meditation in which they seek to abandon the self and contemplate God, sometimes achieving an ecstatic state. The clothing worn for the ritual and the positions of the body during the spinning are highly symbolic: for instance, the tall camel-hair hat represents the tomb of the ego, the white cloak represents the ego’s shroud, and the uplifted right hand indicates readiness to receive grace from God. Rumi’s poetry forms the basis of much classical Iranian and Afghan music.

As a Man Thinketh is considered a self-help book by James Allen published in 1903. The title is influenced by a verse in the Bible from the Book of Proverbs, chapter 23, A11115verse 7: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”.

Additional quotes from As a Man Thinketh are as follows:

  • “Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.”
  • “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
  • “Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built.”
  • “The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors, that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.”

Khalil Gibran (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, visual artist and Lebanese nationalist. He is primarily known in the English-A11116speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose. The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, gaining popularity in the 1930’s and again especially in the 1960’s counter-culture and served as inspiration the poets and music at the time (my generation – I recall reading this many times years ago). Gibran is considered the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao Tzu. The Prophet has been translated into over a hundred different languages, making it one of the most translated books in history and it has never been out of print.

Many of Gibran’s writings deal with Christianity, especially on the topic of spiritual love. But his mysticism is a convergence of several different influences: Christianity, Islam, Judaism and theosophy. He wrote: “You are my brother and I love you. I love you when you prostrate yourself in your mosque, and kneel in your church and pray in your synagogue. You and I are sons of one faith – the Spirit.”

Part 1 Number 3 of the 5th Wing of the Dazhuan last time focused on that it would A1117be those who could successfully read the symbols that made consulting the spirit world central to what could be known and what could not be known.  Just as we ourselves are in constant transformation, our spirit always advancing and withdrawing as we look for and to a change of heart. The ability to know the Way, or Tao, is through the words we speak and write. Anxiety occurs due to our innate desire to know what the Tao teaches – and staying within the limits of the Way. With this the Superior Man or Women will know how to act as their own divine return signals at both danger and ease. This is how ATEN14the talisman became important as it defined one’s eternal connection with nature and the universe. (A talisman is a stone, ring, or other object, engraved with figures or characters supposed to possess power to connect one with the universe and worn as an amulet or charm. Its presence exercises remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions). I will continue with the Dazhuan and furthering of the I Ching another time.

Ancient spirits with talisman in hand often through myths and legends conveyed the impact of symbols that became associated with the words we sang and spoke as if transmitted in eternal rhythm – in tune with a higher source… as if only dancing with the stars through our spirit or soul. Like all those metaphysicians, mystics, and A1119musicians above were doing and what we are here to do as well. My own Libra constellation is shown here to the left.

There are two famous stories from my manuscript… “My travels with Lieh Tzu” found here on my website. I couldn’t decide which one to include here, so I included both. I especially like the story of the lady musician Erh of Han.

Mastering the music of the Seasons

There once was a famous musician named Hu Pa who was considered an expert at Aluteeplaying the lute. (The pipa (Chinese : 琵琶) is a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, belonging to the plucked category of instruments. Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26.)

When he played, the birds danced and the fishes jumped from the water with joy. A young man heard of this story and left his family to become an apprentice of the famous musician. The apprentice, whose name was Wen, practiced for three years laying his fingers on the lute’s strings to tune them, but could never finish the music that lay in front of him.

The master musician Hu Pa told him that he might as well go home. Wen put aside his lute and answered: “It is not the strings that I cannot tune nor the piece that I cannot finish. What I have in mind is not the strings. Unless I grasp it inwardly in my heart it will not answer from the instrument outside me. That is why I dare not to put out my hand to stir the strings. Let me stay a little longer and try to do better.”  Soon afterward Hu Pa asked Wen how he was doing and Wen responded that he thought he had it.

As if the notes on the music scale were associated with the four seasons, Wen A1122touched the Autumn note in Spring and suddenly the fruit ripened on the bushes and trees. When Autumn came, he touched the Spring string on his lute and warm breezes came gently forward and the bushes and trees burst into flower. During the Summer he touched the Winter string and frost and snow came with the rivers and lakes abruptly freezing over. And when winter came, he touched the Summer note and the sun shone brightly melting all the ice at once. When he played all four together a fortunate wind blew, auspicious clouds drifted, the sweet dew fell and fresh springs bubbled.

So masterful was his playing that Hu Pa responded: “Even the music masters who can cause droughts and warm the climates of the far north can do no better. They would have to put their lutes away and follow behind you. Your heart is pure and nature has responded and acted accordingly.”   4/26/1995

Woeful songs of Joy

Who can sing and bring forth the emotions and feelings of all so that others too are caught up in tone and rhythm?

A1121The great musician and singer of songs Chin Ching allowed a young man named Hsieh Tan to study under him. Before long, after thinking he had learned it all, the young man left and set off for home. Chin Ching did not object. However, as he left, he sang such a sad song that the sound shook the trees in the entire province and the echoes stopped the clouds above. So, stirred by these events was Hseih Ten, that he returned to study under Chin Ching and never thought of going home again.

Relaying another incident to a friend, Chin Ching told of a woman who while traveling became hungry and traded her songs for a meal. So enthralled by her singing were the bystanders that for three days after she left, they all thought she was still there.

Chin Ching continued that as this singer and writer of songs, I believe her name was A1122Erh of Han, passed a local establishment the innkeeper insulted her. She began singing woefully in long drawn out notes. Everyone upon hearing her song wept sadly and could not eat for three days. The citizens of the town ran after her, apologizing for the rudeness of only one man in their town.  In her joy, Erh of Han sang and played another song whiA1124ch brought much happiness and dancing and hand‑clapping where only a short time earlier all were filled with sadness. Afterwards, as she left, they gave her many presents and food to eat along the way.

Even as we speak today, we remember this traveling minstrel at special occasions such as weddings and funerals by singing and playing her songs of joy and sadness. Everyone taking their cue from their memory of the Erh of Han.

Both the young man who remained to study under Chin Ching and the traveling singer of songs, Erh of Han were to become immortal. Because they could sing the songs that made everyone upon hearing them both laugh and cry, shake the trees around them and cause clouds to stop upon hearing them just to listen. Reminding spirits who heard them of their home once again.  4/27/1995

By 1dandecarlo

10) Nei-yeh — Inward Training / Our inequities begin to heal when we become aware of our Worth

The first step in understanding the meaning of consciousness is having a sense of self-awareness and loving ourselves unconditionally.

ATEN1

   Inward Knowing        Sichuan Museum

How that transcends who we think we are and how we help others by loving ourselves. It is from our authentic selves that our “inward knowing or wisdom” begins and our innate talents connect with who we are yet to become as we move from simply I AM to WE ARE. As if saying – it is not enough to believe an abstract truth. That it is just as important to understand the method or way it was attained and how you live to express it as well.

Perhaps having a sense of mindfulness, or maybe even coming to know who we have always been. It is from this place we learn that there is nothing we cannot do or heal. This concept is central to the idea of Inward Training or Inner Cultivation expressed here as our inequities heal when we become aware of our worth. I’m going to repeat that – our inequities heal when we become aware of our worth.  Not living in fear, but that learning to love ourselves first is what heals us. Your consciousness is the reflection of the universal spirit of which you manifest by being yourself. To love yourself, value yourself, and embody this truth of self-worth and self-love so that you can be the reflection of this love in action. This is how to define true service and how we become transcendent to what ultimately connects us with our soul and our eternal source. It truly is what song writers and poets have always said – that all you need is love.

ATEN2

Huashan Mountain… South Peak (from where I took this picture) is regarded as the king of the mountain at an altitude of 2,155 meters (7,070 feet), for it is the highest peak among the Five Sacred Mountains of China. The name Wild Geese Landing Peak comes from a legend that wild geese returning from the south often landed at this peak.

With this knowledge we are able to create heaven on earth. This is the essence of both spiritual and universal truth. You are serving no one when you get lost in the problems of the world. The question becomes how and where am I not loving myself? How can I value myself more? I believe we are born knowing the truth of who we are, it’s in claiming this we initially get lost. Our challenge is to recognize our virtue, this knowledge and past wisdom that resides, as if ingrained in our inner-most being. From this place we can move on to what is called having a reflective mind. Where a certain, or simultaneous occurrence of what is seen as unrelated events occur and the belief that their simultaneity has meaning beyond mere coincidence. It’s from where and how we respond to the outer world that matters. Perhaps just doing by being ourselves.

I often come back to the idea of directing my mind and actions through meditation. Not just the physical act of sitting, but in establishing an ever-present presence of what takes me there – to love and virtue.

ATEN3

The bodhisattva ideal

Establishing a benchmark, or starting point, in meditation and a practice focusing on the Buddhist ideal of existence that center on… impermanence – suffering – and egolessness as the basis for profound truths. As if it’s the next step after discussing the bodhisattva vow a few weeks ago and taking a step further to the bodhisattva ideal in establishing the directness towards a spiritual goal which can convert consciousness into a single, unified vital force that spans the universal spectrum beyond a single lifetime and our present personality – to what remains. As if surpassing previously accepted opinions or views and suspending disbelief, we travel if only by spirit to places we wouldn’t otherwise go.  

It is the ability, often found when meditating with what is called a directed mind.  To see things in a forward looking purposefulness way based on insight and realization of the universal nature of consciousness, rather than simply on the personal aspects of an individual past, or future. Of seeing the world beyond our own limited vision.

100_6012

The Wheel of Life    Sera Buddhist Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet 

What attracts people to practice Buddhism is that it does not mean you have to leave behind previous thought, but to find yourself in the flow of universal mind, both inwardly and outwardly. As if directed consciousness leads one to “enter the stream towards liberation or enlightenment in which one’s universal nature is realized”.  Its whatever takes you there. Two books I enjoy immensely about Buddhism are by Lama Givinda, first – The Way of the White Clouds, and second entitled The Psychological Attitude of Early Buddhist Philosophy.  It is as the Buddha said, “Be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge unto yourself, without another refuge.”

Nei-yeh — Inward Training

Nineteen

By concentrating your vital breath as if numinous, the myriad things will all be contained within you.

ATEN5

Dujianyan Waterworks Chengdu

Can you concentrate? Can you unite with them? Can you not resort to divining by tortoise or milfoil, yet know bad and good fortune? Can you stop? Can you cease? Can you not seek it in others, yet attain it within yourself?

You think and think about it and think still further about it. You think, yet still cannot penetrate it. While the ghostly and numinous will penetrate it, it is not due to the power of the ghostly and numinous, but to the utmost refinement of your essential vital breath.

When the four limbs are aligned and the blood and vital breath are tranquil, unify your awareness, concentrate your mind, then your eyes and ears will not be over-stimulated. And even the far-off will seem close at hand.

Twenty

Deep thinking generates knowledge.

ATEN6

Knowing the Way – Wuhan Temple

Idleness and carelessness generate worry.
Cruelty and arrogance generate resentment. Worry and grief generate illness.
When illness reaches a distressing degree, you die. When you think about something and don’t let go of it, internally you will be distressed, externally you will be weak.

Do not plan things out in advance or else your vitality will cede its dwelling. In eating, it is best not to fill up; in thinking, it is best not to overdo. Limit these to the appropriate degree and you will naturally reach your vitality.

The above translation of the Nei-yeh is by Harold Roth, and excerpted from his book, Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism.

By way of introduction to the text, Mr. Roth writes:

“Nei-yeh (Inward Training) is a collection of poetic verses on the nature of the Way (Tao) and a method of self-discipline that I call “inner cultivation” — a mystical practice whose goal is a direct apprehension of this all-pervading cosmic force. It contains some of the most beautiful lyrical descriptions of this mysterious cosmic power in early Chinese literature and in both literary form and philosophical content is quite similar to the much more renowned Lao Tzu (also called the Tao Te Ching).

The Nei-yeh is a Taoist scripture, believed to have been written in the 4th century BC, making it — alongside the 6th century BC Lao Tzu Te Tao Ching and the ATEN74th century BC Chuang Tzu — one of the earliest articulations of Taoist mysticism. The Nei-yeh has been translated into English variously as: Inner Cultivation, Inward Training, Inner Enterprise or Inner Development. Though less known than the Te Tao Ching and Chuang Tzu, it is increasingly being recognized and honored as a foundational text of early Taoism. Though belonging primarily to the Taoist Canon, the Nei-yeh resonates strongly with other non-dual spiritual traditions, Chan / Zen Buddhism in particular.

It seems to me, that our purpose is to have what I think of as mentioned above, a “reflecting mind”. By properly reflecting the past, we can shine a light on our own future. By identifying with our source, we can first be transformed with the knowledge of who we have always been, and then from there begin to transcend what we may perceive as our current limitations. That our nature has given us an opportunity to demonstrate through biological development the necessary conditions for the manifestation of higher consciousness.

Carl Jung (1875-1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded ATEN8analytical psychology. Jung’s work was influential in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies. He was interested in the way in which symbols and common myths permeate our thinking on both conscious and subconscious levels. Jung also noted the relationship between our personal unconscious, which contains an individual’s personal memories and ideas, and a collective unconscious, a set of memories and ideas that is shared amongst all of humanity.

It would be shared concepts, which Jung described as archetypes, (an action, or a situation that seems to represent universal patterns of human nature. An archetype, also known as a “universal symbol”, may be a character, a theme, a symbol, or even a setting) that permeate the collective unconscious and emerge as themes and characters in our dreams and surface in our culture – in myths, books, films and paintings, for example. An example in ancient China would be the role of the dragon ATEN9as the shaman or sage who created, exemplified, and knew the correct path to be taken and that others should follow with the Heavens above. What caught my attention in internalizing the thoughts of Jung, was my own dreams and meditation that culminate in my writing and focus on the I Ching and calligraphy, the role of the dragon, certain people, and myths and legends of ancient China that precedes today’s understanding of our collective history. How people the world over reach similar conclusions and that the personal unconscious contains memories which we are unaware we still possess. 

Jung felt that disunity among thoughts in the personal subconscious and the conscious could create internal conflicts which could lead to particular personality traits or anxieties. Such inner conflicts could be resolved, claimed Jung, by allowing repressed ideas to emerge into the conscious and accommodating (rather than destroying) them, thus creating a state of inner harmony, through a process known as individuation that can lead to higher consciousness when the mind attaches itself to what may be seen as it’s beginning. It is this inner harmony between the heart and mind that guides us to become our natural selves… entity. To who we are here to further emulate as our highest selves. It makes you ultimately come back to what we consider as heredity and the principle of preservation and continuity of ATEN11acquired characteristics which result in the faculty of conscious remembering and direction through the guidance of organized knowledge. For myself, I am often amazed that when I am in tune with my internal spirit and am writing, that things appear that I can only ask “where did that come from”. What is it that separates our conscious and unconscious mind and internal and external awareness from our past? The Buddhist will tell us that heredity is only another name for our memory. It becomes the established principle and counter force of dissolution and impermanence. That it is our ability to “remember” our past that determines the level of our spiritual nature. As if simply a calling, or bell waiting for us to answer.

Looking back five hundred years before Carl Jung, this duality was expressed by Meister Eckhard who espoused similar beliefs while a professor at the University of Paris in the early twelfth century. I especially liked Eckhart’s ability to take a line in thought and follow it wherever it took him and to what defines or expresses what was meant by becoming universal.  That God and we are one. That this union was ATEN12not only a harmony of wills or a spiritual communion, but he envisioned a fusion of the individual with God like a drop of water returning to the sea. He was able like Chuang Tzu and what was to become the Tao in early China, to stretch the imagination to further define the flow of consciousness and what the true meaning of becoming universal might yet become, from the inside out. He called the place where God is known to an individual person “the spark of the soul” and that God and man are united because they were already one.

How this transformation occurs is what determines our present fate and destiny. It is as stated above in Inward Training, that by concentrating our vital breath (commonly called qi or chi), as if numinous, the myriad things will all be contained within us. How can we become transformational, both inwardly and ultimately affect our outer world, but through our conscious mind and loving heart? As we transcend the mundane – we too enlighten the world by becoming transcendental.

Part 1 Number 2 of the 5th Wing of the Dazhuan last time ended with the premise that the superior man finds his place in life resting content in the succession of change; he finds satisfaction taking delight in the words; when he acts, he observes the alternations (what appears as alternate succession or repeated rotation) and takes delight in the omens as if knowing the future that lies before him. Thusly, becoming the person he is meant to be. The grace of Heaven and eternal dragons always coming to his aid as the Way of the Tao becomes auspicious and open to him as his highest endeavor and destiny is now fulfilled.

The Dazhuan 5th Wing      Part 1   Number 3

 1.3     The Statements – What the Words Show 

We first look to how great and small are related in the Yijing, the I Ching, and in ATEN13our lives as the images and symbols that connect us to the invisible world. Great and small are key words, the oldest terms for yin and yang. Through them we know if we should be forceful and follow our own idea, or are flexible and yield to others. It is the hexagrams that refer to figures while the line statements refer to alternations. In reading the lines auspicious and disaster means success and failure. Trouble and distress refer to minor mistakes; no misfortune means mistakes can be mended. Therefore, what is seen as noble or base depends on position, just as sorting out what is great or small depends on the hexagram while discerning rather something is auspicious or disastrous depends on the statement. Worrying at trouble and distress depends on the risk as quaking at no misfortune depends on distress. Thus, the hexagrams deal with great and small, the statements deal with danger and comfort and show the way things are going.

It would be those who could successfully read the symbols that made consulting the spirit world central to what could be known and what could not be known.  Just as we ourselves are in constant transformation, our spirit always advancing and withdrawing as we look for and to a change of heart. The ability to know the Way, ATEN14or Tao, is through the words we speak and write. Anxiety occurs due to our innate desire to know what the Tao teaches – and staying within the limits of the Way. With this the Superior Man or Women will know how to act as their own divine return signals at both danger and ease. This is how the talisman became important as it defined one’s eternal connection with nature and the universe. (A talisman is a stone, ring, or other object, engraved with figures or characters supposed to possess power to connect one with the universe and worn as an amulet or charm. Its presence exercises remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions).

Fulu is a term for Taoist practitioners in the past that could draw and write supernatural talismans, Fu which they believed functioned as summons or instructions to deities, spirits, or as tools of exorcism, as medical potions for ailments. It is believed by Taoists that in the past the ability to write Shenfu had been once decreed by their deities to authorized priests or daoshi.

ATEN15

A Taoist charm or talisman coin that contains Taoist “magic writing” on display at the Museum of Ethnography, Sweden.

Lu (Chinese: 籙) is a register and compilation of the membership of the daoshi as well as the skills they were able to use. These practitioners are also called Fulu Pai (Chinese: 符籙派) or the Fulu Sect made up of daoshi (usually considered a Taoist priest or Buddhist monk) from different schools or offshoots of Taoji, as a symbol that connects us to the invisible world. This was one of the major precept’s outlining the shaman’s influence, (especially the Big Dipper) and what could be seen and observed in nature.  This gave the shaman the ability to converse with nature. It was through symbols that the ancients found the doorway to Heaven. Examples of these symbols first illustrating the sun, moon, and stars, were unearthed during the Han dynasty at Nanyang in Henan Province and depict the sixteen stars of the Azure, or Green Dragon constellation. The Azure Dragon occupies the four constellations that define the horizon. It is in the area of the Shaolin Temple, in the region of Songshan Mountain, Dengfeng City, Henan Province. I visited this area in Sept/Oct of last year (2018).

ATEN17Shaolin Temple history can date back to Northern Wei Dynasty (386 – 534), and it played an important role on the development of the Buddhism in China. From prehistory forward, the ancient Chinese felt a direct connection to the stars as if they were in reality the place of their ancestors. First on tortoise shell then later on the hip bone of a horse, bear, or elk, and even later yarrow sticks, came the desire and need to communicate with the spirit world and others and speak and then to write – to develop a vocabulary with words that spoke to the divine spirit within.

It was this innate urging to connect with the universe that cultivating stillness through meditation was fine-tuned over the centuries. It was this use of imagination and images that attached words to the divine connection of man and in stillness that man’s divine nature could manifest to the fullest. It was then that the paradigm shifted and the words could define the symbols and everything changed.

Then six lines became eight and the bagua came into being and in about 1100 BC King Wen (1152 – 1056 BC) added words, statements with meaning, to the lines.  It was with the consultation process that the lines were considered as transforming. It ATEN18is when a line “transforms” that is turns into its opposite. This is when the words attached to the lines take on great importance. It is here that the spirit is changing shape, so that we know how to act.  Over the centuries many others would write their own commentaries as to the meaning of the lines to fit their philosophy to what they would say the I Ching and Tao really meant for themselves. Key among those would be Confucius and then later Wang Pi, whose most important works are two commentaries: one the Tao Te Ching and the other on the I Ching. On both these works he left his indelible mark. His work on the I Ching completely reorganized the book and made it much as it is today; of the extremely numerous early commentaries, moreover, his is the only one to survive in its entirety.  The primary connection between the I Ching and the Tao is rather change is flowing or is blocked and it is the position of the strong and supple lines that help us to know whether our place in life is great or small. This speaks to our innate moral center or virtue and our desire to find and stay in tune with what is universal. It is in this way we return to the Tao and our eternal self. But for now our journey continues with this from my manuscript… “My travels with Lieh Tzu” found here on my website.

To be eternally awakened

How can we know who we come into the world to become?  As we learn to trust our ATEN19instincts and the spontaneity given to us as each moment unfolds. If it is as Lieh Tzu says: “To live and die at the right time is a blessing from Heaven and not to live when it is time to live and not to die when it is time to die is a punishment from Heaven, then is not our destiny predetermined?”

Why should some be favored over others? Why should some get life and death at the right time and others live and die when the time is not right? Know that it is neither other things nor ourselves that gives life when we live and death when we die as our destiny unfolds. Nor that wisdom or our endeavors can lead the way. Could the unfolding of our life’s events be but an endless sequence that comes to pass of themselves by way of Heaven? Indifferent to the turn of events coming forward as the unbroken wheel or circle of life. Coming in, living each moment to its fullest then going out again. Could this be the way of Heaven?

With no offense to Heaven and Earth the ultimate cardinal rule. How could the sage ATEN20not go along? Continuing to clear his mind and open his heart only for eternal truths yet to unfold. His wisdom finding no time to question. Just as the demons are thwarted as they can find no footholds to follow. Each person finding truths solely for himself in silence and serenity. Without attachment, only the peace found as Heaven escorts us as we go and welcomes us as we come back again.

Embrace only those things that assist in the awakening of your eternal spirit. If our destiny can be foretold as we travel from one lifetime to the next, then should we not remain awake to the events that show us the way? Living the proper way, can death matter as we are simply waiting to be born again. 6/11/1995

By 1dandecarlo

9) Nei-yeh — Inward Training / Moving beyond politics and religion to faith and healing

In the beginning it was the medicine man/woman, the healer or shaman who dsci0176were our connection to realms few understood that others looked to when people were sick or hurt and needed healing. The healer looked to the universe, the world few understood and told people to have faith that a cure could be found to the illness or troubles at hand. Along with healing came faith that when symptoms were determined just as in nature – that a way would be found for the proper direction or cure. It would be the healer’s intellect and wisdom gained over generations and time that he learned that having faith in the right outcome was often what saved his patient. It was faith in the finality of the universe and the stars above that gave him guidance to know and show the way. As if coming from his own silent center that rested within his own divinity, or divine nature guided only by spirit. Moving all from survival to security to success, then finally to significance.

In view of my last entry regarding the I Ching, I am reminded that there is nothing in the world that is not subject to change or transformation, least of all humans. As with all things found in nature, we learn to adapt to our environment and change as the times we live dictate. Ultimately, it is as Gandhi 91said that “We each must be the change we want to see in the world.”  That with one’s mind and our actions we change both our world and that of others.

Gandhi in a mission of peace in 1942 visited Nanjing and Soong Mei-ling, wife of Chiang Kai-shek who was President of the Republic of China at the time. In a pairing of great political significance, Chiang was Sun Yat-sen’s brother-in-law: he had married Soong Mei-ling, the younger sister of Soong Ching-ling Sun’s widow, on 1 December 1927. Sun Yat-sen was considered the founder of the Republic of China in 1912. Sun’s widow, Soong Ching-ling sided with the Communists during the Chinese Civil War and served from 1949 to 1981 as Vice-President (or Vice-Chairwoman) of the People’s Republic of China and as Honorary President shortly before her death in 1981.

What is the basis, the root cause, of faith knowing that to live one has to connect his inner world with his outer environment as if we live from within our own cosmos while knowing the reverse is true as well? How could we be separated from what nourishes us and keeps us alive? What the I Ching taught was that success depended on finding the middle and that complimentary dsci0016opposites found in nature, as well as, our own innate nature is what would nurture and save us. That extremes and ego that we may initially follow do not lead to longevity. It was this desire for longevity and direction that looking to the sun, moon, and stars, and the seasons that would show the way. While history has shown that politics and religion serve to separate us from others. That once things are viewed as finite and not infinite, man has wanted to see his own interests first above others. This is contrary to the laws of nature as universal intelligence has always made available enough for all when all are treated equally as nature runs its own course.

It was always to be the reciprocal relationship between faith and healing that 100_3098would serve to guide us. Jesus was first a healer. Everywhere faith has always been our ability to receive and assimilate the power of spirit. It’s the ultimate meaning in becoming universal or transcendental that depends on our ability to communicate from our inner experience that which comes from the stillness of a devoted heart and mind, i.e., our own divinity as we become the conduit… both as the transmitter and receiver. Healing and faith are like opposite sides signifying yin and yang showing the way. Once acknowledged they can take us there too.

Nei-yeh — Inward Training 

Seventeen
For all to practice this Way – you must coil, you must contract, you must uncoil, you must expand, you must be firm, you must be regular in this practice.

92

Becoming Translucent

Hold fast to this excellent practice; do not let go of it. Chase away the excessive; abandon the trivial and when you reach its ultimate limit you will return to the Way and the inner power.

Eighteen

When there is a mind that is unimpaired within you, it cannot be hidden.
It will be known in your countenance, and seen in your skin color.

93

The Procession – Sichuan Museum

If with this good flow of vital energy, you encounter others, they will be kinder to you than your own brethren. But if with a bad flow of vital energy, you encounter others, they will harm you with their weapons.

This is because the wordless pronouncement is more rapid than the drumming of thunder. The perceptible form of the mind’s vital energy is brighter than the sun and moon, and more apparent than the concern of parents.

Rewards are not sufficient to encourage the good; punishments are not sufficient to discourage the bad. Yet once this flow of vital energy is achieved, all under heaven will submit. And once the mind is made stable, all under heaven will listen.

The above translation of the Nei-yeh is by Harold Roth, and excerpted from his book, Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism.

By way of introduction to the text, Mr. Roth writes:

“Nei-yeh (Inward Training) is a collection of poetic verses on the nature of the Way (Tao) and a method of self-discipline that I call “inner cultivation” — a mystical practice whose goal is a direct apprehension of this all-pervading cosmic force. It contains some of the most beautiful lyrical descriptions of this mysterious cosmic power in early Chinese literature and in both literary form and philosophical content is quite similar to the much more renowned Lao Tzu (also called the Tao Te Ching).

The Nei-yeh is a Taoist scripture, believed to have been written in the 4th 8a3century BC, making it — alongside the 6th century BC Lao Tzu Te Tao Ching and the 4th century BC Chuang Tzu — one of the earliest articulations of Taoist mysticism. The Nei-yeh has been translated into English variously as: Inner Cultivation, Inward Training, Inner Enterprise or Inner Development. Though less known than the Te Tao Ching and Chuang Tzu, it is increasingly being recognized and honored as a foundational text of early Taoism. Though belonging primarily to the Taoist Canon, the Nei-yeh resonates strongly with other non-dual spiritual traditions, Chan / Zen Buddhism in particular.

What is it about this substance, this flow of vital energy we each possess and what will be our own legacy? What is it you leave behind and what do you want to be known for when you are gone? Over the centuries of early China there were many publications that had tremendous influence on popular culture. Two would be the interpretation of what was the essence or true meaning of the I Ching, and something called Cultivating Stillness that I’ll discuss another time that further defined the practical application of Taoist thought, and how it influenced how people were to live in society.

dsci0135

Equanimity, good health, peace of mind, and long life are the goals of the ancient Taoist tradition

With the prevailing hierarchy of Confucian ideology that pre-supposed the divine right of the Emperor, how to merge these four principles (faith, healing, religion, and politics) became paramount. How to interpret the I Ching became central to finding the path to do this. Whose “commentaries” on the I Ching would determine the fate of the Chinese people as a whole? The Ten Wings became the flash point as to how they would to interpreted and communicated what was to become the real meaning of the I Ching. My own version of the 5th and 6th Wings that details it’s meaning is found here on my website and continues below.

Why study the past, but to acknowledge where we have been and attempts to find a better way going forward? Or better said, to explore the path we are here to follow that takes us further down the road of our own fulfillment… as if possessing the ultimate keys of our soul’s enfoldment, or enlightenment. It is as if following 96knowable outcomes can lead to finding patterns that convey the best way to proceed. As described above in Inward Training, it has always been the direction, or “the flow of our vital energy” sometimes called qi or chi, that determines, or matches, our success with where we find ourselves that takes us there. But then how does one measure success and failure when ultimately, we must be judged universally, not simply with or by self-interest, or by what suites us or our ego at the moment? One of the things I love most about Chinese history, philosophy, and culture is that there is over five thousand years of uninterrupted history to gauge what can be seen as trial and error, adherence to nature, and beliefs tied to the universe (sun, moon and stars and earth via nature), versus the frailties of man when left to his own self-aggrandizement and how he sees himself in the outer world. Opposite the blending of what could be seen as a universal community and how man interacts with nature and others in his surroundings can benefit through and by his actions.  It has always been that faith and healing preceded religion and politics, or discontent would follow as we look for omens, or signs that would show the way. Nature would teach that everything under the sun should have an opportunity for growth and change.  With a universal truth being that everything (including man), must be open to change or die.

Even in Western thinking and Charles Darwin, who established a theory of evolution by natural selection as an explanation for adaptation and speciation. He 95defined natural selection as the “principle by which each slight variation of a trait, if useful, is preserved”. That adhering simply to old ways without adapting to one’s environment is not the answer, except to learn from your surroundings and mold them into something new. It wasn’t to do something from scratch, but to build on your strengths by acknowledging and eliminating your weaknesses that kept you from success. Interestingly, the Taoist would argue that it is what is seen as your “intrinsic weaknesses” once acknowledged, that would ultimately come forth to be your greatest strength (that which resides from inside you). As if just waiting for our enthusiasm to catch hold of our soul, our eternal spirit or core, and enabling it to resemble our actions… Like asking – is there common knowledge and wisdom that can take everyone and everything along for the ride that some may see as bowing to weakness, that in reality, or effect, gains a far greater truth that there is no separation between us and others, and in this we find our greatest strength. It is here that our ego, our sense of self-importance, sometimes gets in the way.

100_3148

The teacher in Linyi

This idea finding one’s center was the essence of thousands of years of what I like to refer to as “transitional thinking” that permeated Eastern thought and the I Ching that molded what would be seen as healing, faith in a universal presence, politics and religion. Time always tells the story. Similar to what today we might call pragmatism. Especially, how are we to judge another’s place and their growth without giving of ourselves to help show the way. An example would be the Buddhist call to end suffering and what I referred earlier as the bodhisattva vow… and our recognizing that we are here to change the lives of those closest to us by bringing others into the realm of enlightenment.

Continuing from my last entry, the Ten Wings were composed during the Warring States and Early Han Periods of China in about 500 to 200 BC. They were “commentaries” attempting to convey the “true meaning” of the I Ching that were to direct the way we lived our lives. The Fifth and Sixth Wings were of great interest to me and you can find my version of them here on my website at the tab The Dazhuan – The Meaning of the I Ching.

Part 1 of the Dazhuan   1.2     The Dazhuan 5th Wing Part 1 Number 2

Following the Omens and One’s Fate 

The shaman and sages created the hexagrams having observed the nuances found in nature then added statements to indicate good and ill omens as man followed the natural course of events. That what usually came into a situation usually determined the outcome.

105_2888

The divine messenger Beihai Park  Beijing

An omen is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change one learned through observation. People in ancient times believed that omens appear or come with a divine message from their gods who they saw as residing with the stars they could see at night and the coming of the sun and moon everyday as fixtures they could see that made them a part of something bigger than themselves. For early China this meant the shaman, who was considered to have a direct link with Heaven and what was to later be known as the I Ching, possessed the means and was the method to communicate what these omens meant. The key the shaman discovered was an understanding that the whole and broken lines of the hexagram once formed replace one another and that a person could alter his fate by staying connected to his or her source. Thus, omens both auspicious and disastrous became figures of failure and success, and that troubles and distress are figures of worry and anxiety that leads to alternation and transformation… and change. And that it is how we connect through our imagination back to our beginning, or source, that we can see and determine our future.

100_5134

Divine Connections with the Way of the Tao   Songyang Temple

The key to understanding myths and legends in China is that they point to a door to further understanding over five thousand years of continuous history and culture. They point to the place where ancient stories were born, retold and modified to fit current events over and over again. This has always been the niche of the storyteller. The one telling the story in such a way that myth and reality merge into one story that fits or suits the times. Making connections, showing how through the stories from the ancients that there was a way of becoming universal ourselves. We thereby become a part of the story through our lives and by living and telling our own version of events as we too come in harmony with change. Opening the door to who we have always been and will be again, as if our purpose here is to first re-discover our source. It’s not a one and done thing – we are a continuation of spirit and will always be.

As if connecting with a time that truly defines us before history began and the deep dsci0369wisdom that existed when people mirrored the reality they expressed. Over time it was just a matter of furthering a common story that everyone could identify with and then become a part of the story as well. It is a commonality everyone shares regardless of their origin. The key to transformation acknowledged by the shaman was that symbols were more lasting than words where meaning could be interpreted in many ways. It was the lines of the diagrams and words conveying certain meanings that created the language called change. Through the sage, who represented the spirits, they learned the method of advancing and withdrawing energy, the alternation of light and dark, and the three powers or pivots – Heaven, Earth, and Humanity.

The role of the sage has always been to help us to take our place in history and finding tranquility, the place our hearts truly reside and the peace of mind to stay there. But it is the connection to the Tao, I Ching, and Cultivating Stillness illustrated here that begins with the movement of the six lines of the hexagram illustrating the Tao of the Great Triad. It is these Three Pure Ones that are the 97Taoist Trinity, the three highest Gods in the Taoist pantheon. They are regarded as pure manifestation of the Tao and the origin of all sentient beings. From the Taoist classic Tao Te Ching, it was held that “The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced All things.” This key to the process of divination and understanding the role of the oracle is as if fine-tuning of prayer.

As in meditation, expressing a problem, a difficulty, or emotion, you pose the question to change (to the I Ching) in words. Then you must take the words of the answer into your heart. The answer or symbol will arise as if a spirit has been evoked and the right answer will appear.

dsci0019

Temple of the Eight Immortals with Queen Mother of the West   Xian

It acts as the soul and changes the way one thinks setting foot on the Way of the Tao becoming what Chuang Tzu would call the Perfected Man and furthered by the Eight Immortals and Queen Mother of the West in Chinese history. The superior man finds his place in life resting content in the succession of change; he finds satisfaction taking delight in the words; when he acts, he observes the alternations and takes delight in the omens as if knowing the future that lies before him. Thereby becoming the person he is meant to be. The grace of Heaven and eternal dragons always coming to his aid as the way of the Tao becomes auspicious and open to him as his highest endeavor and destiny is now fulfilled. (2013-14)

What is it that becomes our greatest challenge? Why the need for Inward Training? Questions continue, but for now this from my manuscript… “My travels with Lieh Tzu” found here on my website.

Maintaining universal Appeal

Is it not the way we discover within ourselves to succeed or fail that controls our ultimate fate as we travel throughout the universe?

dsci0026

Temple of the Eight Immortals   Xian

That there is something inside everyone that is destined to be defeated better known as our weaknesses. Just as there is something within us destined never to be defeated. That which is known as our strengths.

So that it must be as the ancients beyond time have always told us, that the strong surpass the weak, while the weak surpass those stronger than themselves. The man who surpasses weaker men than himself is in danger when he meets someone as strong as himself. However, the man who surpasses men stronger than himself will never find danger.

Learning to control your own will and making it responsible to and for your inner chi and the Tao is the ultimate test and challenge. Are not they telling us that you cannot conquer or control others, but must simply learn to control yourself?

dsci0384

Wuhan Temple  Chengdu

Yu Hsiung tells us: “If your aim is to be hard, you must guard it by being soft. If your aim is to be strong, you must maintain it by being weak. What begins soft and accumulates must become strong. Watch them accumulate, and you will know where blessings and disaster come from. The strong conquer those weaker than themselves, and when they meet an equal have no advantage. When the weak conquer those stronger than themselves, their force is immeasurable.”

Lieh Tzu says that Lao Tzu has even more to say on the matter. Lao tells us that if a weapon is strong it will perish. If a tree is strong it will snap. Softness and weakness belong to life, hardness and strength belong to death.

Understand the two parallels of what hangs in the balance of yin and yang. Knowing the paradox that exists in coming to know all things and finding indifference to the ever‑changing events swirling around you. The sage knows that defeating another through strength defeats one’s own as he follows the traditions of the ages and remains forever in tune with the Tao and forever in style.  1/25/1995

 

 

By 1dandecarlo

8) Nei-yeh — Inward Training / Living from within the rarefied air of higher Truths

I often like to read from the works of the writer George Santayana. One of his most 8asantyanafamous lines is “It is not wisdom to be only wise – and on the inner vision close the eyes – but it is wisdom to believe the heart.” It’s like finding the pattern of our life and following its hidden roots. A more famous quote of his that I think most people know is – Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” Except that some things in the past are worth repeating. Some feel it is only in our ability to remember can we make amends and become present as our ultimate selves. I’ve thought a lot recently about the transformation of consciousness. For many, it is felt that meditation and yoga can assist in taking us there. Quantum physics today tells us that our consciousness never dies – that consciousness exists in our mind and continues beyond the constraints of our body, space, and time. That nothing that is observed is unaffected by the observer – that everyone sees a different truth 8aquantumbecause everyone is creating what they see. I would add, based on where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and what we’ve done before.

For myself for now, meditation is best when I picture me being in the rarefied air of high altitudes and catching the prevailing jet-stream or wind. Seeing where it may take me today almost as if I am contemplating or dreaming of times spent with old friends again. As if I am entering an even higher reality, born from visions and inner experience with only my thoughts brought along to take mental notes along the way.  For many it is yoga. Yoga is based on the interaction of physical, spiritual, and psychic phenomena. That controlling our breath and body postures can be combined with mental concentration, spiritual awareness, and emotional equanimity (mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper). As if with the two, bringing ourselves into alignment with a tranqilling and energizing effect that equates us with perfect harmony. Like listening to John Lennon’s Instant Karma again, as if for the first time, as we all shine on like the moon, the stars and the sun… on and on and on.

How to ignite the spark, that sense of enlightenment/consciousness, that eternal presence that is already present within us? It’s what the I Ching and Great Treatise has taught for millennia. Something I will discuss later here. That to know what is to come out of something, we must first know what entered as in defining the nature of things. 

am5

The Great Treatise Qingyang Taoist Temple

Not as popular culture might define as fortune-telling, but as nature telling the way of things based on their beginnings and propensity, or natural  inclination, for probable outcomes and endings based on cause and effect. To an affinity towards what comforts us as we find ourselves in exactly the life that we deserve in the cosmos of our own creation.

Perhaps it is that our dreams are more real than the plans of our brains, provided our dreams are a mirror of the deepest yearnings of our soul who knows us as the very center of our being – not only our deepest desires and ambitions that hide behind the reasons provided by our intellect. Where is it our intuition and consciousness take us when we let go of who we thought we were and become the extension of the transcendental universal we are here to add to, emulate, equal and/or surpass? That all roads lead to where I now stand.

Inward Training

Fifteen

For those who preserve and naturally generate vital essence on the outside a calmness will flourish.

8a1

Phoenix and Dragon / Wuhan Temple

Stored inside, we take it to be the well-spring.
Flood like, it harmonizes and equalizes and we take it to be the fountain of the vital energy.
When the fountain is not dried up, the four limbs are firm. When the spring is not drained, vital energy freely circulates through the nine apertures.
You can then exhaust the heavens and the earth and spread over the four seas.

When you have no delusions within you, externally there will be no disasters. Those who keep their minds unimpaired within, externally keep their bodies unimpaired. Who do not encounter heavenly disasters or meet with harm at the hands of others, call them sages.

Sixteen

If people can be aligned and tranquil, their skin will be ample and smooth. Their eyes and ears will be acute and clear, their muscles will be supple and their bones will be strong, they will then be able to hold up the Great Circle of the heavens and tread firmly over the Great Square of the earth.

8a2

The Winding Path

They will mirror things with great purity and they will perceive things with great clarity.

Reverently be aware of the Way and do not waver, and you will daily renew your inner power. Thoroughly understand all under the heavens and exhaust everything within the Four Directions. To reverently bring forth the effulgence of the Way:

This is called “inward attainment.” If you do this but fail to return to it, this will cause a wavering in your vitality.

The above translation of the Nei-yeh is by Harold Roth, and excerpted from his book, Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism.

By way of introduction to the text, Mr. Roth writes:

“Nei-yeh (Inward Training) is a collection of poetic verses on the nature of the Way (Tao) and a method of self-discipline that I call “inner cultivation” — a mystical practice whose goal is a direct apprehension of this all-pervading cosmic force. It contains some of the most beautiful lyrical descriptions of this mysterious cosmic power in early Chinese literature and in both literary form and philosophical content is quite similar to the much more renowned Lao Tzu (also called the Tao Te Ching).

The Nei-yeh is a Taoist scripture, believed to have been written in the 4th century BC, making it — alongside the 6th century BC Lao Tzu Te Tao Ching and the 4th century BC Chuang Tzu — one of the earliest articulations of Taoist mysticism. The Nei-yeh has been translated into English variously as: Inner Cultivation, Inward Training, Inner Enterprise or Inner Development. Though less known 8a3than the Te Tao Ching and Chuang Tzu, it is increasingly being recognized and honored as a foundational text of early Taoism. Though belonging primarily to the Taoist Canon, the Nei-yeh resonates strongly with other non-dual spiritual traditions, Chan / Zen Buddhism in particular. This connection between the mind, space, and time is evident in old ways, traditions, and cultures that are shown and epitomized as if by replicating history as we build on the past if only to learn from it. It’s what we do by example if seemingly only for the first time.

Regardless of time or place, it is as if grace provides the framework by which a meaningful life is lived. To live a spiritual life, then, is essentially to do things spontaneously “for the love of it” — to do things without attachment to a result or reward. For myself, it comes back to this idea of wu wei, and Chinese thoughts of endeavoring to live by identifying with your highest endeavor. In China, Confucianism would become just another layer (geared to virtue and benevolence) to be added to pre-existing thought. Becoming a way to structure religious and practical everyday thought in such a way that it both shaped, mirrored, and becomes the status quo. To what we would call becoming transcendental and simply not interfering with governing, as those governing were to be seen as only reflecting the same unity you were also 8a8attached to as well. With the thought that all would simply flow through time following an ever-prevailing wind. Traditions continuing to be followed today where the Moon Festival and “moon cakes” are celebrated in the fall, and Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) and “dumplings” are considered as ageless, or beyond time, signifying this connection to ancient China. In 2019, Chinese New Year in February 5 and is the Year of the Pig. As if traditions aligning with higher truths keep us centered within the realm of consciousness that best serve our next step, define us and our world.

Respecting our ancestors includes honoring what has come before us found in nature as well i.e., in the spirit of the Great Unity… This respect of nature and our a89simply being a part of it all is also found with indigenous people everywhere. Examples would be Indian populations in North America. Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, would exemplify this unity and oneness through his own words and deeds. The Nez Perce are a Native American tribe of the interior Pacific Northwest region of the United States. He understood that concentration will bring stability, stillness, and spaciousness; inquiry will bring alertness, vividness, brightness, and clarity. Combined, they will help you to develop creative awareness, and an ability to bring a meditative mind to all aspects of your daily life and it was one’s connection with nature that takes you there.

You find the connection to nature with the Lakota Sioux and in Black Hills in what is now South Dakota.

8a4

Lakota Star Map

According to Oglala Lakota cosmology, their ancestors descend from the spirits of the sky – the star people. Their fundamental spiritual and cultural self-understanding stems from recognizing the connection between the stars and the land. (Heaven and earth) This connection to the stars is similar to that found in ancient China and teachings of the shaman and what one finds on top of mountains when you go directly to your source.

The stories of the landscape of the Black Hills are best told by the people who interpret its sacredness. In her article Mirror of Heaven: Cross-Cultural Transference of the Sacred Geography of the Black Hills, Linea Sundstrom traces the indigenous history of the land with regard to various tribes’ spiritual connection to it. She writes, “Recorded history suggests a complicated series of movements into and out of the Black Hills by various peoples”, but, she argues, the landscape maintained its sacred character since incumbent tribes adopted traditions from their predecessors: “As one group replaced another over the last several centuries, these locations in the Black Hills continued to be recognized as sacred locales and to operate within a system of ethno-astronomical and mythological beliefs”.

8a5

The Black Hills, showing principle sacred sites

The Lakota, the last native people to inhabit the Black Hills, were thus the recipients of the stories of the land, which they incorporated into their own cultural and spiritual identity.

According to Oglala Lakota cosmology, their ancestors descend from the spirits of the sky – the star people. Their fundamental spiritual and cultural self-understanding stems from recognizing the connection between the stars and the land. As Sundstrom explains, “the falling star myth cycle clearly illustrates a belief in a dual universe, wherein star people in the sky and humans on earth occupied analogous and sometimes interchangeable roles”.

Their intimate relationship with astrology drew the Lakota to the sacred landscape of the Black Hills, where they identified several natural features with corresponding constellations. Manifestly, the Lakota people and the Black Hills are deeply connected through stories that demonstrate the sacredness of the land. It is inherent in Lakota spiritual and cultural understanding that this land holds infinite significance, and it is thus the obligation of the people of the earth to protect and preserve its sanctity. The Lakota appeal to the Hills’ sacredness through ritual and ceremony.

There is a certain symmetry, reciprocal, as if corresponding reaction to the universe that is inherent, i.e., existing in everything, including us. You can see that in what was to become central to Chinese thought and philosophy in what was to become known as Chinese cosmology and the Ten Wings.

8a9

The Dunhuang map  from the Tang Dynasty  (North Polar region). This map is thought to date from the reign of Emperor Zhongzong of Tang  (705–710). Found in Dunhuang, Gansu.

The Ten Wings were composed during the Warring States and Early Han Periods of China in about 500 to 200 BC. The Ten Wings were “commentaries” attempting to convey the “true meaning” of the I Ching that were to direct the way we lived our lives. The Fifth and Sixth Wings were of great interest to me and you can find my version of them here on my website at the tab The Dazhuan – The Meaning of the I Ching.

 

Part 1 of the Dazhuan   1.1     The Dazhuan 5th Wing Part 1 Number 1

 A cosmic analogy – How Heaven and Earth define Change

There is a symbolic reality of what lies between figures formed in Heaven and are shapes on Earth as high and low places are spread about as both movement and stillness. Just as with in the face of Heaven each person stands alone, there are limits to what is knowable. Just as there are gates in which things come and go always transforming into being something new. The energies that are at work in Heaven and Earth also drive the symbols of change as we observe that events never happen alone and that all changes and the transformation of Heaven and Earth reside in the Yijing, or I Ching.

Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate, from the Compendium of Diagrams (detail), 1623
8a7Zhang Huang (1527-1608)
Woodblock-printed book; ink on paper
26.3 x 15.5 cm (each page)
© The University of Chicago Library, East Asian Collection

The Taiji diagram (taiji tu) first appeared in a Taoist context at the beginning of the Song dynasty (960-1279). … Prior to this, yin and yang were symbolized by the tiger and the dragon, and this symbolism has continued throughout the history of later Taoism [Daoism]. The diagram symbolizes the unity of the forces of yin and yang within the Tao. Taiji means “supreme ultimate,” and as such the diagram symbolizes the fundamental Taoist view of the structure of reality, namely that beyond the duality of phenomenal existence, created through the interaction of yin and yang, is the unity of the Tao [Dao], which exists beyond time and space. … The Compendium of Diagrams (Tushubian) is a 127-chapter encyclopedia on cosmology, geography, and human life compiled in the early Wanli reign (1573-1620) by the scholar Zhang Huang.

* Text above excerpted from Stephen Little, et al. Taoism and the Arts of China. (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, in association with University of California Press, 2000), p. 131.

The symbols of change found in the I Ching contain the formative power of both Heaven and Earth as whole and broken lines that distinguish that events are both different and the same and can be interpreted and understood.

8a6

I Ching from The Temple  of the Eight Immortals in Xian

These transformations can be seen in the movement found in the Eight Diagrams, the bagua. These three-line figures contain the energy of natural processes: as thunder and lightning stimulate, wind and rain fertilize, sun and moon move on their prescribed courses and after cold comes heat.

The fundamental symbols of change are chien and kun. They contain the power of Heaven and Earth and serve to connect us directly with change.

ch9

The Bagua

Chien (Heaven) helps us to change spontaneously letting us know change in our hearts. Kun (Earth) makes and completes everything. This gives us the ability to act without complications or pride (ego) and lets us follow change in life with simplicity and spontaneity. When we open ourselves to the influence of change, we acquire the ability to gain both the deep affection of others and ability to lead our own life as an independent person.

The Great Treatise (the 5th and 6th Wings described above) tells us, “What is readily recognized is accepted.  What is readily followed brings success. What dsci0447is accepted can endure and what brings success can grow great. Endurance is the wise man’s power; greatness is the wise man’s task. Being spontaneous and simple means grasping the principles of all under Heaven; grasping the principles of all under chien, or Heaven, means finding one’s place in the midst of kun, or earth”. How we do this is called the “Great Enterprise”.  The key to initiating a sense of understanding change is becoming aware of what is known as symbolic reality that teaches you to see the pattern of things. It is this symbolic reality that becomes our own reflection. Staying in the middle is a step towards freedom from compulsive emotion, the fear of anticipation, and sorrow over the unexpected. The I Ching gives you direct access to the symbolic world behind appearances and with practice the ability to know that lies ahead. (2014)

The parallels between east and west are amazing as reflected above by the Nez Perce and Oglala Sioux of North America and the I Ching and yin/yang cosmology from China, but for now this from my manuscript… “My travels with Lieh Tzu” found here on my website.

Simply to remain Indifferent

Remaining indifferent to time and space. If the universe is infinite, then where can heaven and earth begin and end. Can human intelligence and perception possibly begin to know all there is to become?  What can possibly remain outside the realm of human reasoning?

What is truth but a prolonged assault on the limitations of everyday knowledge? img_0276 (2)Questioning myths and legends and customs ingrained over time. Questioning authority ‑ even Confucius.  What can one make of something called common sense?   While all the while, Confucius attempts to end for all time the time-honored mythology enjoyed and known to all. As in the Tao, we attempt to recover an inner vision or a reversion to what may appear as childlike or a simple return to innocence.

What could possibly be known as an end all to any discussion when the universe is immeasurable?  When the cosmos serves as a place for the extraordinary, how can anything be seen but possible and likely to occur? What can this relativity of judgment be when everything is bigger than some things and smaller than others? What are reasonable differences if they are held good by some standards and bad by img_0268 (2)others? Is not this precisely the point?

As Chuang Tzu continually reminds us that it is useless to conceive alternatives because neither can be right or wrong. What can be big or small? In the eyes of who and what can be made of common sense?  In the end the Tao delights in the extraordinary as it challenges the lack of imagination and the adherence to order and structure demanded by the Confucians.

If everything has no beginning and no ending and simply changes in form according to space and time, then remaining indifferent is the only true path to understanding. If it is useless as Chuang says to seek alternatives because neither can be right or wrong, where can differences lie?      4/13/1995

 

By 1dandecarlo

7) Nei-yeh — Inward Training / The ultimate continuum of Mind and Spirit

What is it that ultimately connects us back to our origins or source, or to that which brings clarity to our own vision going forward? What is it that can ignite the “spark” 71that exists in each of us – that with courage and foresight we come to find as our highest endeavor and destiny? As we have now traced the path following “Inward Training” through a dozen chapters – what if anything, have we learned at the midway point? How Divine Mind (our own we come to find from within) and how the unifying spirit with everything else found in nature (the universe) is connected to us and why should it matter? If it is as Carl Sagan taught us that we are all made of “star stuff”, then the ultimate question becomes what have we contributed to the “knowing, or wisdom of the ages” that adds to the transcendental, the ultimate continuum unifying force of nature. When it is our own eternal spirit and our own growth that matters. When the only one we have to answer to or for is ourselves because immortality, the universe and eternity are already here… residing within us as we are reminded of our role as stewards of the world.

From the earliest bygone era of the shaman whose goal was to help others to connect to the sun, moon, and stars above and to nature below, and to what was to become known as feng shui and kung fu. What is it that connects us and relays our ultimate purpose? What innate talents do we each possess waiting for the moment to be exposed and built upon? What is it we are here to contribute, to build on what has come before us? It is through feng shui and the geomancy of how we define the outside world in such a way – that once we find our inner most talents, our niche (kung fu), we can match both to fit the inherent qualities of each through simply coming to know ourselves.

720

Buddha and bodhisattva

When we endeavor to do this, then the universe comes forth to expand and convey our next step and ultimate role.

A central aspect of understanding Buddhism is that the life that flows through each of us and through everything around us is actually all connected. This means that who I am cannot be separated from all things that surround me. Or, to put it another way, all sentient beings have their existence and live within my life. So needless to say, that includes even the fate of all mankind – that, too, lies within me. Therefore, just how mankind might truly live out its life becomes what I aim for as the direction and flow of my own endeavors and ultimate destiny with a sense of expressing my absolute gratitude. Perhaps even as Cicero declared, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” For the Buddhist it becomes something conveyed as the bodhisattva vow

Nei-yeh — Inward Training / The ultimate continuum of Mind and Spirit

Thirteen

There is a numinous (surpassing comprehension or understanding) mind naturally residing within; one moment it goes, the next it comes, and no one is able to conceive of it.

73

Qingyang Taoist Temple Chengdu

If you lose it you are inevitably disordered;
if you attain it you are inevitably well ordered.

Diligently clean out its lodging place and its vital essence will naturally arrive. Still your attempts to imagine and conceive of it. Relax your efforts to reflect on and control it. Be reverent and diligent and its vital essence will naturally stabilize. Grasp it and don’t let go then the eyes and ears won’t overflow and the mind will have nothing else to seek.

When a properly aligned mind resides within you,
the myriad things will be seen in their proper perspective.

Fourteen

The Way fills the entire world. It is everywhere that people are, but people are unable to understand this.

74

       Azure Cloud Temple          Mount Taishan

When you are released by this one word: you reach up to the heavens above; you stretch down to the earth below; you pervade the nine inhabited regions.

What does it mean to be released by it? The answer resides in the calmness of the mind. When your mind is well-ordered, your senses are well-ordered. When your mind is calm, your senses are calmed.

What makes them well-ordered is the mind; what makes them calm is the mind. By means of the mind you store the mind: within the mind there is yet another mind. That mind within the mind: it is an awareness that precedes words.

Only after there is awareness does it take shape; only after it takes shape there is a word. Only after there is a word is it implemented; only after it is implemented is there order. Without order, you will always be chaotic. If chaotic, you die.

The above translation of the Nei-yeh is by Harold Roth, and excerpted from his book, Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism.

By way of introduction to the text, Mr. Roth writes:

“Nei-yeh (Inward Training) is a collection of poetic verses on the nature of the Way (Tao) and a method of self-discipline that I call “inner cultivation” — a mystical practice whose goal is a direct apprehension of this all-pervading cosmic force. It contains some of the most beautiful lyrical descriptions of this mysterious cosmic 75power in early Chinese literature and in both literary form and philosophical content is quite similar to the much more renowned Lao Tzu (also called the Tao Te Ching).

The Nei-yeh is a Taoist scripture, believed to have been written in the 4th century BC, making it — alongside the 6th century BC Te Tao Ching and the 4th century BC Chuang Tzu — one of the earliest articulations of Taoist mysticism. The Nei-yeh has been translated into English variously as: Inner Cultivation, Inward Training, Inner Enterprise or Inner Development. Though less known than the Te Tao Ching and Chuang Tzu, it is increasingly being recognized and honored as a foundational text of early Taoism.”

Though belonging primarily to the Taoist Canon, the Nei-yeh resonates strongly with other non-dual spiritual traditions, Chan / Zen Buddhism in particular. Helpful for me, is comparing these thoughts of Buddhism from the East and the bodhisattva vow above with the development of the Unity Church of Practical Christianity and the Fillmore’s and how thoughts of becoming transcendental become universal for each of us. How thought transcends time and space, as we connect again everything we feel, see, and touch with what we have always known, perhaps seen before, but mostly forgotten that helps us, as well as others, in going there.

Going from Earnest Holmes of Science of Mind in my previous entry, to Charles and Myrtle Fillmore founders of Unity becomes a natural progression of seeing the world and ourselves in it. Holmes, who talks about universal spirit and the conscious, or Divine Mind of God and our sense of self-determination, while the Fillmore’s founded a church within the New Thought movement in 1889.

76

The Tower at Unity Village

Charles Fillmore became known as an American mystic for his contributions to spiritualist interpretations of biblical Scripture. Whereas, for Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, the founders of the Unity Church, their beliefs were centered on two basic propositions: (1) God is good. (2) God is available; in fact, God is in you. That all people have sacred worth. For myself, it is at the Unity Church of Practical Christianity where I am most comfortable here in USA. There is a certain pragmatism and acceptance present in Christ teaching here that I find appealing where all paths to God are not only tolerated and respected, but encouraged.

In looking at Unity, I like to use as a reference the book by James Dillet Freeman, entitled The Story of Unity. For Charles Fillmore, it was as if everything he needed to know was shown to him through his dreams after nightly prayers trying to communicate with this superior spirit within known as God. For him it was practical, an exact science coming to terms with the one true source. Sitting in the silence, was his way of connecting to the omnipresent. For Fillmore, this idea of “practical Christianity” presented a scientific view of life. He felt that his wife Myrtle’s healing from illness, as well as, his own healing was aided by prayer and faith. He began a magazine in 1889 called Modern Thought, with the motto “Devoted to the Spiritualization of Humanity from an Independent Standpoint”. Fillmore was sure that there was a divine Principle and science of Being, and that he had gained an insight as to the nature of Truth. That the secret was within himself and that the Bible should be used as a guidebook for this Principal. He used his magazine “Modern Thought”, later to be called Christian Science Thought, that was for him, and me looking back, as a way of connecting with others who saw the fundamental truth of what was historically referred to as “transcendentalism”. That it is the spirit, rather than the letter of the text, that those who worship (or follow), who have within them the true Christ principle. Unity uses the term “Christ” to mean the divinity in all people.

In effect, Charles Fillmore wanted his magazine to resemble the magazine from fifty years earlier called The Dial, a publication of the New England Transcendentalists headlined by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

77

Charles and Myrtle Fillmore

To him, the Modern Thought Publishing Company was to publish articles about Buddhism and other spiritual paths while promoting advertisements of periodicals and books written by all schools of metaphysical thought. In effect, taking the next logical step from those who were like-minded that preceded him. He wrote for his magazine, “we want the address of very lecturer and healer working on the spiritual plane. We want to spread all over this great West the good which we know lies in wait for those who are willing to receive it. We are not wedded to any school of metaphysics, hence shall be strictly impartial in our efforts.” Fillmore later refined his efforts to focus only on what he believed to be “practical Christianity” that would become the focus of the Unity school, Pure Mind Healing, and power taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ. This was to become a very big deal as to how “Unity” was to be looked as in more traditional and fundamental churches. It was the universal spirit of God that resides in each of us that was to resonate in how the “Unity Church of Practical Christianity” would proceed. It would be our personal relationship with God that was to empower us. As if taking an oath in the way we live that would serve as our own transformation into the Christ consciousness and open the door for us.

It was at this time, in about 1890, that what was known as metaphysics and thoughts of Christian Science were widely debated and discussed. The Fillmore’s thought of Truth as something that each individual must finally discover for himself in himself.

78

Qingyang Taoist Temple Chengdu

This idea is paramount in what we see as the interpretation of what can be described as the “eternal spirit, or soul” that resides in each of us. It is universal and timeless. The earliest shaman in China, and spiritual leaders throughout history saw that this spirit resides in each of us. In many cultures this sacredness carried over to the earth we walked and nature, that is here to physically support us. That we respond by giving thanks to the stars and heaven above. In China, this response was to become known as Taoism through Mind Action. We see this in Inward Training as continually outlined above. If we don’t respect our own inherent nature and the world around us – all will die. As relayed many times here, man’s connection to and with nature and the universe is what ultimately defines him.

I have always felt Unity represented the universal power of God, rather defined as the Christ, Tao, Buddha, or otherwise and was compatible with spiritual awakening regardless of the path one chooses. That we are here to assist ourselves and others in “taking the next step”. Like a teacher who must know his subject before teaching it to others. For myself, perhaps it’s taking the thoughts and words of those who came before me through my writing and demonstrating we are all the same, all one. How I, i.e., we are to express the practical application of it all. That the oneness” of God is within all things and we are here to honor and expand universal love of nature, ours and all that surrounds us. My experiences in China confirmed this as seen below. Or maybe better said with something I wrote entitled… Staying in tune with Destiny, or Danny’s song. Perhaps simply expressing what was to become my own bodhisattva vow…all those years ago.

723

Dan with Unity ministers Cathy and Nancy Norman in Qufu in 2004

It was the book by James Dillet Freeman, entitled The Story of Unity, along with a suitcase full of many other Unity publications that helped to define the Unity Church for the Christian Church Association of Western Shandong Province that I took and shared with many church leaders in 2004 that led to my ability to publish the Daily Word in China. Over several subsequent trips I took copies of The Story of Unity for them to be distributed to church leaders and government officials.

724

Reverend Kong of Western Shandong Christian Association with Dan in 2002

The China Daily Word was published as a joint-venture by The Kongdan Foundation, in both English and Chinese, monthly with five thousand copies every month for two years (2006-07). It was distributed to churches and small hotels in cities throughout western Shandong Province. I have been told that those sixty thousand copies have now been seen by more than three million people. In many villages they are kept as a “keepsake” by families and some communities check them out like a library. Many years after they were published, I was staying in a small hotel in Jining when the proprietor found out that 710I was Kongdan… and the publisher of the China Daily Word, she would not at first let me pay. The next morning when I went downstairs there were a half dozen people in the lobby with personal copies wanting me to sign for them. Years later when I was teaching at Jining University (2011-13) in Qufu several of my students were familiar with the China Daily Word because it had helped them to learn English in high school and encouraged them to become teachers as well. When they learned that I was to be their English teacher in college it was like a re-union of spirit, although we had never actually met. The China Daily Word was funded by a contribution from Unity of Delray Beach, Florida where my family and I were members for almost twenty years. In 2015 we returned to Missouri where we were from and became members of Unity of Springfield.

aqufu

Sally, Pei and Ben

The Unity Church was welcome in Qufu and western Shandong Province in China. A good friend’s daughter Sally was to become the first Unity minister in China and had planned to come to Unity Village to continue her studies. Sally began a correspondence course with the assistance of Glenn Mosley, who was the head of the Unity Minister’s Association, but due to personal circumstances was unable to go to 711Unity Village. For many years her mother Pei had spent every day at the Christian Family Church in Qufu as the church secretary. Sally had gone so far as to get a VISA to come to USA with Jenny, who had done the Chinese translation for the China Daily Word. Jenny came though and visited Unity Village with my family in July 2012. She is pictured here with my mother, Faye Kleeman. Sally is now married, has a little girl, and is a kindergarten teacher in Beijing.

Another Unity publication that was very popular in China that I took and distributed 713was the pamphlet – Unity: A Positive Path for Spiritual Living. The very first page reads “Unity is a positive, practical, progressive approach to Christianity based of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the power of prayer. Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.” You must understand that where I was in Qufu has been considered an integral part of Chinese cultural and spiritual history for thousands of years. The public buses that ran from the airport to the bus station in Qufu had the slogan on the sides of the bus that read “Qufu – the spiritual center of China for a thousand years.” They were being modest…

The central tenet of religious and philosophical thought in Chinese history, is that there is no separation of an individual between the universe that resides within each of us, and the path one chooses to follow that connects all and we back to nature. When I briefly mentioned the bodhisattva vow above and will describe next, I could just as easily be focusing on this pamphlet – Unity: A Positive Path for Spiritual Living. 

In short, living from or in a spiritual context, they see no separation between themselves and their ultimate source… God. Buddhist influence over thousands of years has taught us to put others before ourselves, Confucius taught that we act through an innate sense of benevolence, and Taoism stressed that we are one with the nature of who and where we are.

714

Watchfulness  Sichuan Museum  Chengdu

The Christian Family Church in China reflects this understanding as it says Jesus Christ is another way through baptism… just as in the West to connect with your source from within while appreciating the path of your neighbor. If Unity could assist them in becoming more universal (in seeing beyond themselves), then they were ready for the transformation it might bring in better understanding what their own ultimate role should be. This idea resonates universally just as it did with Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Unity’s founders. In his early years, despite little formal education, he studied Shakespeare, Tennyson, Emerson, as well as works on spiritualism, Eastern religions, and metaphysics.

715

 Connecting with spirit           Buddhist Big Wild Goose Pagoda     Xian

That Truth is something that each individual must finally discover for himself in himself. Perhaps similar to better defining for us what it means in becoming a bodhisattva in our own more practical terms. And that Buddhism is more of a “practice we adhere to”, not simply a religion. It’s universality is that you can follow other paths that assist you in taking you there… and that nothing can separate us from our intuition, our eternal inner spirit as our ultimate source. It was this inspiration that guided Lao Tzu, Confucius, Emerson, Thoreau, the Fillmore’s, and so many others.

The bodhisattva vow mentioned in the beginning, is the commitment to put others before oneself. It is a statement of willingness to give up one’s own well-being, even one’s own enlightenment, for the sake of others. It is as if we live in two world which an observer would see as a struggle between letting go of the past and seeing a future of 716many possibilities, between looking backwards or to progress, to belief verses science and knowledge.

In Mahayana Buddhism, Manjusri is the bodhisattva of wisdom and is one of the most important iconic figures in art and literature. He represents the wisdom of prajna, which is not confined by knowledge or concepts. Images of Manjusri, as with images of other bodhisattvas, are used for meditation, contemplation, and supplication by Mahayana Buddhists.

And as we look out to the world today and see the struggle between spiritual freedom and material power, between the wisdom of the heart and the knowledge of the brain. Or even as the outlier or maybe even seen as an enigma as someone concerned more about the dignity of the individual verses following a herd mentality often epitomized by today’s popular culture. What the transcendental movement over the centuries has always shown in that having faith in a higher destiny of man through inner development verses the belief in material prosperity through possession of material goods will equate with our highest achievement as our own moral compass. As if refining how it all fits together and continues, but for now this from my manuscript… “My travels with Lieh Tzu” found here on my website.

Staying in tune with Destiny, or Danny’s song

Striving only to make everything you write better than what you have written 717before. Bringing forth the words of the ancients to expose them to today’s images and realities.

Living only to become enmeshed in life’s true meaning. As you prepare to die and be reborn again. Your writings and their analogies, paradox and symbolism showing the true way to eternal freedom and peace of mind. Coming forward with no agenda of self, with no agenda representing ego. Losing your identity in your writing and any sense of age as to time spent in your current life span. With no sense of rather you are one thousand years old, one hundred years old, or a day. With no sense of concern for self or showing one’s age to space or time.

Life’s everyday events simply the path to show that you are free of attachments, free of clinging to any earthly endeavors that would get in the way of your ultimate destination. Always creating free time so that it can be spent with your newly found old friends. As they come and go as spirits or metaphors. Known as the dragons that lead you to higher clouds and your true destiny.

718

Lao Tzu’s Blast Furnace  Huashan Mountain

Remaining out of the contention life leads to with others present. Striving only to become and remain invisible to all you encounter. With no sense of self seen or need for self-esteem that could possibly become or remain apparent. Not as arrogant or to be seen as better than others. But simply remaining out of harm’s way or conflict. With a loving heart and clear mind fully focused on your one and only true endeavor. Your destiny to remain focused on the task at hand.

To remain as one with the dragons. Creating your own Island of the Blest as your friends come forward to spend time telling their story through your writing. 7/7/1995

By 1dandecarlo

6) Nei-yeh — Inward Training / Setting sail into the Infinite

Assisting others in finding the meaning, or bliss of their own achievement. Or even having no greater endeavor than taking the next step that better explains the intent, or universal understanding today of what was said before we arrived on the scene. As we live to tell our own story by following our heart.       

Four of my friends came by today.

Did they leave feeling better than they did when the came?

AI1

Ancient wise men singing out to the universe / Chengdu Wuhan Temple

Did I say things to enlighten their spirits?

Did I acknowledge their pain and frustration?

Did I impart a sense of well-being, compassion and true concern?

Living the Tao leads one to safe refuge in knowing the way and helping others to find theirs. 

Four of my friends came by today.  

1/28/94 (From the Introduction of my first book published in China in 2004).

I think we sometimes lose focus on the true meaning of divine mind, our connection with spirit and the past. I like to carry forward the thought about an ancient idea that seems to have originated in Mexico where the majority of Hispanics are Roman Catholics. The Church teaches that the soul is eternal and continues on after the physical body has died. This religious faith also treats all human life as sacred and that each of us die three times. First, when we actually die a physical death. Second, when we are buried, and third, when nobody remembers our name.

The premise being what have we left behind that contributes to understanding of our role and ongoing, or continuing, spiritual nature. In effect knowing that we are here to connect with the past in the present and paving the way for others – going forward. It’s not really a matter of attempting to achieve something outside ourselves, as much as, looking within and expanding the notion of who we are and taking the next step. As if we breathe in an atmosphere of peace and beauty the natural outflow of a mind to whom AI2harmony is not just an aesthetic pleasure, but the expression of a life (our own) devoted to the realm of the spirit.

Instead of stopping where we find comfort with where we are at the moment, we look beyond what is known as we contribute to eternal wisdom that brings us to enlightenment. As if our ultimate role is in furthering the philosophy and thoughts of those who preceded us through our actions… as we look forward. As if one’s destiny is measured and becomes ensured as you add to the wisdom of the ages. Finally, the greatest thing we have to give is to love the journey. My New Year’s resolution – becoming more authentic to my true self.

Nei-yeh — Inward Training / Setting sail into the Infinite / or maybe just our transforming reflections

Eleven

When your body is not aligned, the inner power will not come.

AI3

The steps – Huangshan

When you are not tranquil within,
your mind will not be ordered.
Align your body, assist the inner power,
then it will gradually come on its own.

Twelve

The numinous [mind]: no one knows its limit;
it intuitively knows the myriad things.

AI4

Heaven’s Gate / Huashan Mountain

Hold it within you, do not let it waver.

To not disrupt your senses with external things,
to not disrupt your mind with your senses:
this is called “grasping it within you.”

The above translation of the Nei-yeh is by Harold Roth, and excerpted from his book, Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism.

By way of introduction to the text, Mr. Roth writes:

“Nei-yeh (Inward Training) is a collection of poetic verses on the nature of the Way (Tao) and a method of self-discipline that I call “inner cultivation” — a mystical practice whose goal is a direct apprehension of this all-pervading cosmic force. It contains some of the most beautiful lyrical descriptions of this mysterious cosmic power in early Chinese literature and in both literary form and philosophical content is quite similar to the much more renowned Lao Tzu (also called the Tao Te Ching).

The Nei-yeh is a Taoist scripture, believed to have been written in the 4th AI20century BC, making it — alongside the 6th century BC Lao Tzu Te Tao Ching and the 4th century BC Chuang Tzu — one of the earliest articulations of Taoist mysticism. The Nei-yeh has been translated into English variously as: Inner Cultivation, Inward Training, Inner Enterprise or Inner Development. Though less known than the Te Tao Ching and Chuang Tzu, it is increasingly being recognized and honored as a foundational text of early Taoism. Though belonging primarily to the Taoist Canon, the Nei-yeh resonates strongly with other non-dual spiritual traditions, Chan / Zen Buddhism in particular. Divine mind is not singular to any one spiritual expression or connection. As I’ve said many times here, it is simply the path AI6that takes us there.

An image of Mencius in the sanctuary of the Mencius Temple, Zoucheng

Two people come readily to mind that epitomized this sense of Divine Mind. In the East an example would be Mencius, and the West… Earnest Holmes. Continuing the process of becoming transcendental (the process we use to see beyond ourselves) and who is it we choose to follow. Mencius was considered to be a descendant of the Duke of Zhou (Ji Dan), who was credited with elaborating the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven that was used to justify the rule of the emperor and codifying the Book of Rites. The Duke of Zhou was from Qufu and lived five hundred years before Confucius.

For Western thought, it’s about transcendentalism, transformation and taking the next step. For Eastern thought and philosophy and looking to Mencius it’s best to consider ideas of human nature, and how thought and philosophy were solidified and transitioned over time. Mencius lived in China in about 350 BC, about the same time as Plato and Aristotle did in ancient Greece.

While Confucius himself did not explicitly focus on the subject of human nature, Mencius asserted the innate goodness of the individual.

AI7

Entrance to Mencius Temple in Zoucheng

Believing that it was society’s influence – its lack of a positive cultivating influence – that caused bad moral character saying “He who exerts his mind to the utmost knows his nature” and “the way of learning is none other than finding the lost mind.”  Something Emerson would have said as well referring to one’s intuition.

For Mencius this was exemplified with expressions of love…what would later be called “Divine Mind”. That this moral character has Four Beginnings:

1)The feeling of commiseration (to feel sorrow or compassion) is the beginning of humanity; 2) the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; 3) the feeling of deference and compliance is the beginning of propriety; and 4) the feeling of right or wrong is the beginning of wisdom.

To show innate goodness, Mencius used the example of a child falling down a well. Witnesses of this event immediately feel alarmed or distress, not to gain friendship with the child’s parents, nor to seek the praise of their neighbors and friends, nor AI8because they dislike the reputation of lack of humanity if they did not rescue the child…

A Yuan Dynasty turtle with a stele honoring Mencius

Men have these Four Beginnings just as they have their four limbs. Having these Four Beginnings, but saying that they cannot develop them is to destroy themselves. This idea is the same as that proposed in the Taoist Inward Training we have been following and illustrative of how it all ties together with early Chinese popular culture.

Human nature has an innate tendency towards goodness, but moral rightness cannot be instructed down to the last detail. This is why merely external controls always fail in improving society. True improvement results from educational cultivation in favorable environments. Likewise, bad environments tend to corrupt the human will. This, however, is not proof of innate evil because a clear-thinking person would avoid causing harm to others.

AI9

Stele honoring Mencius

This position of Mencius puts him between Confucians and others such as Xunzi who thought people were innately bad, and Taoists who believed humans did not need cultivation, they just needed to accept their innate, natural, and effortless goodness. The four beginnings could grow and develop, or they could fail. In this way Mencius synthesized integral parts of Taoism into Confucianism. Individual effort was needed to cultivate oneself, but one’s natural tendencies were good to begin with. The object of education is the cultivation of benevolence, otherwise known as Ren as we acknowledge that the mind and spirit are one.

I have been to what is called the Mencius Temple a half dozen times in Zoucheng, a city about twenty miles south of Qufu. References in the beginning here as to dying when nobody remembers your name… well, the Mencius Temple was built during AT14the Song Dynasty, more than a thousand years after his AI11death.

Dan at the Mencius School at the Mencius Temple in Zoucheng

His primary claim to fame was the codifying, or as an interpreter of the teachings of Confucius with Confucius’ grandson Zisi. His interpretations of Confucius caught the attention of the emperor and became a central tenet of the examination system required for advancement in Chinese society. Mencius descendants became known as one of the “Four Families” (Confucius, Mencius, Zeng Zi, and Yan Hui) who were dedicated to keeping the teachings and spirit alive of Confucius in China AI12for more than two thousand years.

The school for their descendants in Qufu, adjacent to the Confucius Mansion and Temple, now a high school, is where I taught and lived for more than two years (2011 – 13). In many ways it was like returning home. It was Mencius focus on love and benevolence that was to be the foundation of Confucius teachings and a factor in it becoming a lasting philosophy. His contribution with others is what made Confucius immortal, while his own family’s lineage today can be traced back for more than three thousand years. For myself, this pull of returning to Qufu and western Shandong for almost twenty years seems much more connected to Mencius than Confucius himself.

According to Mencius, education must awaken the innate abilities of the human mind. He denounced memorization and advocated active interrogation of the text, saying, “One who believes all of a book would be better off without books”. One should check for internal consistency by comparing sections and debate the probability of factual accounts by comparing them with experience. Mencius also believed in the power of destiny in shaping the roles of human beings in society. What is destined cannot be contrived by the human intellect or foreseen. Destiny is shown when a path arises that is both unforeseen and constructive. Destiny should not be confused with Fate. Mencius denied that Heaven would protect a person regardless of his actions, saying, “One who understands Destiny will not stand beneath a tottering wall”. The proper path is one which is natural and unforced. This path must also be maintained because, “Unused pathways are covered with weeds”. One who follows Destiny will live a long and successful life. One who rebels against Destiny will die before his time. I would add that our fate lies within us, we only have to be brave enough to see it.

Reflecting on this, it becomes easier to see how others over time saw “the innate abilities of the human mind” as Divine Mind and could/would manifest these AI13ideals into their own consciousness and become transcendental themselves regardless of where they were. For Earnest Holmes, the idea of universal wisdom focused on the Oneness of God and man. The enlightened in every age have taught that in back of all things there is One Unseen Cause, as if a spark just waiting for the right moment to be ignited. You can tell he was inspired by the likes of Henry David Thoreau and his thoughts on how all things are connected, just as in Eastern thought, we would call this cause and effect. That which ties things back to their Original nature – their source. That the word unity signifies the union of parts, the result of many drawn together into one perfect harmonious whole, oneness. One life, of which we are a part, One intelligence in which we use, and One substance which is brought into manifold manifestation.

The Church of Religious Science is fundamentally in accord with other New AI14Thought churches in its beliefs that there is a Divine Universal Force of Goodness, and we as human individuals can improve our conditions by aligning and harmonizing with this universal force.

From Science of Mind Archives: “Our time should be devoted to knowing the Truth that sets humanity free from the problem of ignorance; that Truth which alone can bring enlightenment to the world, that war should cease, that people should live together in harmony because they have recognized the Divinity in each other.”

An introduction to Earnest Holmes… Who was Earnest Holmes? Where did he come from? And how is it that a man who had a distaste for organized religion become the founder of the Science of Mind movement? In studying his life, our goal is not to just learn about the life of this man but to attempt to capture his consciousness knowing that that consciousness is the vitality of our teaching.

Earnest Holmes founded the International Religious Science movement and wrote The Science of Mind and numerous other books on metaphysics. He also founded the international monthly periodical, Science of Mind Magazine, which has been in continuous monthly publication since 1927 and has influenced millions of people. His Science of Mind teaching, recognized today as one of the leading viewpoints in modern metaphysics, is a spiritual philosophy that people throughout the world have come to know as a positive, supportive approach to life.

Earnest Holmes said, “Out there in the vast reaches of outer space and here in the equally vast reaches of inner space, everything is in order. Our task is to begin to understand that the Universal Mind is resident everywhere, and also, of necessity within us. Our prayer is that the Truth be made known, that it cannot fail to be revealed.”

The General Summary in Earnest Holmes excellent book, The Science of Mind, A Philosophy, A Faith, a way of life, begins with the premise that “The Mind of man is some part of the Mind of God; therefore, it contains within itself unlimited possibility of expansion and self-expression. The conscious mind of man is self-knowing, self-assertive; it has volition (the faculty or power of using one’s will), will, choice and may accept or reject. It is the only part of man’s mind which can think independently of conditions. The sub-conscious mind of man is simply the Law of Mind in action. It is not a thing of itself but is the medium for all thought action. It is the medium by which man may call into temporary being whatever he needs or enjoys on the pathway of his experience.” For myself I think, Holmes had to be looking back to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ideas of our intuition that ties us back to universal thought action, to God.

Holmes continues, “The Mind of God is Infinite. The mind of man is some part of this AI16Infinite, Creative Mind of God. Therefore, the mind of man is as Infinite as is man’s capacity to understand his true relationship to God or Spirit. The mind of man is continuously unfolding into a greater recognition of its real plan in the creative order of the Universe. It does not yet comprehend its own power or scope but it does know how, in some measure, to consciously co-operate with the Infinite.

Spirit is really the only Mind there is. It is Eternal. It never began nor will It ever cease to be. It is complete and perfect, happy and whole, satisfied and at peace with Itself. The spirit is the only Conscious Intelligence in the Universe. Therefore, It is the only Divine Intelligence in the Universe, Because the mind of man is the Mind of God in man, the mind of man is conscious and directive. It is to man what God is to the Universe”.

The book describing “Science of Mind” above is a great source of inspiration, and is 100_4948a must (for me anyway), in seeing how the thoughts of transcendentalism and “New Thought” took the next step in connecting everything together and understanding how we are a part of it all, immediately following Emerson and Thoreau. How we think and act is about context. How we piece together what we think we know and understand, with the reality of how things got to where they are now. How we piece together thoughts and our actions with eternal knowledge with eternal wisdom we have always known but forgotten, or maybe just left along the wayside as we travel in the here and now. Or maybe just as important acknowledging the path others have gone before us as teachers of how we are to take the next step and where it might lead.

Maybe it is as Thoreau taught us… “If a man does not keep pace with his AI21companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.” With thoughts of our own immortality and what we might be here to add to the discussion for others who might see “our take on things”, and with this, see the spark of their own Infinite possibilities that carry them forward to find their authentic self as well. As if we are each taking the next step into the Infinite… or as Van Morrison sang we were born before the wind in Into the Mystic. For now, this from my manuscript… “My travels with Lieh Tzu” found here on my website.

Transforming Reflections       

Refreshing one’s memory, the world becomes more real than the nothingness 100_4943from where we come and will return. However, can life be but a dream or are we dreaming, therefore we have come alive?

Traveling through time from one lifetime to the next, can our dreams be 100_4951 (1)more than illusions we cling to along the way. When we awoke this morning from a blissful sleep did we have any sense that what we have dreamed is less than the reality we lived yesterday or the day before or will come to know today, tomorrow or the next?

When dreaming, are we aware that we are dreaming? When awake are we truly 100_4975aware that we are awake?  Or are we simply living our dreams? If both are the same, then the question becomes what can we be awakening into? 

Dreaming that we are but a butterfly darting from flower to flower are we not as Chuang Tzu in his dream, or are we but the butterfly dreaming that he is Chuang Tzu? Are not our dreams living out the reality of who we are? Is not life but a dream which lasts until death, when we find our ultimate unveiling? 

Is not awakening midstream in one’s life the opportunity to come closer to one’s true reality beyond the Tao? Is not all that breathes and becomes lifelike or has appearance therefore taking shape simply illusion? Where can reality and dreaming differ?  Is not the ultimate truth only the reflection found in mirror images of ourselves? 

100_4979 (1)If our experiences while we are awake are the same as when we sleep, then are not experiences found while we sleep the same as when we are awake? Is not true living to abolish any division between illusion and reality?  Thereby becoming indifferent to the world around us. All things being equal, do we not become transformed and continue onward to vistas we have known and seen before?      2/5/95

 

By 1dandecarlo