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(4 pages total)

Page 4 - Daoist Alchemy

The Mysterious Pass

The “mysterious pass” is profoundly subtle. It is not an ordinary aperture or place of the body which has shape and form and can be pointed to. The mysterious pass is immaterial and formless, and is without physical location. It is where essence and life abide. It is the intangible which connects with the primordial source. It is called the opening of the mysterious female, the door of birth and death, the commencement of non-being, and the great valley, yet all these terms refer to a basic immaterial quality of consciousness which has to do with reaching open and vital spiritual essence. Proceeding rightly it could be called objectivity. Proceeding wrongly it could be called obsession. Proceeding rightly it could be called clarity. Proceeding wrongly it could be called aloofness. Proceeding rightly it could be called balance. Proceeding wrongly it could be called illusion. The mysterious pass is the access way which leads to the stabilization and preservation of essence and life.

The Golden Elixir

When one’s self-cultivation conforms to what is appropriate for the times and circumstance, the real can solidify, the false can disperse, and the “golden elixir” can crystallize. To undo the false and establish the real is to open up the conditions for the golden elixir. It is possible to evoke the realness of the golden elixir, and not actually recognize it, however, due to delusions, personal and cultural agendas, and bias. When the golden elixir is established and recognized, true blissful tranquility settles in place and the calmness of autonomous and non-personal knowing is attained. The “golden elixir” is called golden because it is even, shining, and mellow like the quality of real truth. It is called the elixir because it is the fountainhead and source of all that is real, genuine, and actual.

The Immortal Embryo

After birth the fundamental and original essence is without knowledge, yet it is full. As life progresses, as knowledge is gained, that fundamental primordial essence generally becomes seduced and distorted by external influences. The cycle of life rises and one moves away from original sense and imbalance and delusion replaces true original autonomous wholeness. Yet if one follows the course of self-cultivation assiduously, on can turn around the situation and regain the vitality, wholeness, and bliss of original fundamental essence. Too often people cannot recognize true unblemished sense; they mistakenly take physical locations in the human, earthly, or heavenly body as places which will help them regain the fundamental source and harmony. They indulge in bogus practices in efforts to once again establish their original “face”. They look to the abdomen, the torso, or the head as places where the immortal embryo should reside. They go through complicated fantasies and mental gyrations, fooling and deluding themselves. It is no wonder such people struggle all their lives, only to grow into old age without attainment.

The immortal embryo is not a physical entity. It is a state of consciousness. It is called an embryo because if one attains it, one regains the simplicity and clarity of an infant. It is called immortal because the state of mind to which it refers is the universal and undying essence which hasn’t changed since the beginning of time and will never change. It is called the embryo because it is a “second beginning” which parallels one’s physical birth—yet now takes place on the spiritual and psychological plane—it is the beginning of one’s true, undeluded life. It is called immortal because when one contacts it, one contacts that which all enlightened beings since time immemorial have realized. To live in contact with it is to live in contact with that which is significant at all times and all places. To regain it one must come face to face with that which is nameless and void. One must know reality without the filters and buffers of fantasy and bias. One must not be too much or too little, one side or the other, too up or too down, too full or too empty. One must be absolutely precise and without tendency—a million times sharper than a razor’s edge. Then, following the course of nature, the immature can mature and what has been lost can be regained again. In the end, the path of Alchemy is simply a spiritual path. Being a spiritual path, it must be a path of “real-ness”. To follow such a path is to follow practices which help one to remain authentic and true to oneself and to the original source of all things. To follow such a path is to eschew delusion and acculturation. It is to know the path of the universal, the path of yin and yang, the whole path of the heart and rationality as one, and the path of nature. To cleave to the course of usual conditioning is to be ensconced in the mundane which doesn’t know its own beauty. To cleave to the course of usual conditioning is to miss being an “enlightened and empowered immortal being”.

Eo Omwake has been training in the eastern traditions for over two and a half decades and is a member of the Gold Mountain Jin Dan Taoist Order, a traditional Daoist order with roots going back many generations into old China. He is founder of the Mind, Body, Spirit Academy in Chadds Ford, PA. http://flowing-hands.com

©Reprinted from Qi Journal, Winter 2003

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