By Hu Xuezhi
Once before, Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, respectfully addressed his father, saying that he had long cherished four desires: the first is no disease, the second no aging, the third retaining youth, and the last no death. Lao Tzi, the founder of Taoism as well as the most inscrutable thinker in Chinese history, once said that the heaven and the earth will converge upon you if your heart remains purged of all stray thoughts and ideas and continues to be
empty and still. Also, Confucius, the most prominent thinker in Chinese history, left with us some words beyond ordinary men's depth that all things can be achieved by the means of cleansing heart of all desires and emotions.
Nowadays, one time after another, most people keep skipping and jumping about with joy in witnessing so many inventions arising in rapid succession and heartily become marveled at mankind's wisdom and imaginative power, while they take a passive attitude in accepting all those descending upon them---thebirth, the death, the aging as well as diseases, which make up part of fate in their transient lifetimes. Some saints like the three above mentioned, however, have projected their thoughts into far off, and, following their respective roads, have reached the same destination to become sole arbiter of man's destiny, which was called Tao by Lao Tzi, Infinite Nirvana by Sakyamuni and Infinite Emptiness by Confucius.
People have always been sparing no effort in searching for or creating medicines of various kinds to deal with diseases of various sort, while constantly overlooking one medicine existing in their own bodies ever since their births that is capable of curing almost all diseases (including cancer and AIDS) and uprooting all root causes in case they "administer" it in a proper way. They are pre-heaven fertilizing fluid (Jing), pre-heaven Qi and yang pre-heaven mind-will, with which you can not only get out of entanglement by diseases, but renew your youth, achieve no birth and at last become the master of your destiny.
There are all together nine kinds of senses, of which the first eight kinds have their origins respectively from eight yin pre-heaven mind-wills---which are also called Cognitive mind-wills by Sakyamuni and Nine Caldrons by Yellow Emperor, who is recognized as a common ancestor of all Chinese. The first yin pre-heaven mind-will charges itself with the task to produce sense concerning sight, the second hearing, the third smell, the fourth taste, the fifth touch, the sixth---the most important and intelligent one---of producing all consciousness. The seventh, in charge of carrying on communication between the first six yin pre-heaven mind-wills and the eighth, is very slow in its movement, and often mistakes the eighth yin pre-heaven mind-will for that producing consciousness for itself. The eighth yin pre-heaven mind-will serves as the origin of all mind in the world, and is the master of the first six yin pre-heaven mind-wills and possesses the "seed" of all phenomena. It is the eighth yin pre-heaven mind-will that takes charge of the birth and death. The ninth, never falling into contact with anything and being free from all cause and effect for its existence, is the fountainhead of sudden understanding or inspiration. The first five yin pre-heaven mind-wills are of the nature like wind---always drifting away nowhere, the sixth the nature like a train of waves, the seventh the nature like an individual wave, the eighth the nature like a boundless sea. All dreams come from seven yin souls. In this regard, the theory by Fleud---who is an Austrian neurologist and famous for his psychoanalysis---only touches phenomena rather than essence.
The eight kinds of yin pre-heaven mind-will will dominate over you from your cradle to your grave. As a result, your yang pre-heaven mind-will, coming from infinite emptiness and holding the birth and death of all things at its mercy, will become obscure and be buried in oblivion from time to time. The yang pre-heaven mind-will, in general, hardly presents its existence in man's daily life except when people are having sexual intercourse and climaxing---people will get excited mostly because yang pre-heaven mind-will is stirring---and when people are passing away. We all know there is a halo surrounding Sakyamuni's head and Jesus's, yet lack in the knowledge about what it is. In fact, when yang pre-heaven mind-will has been "unearthed" and shines brilliantly as it should do the yin pre-heaven mind-wills will turn into that halo and play a role as like that of a bodyguard.
Tao, also called Infinite Nirvana by Sakyamuni and Infinite Emptiness by Confucius, is so vast that it has no limits to confine it. In the meanwhile, it is so minute that there is no the interior to fill it. It extends itself far away beyond the limits of the universe and exists long before the beginning of the time, for it is capable of exhausting infinitude and dates back to the time when there is no beginning whatever and there is no time.
On account of the infinite emptiness the pre-heaven mind-will came into being, and then turned into Qi which, once getting together, will split into two parts: yin and yang. Only by this time the time and the space begin to come into being. Once yin and yang have come into being they will react upon each other in a way of alternate motion and stillness, and in consequence, Qian Trigram and Kun Trigram will take their places. With alternate motion and stillness continuing incessantly the four emblematic Symbols will come forth. The four emblematic Symbols will produce eight Trigrams when yang develops in one direction and yin in opposite direction. The six Trigrams beyond Qian and Kun trigram, in fact, are six kinds of Qi which, when they have intercourse in their particular way, will produce five elements. When the five elements have come into being, they will get involved in their own motion. As a result, all things will come into being, and all kinds of innate or inexorable laws emerge and take their places naturally. So, looking up, you can behold spiraling nebulas spreading throughout the universe, and looking down you know that the myriad of things are constantly striving to satisfy all their "desires."
The five elements---wood, fire, earth, gold and water---have nothing to do with the composition of the material world as most people claimed before, and function in all levels and in all directions. With the interaction taking place constantly between five elements one form and another form, one thing and another thing are always having direct or indirect relations with others and thus the transformations and changes persist in everything in the universe. All myriad of things owe their births to existence, which owes its birth to nonexistence. Existence and nonexistence intermingle with each other persistently, and depend upon each other for their respective existence as like the interior and the exterior.
Pursuing their evolving courses to their very beginning in a reverse direction, you are sure to find out that the Qi is at the very root of the myriad of things, and following their development courses to their deaths you are sure to draw a conclusion that under no circumstances there is even one thing that remains unchanged in its form. Hence you know the myriad of things derive their existence from nothing but form and Qi, both of which derive their existence from nothing but pre-heaven mind-will. pre-heaven mind-will is of the nature of infinite emptiness while Tao of infinite nonexistence. And in them both sixty-four Hexagrams are perpetually engaged in their particular motion.
The heaven and the earth are the most mammoth in terms of the substance and space they contain, while humankind, taking his place between them, are the most ingenious in terms of the endowments Providence(if any) has granted. Humankind is always communing with the nature and every individual is a universe in miniature. The vast expanse of the universe can be turned into one thing resting in your hand and the transformations and changes persisting in all things have their origin in your physical form.
Humankind takes one place among the three while the heaven and the earth taking the other two. Becoming emptier and emptier your heart can contain all things in the world; becoming more and more silent you will become aware of all things that will take place, are taking place and have taken place. Emptiness is capable of accommodating all things while stillness of being perceptive of the minutest detail. Stillness and emptiness continuing for long something divine will come on the scene.
The heaven assumes the semblance of emptiness while the earth of stillness. On account of emptiness the heaven can exert itself constantly and on account of stillness the earth can burden itself with humankind and other things. The vastness and the boundlessness are, to some extent, indicative of the emptiness of the heaven, while the great expanse and the roundness the stillness of the earth. So the inexorable law the heaven and the earth abide by is nothing but emptiness and stillness. Therefore, when you constantly remain still and empty the heaven and the earth will converge upon you.
No Qi no your life force, no pre-heaven mind-will no your pre-heaven nature and constitutional nature. pre-heaven mind-will takes up residence in your heart, imperceptibly and intangibly, while Qi in your physical form, with Tao exerting its influence with them both.
"Would you please tell me what the death is about, my master?" asked Zhi Loo, a disciple of Confucius, once before.
"Without the least knowledge about the birth how could you understand the death? " Confucius replied.
There exists the birth there exists the death. Conversely, when there is no birth there is no death. Because humankind almost exhausts all means to honor and pamper births their deaths look much more insignificant. When a man wants to shake off the pursuit by the death angel he must at first strive to achieve no birth.
The transformation from Qi to form brings about birth. There is birth there is death. This is an inexorable law all things in the region of existence must abide by. Conversely, the transformation from form to Qi results in no birth. There is no birth there is no death. With neither birth nor death the pre-heaven mind-will lasts forever.
The transformation from Qi to form, to some extent, is similar to the formation of the earth, while the transformation from form to Qi to the formation of the heaven.
Cleansing the heart of all desires and emotions and remaining silent in the depths of emptiness and stillness but not an insensate blank, the wise replenish Qi and restore pre-heaven mind-will resolutely and constantly. So, out of spontaneity, the golden elixir pellet---also called the Great Unification, and is formless and beyond the range of the time and space and can be seen or perceived only through silent exercise which this book will present to you---will eventually come forth. Still, he persists in doing this way and slides deeper and deeper in the depth of emptiness and stillness. The golden elixir pellet, existing in his body yet never to be found inside and outside his body, will gradually build up its own special constitution out of emptiness and stillness, though it is beyond the range of existence. At last he will "conceive" the fetus of his true self in his middle elixir field, then he can let the fetus go out to become an infant of his true self.
When your heart has become empty enough all substantive things will never stand the least chance to impede as well as disturb your heart; when you remain still for long enough, you will give up all desires and emotions. The farther one goes to bring his acquired talents into play, the less one knows, the more he loses.
pre-heaven mind-will depends upon Tao for its existence, Qi depends upon pre-heaven mind-will for its existence, form depends upon Qi for its existence, and life depends upon form for its existence.
Once you have given up all desires and emotions and slip deeper and deeper in the depths of the emptiness and stillness as like a dead man ( your mind-will never drifts away but remains motionless upon emptiness) your physical form will be brought to a constant standstill, which will cause Qi to come to be at a constant standstill, which will cause pre-heaven mind-will to come to be at a constant standstill. By this time, your heart beats no more, your pulse throbs no more, your blood flows no more. When pre-heaven mind-will has come to be at a constant standstill the nonexistence will be brought into a constant standstill---Tao comes on the scene.
That after catching sight of something then you begin to gain some knowledge should not be recommended as the most proper way of knowing. That things are accomplished after efforts were made should not be recommended as the most proper way to act. That after something has given signs then you begin to respond mentally or physically should not be recommended as the most proper way to respond. Conversely, to accomplish all things before you going to or intend to accomplish them is the most proper way to do things; to know all things well before you are intending to know is the most proper way to know; to be aware of all that will to take place, have taken place, are taking place far before the showing of any signs is called serene comprehensiveness.
Nowadays, most people spare no effort in advocating democracy, yet few people know they are just inwardly the victims under the dictatorship of their yin pre-heaven mind-wills, like a puppet.
Your pre-heaven nature is taken captive by your worldly heart while your life force at the mercy of your physical form. All you senses come from yin pre-heaven mind-wills, which occasion your life force to be encumbered with your physical form. On account the heavy encumbrances by your physical form there come the death and birth for your life; on account of slavery in which your pre-heaven nature is taken by your worldly heart there come the comings and goings of pre-heaven nature. Hence you know your physical form and your heart are places in which your life force and pre-heaven nature take residence, respectively.
As far as mankind is concerned, the state before a sperm combines with an ovum is similar to the Great Unification in an emblematic sense, while the state that your physical form has come into being with your pre-heaven nature and life force taking residence in it is, in an emblematic sense, similar to that of two elementary Forms (yin and yang) coming forth from the Great Unification. The state when your physical form and constitution and your constitutional nature and your disposition have fully developed is, in an emblematic sense, similar to that of four emblematic Symbols. The state when fertilizing fluid (Jing), yang pre-heaven mind-will, three yang souls, seven yin souls, the sixth yin pre-heaven mind-will, the Qi, the physical form and the heart have fully developed is, in an emblematic sense, similar to that of the eight Trigrams which come forth from four emblematic Symbols.
With the knowledge that just depending upon the emptiness the heaven can exert itself incessantly you can realize that just because your heart is exerting itself continuously by remaining still and empty that the heaven has become what it was, what it is and what it will be, for all sights and visions are nothing but your heart. Knowing, that on account of stillness the earth can burden itself with so many things always striving to satisfy all their "desires," you can understand that in case your body constantly remain still you can always respond to all things, for you are a universe in miniature. Thus, letting your heart follow the example of the heaven you will become emptier and emptier, and letting your physical form follow the example of the earth you will fall deeper and deeper in the depths of stillness. So long have you remained in this state that something divine will arise, which comes from the Mysterious Pass---the very center of the heaven and the earth and in which the Great Unification takes residence.
By this time there comes the tangible medicine, there comes the formless medicine, there comes the Upper Caldron established in your upper elixir field, there comes the Lower Furnace established in your lower elixir field. With your pure mind-will functioning like fire you can set sail against the life current---which, in an emblematic sense, is similar to the process of going back through eight Trigrams, the four emblematic Symbols, the yin and yang, and the Great Unification---to transform your form into fertilizing fluid (Jing), transform fertilizing fluid (Jing) into Qi, transform Qi into pre-heaven mind-will, and bring your pre-heaven mind-will back into infinite emptiness.
Then open up the vast achromatic chaos to recreate a set of new heaven and earth. With the new set of heaven and earth serving as its Qian Trigram and Kun Trigram respectively, the fetus of your true self will be conceived. When the fetus of you true self ---which is formless and lies outside the region of existence, as like one idea being in bud in emptiness--- has fully developed you should let it go out of your body, and train him and nurse him from time to time till he can in no time come through nonexistence and existence( let alone go far away beyond the boundary of the universe), and in no time turn into hundreds of thousands of forms which belong either to existence or to nonexistence and of various features and shapes. By this time you begin to realize how poor humankind's imaginative power is. Yet that is not the end. You should bring the fetus of your true self back into your upper elixir field, then you should drift deeper and deeper in the depths of stillness and emptiness till you bring your body and the infant of your true self into "golden light" and let your brilliant light fill up the infinite emptiness so as to possess the same body with Tao. Then and only then you have become Sakyamuni, Lao Tzi, Confucius and other saints, you are the creator, you are God, you are the sole arbiter of your destiny.
The very foundation upon which the heaven is built up is nothing but yin and yang, while the very foundation upon which the earth is created is nothing but flexibility and hardness, the very foundation upon which a true man can be achieved is nothing but beneficence and generosity.
What the things receive from Tao is called Te. As for humankind, Te, to some extent, is equivalent to virtues. Without Te you are advised not to be a practitioner engaged in pursuit of Tao, for you can receive nothing but calamities. Nor should you have any motives or other that are popular in the region of covetousness to become a practitioner in pursuit of Tao, as nothing will wait for you but disasters.
Lu Xun, the most prominent contemporary writer in Chinese history, once said that Taoism is at the very root of Chinese culture. and from this naturally you will know its significance. The book aims at showing readers as many theories and concrete methods as possible, so as to help you understand or practice the age-old Chinese-yoga or Qigong---though the two names are