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September 11, 2006

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The "Original Spirit" (OS) sounds interesting. The OS sounds like something worth exploring. Was the concept of the OS created by an Individual? Or, was the OS created by something Divine? The "Golden Flower" is another Symbol, will I need the use of Symbols to explore the OS? Meditation sounds like a method or path to the OS. Are the "Techniques" needed, available to everyone? Some critiques of the text,state that it is Hard to Read.
Is the path to the OS hard to accomplish? I wonder, who decided this? If the path is Hard to Grasp, do I need a teacher? Who is qualified to be a teacher?
If my questions are incorrect, feel free to let me know.
Thanks....Roger

Cleary is kind of a misnomer. I have read an awful lot of his translations of Chinese spiritual classics, and then translated some of them myself to get another dimension. Same with Red Pine: the act of translating is creative, and making the decision to concretize a given dynamic is slightly violent.

Thus we get distortions like: "For practical purposes, a distinction is made in the golden flower teaching between the “original spirit” and the “conscious spirit.”" ...Along with... "The essence of Taoism is to refine the conscious spirit to reunite it with the original spirit."

Kind of seems unnecessary, as a concept. Most so-called Taoist authors simply say that there is the original parent, and that regardless of your experience among the ten-thousand things, all are one in the Tao. Apprehending this requires, um, faith.

As Brian has pointed out in other posts, religions generally require unquestioning acceptance of certain mysteries: the divine word, the true book. Something is so because a bible says it is.

This is also the case with the "Secret of the Golden Flower", or even the doctrines ascribed to Plotinus: there is a One and your not it; it is not knowable through intellect; understanding is only available through direct experience; meditation brings enlightenment; enlightenment is the only true "good"; trust us on that first step.

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