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deci belle

Producing the Elixir

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When I discuss alchemy, the operations apply to inner and outer all at once. Like Heaven, ultimately private yet manifesting spontaneously in public.


Alchemy is not separate from ordinary situations; Reality is itself the blending of absolute and temporal without distinction; Enlightening being employs the pristine from within the polluted, not meditation states.


The four basic elements described in the first section of the I Ching are Heaven, Earth, Water, Fire. In terms of alchemy, Heaven and Earth are the vessel of transformation. Fire and Water are the medicines to be cooked and blended.


Firmness and flexibility is the substance of production of the elixir: this is Heaven and Earth as the crucible and furnace.


Real knowledge and conscious knowledge is the function of production of the elixir: this is Water and Fire as the medicines.


Water represents the real human body producing metal, which is the refinement of sense awareness; stilling the body is forgetting feelings toward objects. When emotional consciousness is forgotten, real, firm, unconfused knowledge returns in balance.


Fire represents the human mind producing conscious knowledge, which is the refinement of mental energy; stilling the mind is forgetting discriminating consciousness. When views of self and other are forgotten, open, flexible, unobscured conscious awareness returns in balance.


When the medicines refined in the crucible constitute correct balance, flexible conscious awareness submits to firm knowledge of reality and the two things join entering the yellow path; the center, earth. This is the go-between, the yellow woman; the true intent of the human body which has no location.


When one's substance and function is correctly balanced in the central path, the middle way, one is then able to practice the middle way and enter the highest vehicle.


If you want to realize the elixir, you must hasten to practice the substance and function of the elixir without delay.


What this means is that the manifestation of enlightened qualities is not a matter of seeking teachers, approaching stages of realization, toiling at formal practice and courting mystical experience or wordless transmission outside of doctrine.


If you can single-mindedly take up the vehicle of buddhas by getting rid of emotional and intellectual consciousness relative to self and other— the two things, the yin and yang within your own body will unify to form the elixir of innate knowledge of real potential.


When this is accomplished, the real will ignite within one's being and the firing process, advance and withdrawl, the operations involving intensity or ease, and mixing with ordinary society and harmonizing illumination proceed naturally as you sensitively and effectively observe creation arising and returning in concert. Then you will know the celestial design, gain the advantage of the pivot of awareness and become a partner of evolution outside the influence of its changes.


The course of the alchemic firing process pairing fire and water in the pot of heaven and earth is carried out within the context of everyday ordinary situations— it is not accomplished in passive, solitary retreat or meditative states under controlled conditions.





ed note: add the word "furnace" in the fourth, fiddle with the first sentence in the sixth, and add a line to the eighth paragraph

Edited by deci belle
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