Yueya

Xuanpin – Mysterious Female

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There’s plenty of discussion on this forum and elsewhere of contemporary neidan cultivation as knowable, systemised process – difficult for sure, but doable for those who dedicate themselves to it. And that’s all excellent as far as it goes – it makes it accessible and gives definite forms that can be described, discussed and practised – yet at its heart neidan is a mystery tradition.  And no way can that be easily discussed. It can only be hinted at. In the posts below I want to present some such imagery that I find personally meaningful. For me, the Christian and other Western imagery in my posts that follow the initial Daoist ones serve to enrich and deepen the Daoist insights.

 

(Please don’t add any comments until I’ve added some further posts below this one. In any case, I present the topic more as something for contemplation rather than discussion. Although I include intellectual commentary, it’s meant as a way to explore the spiritual depths of content that’s meant to be felt with the heart and to find parallels within one’s own inner experience. These concepts can only ever be soft-edged and fluid, not hard-edged and fixed, and will disappoint anyone who approaches them looking for intellectual understanding or clear practice guidelines.)  

 

Xuanpin from the Golden Elixir website: https://www.goldenelixir.com/jindan/ill_xuanpin.htm

 

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The xuanpin (a term derived from the Daodejing, verse 6) is an emblem of the conjunction of the male and female principles. "Mysterious" (xuan) refers to Heaven (Yang), and "Female" (pin) refers to Earth (Yin).

 

The trigrams within the two circles are Li (Yang containing True Yin) and Kan (Yin containing True Yang).

 

The text surrounding the picture says:

 

(1) Top: "Chart of the Mysterious-Female".

 

(2) Right and left of the picture: "Gather the solid [line] from the center in the position of Kan / Transmute by projection the innermost Yin in the palace of Li ." (Two verses from the Wuzhen pian, or Awakening to Reality.)

 

(3) Bottom: "Valley of Empty Non-Being — Root of Heaven and Earth — Mystery and then again Mystery — Gate of All Wonders". (The last two phrases derive from the Daodejing, verse 1.)

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From the Encyclopedia of Taoism:

 

Xuanpin – Mysterious Female

 

Xuanpin is a well-known but enigmatic term first found in Daodejing 6, which states that the Mysterious Female is "the Spirit of the Valley is the root of Heaven (gushen) [that] does not die," and that "its gate….[is] the root of Heaven and Earth." The first chapter of the Liezi equates the Mysterious Female with the transcendental origin that generates things without being generated, and changes them without being changed.

 

Neidan alchemists take the Mysterious Female as the foundation of their art and give it the attributes of Ultimate Truth: like the Dao, they say, there is nothing inside nor outside of it. The Mysterious Female is also the Original Qi (yuanqi), the "full awakening" (yuanjue), and the supreme Non-being that evolves into supreme Being.

 

 As a symbol of the Center, it is also called Mysterious Valley (xuangu), Mysterious Pass (xuanguan), Heart of Heaven (tianxin), or Heart (Xin), and is a synonym of the Yellow Dame (huangpo) or the Yellow Court {huangting). It is said to be an opening similar to those made in the body of Emperor Hundun (Chaos) in the anecdote of the Zhuangzi.

 

As a "gate," the xuanpin is a passageway, an entrance situated at the junction of Non-being and Being; it allows Yin and Yang to communicate with each other, and is the place where Yang opens and Yin closes. Indeed, this gate is dual, just as the Center is in Taoism, and therefore suggests the dynamic bipolarity of the world: Xuan, the Mystery, is equated with Heaven, and pin, the Female, with Earth. On the cosmic level, the Mysterious Female stands for what is above and what is below, and is represented by the trigrams qian (pure Yang) and kun (pure Yin). In alchemical language, it is the tripod and the furnace (dinglu), one above (qian or Yang) and the other below (kun or Yin).

 

Some Daoist authors distinguish between an inner Mysterious Female, equated with the Real Qi (zhenqi) and an outer one, equated with the Real Spirit (zhenshen) that "repairs" (bu) the Real Qi; these are also called the inner and outer Medicines (neiyao and waiyao). In term of psycho-physiological entities, the Mysterious Female represents the conjunction of spirit and body. On the bodily level, there have been several interpretations. Following the Laozi Heshang gong zhangju, some authors say xuan alludes to the nose, which corresponds to Heaven, and pin to the mouth which corresponds to Earth. Other texts equate xuan with the upper Cinnabar Field (dantian) or the sinciput, and pin with the lower one near the navel. Still others state that xuanpin designates the space between the two kidneys or the two openings of the heart, which respectively communicate with niwan above and the Ocean of Qi (qihai) below. Neidan writings, however, usually claim that the xuanpin cannot be exactly located in the body: like the Center itself, it has no shape, no direction, and no fixed position.

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What I get from the above descriptions of xuanpin is that it’s something powerfully vital to inner cultivation but totally inexpressible with words. Ultimately “it has no shape, no direction, and no fixed position”.  Like the Dao itself it is mysterious (xuan). Hence the elusive poetic language of many alchemical texts.  Taomeow evoked it well when she recently wrote:  “the experience [of the true self] is of a kind of interplay between the changing and the unchanged, the created and the uncreated, opening-closing, movement-stillness, wuji-taiji, Xiantian and Houtian, form/substance and no form/no substance, being/nonbeing, manifesting/the unmanifest, individual/universal, and so on.  Also, it is an interplay of the energies of the world – an all-encompassing power equal to the power of creation, of nature, of tao itself.” 

 

Xuanpin, the conception-portal the true self. I suspect we all have glimpsed it in our own different ways. For me, as a heterosexual and heterospiritual person, this song of Leonard Cohen’s beautifully evokes something of it:  

 

 

Light as the Breeze  ~  Leonard Cohen

She stands before you naked

You can see it, you can taste it

And she comes to you light as the breeze

Now you can drink it or you can nurse it

It don't matter how you worship

As long as you're

Down on your knees

 

So I knelt there at the delta

At the alpha and the omega

At the cradle of the river and the seas

And like a blessing come from heaven

For something like a second

I was healed and my heart

Was at ease

 

Ah baby I waited

So long for your kiss

For something to happen

Oh something like this

 

And you're weak and you're harmless

And you're sleeping in your harness

And the wind going wild

In the trees

And it ain't exactly prison

But you'll never be forgiven

For whatever you've done

With the keys

 

Ah baby I waited

So long for your kiss

For something to happen

Oh something like this

 

It's dark now and it's snowing

O my love I must be going

The river has started to freeze

And I'm sick of pretending

I'm broken from bending

I've lived too long on my knees

 

Then she dances so graceful

And your heart's hard and hateful

And she's naked

But that's just a tease

And you turn in disgust

From your hatred and from your love

And she comes to you

Light as the breeze

 

Ah baby I waited

So long for your kiss

For something to happen

Oh something like this

Something like this

 

There's blood on every bracelet

You can see it, you can taste it

And it's "Please, baby

Please baby please"

And she says, "Drink deeply, pilgrim

But don't forget there's still a woman

Beneath this

Resplendent chemise"

 

So I knelt there at the delta

At the alpha and the omega

I knelt there like one who believes

And the blessings come from heaven

And for something like a second

I'm cured and my heart

Is at ease

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The following is commentary on the song which I found on the web. I like it because of its parallels with xuanpin imagery. Cohen, finding inspiration for his external art of creating prayer-like songs through connection with xuanpin as the Muse; the Neidan practitioner likewise but internally creating of the Golden Elixir, the true self:    

 

Light as the Breeze – While these lyrics draw heavily on images of a relationship between a man and a woman, they are not about sex or the relationship between a man and a woman any more than Moby Dick is a story about fishing.

This song is about the creative process:

 

O baby I waited

So long for your kiss

For something to happen

Oh, something like this.

 

In this refrain, Cohen is talking about waiting for the “kiss” of inspiration from the creative Muse that resulted in these lyrics. The medium is truly the message here since the lyrics are about the creative process that goes into writing these very same lyrics.

In stanza one (my references here are to each stanza as they appear excluding the above refrain) when the creative muse is present, she provides access to “the universe” (or “intention” or “spirit” or “the mind of God”) without pretence – she appears before you naked but she is ephemeral and elusive – she’s “light as the breeze.” How great or small the insights you get when she opens this portal are up to you but you must recognize who’s in charge – you must be humble.

 

In stanza 2, Cohen kneels “…at the delta / At the alpha and omega” with all its imagery of female anatomy and its references to the cradle of civilization both of which conjure up images of creation and birth. This is where things are created and this is where things end – this is the creative portal. Through this portal, “For something like a second” he is cured and his heart is at ease – he gets the gift of creative access for which he has forgone so much and in which he has invested so much and, as brief as the inspiration is relative to all that he has to go through to receive it, it’s worth it.

 

The reference to “sleeping in your harness” in stanza three refers to the trappings of everyday life that wall you off from the creative process. Wordsworth said in Ode, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood:

 

“Earth [the temporal, natural world] doth all she can

 To make her foster-child, her Inmate Man,

Forget the glories he hath known,

And that imperial palace whence he came.”

 

We sleep-walk in our everyday life while the rich flow of creativity with all its symbolism, insights and meaning is “…the wind going wild in the trees.” Like Wordsworth’s “inmate Man” mankind is not exactly in prison but, like the concept of original sin, we will never be forgiven for losing touch with our spiritual nature – we lost the key.

Stanza four recognizes the agony of the creative process where long stretches of effort yield no result – the creative flow is freezing over and Cohen is frustrated.

 

In Stanza five, the creative muse appears again, naked and apparently ready to give Cohen what he wants but that’s just a tease – she’s in control of the process and doesn’t always deliver, even when she makes an appearance. Cohen turns angrily from the muse and the creative process which is both his passion and the bane of his existence. Just as he is giving up, totally discouraged, she appears again, ready to inspire him – she cannot be summoned, she comes and goes as she pleases.

 

In stanza 6, Cohen acknowledges he is a captive to the creative process. The blood on every bracelet may be his blood – the result of subjugating his temporal needs to his pursuit of spiritual or creative enlightenment (“…things undone, worldly activities not attended to…” – from Wordsworth). The muse encourages him to “drink deeply, pilgrim” which, while a religious reference to the Christian sacrament of holy communion is also, in the context of these lyrics, the process of receiving the “sacrament” of creativity (or Spirit). As with the Christian practice of receiving Holy Communion, one must be in a state of “grace” to partake of the creative process which is a fragile one and easily ended if taken for granted.

 

Stanza 7 is a repeat of Stanza 2 followed by the fourth repeat of the refrain to hammer home the reminder that these lyrics are about the process of creating these same lyrics: “O baby I waited / So long for your kiss / For something to happen / Oh, something like this.” And again, Cohen reminds us in Stanza 7 that as brief as the inspiration is relative to all that he gives up to get it, it’s worth it.

 

As long as this creative process results in lyrics like those in this song, I wholeheartedly agree: it’s well worth the effort.

 

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Commentary from the Leonard Cohen Files website:

 

“LIGHT AS THE BREEZE" AND GREAT AS THE GODDESS: Pagan Imagery in the Work of a Modern Troubadour by Heidi Nelson Hochenedel, Ph.D.

 

Leonard Cohen's song, "Light as the Breeze," from The Future, is a rich and complex poem drawing from a variety of religious and literary traditions. This poem is particularly interesting because it combines images of spiritual devotion and sexual passion. One of its most striking characteristics is the portrayal of the feminine as divine. The subject may or may not believe that the beloved is a goddess, but his devotion to her is comparable to the experience of a believer worshiping his deity. The subject's sexual love is a form of religious and spiritual worship. As we shall see, Cohen borrows images from Jewish, Christian, and Pagan traditions and incorporates them into a poem reminiscent of a twelfth-century troubadour canzone (1).

 

The first stanza begins with a description in the second person (2). The voice seems to report the experience of another person (presumably the reader), which suggests that he expects the reader to identify with the description. The voice describes a specific personal experience, which is at the same time common place and ubiquitous.

 

She stands before you naked
you can see it, you can taste it
but she comes to you light as the breeze
You can drink it or you can nurse it
it don't matter how you worship
as long as you're
down on your knees.

 

This stanza can be read both literally and metaphorically. Either a woman actually stands naked before the subject or he experiences a vivid fantasy of this image. In any case, the vision is so intense that the subject can actually see and taste the presence of the woman. If she is present only in his mind, she is ethereal and genuinely "light as the breeze." The reader has a choice between absorbing the vision slowly or immersing himself in it. ("You can drink it or you can nurse it, it don't matter how you worship, as long as you're down on your knees.") Clearly, the image of the woman is both erotic and spiritual. This stanza is intriguing because it suggests that sexual arousal can be a form of worship. Such ideas seem blasphemous from a Judeo-Christian perspective, but they were quite pervasive in twelfth-century Southern France, where the troubadours wrote poems venerating their ladies and worshipping Venus, the goddess of love. Andrea Hopkins writes:

 

In the poetry of the troubadours love was often celebrated in quasi-religious terms, with the beloved woman being venerated as an object of worship, and much emphasis on the torments suffered by the lover. They invented a religious cult of love, with its own deities- Venus and Cupid- and its own temples, rites, prayers, priests, and commandments. It was truly revolutionary because it placed women, who technically had no power in medieval society, in a position of complete dominance over their lovers. The beloved lady is the master, and the poet- even if in real life he was a great lord- is her servant, her humble supplicant. The poems express the poet's homage to his lady as if she were his feudal lord.... The goal aspired to in these love affairs is sometimes a platonic, spiritual union with the beloved, and sometimes a more physical one....On the face of it, for a poet to sleep with his lord's wife and then to write poems about it would be incredibly dangerous.... And yet it is clear from contemporary records that the writing of these love poems was seen to confer great "honor" and "worth" upon both the poet and the lady (3).

 

Although Hopkins describes the phenomenon of courtly love as "revolutionary," it almost certainly had its roots in pre-Christian European goddess religions. The discovery of many female figurines (many times more than male figurines) from the Upper Paleothic period (4) have led scholars to believe that goddess worship was widespread in Europe (5). In these ancient cultures, women had a dominant role because sexuality and motherhood were considered sacred and the Earth (the Mother Goddess) was the principle deity. Christianity spread throughout Europe but vestiges of pagan traditions (often characterized by goddess worship) persisted. The cult of Mary is one example of Christianized goddess worship and it is certainly no accident that most Christian holidays (including Christmas and Easter) were scheduled to coincide with pagan feast days. The songs of the troubadours also betray a goddess worshipping heritage.

 

Christianity, at first brought little change. Peasants saw in the story of Christ only a new version of their own ancient tales of the Mother Goddess and her divine child, who is sacrificed and reborn. Country priests often led the dance at the Sabbats, or the great festivals....Persecution began slowly. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries saw a revival of aspects of the Old Religion by the troubadours, who wrote love poems to the Goddess (6)

 

Like the troubadours, the voice in Cohen's poem describes the naked woman in conspicuously religious terms and regards her (or his love for her) as a deity to whom he is subjected. The blessings he receives are reminiscent of the "merci" shown to the troubadours by their ladies. For the troubadours, true love always involved immoderate longing and suffering. Canzones were rarely about the beloved (who was generally distant and uninvolved), and focused primarily on the torments endured by the lover. In a style which is both ancient and modern, Cohen's poem incorporates all of these characteristics and artfully depicts the painful and pervasive experience of being in love.

 

It is significant that the goddess/woman's movement is described as "light as the breeze." Cohen's goddess is not the first to manifest herself as moving air. The Jewish God too, came to his servant, Job, in the form of a whirlwind (7). In this story, Satan claims that Job's faithfulness is merely a result of his prosperity, saying that if his fortune should change he would forsake the Lord. To disprove Satan's claims, God sends several plagues on Job and his household. Although his wife urges Job to "curse God and die," he remains faithful.

 

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped. And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:20-21) (8).

 

Finally the Lord comes to Job in the form of a whirlwind, explaining that mere mortals cannot understand His ways. Job is rewarded for his suffering with blessings from heaven. The process described in Cohen's poem is very similar. Like the Hebrew God, the goddess/woman comes to the worshiper as moving air or breath to assuage his torments. Although he, like Job, suffers because of her, he is unable to turn away. Job remains faithful to God out of blind love whereas the subject in Cohen's poem seems to do so out of emotional need, which suggests that faithfulness and dependance are identical.

 

The second stanza spells out quite plainly that the subject's romantic/ sexual love is indistinguishable from spiritual love. The woman (or more precisely, the vision of the woman) in Cohen's poem represents a spiritual presence. Although this presence is less forceful than Job's whirlwind god, it is certainly not less powerful.

 

So I knelt there at the delta
at the alpha and the omega
at the cradle of the river
and the seas
And like a blessing come from heaven
for something like a second
I was healed, and my heart
was at ease.

Oh baby I waited so long for your kiss
For something to happen,
oh for something like this.

 

The subject kneels at the delta because it is the temple of the deity, the Alpha and the Omega or God (9). God is both the beginning and the end, and the delta, the end of the river and the beginning of the ocean, symbolizes God's essence. A delta is also a triangle, which may represent the shape of female genitalia. The deltoid vulva is the mouth of the womb and the source of human life. Pre-Christian goddess worshipers considered the womb and vulva sacred. and many sculptures of female reproductive organs have been found from the Upper Paleolithic period (10). The womb is a sacred image in both pagan and Judeo-Christian belief systems. As we have seen, Job sees the earth as the great womb from which he was born and to which he will return. The earth (the mother goddess) represents the beginning and the end of all life. Cohen's "delta" may also refer to the great goddess or the earth itself .

 

In the refrain, which is written in the first person, it becomes clear what the goddess/woman must do to "cure" her worshipper; a simple kiss is all that is necessary to relieve his suffering. Unfortunately the "cure" lasts for only "for something like a second," generating a greater longing that can never be satisfied. Moreover, as in the case of Job, the deity (represented by either the woman or the subject's love for her) causes the suffering by withholding these "blessings." The next stanza, which reverts back to the second person, describes the feeling of entrapment caused by this addiction to "blessings."

 

And you're weak and you're harmless
And you're sleeping in your harness
and the wind going wild
in the trees
And it's not exactly prison
but you'll never be forgiven
for whatever you've done with the keys

 

The image of the wind in the trees evokes the vision of the goddess/ woman, whose movement was first described as "light as the breeze." In this stanza, she is outside and separate from the worshiper, manifesting herself as a strong wind, like the one that came to Job. The subject, however, is unable to be with her because he is too weak to escape from his "harness," an obvious metaphor for an obstacle to communion with the beloved. Strangely enough, this condition seems to be voluntary; he has locked himself up and takes full responsibility for having either lost or thrown away the keys. Perhaps the "key" represents the resolve to curse the woman and to let his need for her die. More plausibly the "key" would release him from his harness (or remove the obstacle) that separates him from her. In any case, it is clear that because of an obstacle he has chosen not to remove, he can not go to her.

 

The next stanza reverts back to the first person and describes the weather and landscape of a cold winter's night.

 

It's dark and it's snowing
I've got to be going
St. Lawrence River
is starting to freeze
And I'm sick of pretending
I'm broken from bending
I've lived too long on my knees

 

The images of winter, night, and the freezing river evoke the idea of death. On the album Cohen sings "Oh my love, I must be going " instead of "I've got to be going," suggesting that he is with the beloved but the environment she has created is so bleak and inhospitable that it is impossible to endure. The worshiper, who is as broken and tormented as Job, is clearly resentful for having spent so much time and energy "on his knees" worshipping a goddess, who rewards his efforts with coldness and distance. Significantly, the voice also expresses that he is "sick of pretending." The verb "to pretend" can mean either "to profess" or "to feign," but current usage seems to favor the latter definition. Perhaps the speaker is tired of pretending not to resent the indifference of a cold and distant goddess. At this point he seems ready to abandon his chilly "love."

 

And she dances so graceful
and your heart's hard and hateful
and she's naked
but that's just a tease
And you turn in disgust
from your hatred and from your love
and she comes to you
light as the breeze.

Oh baby I waited so long for your kiss
for something to happen
oh for something like this.

 

In this stanza the subject's ambiguous emotions are described. The beloved is beautiful and she looks available, but she is as inaccessible as ever, which may be both the source of his hatred and love for her. At the moment that he turns away, she comes to him with her blessings.

 

The next stanza is one of the most interesting because it evokes images of vampirism, blood sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption.

 

There's blood on every bracelet
you can see it, you can taste it
and it's Please baby
please baby please
And she says, Drink deeply, pilgrim
but don't forget there's still a woman
beneath this
resplendent chemise

 

The reference to bracelets may be connected to ancient goddess figurines, whose arms were usually adorned with decorative bracelets (11). The blood on the bracelets may allude to the sacrificial blood of Christ, who died to redeem humanity. One of the most interesting aspects of Christianity is that Christ represents both God and the sacrificial Lamb of God. It is believed that His body and blood redeem the world from eternal damnation. His sacrifice, in the form of the Eucharist, is the spiritual food of Christians. The subject's need to drink the beloved's blood (a metaphor for accepting her sacrifice), is comparable to a Catholic's need to ingest the Eucharist. In Cohen's poem, the worshiper discerns that the beloved has made a sacrifice for his salvation, and, as in the case of Christ, this sacrifice is symbolized by blood. Like Christ, she invites the "pilgrim" to "drink deeply," although she suggests that her resources could be drained because she is a mortal woman clothed in the garments ("the resplendent chemise") of a goddess. Like Christ, she is both human and divine. Perhaps she is divine only from the perspective of the worshiper.

 

The line "Please baby, please baby, please" declares the subject's hungering need for salvation from the torments of life apart from the beloved. It is not enough that she shower him with blessings, she must sacrifice herself because anything less would not demonstrate a great enough love. If the deity does not suffer, the worshipper cannot be saved. This idea is emblematic of Christianity and is expressed in John's first epistle.

 

God is love. In this love of God was manifested to us, that God sent his only son into the world, so that we might have life through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he has loved us and sent his son as an expiation for our sins. (I JN. 4.8-10)

 

The last stanza describes the result of the worshiper's communion with the beloved. It is very similar to the second stanza, but in it he professes his faith.

 

So I knelt there at the delta
at the alpha and the omega
I knelt there
like one who believes
and like a blessing come from heaven
for something like a second
I was cured, and my heart
was at ease.

 

Significantly, the subject says that "I knelt there like one who believes." This suggests that in general, he does not identify himself with the believers, but after the beloved's sacrifice, he does believe. One has the impression that the experience has come full circle and that the cycle is destined to repeat itself. After the goddess/ woman makes her sacrifice, the worshiper believes in her love and her ability to "save" him. Once again, he kneels at the delta, which symbolizes the Alpha and the Omega. Again, he is cured only "for something like a second." This implies that his desire is only piqued by her sacrifice and he is not fully satisfied.

 

Her blessings temporarily relieve his pain, but like her presence, they are ephemeral. When more is not offered, he will find himself separated from her. As a result, he will become consumed with both desire and resentment. At this point he will turn away from her, falling into a metaphorical state of sin. For Christians, sin is separation and estrangement from God and is described as spiritual death. In Cohen's poem, the subject's spiritual death is represented by being caught in a harness while the deity (represented by the wind) is outside. The cold winter night by the freezing St. Lawrence river also portrays spiritual death. Finally, in her infinite mercy, the goddess/ woman will return to the sinner as light as the breeze. Her sacrifice, identified by the blood on her bracelets, will assuage the subject's heart for something like a second, whereupon the process will begin again.

 

Footnotes:

1) Canzones were lyric poems set to music and written in Provencal or early Italian. These poems expressed the ideal of courtly love, which developed during the twelfth century in France. The code of courtly love, which became a paragon for aristocratic behavior in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, celebrated intense and idealized sexual passion, usually between an unmarried man and a married woman.

2) The perspective of the poem alternates between first and second person, yet it is clear from the context that both subjects refer to the same person. The use of two subjects conveys the universality of the experience described in this poem.

3) Andrea Hopkins, The Book of Courtly Love (HarperSanFrancisco: Singapore, 1994), pp.10-11

4) The Upper Palaeolithic period began about 35,000 years ago and is characterized by the use of flint, stone, tools, hunting, fishing, and gathering.

5) Theodore Ludwig, The Sacred Paths: Understanding the Religions of the World (Simon and Schuster: New Jersey, 1996), pg.30.

6) Starhawk, The Spiral Dance (HarperSanFrancisco: New York, 1989), pg. 19.

7) Deities may manifest themselves as air because they represent the "breath of life. "And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." (Gen 2:7)

8) This excerpt from the Bible is interesting because it suggests that Job sees the Earth as the mother Goddess- the womb of all life, from whence all things are born and to whom all things return in death.

9) "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." (Rev.1:8)

10) The Sacred Paths: Understanding the Religions of the World, pg. 30.

11)The Sacred Paths, pg. 30.

 

 

Edited by Yueya

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OK. That’s all from me. The above content is not meant as anything definitive…..just trying to hint at something elusive that I feel within myself as the vital core at the heart of neidan as a creative spiritual art. 

 

 

 

Edited by Yueya
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A poem, xuanpin born, by William Butler Yeats:

 

 

THE SONG OF THE WANDERING AENGUS

 

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

 

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

 

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

 

(Aengus, an Eros, is the god of love and beauty from the Celtic mythology of Ireland and Scotland.) 
 

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47 minutes ago, Yueya said:

A poem, xuanpin born, by William Butler Yeats:

 

 

THE SONG OF THE WANDERING AENGUS

 

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

 

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

 

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

 

(Aengus, an Eros, is the god of love and beauty from the Celtic mythology of Ireland and Scotland.) 
 

Story of my life.

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