Main CategoriesMeditation and PrayerTaoist Nei Dan Meditation Secret of the Golden Flower, The

Secret of the Golden Flower, The

Product no.: 0-15-679980-4
The ancient Taoist text that forms the central part of this book was discovered by Wilhelm, who recognized it as essentially a practical guide to the integration of personality.

Product is in stock

Additional product information

Publisher's Synopsis

This ancient esoteric treatise was transmitted orally for centuries before being recorded on a series of wooden tablets in the eighth century. It was recorded by a member of the Religion of Light, whose leader was the Taoist adept Lu Yen. It is said that Lu Tzu became one of the Eight Immortals using these methods. The ideas have been traced back to Persia and the Zarathustra tradition and its roots in the Egyptian Hermetic tradition.

"In 1928 the eminent German Sinologist, Richard Wilhelm, recently returned after a long period of residence in China, sent Jung a manuscript of a translation of an alchemical treatise of Taoist origin and requested that Jung might write a psychological commentary on the text. This work, subsequently known as The Secret of the Golden Flower catapulted C.G. Jung into the very midst of alchemical themes and interests. His studies disclosed that Chinese alchemy, just like the alchemy of the West, deals primarily with the transformational symbolism of the human soul. Although the ancient Taoists postulated that the quest for immortality was the central work of alchemy, their "Golden Flower" of immortality is not substantially different from the "Stone of the Philosophers," which is the supreme objective of Western practitioners of the Great Art.

Not only was there a rainbow bridge discernible that connected modern depth-psychology with the Gnostics of old, but there was also a similar bridge linking these Western traditions and disciplines with the Taoist sages of the ancient Middle Kingdom. While the bridge linking the past with the present might be envisioned historically, the bridge joining East with West might be seen to consist of archetypal rather than historical substance. As Richard Wilhelm himself came to state:

'Chinese wisdom and Dr. Jung have both descended independently of one another into the depths of man's collective psyche and have there come upon realities which look so alike because they are equally anchored in truth. This would prove that the truth can be reached from any standpoint if only one digs deep enough for it, and the congruity between the Swiss scientist and the old Chinese sages only goes to show that both are right because both have found the truth.'

And now, we might ask at this point, might this truth be defined? It is a psychic fact that the opposites arising from the dark matter of the birth-agonies of the human soul confront each other in the alchemical vessel of spiritual transformation (in Chinese alchemy frequently envisioned as the human body) and after many battles, woundings, and indeed deaths, ultimately come to unite in an indestructible state in the reconciliation of the binaries. Thus the lunar Queen and solar King (represented in China by the symbols of the Yin and Yang) are living presences within us, heralding the promise of the Philosophers' Stone or the Golden Flower which we are destined to become ourselves."       ~Stephan A. Hoeller

"Master Lu-tsu said, That which exists through itself is called the Way (Tao). Tao has neither name nor shape. It is the one essence [Hsing], the one primal spirit. Essence and life cannot be seen. They are contained in the light of heaven. The light of heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes. Today I will be your guide and will first reveal to you the secret of the Golden Flower of the great One, and starting from that, I will explain the rest in detail. The great One is the term given to that which has nothing above it. The secret of the magic of life consists in using action in order to attain non-action. One must not wish to leap over everything and penetrate directly. The maxim handed down to us is to take in hand the work on human nature (hsing). In doing this is importance not to take any wrong path."

Author Yen, Lu
Commentary Jung, Carl
Translator Wilhelm, Richard
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 149 pp.
Publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1962
Gold Medal

Gold Medal


  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Taoist Nei Dan Meditation, The Taoist Canon, Taoist Wizards and Immortals, Gold Medal Essential Reading

We also recommend