Excerpt from Step 2: Body plus Elixir
Inner Alchemists' Forming Trinity
To the inner alchemists,
the ultimate proof of their life long practices being effective over time
is derived from the transformation of the individually isolated self into
a complete self. This is accomplished by combining the true self
with the other self. Taoists call this the unitary play between the "virgin
boy" and the "virgin girl". One is the true self,
the longing and lonely self. The other is the lost self, the wishful
and invited self. Regardless of the gender difference, every individual
has the potential of these two selves.
The conscientious awareness and conscious intention share the same source, but manifest in different directions. The true self and the lost self represent the two extremes, the two dots, and the two ends of oneness. The practical difference is that, as anatomically independent individuals, each of us is endowed with only one true self. This true self is accompanied with the other, which is our driving force, our playful mate, our dependable resource, and our rewarding partner. The true self endows us with confidence, ensures our security, and cares for our biological existence. The lost self provides the hope, attracts the longing, and sacrifices the true self in order to be unified within and without. This represents both the objective matter and subjective transformation. This is the unity of Tao, the harmony of yin and yang, the embracing of the two opposites. We will see the detailed discussion and practices in the following twelve chapters.
Since there must be a central point in which the vessel is located, a neutral ground and common agreement are necessary for the two to meet and unify. There must be a connection where the minds interact, the bodies unfiy, and the souls integrate. This connection is the vessel.
In Taoist inner alchemy,
there are three distinguishing places in our body: these places are called
the Cinnabar Fields or Elixir Fields. The lower Cinnabar Field is the
actual place for the vessel to be set, where the caldron is located. It
is the center for biological manifestation. It is in this empty place,
or groundless space (as discussed earlier), where all the abdominal organs
The middle Cinnabar
Field is located in the thymus gland. It is the center for displaying
both emotions and personalities. The upper Cinnabar Field is located at
the central joint where the two sides of the brain split and then rejoin,
between the pituitary glands and the pineal gland. It is the center for
intellect and spirituality.
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