The Psychological and Cosmological Premises of the Text of “The Secret of the Golden Flower.”

In the interpretation of the following translation, it is of value to say a few more words about the foundations of the Weltanschauung on which the method depends.

This philosophy is, to a certain extent, the common property of all Chinese trends of thought.

It is built on the premise that cosmos and man in the last analysis obey common laws; that man is a cosmos in miniature and is not divided from the great cosmos by any fixed limits.

The same laws rule for the one as for the other, and from the one a way leads into the other.

The psyche and the cosmos are related to each other like the inner and outer worlds.

Therefore man participates by nature in all cosmic events, and is inwardly as well as outwardly interwoven with them.

Tao, then, the meaning of the world, the way, dominates man just as it does invisible and visible nature (Heaven and Earth).

The character for Tao in its original form,consists of a head, which must be interpreted as “beginning” and, under that, the character for “standing still” which, in the later way of writing, has been omitted.

The original meaning, then, is that of a ifc track which, though fixed itself, leads from the beginning directly to the goal.

The fundamental idea is the idea that Tao, though itself motionless, is the means of all movement and gives it law.

Heavenly paths are those along which the stars move; the path of man is the wav along which he must travel.

Lao Tzu has used this word in the metaphysical sense, as the final world principle, “Meaning” existing before there is any realization and not yet divided by the pulling asunder of polar opposites on which all realization depends.

This terminology is presupposed in the present book.

In Confucianism there is a certain difference in the terminology.

The word Tao has here an inner-world significance and means the right way ” ; on the one hand, the way of Heaven, on the other, the way of man.

To Confucianism, the final principle of an undivided One is the T’ai Chi (the great ridge-beam, the great pole).

The term “pole” occasionally comes in our text also, and is there identical with Tao.

Out of Tao, that is to say, out of the T’ai Chi, there develop the principles of reality; the one pole being light (yang) and the other darkness (yin).

Among European investigators, some have turned first to sexual references for an explanation, but the characters refer to phenomena in nature.

Yin is shadow, therefore the north side of a mountain and the south side of a river (because during the day the position of the sun makes the river appear dark from the south).

Yang, in its original form shows flying pennants, and, corresponding to the character yin, is the south side of a mountain and the north side of a river.

Starting with the meaning of “light” and ” dark” the principle was then expanded to all polar opposites, including the sexual.

However, both yin and yang are only active in the realm of phenomena, and have their common origin in an undivided unity, yang as the active principle appearing to condition, and yin as the passive principle seeming to be derived or conditioned.

It is therefore quite clear that a metaphysical dualism is not at the bottom of these ideas.

Less abstract than yin and yang are the concepts of the creative and the receptive (Chien and K’un) that originate in the Book of Changes [I Ching], and are symbolized by Heaven and Earth.

Through the union of Heaven and Earth, and through the activity of the two primordial forces within this scene (an activity governed by the one primal law Tao), there develop the ” ten thousand things that is, the outer world. ~Richard Wilhelm, The Secret of the Golden Flower.

Tao, then, the meaning of the world, the way, dominates man just as it does invisible and visible nature (Heaven and Earth).

The character for Tao in its original form,consists of a head, which must be interpreted as “beginning” and, under that, the character for “standing still” which, in the later way of writing, has been omitted.

The original meaning, then, is that of a ifc track which, though fixed itself, leads from the beginning directly to the goal.

The fundamental idea is the idea that Tao, though itself motionless, is the means of all movement and gives it law.

Heavenly paths are those along which the stars move; the path of man is the wav along which he must travel.

Lao Tzu has used this word in the metaphysical sense, as the final world principle, “Meaning” existing before there is any realization and not yet divided by the pulling asunder of polar opposites on which all realization depends.

This terminology is presupposed in the present book.

https://archive.org/details/TheSecretOfTheGoldenFlowerByRichardWilhelmAndCarlJung