Unknown Date, Serial 00223

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That's all. Do it tomorrow or maybe the next day. So you definitely can't hang on to practice. Where are you going? Nuts. More nuts. More. Boy. So there's a big part of the training, and really what my teacher used to call a native foundation, is working with others. This Confucian teaching, the important thing that I've understood out of it, is that it draws you out of yourself, makes you aware of yourself as part of community, and actually as constituted by community. Just like the meaning of a word on a page is constituted by the sentence, the paragraph, the book, and the reader, and so on, the context in which it occurs, the meaning of the individual and the place, and to some extent, identity of the individual is constituted by the web of your social interactions.


So from a Confucian perspective, it's very simple. If I'm sitting down at the Tai Chi club with my feet out, relaxing, and somebody comes in who's never been to the club and what have you, I'm obliged to get up immediately, go over to the door, welcome them in, get them a cup of tea, sit them down and chat, make them feel welcome. You have to become much more aware of how people feel in terms of the whole dynamic in a room, in a situation, whatever, you have to welcome them in and make everything smooth, make everything productive and harmonious. Of course, when you do that, there's an interesting payoff, I suppose you could say, because when everything around you is going fairly smoothly, then things inside tend to go more smoothly. And when things inside are going more smoothly, that goes back out again, reinforces. Of course, the interesting thing and the challenge is always


when you're all together trying to work towards something, and people in a setting like this know this, I'm sure, very well, it's very intense. You have to work with each other all the time. So if you're all concerned, from a Confucian perspective, with community rather than self at the center, really putting self at the center is putting community at the center in a way. If you can do that, then harmony begins to build and it spirals, it has its own energy, it fills up, it has its own momentum. So as a part of social context, as being planted within a social context, your training can draw from that and can contribute back to that very directly in some very practical ways. So I've learned that training the heart is done by working with everybody around you. Everybody's your teacher. Keep your ears open all the time. If you do it long enough, you'll get steadier


and you'll get healthier and you'll be happier. I can honestly say I'm actually very happy almost all the time. It's true. I feel like someone's told me a little joke and I just feel like chuckling. It's curious. I don't know whether I was just blessed with a happy disposition. Maybe it's just my eccentric character. I just don't notice things that I should be worried about. But I do drive my wife crazy at times and that's actually an excellent part of training too because she tends to break me in a bit. But if you keep doing this long enough and you keep sitting, you'll become quiet. You'll move back to this. As far as the ultimate soteriological end of the whole shebang, all I know is that I will die and I have no idea what's going to happen and I'm very happy that I'm here. And I'm not trying to be... I mean, that's just the way it is.


My teacher, I had the very good fortune to see him about ten days before he died. And they could have actually prolonged his life. They had medication to help him. And he said, No, my time's come to leave. I'm just going to leave now. And he left behind some saying which I suppose I should have memorized but haven't. But it said something to the effect of now I'm dying, when I'm gone, I go back to emptiness and everything I was is left in the people I taught and the effects I had on the world when I was alive. And I think that's where I... And I'm very conscious of death. Every day. I do think about death every day. It's not morbid. I used to think when I was younger that it was. That it was kind of weird. But actually, it's not weird. Death gives you perspective.


And, you know, the fact that life is very short gives you perspective. It gives you tremendous joy in life. Because every single moment, when I'm with my son, every single moment's really like gold. It's like pure gold. And that's why it's so joyful, I guess. Because I know it's going to end soon. So, don't mess around. Don't have time to mess around. Just have... I thought, you know, I was going to say have fun, but have joy instead. Anyway, this is not turning out to be a very academic presentation. But I felt obliged, in this context, to say something about my personal practice to give you some insight on the Taoist way of practice. Otherwise, if I babbled on about this stuff all day, you'd never have any idea. So, here endeth the... Thank you for your generous gift.


And... There seems to be a common thread in both speakers this afternoon. Both have pointed out to our wonderful hosts here who've come out of the hermitage that you don't have to come to the mountain. As enjoyable as it is. Well, we have a respondent to you. Stephen A. Taner, who says he has studied Eastern contemplative traditions intensively for over 30 years and is an authorized instructor of several Buddhist and Taoist lineages. He is a founding member of the Kura Institute, consisting of professors in science, philosophy and traditional spirituality. Kura seeks to investigate the common roots of these disciplines and offers educational programs for graduate and postgraduate students.


Working on behalf of his teachers, Mr. Taner is the co-author or editor of over 18 books on Buddhism and Taoism, including Dragon's Play and Time-Space Knowledge. He teaches private groups and at the Institute for World Religions in Berkeley, California. How many in all? We're everywhere. We're everywhere. Three participants? And three from the Asahara Japanese Zen Tradition, so equally represented. Thank you. Joseph takes the tragedies, yeah. You have 12 minutes. Do I have more than 12 minutes? What do you think? Because I can use more time just by asking Paul more about what he was... Sure, sure. You can use some of this time. I think you just got started there, Paul,


so let me draw you out a little more. And I can say something in parallel after I put a few questions to you. You were starting to describe the cosmogenic picture that's part of some Taoist texts and other texts that are not sort of officially part of Taoism, but certainly part of the background. And in the paper you wrote for this presentation, you indicated that these texts provide a background for alchemy, especially inner alchemy, and make it quite clear that the issue is a return to the origin of what you call chaos, but it might also be called fullness, the completeness, something like that. I think it would be interesting probably for everyone here just to hear more of your own personal sense of what this return, the reversal of this cosmogenic picture is like. You started to describe that, the movement from the one to the many to the ten thousand things.


The issue here is the return, so can you say anything of a personal nature about what that return aspect has been like for you, how you found it or felt it? I think you said a few things about that, but if we have more time, we might as well fill it in. I think I would also encourage you, because the paper is much more academic, so don't be afraid to bring forth something from your paper. It's an excellent paper, I can assure you. So please say something. It's two different requests, pick the one you like. Well, if I'm going to say something about return as it's taken place in my own training, then I would have to say it's... Somebody's said it already. Somebody's always said everything already. That's the trouble with academia. But, I mean, it's encouraging


that somebody said it already. Things fall away. It's actually less and less and less as you move on. And so... So if I can do... If I can... I don't even know where to start. Well, start with the body, if I can sort of push things a little bit. Since you started with the body and emphasized the physical nature of Taoist approaches and technology and so on, can you sort of trace from an initial, say, a beginner's experience of the body and what's going on there, how it develops and how the simplification, the return manifests? Okay, well, it's... Okay, yes. The first thing, the first job you have, the first thing you have to do when you start training, when I started training, was I had to realize that in some sense, it wasn't that I had a body. I had to realize that this is me. And suddenly, when you start to realize that this is me,


then you realize you don't know a whole lot about me. And, like, simple example. In Vancouver, you know, people think they're on the West Coast, but it's not like here. It's really warm, right? Up there, it's fake. Like, it's cold even in the spring, right? It's quite cold. But because you're on the West Coast, you feel obliged to wear a T-shirt and shorts. It was a joke that in Vancouver, if someone's cold, they'll put on an extra, you know, chain, a little... You have to actually demonstrate to yourself that it's pleasant outside. And I look at these people and I shiver. I'm wearing... I'm always wearing warm clothing. What I'm saying is, on a very simple level, people have no notion of this thing, of what it's doing. You can be freezing to death and not know it. You know, we sit in chairs. We sit like... I mean, sorry, but... We sit in chairs like this, and like this. Nobody sees their spleen, their liver, their lungs, how their heart's functioning, their spine.


Your spine, it's got to last a whole lifetime. But if you keep sitting like that, it's going to be crushed and collapsed and mangled by the time you're in your mid-thirties. So, and when I look at my fellow students and scholars at the university, people younger than me, who walk around like this. You know? Terrible, terrible. So you first have to discover, this is me. And then you begin to develop a communication with this part of yourself. It's hard to avoid, say, my body. It's hard to... But you use that feedback in your training. So if you're in an exchange with somebody, you relate to it viscerally. You relate to... I think in Japan, they talk about the hara as being a center of intuition almost, of feeling. You can actually feel animosity or whatever else in your body from somebody else. And the thing is,


if you've got enough awareness, this doesn't have to get out of hand. You can keep it steady. Still be open, keep it steady. And so for me, it's been a long process of figuring out what this was and how it worked. And listening to it all the time. Because if you don't do that, by the time you sit on the floor, you're just aching massive bones and ligaments. Trembling. You're trying to stay there. And I know this because I teach meditation and I see it all the time. So that movement becomes a foundation, in a sense. You're softening the joints and strengthening the spine so that you can... Like my teacher used to say, sitting meditation is like sitting in a warm bath. And for people who have simply sat for many years, your body doesn't adjust, I guess. My other teacher didn't do Tai Chi, but he was in his 90s, and he would just sit there. Completely comfortable. So, about the return.


So you've described sorting into the actual nature of oneself as a human being, at least on the physical level. Can you summarize a little bit more of the return process? From the many to the one? I'm not sure I can do that. I don't know how to do that. I'm not trying to force that. It's just that your paper suggested it, so I just wanted to give you the opportunity. Right. Right. I mean, in meditation, I suppose you could say something like when you sit, you reach a point where there's no discursiveness, there's no internal monologue, and there's just that sort of open space or something. And I suppose that in meditation would be the core to the cosmogony that's described in the Tao Te Ching. Yes.


There are many systems of training, of course, and some have more explicit correlates here than others, but I'm not fishing for any particular answers. Yes, yes. That's about all I could say, I think. Okay. What do you suggest we do? Well, why don't you take another... You know what I could do? I could read a half a page that would perhaps sum up... Half a page? Yes. As much as you want. Okay, well, a page, maybe. So, in order to make way for the Tao, there must be emptiness within, and emptiness proceeds from making the will one. Making the will one is just another way of saying prevent the fragmentation of the will or intention. One must not let it be pulled in many directions by external influences. The adept of the golden elixir,


jingdan, whatever, what you're forming inside, understands these directions to preserve unity of intent as extending to everyday life. As Wang Chungyang stated above, here's what he said, make your will one. Don't listen with your ears. Listen with your mind. Don't listen with your mind. Listen with your qi. Listening stops at the ear, and the mind comes to rest on what is agreeable to you. Doesn't it? Don't you find it? As for the qi, it's empty and it attends to all things. Only the Tao gathers in emptiness, and it is emptiness which is the fasting of the mind. There's a fasting inside as well as in the belly. Actually, it doesn't even have to be in the belly. Tao is seen alive. As Wang Chungyang stated above, the mind does not flicker, even while walking, standing, or sitting through the entire day. Thus, the body must not be worn down


by seeking for fame and wealth, both of which merely wear down the body, draining the body of its valuable inner treasures, jing, qi, sheng. And the Zhuangzi comments on this link between conventional desire and the health of the individual. At the end of chapter five, the text frames this connection in terms of the preferences which drive behavior and tax the body. Zhuangzi becomes frustrated in a conversation he's having with his pal, Huizi, about whether a person can remain a person even if they lack emotions, jing. Is it jing, jing? Ah, jing. Zhuangzi tries once to explain that it's not what he means. Like, he tries to explain that that is not what he means. And he states his point about how a person can still be a person while according with the kind of detached view of the world he's trying to convey. He describes the realized person in this way. The way gave him or her a face.


Heaven gave him a form. He doesn't like his likes. He doesn't let his likes and dislikes get inside and do him harm. You, now you treat your spirit like an outsider. You wear out your qi, leaning on a tree and moaning and slumping at your desk and dozing. Heaven picked out a body for you and you use it to jigger on about the heart or the wife, about logic. You, what a wasteful thing. Anyway, I can just imagine him just giving... Daoists aren't necessarily these sort of classic... I know that from my teacher. They can be very funny. This passage explains that being without emotion simply means that one's inner state is not subjected to the destructive force. Literally, in Chinese, the injury to the body of emotional turmoil which arises from an attachment to one's likes and one's dislikes. The text continues with drawings of berating points


for exhausting his body by preoccupying himself with the futile discussions of various logical conundrums, which he refers to here as the hard and white. The exhaustion of the body is described as treating the spirit, shen, I did translate it here, like an outsider, which can be understood as failing to keep the shen preserved inside. Instead, it's focused out on external interests and so it becomes weakened. Zhuangzi also explains that such wrong-headed behavior belabors and wears down the body's reserve of essence, jing. Zhuangzi appears to see Huizi's interest in logic as leading him away from the more natural course of action, which can be followed by listening to the relative state of one's body's health. Here, one senses a definite anticipation of the more systematic approach to cultivation, which will be developed later in the text of Golden Elixir Alchemy. This kind of observation is reminiscent of Wang Zhongyang's advice to not let the external world enter the inner spheres of the body.


I'm going to just read to here. If due care is not taken, the inner spheres of the body can be compromised and weakened. Again, this concern is voiced by Zhang Boluoguan in the following verse. Simply coveting profit and favor, seeking honor and fame, not caring for the body and suffering the distress and decay of ignorance. Let me ask, if you piled up gold as high as the peak of a mountain, at the end of your life, could you stop death from coming? The avoidance of worldly traps is a necessary prerequisite to sealing off the mind like an egg from the myriad distractions preventing the establishment of true intention. Once the atom's cultivated a degree of detachment from the conventional worldly preoccupations of wealth and fame, then you can sit down quietly and allow reintegration to spontaneously occur. You don't have to make it happen. Just create space and wait. Hang around, it will happen. I'm going to end by reading this quotation.


Smash your form and body, spit out here your eyesight, forget that you are a thing among other things, and you may join in the great unity with the deep and boundless. Undo the mind, slough off the spirit, be blank and soulless, and the ten thousand things, one by one, will return to the root, that will return to the root and not know why. Not in a differentiated chaos to the end of life, none will depart from it. You don't even know why. You don't have to think about it. You can now stand up. Well, there's plenty of time left if you have more to say. Five minutes. Sure. Okay, thanks. Thanks. Well, I am happy to elaborate a little bit on some of the things you mentioned. I just got here last night, and by lunchtime today I was already totally amazed by what you've been saying and doing here.


It's quite astonishing. Everything that is important to me was pretty much said this morning. I think the lingering issue that remained was perhaps just one of implementation or just living, living with the situation that was described already this morning. And I think several of the things that were mentioned in the two talks, the issue of the virgin point, the heart of hearts, which I thought was a wonderful talk and to me was the important of all issues, and the other side of the coin, the issue of desire and how to deal with it and how it must be respected and included in one's spiritual cultivation, was just seen as some kind of problematic issue that one deals with somehow or other and then gets on to the good stuff. I mean, these two issues seem to me to be pretty much bookends for the curriculum of spiritual training. And the kinds of things


that Paul is talking about now, I think, show, or remind me at least, that Taoism has some good things to say about both of those two points. And in fact, this heart of hearts, or innermost heart, virgin point, is, I think, something that comes very naturally out of Taoist cultivation, and I think it also is the quintessence of the Chan tradition as well, at least from my understanding of Chan, and I don't claim to have an angle on every possible traditional view, but my own training in this suggests that this morning's talk already got at the main point. And if an implementation issue remains, I think Taoism has some very useful things to contribute here. It's not so much that they are inside Taoism, but they are inside us, inside our basic human nature and the basics of the ordinary part of our human nature. And even in our desires, as several of you were mentioning,


I thought very beautifully, there's an intelligence in all of our human functioning, and physicality, and so on, that does lead back, quite naturally, as Paul has just concluded, to this most wonderful of all things. I won't try to use traditional terminology, but there is a fairly traditional way of looking at this, which I can probably summarize in two or three minutes. If someone were concerned or troubled by conflicting desires and so on, I think the Taoist perspective on that would be very similar to the one that Vy brought up, actually. And that's to say, well, okay, what? Look again? Not take anything for granted, but see again with a kind of fresh vision of what it is. If Taoism has an answer to the conundrum of how to cleave


to the heart of hearts, the innermost heart, in a sense, the answer is not so much an aggressive technique, like I know how to make this happen, or I know how to get the good part, or something like that. It's more an appreciation of the value of listening. And even listening to desire, or even listening to something that seems like a major problem, if you know how to do it, which is to say, if you're fully appreciative and can actually get into the desire and embody the desire, rather than separating yourself from it slightly and then looking at a description of what it allegedly is. But if you actually get into what it actually is, in fact, in a direct sense, the most direct sense possible, then this thing that's supposedly causing lots of trouble for you and getting in the way of your spiritual development is actually just intelligence. It's showing you something pretty straightforwardly about how you feel. Something doesn't feel quite right. I mean, it's smart. It's giving you useful information.


And basically, it just leads you back to your nature, to this heaven-sent gift. And in the process, it changes its character. It looks like a desire that's causing trouble of some sort. It could be better understood as an appetite. And I think, was it you who brought this up earlier today? There's someone who brought up the importance of understanding desires in terms of appetites. And I think this is something that's very characteristic of Taoist thinking. Desires seen as problems held by an ego are pretty hopeless. Desires seen more directly as they actually are in the actual living being are seen to be, in fact, just appetites. Something is at issue here. Thirst, cold, like Paul brought up. And do you actually notice that you're cold, hot, or something? Desires are predicated on affliction. They're wanting, they're grasping for what is not. Desire is grasping for what isn't, basically. Appetite is celebrating what is. They're totally different,


even though they're just two faces of the same thing. Appetite is celebrating a connection you have to the world. Desire is nodding and groaning over a lack, a deficit of some kind. But once you look at what the desire actually is, in concrete, visceral, tangible terms, you find yourself anew. You find yourself in a place. You find yourself in a dimension of values. And you respond. So, whereas desire is based on reactivity, appetite is based on responsiveness. It's a natural shift. And Taoism has a great deal to say about responsiveness, free response that's expressed as an intelligence, an acknowledgement, and a celebration of your connection to things and of the value dimension, which is also a critical component of Confucianism. This response satisfies you. So rather than having


an unfulfillable desire, you have a fulfillable appetite, and it's fulfillable because what's needed, once you see more clearly what's needed rather than what you fantasize about what's critically needed, what's needed, it's fulfillable. The body, the person, not just the body, but the whole person, because the body goes and it's not a machine. It's not the Western notion of body as this material machine. The body is just another way of referring to me in a fully dimensional sense. I'm satisfied. When I'm satisfied, I adjust. When I adjust, I experience myself in an even greater and more enriched relation to the world. This causes a certain kind of refinement. I find myself on a new level. When that happens, at a certain point, you start to move into the dimension of qi, the more aliveness or energetic dimension. And this touches, I think, very directly on some things that several of you mentioned this morning about the will, this issue of willing one thing,


which is also something Paul began in his paper as discussed as intent, true intent or true intention. In Daoism, there's this notion of intent as serving the energy or serving one's aliveness. And aliveness here is not just vitality in a simple sense that's spiritually neutral. It's an aliveness to the spiritual issues. So intent, by finding your nature, by finding yourself, you serve it, is the point I'm trying to make. When you become aware of yourself, you become a servant to what you are. When you see your living nature, you serve that aliveness and you help it go where it wants to go. So there's a notion in the Chinese traditions that there's an intent. True intent leads the nature by following it. It sort of sees where it wants to go and then it helps it go there. So it says, I see what you're trying to do. Let me help you. And it just sort of creates a little groove so that it can fulfill itself. There are a lot of different systems and we don't really have time


to discuss them, but there is very much in this cosmogenic proliferation versus return picture that Paul has described for us. There is definitely in Taoism an understanding that if you serve yourself in this way, following what you really are, helping it go where it really needs to go, not creating conflicts that are imaginary, there's a continuing adjustment to acknowledge more of what's true and that lands on a single truth, ultimately. And actually moving through the centers of the body, moving through the dan-dien, these spaces that one doesn't want to injure but rather wants to preserve, giving each its full dimensionality, restoring what's depleted, opening up to a larger kind of space or context and plunging back into oneself, bringing that fullness back into your presence in the world, one does, I think, absolutely end up with this divergent point. I mean, this is at least my understanding. I don't think that there's any other place to go.


And there's very much a notion that there's a kind of an understanding. If people want to say, well, how can you get that again or how can you hold that or something, there's very much an understanding of a how. But the how is based on an understanding that, well, you should give up that idea. I mean, it's not like now we know how to get our goodies or win or something. It's not about winning. It's about acknowledging that we don't need to win that. We don't need to get it. The ultimate technology is not super winning. It's just dropping the whole ambition and seeing what's in the place of the is, not the will be. But it's just in the is. So I think what Daoism leads people through is a kind of yogic or alchemical technology that just serves what is, serves what's true in yourself and enriches that and helps you discover it as being a single fact about the whole human situation, but everybody, not something that you could own


as a personal possession. And in this way, I think it basically segues into the Chan tradition. For me, at least, it seems to be essentially at the same point. So in Daoism, this seems unnatural, naturalism, natural in the sense that it's following something that is. This is the true heart, this understanding. Good. I'm sorry I went over time. Oh, that's okay. Thank you very much. Really didn't go over time. It was a lot of time. Thank you. Okay. Bruno, I saw your hand. Can you open up that idea of chaos for us a little bit and push it out or relate it to something? Do you want Paul to do it or do you want me to do it? Either one. You don't want to go? Do you want to go ahead? Push it out? Well, what I mean is chaos means a lot of different things for us. Well, as Stephen says,


a very great disorder is a great disorder. A very great disorder is a very great disorder is its relationship between the two. But chaos can mean randomness. It can mean organic harmony. Okay? It can mean the state of an organism which cannot be organized from outside itself. It can mean a natural order or an absolute disorder in the sense of randomness. Okay? And I think both of those are in there, but I'd like to get a better feel of it. Well, that's right. It's organic in a sense. Insofar as it's something which contains within itself the potential to, I guess, generate further events, life. You get the idea in Genesis that the chaos is stuff just swimming around. Right, right. A random soup or something. Yeah, it's not. So it's a different kind of chaos. It's the second kind, I think, that you mentioned


where it's got an internal, actually, order and harmony. That which is not interfered with. That which we don't impose an external order on. Right, right. That's right. And the trick is to just allow that to express itself. Father David wants to weigh in on this. I think it should be said that the chaos that's at issue here is not a phenomenon. The Western notion of chaos is disorder and unpredictable stuff, which is to say occurrences in time. The chaos that Paul was talking about is not a chaotic event. If it were, it wouldn't be the Tao. I mean, it wouldn't be


the kind of thing that we're... It's not the changes of the world. It's sort of... Yeah, I mean, there is in these Chinese texts a distaste for chaos. Chinese didn't like chaos. I mean, chaotic phenomena any better than anybody else in the world. And they actually say chaos is death. You know, that kind of chaos. So what's at issue here is a different thing. And I think it shouldn't be put in the place of time or phenomena. It should be put in the place of the timeless, which, in my terms, is the actual presence. Actual presence. It's not timelessness as some other dimension, but this. Actually, if you think of chaos as that which precedes form, that's what I'm trying to say. Professor Chang? Well, actually, the meaning of chaos, in a better sense, is preserving the two characters, you know, the water, which has everything inside, which is the beginning of everything. You see,


when you say when, it's the mixing. And when is the beginning of things. So in the water, you have the softness where, you know, life begins. Now, actually, I want to ask you to, maybe from the benefit of the people here, explain a little bit about this inner alchemy. Lü Dan, the Dan, the idea of Dan, and how that is related to this person. We have this Jin, Qi, Shen, Da. So here, how the Dan is formed in terms of these four levels of four concepts. And how it applies to your white Dan, because when you talk about Tai Chi, is that white Dan or red Dan? No, it's either red Dan or white Dan. Tai Chi? Tai Chi is just a... You want to say that it's red Dan or white Dan, but of course, it depends on how you understand the red Dan. Tai Chi is,


so compared with Shaolin, it's much more red, right? More in line with your Qi. But, however, the two sides, the inner and outer alchemy, should be related in some way. Inner and outer alchemy, right? I'm going to say about chaos. You're going to answer? No, I'm going to answer this question before they move to the inner alchemy. Okay. Back to chaos, right? Another two hands back there. Okay. I think chaos, that's, I think in your paper you mentioned the translation of chaos is problematic. Do you mention that? Because the English term basically tends to have a negative meaning. Chaos, chaotic, something undecidable.


But it might not be the case in the original Chinese text. Because even Dao is described as Huan. That's what the English translation of chaos. In chapter 25 of the Dao De Jing, you wrote Huan Cheng. In that case, I think it's what Bruno just mentioned. The idea of Huan is something primordial, formless, undifferentiated, limitless. So actually that's something very positive. That's the ultimate reality. The form is formless, undifferentiated, without limits. That kind of idea can be applied even to Dao. If you apply it to the beginning


of the universe, it means that the universe is coming from this substratum. Paul mentions this on the first or second page of his paper. The Greek word that the English is derived from really just means a deep abyss. So it's like a big mouth, some big thing that's ready to swallow a big space. That, I think, does fit the Chinese idea. It's basically empty fullness. Empty fullness, yes. Especially in Daoism. You can't have just emptiness. It has to be empty radiance. Otherwise it's a false experience. But if it's empty radiance as inseparable to one thing, then it's true. So that's, I think, the Greek term. It's just a little closer. But the English common usage is pretty problematical. Okay, on this, Agustin?


No. But we still have... But Father Hayden. Sister Agnes told me that you have one tongue. Another way of pronouncing that is one tongue. So every time you have one tongue... It's an experience. I always smile when I order a good big soup. I always call it a good big soup. It's filling another kind of emptiness. The modern chaos theory has a good meaning because the whole order comes from it. The fullness. But in a sense, the reason I had to stick with chaos is because it does come before the imposition of rational principles, organized structures, things that are held together. You can call it source. You could say that. Too easy. We still have this question


floating here about inner alchemy. But Augustin did raise two hands. He wants to weigh it down on chaos. I just want to say that one thing about Plato's Demands at the Beginning is that it could be seen as a joke. Especially the character of Demandus could be seen in a comical way. Especially because at that point the character of Socrates is silent. And if there is some organization of the chaos going on, if it's truly happening in a more observant way, in the person of Socrates who's looking at this happening in front of him and just being silent, just watching it. Also, if there is a sort of connection between the individual and the cosmos, it's in the spherical shape of the cosmos which resembles the spherical or egg-like shape of the head of the thinker Demandus. So there could be a chaotic


connection between the perceived chaos of the cosmos and the confusion of the human head. It's similar. I don't know if it was too sweet or special. Oh, that's great. On this, Mark? On this. I think it goes back to the point I was trying to make earlier, which is the facile translations of this across cultures often comes out to the detriment of, say, Taoism, Confucianism, or Buddhism. And they get rendered rather simplistic in stereotypical concepts. To match this, in Buddhism there's a phrase that comes to me out of the Tamsika, the Pai Indian, it says, the past is gone, the future is not yet, the present empty and still. Now, people hear this and they say, oh my god, vacuity. But empty here means interdependent and still means potential or limitless creation. But it's almost impossible, and it's the same thing here with chaos. When you render chaos in those terms, it has a negative connotation.


And I'm really happy to see this coming out because it's so critical to get the... It's not an idiomatic equivalent, it's a deeper, it's almost an ontological equivalent. And that's very hard to do because sometimes there isn't a match, and that's where we need to have patience. I tend to opt for... maybe it's irresponsible, I'm not sure, but what I tend to do is... I wanted to use chaos because I think there's... I think it sticks in people's craw. They hear it and they go, man, wait a minute, what are you talking about? Because... and what I would like to do is I'd like to just show up a possible point of divergence here, maybe a possible different cultural orientation towards things that are not rationally ordered. And so... and surround that poor translation, that irritating poor translation with some... flesh it out with enough explanation to... like, I like the idea of jarring people a bit. Actually, I gave


a very short, earlier version of this paper to a conference that held in Asian Studies at UBC. And all these hands shot up right away. What the... what's chaos? Why are you using chaos? Blah, blah, blah. And... I can't remember what I said, but I reckon... I knew it would irritate a lot of people. And... maybe that's instructive in some way. As long as it's done responsibly, like, you've got to fill it out. Well, what's also instructive in your talk, and maybe you weren't aware of this, is that your interpretation and rendering to us came not through the text, but through a living experience with a teacher. And this to me is also very critical, because if you just read the text and remembered that, well, you'd go away with one. But you actually had an embodiment to say, well, she is not always past and dead. And that's very important to convey. Good. What's chaos? Is it a chapter meeting, chaos? Or now, inner alchemy, right? Have we done chaos?


Inner and outer alchemy. What's that? I have another theme if we get done. Okay. You might make it. Okay, so I'm... first of all, I... I'm not sure I follow exactly what you want. I know you're interested in... there's outer alchemy, and there's inner alchemy. And you want to know how they are related historically. To explain inner alchemy in terms of your... not only your practice, but your perception. What is inner alchemy? What is the time... you know, read that. So what is the time? What is the time? Well, doesn't struggle with it. Well, good fission is acting up again. The question


is, what is this? Right? So, there's there's you form... they talk in... I wish I had some pictures here. You see a person meditating, and they have this little picture of a baby inside. And that's this. Metaphorically. What it tends... what I think it, I suppose, represents is it represents integration. There's, you know, there's yin and there's yang. And we have to bring them together. And there's talk about, okay, let me just review some images here. For example, there's the five phase theory. Everybody's probably familiar with that, right? Earth, fire, metal, water, and wood. And they correlate with... Okay, wood is your liver, obviously.


The heart is... Thanks, I just wanted to make sure The heart is fire. That makes sense. Kidneys are what? Yeah, exactly. The... The lungs are metal. And the spleen is the center. So, what you have is you have your you have your five you have your five phases. I call them phases because it involves movement. They're not elements. They're not static. So you've got your, you've got Earth in the center. And it's actually the will, also. The unified will, or intention, I think, too. And you have in the body now, just, you see this whole scheme here? Let's completely forget that. This is another way of describing it. Okay? So that's, you use this on other days, I guess.


And, okay, good. So what you're going to do now is you're going to you gather and refine this chi in the body through your behavior, through your demeanor, through your sitting, through your walking and interaction with people. And then, what eventually happens is it gets sent to various storehouses, right? Actually, in Chinese, in medical terminology, it's called storehouses. The organs are inside. These ones are, anyway. They store things, just like sheds for grain, you know. They store grain and then they take the grain out when people are hungry and they disperse it. Well, what happens is you get the chi all established in the organs. Okay, yeah, fine. And then what happens is by applying meditation, this unified will, right? So you've got sound,


the sound of the heart, something like that, right? Anyway, it's the will. And when you sit and it's unified, then what happens is all these move to the center. Once they move to the center and consolidate it, they begin to circulate again and the body, and then it opens up the body further, it develops the body further. You've also got yin and yang. It's another set of symbols. So forget this. This is just one way of doing it. Forget that. That's another way. Another way is that yin and yang and yin and yang are also a dragon and a tiger, right? And there's actually a beautiful passage which I don't have access to here, but it talks about a dragon and tiger up on top of a mountain and they're racing around and roaring and fighting. And they whirl around fighting and eventually they turn into a lump


of, I think it's purple gold or something. They become reduced into one. And to me, there are other images of unity that we don't have all day, but what I'm trying to get across is there's a sense of gathering, dispersal, and bringing back in, and circulating and dispersing, gathering in. And to me, this is actually not a static thing. It's not like you have something that you make inside yourself, like a little pill that sits there forever. Because it's sometimes called the golden pill. It's actually this process of generating and unifying that never, never really ceases as long as you're alive. So, I think that's... It's so mind-bogglingly complex, the symbols in this.


Like, I haven't even talked about it. All those hexagrams were used, mapped onto the body. And the same thing, you've got one... You've got one... Right? Actually... Sorry, that should be on the top. You've got fire on top. And you've got water down below. And what you do is... The interesting fire is in the heart. And the fire in the heart has to sink. And the only way to get fire in the heart to sink is to settle the heart down. Otherwise, it's flaring up and burning. Wow, there we go. You've got water down below. This, right? Which you have to store up. If you don't store it up and it leaks out, that's no good either. So this can't go down even though it wants to. This can't go up even though it wants to. This has to come down and this has to go up. And when the two meet, what do you get when you mix fire and water? Steam.


Yeah, you get a lot of steam, right? And that circulates and gets more pure again. So, there's so many images all through these texts of this idea of coming back to one. The point here is refinement. It's not just gathering and dispersing. Refinement is, I think, pertinent to the question that he's asking about the outer versus the inner. Refinement on every level. You know, your tendons, your ligaments, your heart, your tension, everything has to be refined. It's a work in progress. That's alchemy. That's right. It's transformation. We have, well, there's three hands up. How far are we going to... Four. How far are we going to go with this? Because we have a six o'clock service. I guess last question. One question. Well, it's very practical. I sat next to him and I said, how do you sit at a conference like this? And then, I want to know,


when you use your mind too much, that's a bad thing. How do you sit all day at a conference like this? And what about our minds? Good Lord. The thing is, I try not to grasp what I listen to. I don't try to grab everything and store it. What I do is I sit and then things will come and some of it will stick naturally and I'll walk away for the rest of my life with it stuck to me and some of it won't and it's all great and energizing and you just have to, you just ride the wave of what's happening and let it boil you up, but you just don't... Something like that. May I add something? Sure. Just land on the chair. Yeah. The situation you're describing is one where we leave the chair at a certain point. If you just


let gravity reassert itself so that you're actually on the chair again, that's a good start. Following his picture, what you technically do is sink something because it's going up too much. So you sink and rediscover your legs and your feet again. You meant how do you sit on a chair? You just sit like this. You put your feet down, you put your hands... Just let gravity take over. Sit straight. The point of this is large because what you want to do is to come back to being a human being in a life that has spiritual dimensions. So the issue you're raising is a very important one because we get so caught up in intriguing discussions that we lose that contact with each other. With that shared version of heart. So you're really addressing that issue and I think the answer here is just... Okay. That's it.


Thank you.