Authors: Michael Minn and Others 04/5/2007

Table of contents
Tao of Balance and Harmony Song of a New Heaven on Earth
.................................................... 1 Inner Smile, the Secret to Being Simple and True
.......................................................................... 2 Daoist Internal Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature’s Intelligence
3 ... Alchemy Formulas, Qi Field & Language Theory
................................................................... 3 On Alchemy, Iraq, and the Metal Element
..................................................................................... 4 To your inner gold and a peaceful heart,
......................................................................................... 5 On the Taoist “Pure Water Method” vs. “Water & Fire” Method of Alchemy
........................... 7 Taoist Alchemy & Breatharians
........................................................................................................ 8 Becoming the child
.......................................................................................................................... 13 On Immortality, the Body, & Wuji ................................................................................................. 13
State of the Universe Address
......................................................................................................... 14 Looking for Taoists in China, Mortal and Immortal
.................................................................... 16 Story of Mantak Chia Meeting Taoist Adept One Cloud
............................................................ 18 Mantak’s Chia’s Story
................................................................................................................ 18 Clearing the Confusion Over Fusion
..............................................................................................18 Healing Tao goes Breatharian
......................................................................................................... 21 Studies on the Fundamental Theory of Bigu (Food Abstinence)—Preliminary Experimental Observations of Cellular Bigu
....................................................................................................................................................................... 21 What Bigu Means to Me
................................................................................................................. 21 Some background
....................................................................................................................... 21 Abstention from grain
..................................................................................................................... 21 SUMMER 1999
......................................................................................................................... 22 Bigu begins
..................................................................................................................................22 What is Bigu?
............................................................................................................................. 22 The golden rule of bigu
............................................................................................................. 23 Tea
............................................................................................................................................... 23 Having big goals towards the benefit of humanity
................................................................. 23 Dr Yan Xin
..................................................................................................................................23 I CHING on LAW (Original Shen) and Unfoldment of CHI
................................................... 24


Tao of Balance and Harmony Song of a New Heaven on Earth
By Michael Winn

Tao births the One. One births the Two. Two births the Three. Three births the 10,000. things. - Verse 42, Tao Te Ching This Healing Tao USA logo is a map of Higher Consciousness based on Taoist cosmology. I designed it based on decades of exploring the secrets of Taoist internal alchemy meditation, deep experience of qigong (chi kung), and study of the ancient classic - I Ching: Book of Unchanging Changes. Are you ready for a quick journey deep into Taoist cosmology? The logo maps an image of a vibrational experience: flowing consciousness is being “sung” into physical form through a pattern of subtle tones. A subtle tone is just a vibration moving in a particular pattern, that can be known by the shape of what is created. Just as Nature sings itself into existence, we each sing our human body-mind into existence. But humans are generally not aware of how we “sing-vibrate” the shape of our reality. This image expresses the principle of balance in the yin-yang pulsations of the chi field. Chi, also spelled “qi”, is the subtle breathing of Nature. Yin-Y is any polarity - male-female, positive-negative, ang etc. - flowing dynamically in equilibrium within a matrix of neutral or Original Chi (yuan chi). Tao as Musical Cosmology Each of the eight trigram tone-symbols has three lines or notes that form a musical chord. The eight trigrams are from the Early Heaven (formless) arrangement, in which each trigram-tone is the mirror opposite of the trigram-tone facing it. This creates four pairs of musical chords that represent the primordial Tao or Nature “singing itself into creation” as the four sacred directions/ cardinal vibrations. The fifth direction – the Center – is symbolized by the fivepointed star emerging from the “vesica piscis” or sexually coupled large red (fire) and blue (water) spheres. Three forces are coiled inside this geometric vesica piscis – the black and white spirals of primal yin-yang chi force, and the golden glowing sphere of Original Breath, or yuan chi. In the center of the star is a tiny circle, representing the Original Breath emerging from the Supreme Mystery, or Wuji. This center can never be fully known, it is the Mystery beyond all other mysteries. Y et this Mystery lives inside each of us. It divides itself out three times into: 1. The Fundamental Tone of Oneness (yuan or Original chi field).
The chi field of Two-ness (Yin-Y polarity). ang
The Five Phase cycle (five-ness called Fire, Earth, Gold, Water, and Wood).

These three core layers of tonal patterns are vibrating simultaneously in everything in nature, creating the seasons, the flow of chi inside our body meridians and organs, the spin of galaxies and atoms. Five Elements Pattern at Core of Every Human The 5-pointed star in the center also represents a Completed Human Being. This is any human being who has internalized the five sacred directions/elements/tones within themselves. When this happens, there is no boundary between their body and the body of Nature. This is a human being in perfect harmony and balance with its environment, they have expanded their awareness to become one with the universal natural flow. It is a state of consciousness that is simultaneously transcendent (multi-dimensional) and immanent (physically present). The star expresses the principle of five elements/five phases, which, along with yin-yang theory, is central to all Chinese culture. These principles are the foundation of Chinese medicine, feng shui, qigong, inner and outer alchemy, astrology, face and palm reading, martial arts and war strategy, city planning, the Chinese calendar, etc. Five Elements is also a universal pattern, found in all ancient cultures as the sacred four directions and the Center. Flipping Yin-Y Poles to Rejuvenate Life ang The mirroring of the eight trigram tones also suggests a timeless equilibrium of cosmic musical forces that are all held in the Unnamed center, as a 9th tone-force. This is also known as the Fundamental, or Original Tone that sings out all the tones of creation. The eight tonal-trigrams in my arrangement have been changed from the normal Early Heaven arrangement: each pair of trigrams has been flipped or inverted twice. Heaven (three solid lines) used to be on top, now it is below. Earth (three broken lines) used to be on bottom, now it is on top. Fire (yang-yin-yang lines) and Water (yin-yang-yini) lines have reversed their positions o the left and right. This flipping of the eight trigram-tones naturally occurs the “refining” process of inner alchemy meditations. When we meditate, we dissolve our fixed sense of duality/separation by “flipping” the energetic poles inside our body-mind. This produces a refreshed state of consciousness, and one that is more stable. This is similar to life and death cycles in nature rejuvenating each other. The flipping or inverting of any two polarities creates a new awakening of the third force in the center, the Original Breath of Humanity. Paradigm Shift: A New Heaven on Earth What does “a new Heaven on Earth” mean? The Chinese term is “zhong tian”. It implies the sexual coupling of Early Heaven (formless plane) and Later Heaven (physical plane). It also reveals that humanity is in a major paradigm shift, a major birthing process, a critical point in the turning of the great cosmic wheel. Heaven, the formless, is below Earth, the embodiment of form. Heaven supports Earth (vertical axis), and Fire is stabilized by Water (horizontal axis). This represents the free flow of chi or subtle energy between these poles – the state of wu wei manifested. Wu-wei is the “no-resistance” state of grace natural to every being. It was made famous by Lao Tzu in his 2500 year old classic, Tao Te Ching (daodejing). Qigong and Meditation as Best Tools for Personal Change Tao inner Alchemy and qigong (chi kung) are the meditation and movement aspects of an ancient spiritual science. Healing Tao USA has as its mission to make these wonderful spiritual tools available to you. They can help each of us to speed up the process of unfolding our Natural Path. Alchemy is the ancient term for the natural way to speed up evolution. It allows us to more easily and quickly merge with Nature and the formless Oneness of the Tao while preserving our individual will and responsibility for shaping creation. Note: This logo was created with computer assistance from Mike Teeters. See his photo and image art at arrowofmoonlight.com. This logo will eventually be produced as a poster that can be hung in your


meditation room or home. It can help you to alig with the paradigm shift to a New Heaven on Earth filled with balance and harmony. This bagua logo is currently available on a custom ordered basis. This work of art is a beautiful hand-made eight-sided dark rose-wood frame, size 19 inches x 19 inches. The image is printed on three different levels to add visual depth. Each one is hand made by a meticulous craftsman. Cost: $199. + shipping/handling.

Inner Smile, the Secret to Being Simple and True
Published in the Immortal Child, Newsletter of the Healing Tao Instructor’s Association, in 2000 Michael Winn

In April 1999, a dozen Senior Instructors and old time US students from the 1980’s were waiting in Masahiro Ouchi’s New Y office to ork meet with Master Chia, who was delayed by half a day. This was the core group that had launched the Healing Tao and supported it in its uncertain early days. There was some gloom, caused by the divorce of the Chias’ and its surrounding dark aura of rumor and lawsuits. We decided to each share our vision of what we wanted the Healing Tao to be, with the benefit of 20 years of hindsight. The visions that emerged were spoken from the heart, in a circle of old friends. Many felt the Healing Tao could be more heart centered in its teachings, less manipulation of chi by technique. Some called for more balance between the male and female approaches to teaching, more “yin” practice focused on receiving and nurturing chi and cultivating virtues of love and compassion, instead of “yang” methods of commanding and projecting chi. Others asked for simplicity, greater focus on the ultimate truths of the Tao, less attention to myriad ways to energetically change yourself or the world, more attention to cultivating “shen” and spiritual values. Since then, I have received many letters and had many conversations with HT instructors from around the world. I sense there is a genuine shift occuring in the Healing Tao, a yearning for core simplicity and truth and silence. The HT has made its fame with the many sophisticated methods for managing the energy body, and this has perhaps been its first necessary step to achieving acceptance in the West. Master Chia has been a superb emissary for accomplishing this mission, and our collective impact worldwide has been tremendous. One of the reasons I myself supported the HT from the very start was its practicality in everyday life, its immediate benefits, the very tangible opening of personal chi flow. This was my prime motivation in spending years writing & editing its many books filled with techniques, and encouraging others to do so. I was well aware of other paths that focused more direclty on other-worldly, transcendental approaches to meditation. I had close connections to other highly achieved spiritual teachers in the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, but chose not to promote them because of what always seemed to me to be excess religious baggage. But now, 20 years later, on the brink of a new millennium, I find my own teaching style has dramatically changed. I want the Simple and True in my own life, and have seen too many students drop away from the Tao because they could not keep up with the perceived necessity of doing so many techniques. Techniques can become a way for the Ego to hide its fear of losing control behind a mask of accomplisihed skills. I am concerned for the future growth of the Healing Tao, and ask myself, if we put on a simpler face, would the teachings achieve even more widespead acceptance, more devoted adherents? Do we need to fear Simplicity? The key is to emulate nature, and Nature always seems to favor the simplest way of doing things, even complicated things. As the current President of the National Qigong/Chi Kung AssociationoUSA, I have had the opportunity to exchange teachings with dozens of other schools of the Tao. When I co-lead an NQA trip to China last year with 30 sophisticated western qigong healers, I was especially impressed by a comment made by Dr. Cai Jun, the head of Qigong Medicine at Shi Yuan, a major Beijing hospital: “It seems you Americans are well trained in qigong techniques. Some of you are on the edge of being really good. Actually, I think Americans in

general may be more sensitive to chi than the average Chinese person. But I perceive a general weakness in your dan tiens. If you build the lower dan tien, then all the other channels, the orbit, healing ability, etc. will easily follow. Taoist neidan (alchemy) is very simple this way.” I have taken his comment to heart. In my Chi Kung Fundamentals course, I spend a long time from the very start doing a very simple chi kung movement I now call Ocean Breathing, a brilliant term coined by Senior Instructor Walter Beckley, who was experimenting with similar simple breathing methods. The secret in these methods is to get “mindless” as quickly and directly as possible, while still focusing on the lower dan tien. The image of water gets you out of the heady concept of breathing air, and into the deeper watery rhythms of your blood and jing. I link in a heart centered Inner Smile with this state of floating in waves inside the dan tien, and being aware of a vast ocean inside the body, an inner ocean of chi, bigger even than the outer ocean. The dan tien is no longer a tiny, hard to find point inside a dense little physical body -- it is immense, and from the very start the source of all pure chi used in the Healing Sounds. I teach students to see their bodies filling with clouds of different colored chi from this inner ocean filling their vital organs and entire body, before they breathe it out using the Healing Sounds. And I give them dynamic movements to help release the chi, by integrating the Six Healing Sounds with the oldest chi kung movement known in China, the Five Animals Play. In between each sound & animal movement, I have them internally breathe between the vital organ and the dan tien. I never let the students get away from this inner ocean of chi in succeeding practices like Fusion and Healing Love or a new course I teach called Internal Chi Rooting and Breathing, my simplified version of Iron Shirt (different postures learned in China) and neutral force breathing. To make sure spiritual values are reinforced, I begin training them from the very start to contact not just the chi of each vital organ, but the shen (spirit, or “natural intelligence”), as well. This opens up a different kind of communication internally, in which you have to open your innermost heart in order to talk with the spirit of each organ. I introduce the Five Shen as “my inner family” or “inner children”, each with different needs and abilities. It also paves the way for a shen (and “te”, or virtue) based practice of the Fusion and Kan and Li formulas. I’ve found this an effective way to simplify the Healng Tao practices. Chi can be manipulated using outer will or ego. Shen, as your inner voices, will only relate to your inner will or spiritual intent. Anytime a practice starts to feel complicated or too pushy or too heady, I tell students to drop all the techniques, go back into the Inner Ocean, and invite one or all of their their Five Shen/ Inner Family to take an internal vacation doing nothing but smiling and riding the pulsing ocean waves. In short, drop back into empty mind, but an emptiness that is grounded in one’s inner oceanic essence and the sensuous, primal orgasmic pulsations of the life force. I encourage every instructor to find the Way that speaks to you personally and feels most true, as this felt sense of truth is what ultimately gets transmitted to students. If you cannot find the Simple and True inside yourself, how will your students find it? The Simple and True ultimately can only be apprehended in Silence and Stillness, where the monkey mind cannot bring its endless techniques and concepts/images and words. This is constantly stressed in the ancient Tao teachings. In the Tao Canon text of the Zhonghe Ji, it puts it thus: “Silence is the Word. Fundamentally in the place where the Word exists there is Silence. The world is silent; that is the secret formula of alchemy.” We have the secret formula under our noses already in the Healing Tao, and it is called the Inner Smile. But I rarely see it taught as a high level shen practice, only as a beginner or warm up to a meditation, or tied into an ever more complicated technique of manipulating chi. But once technique has used the polarities of yin and yang to change the balance of chi in any moment, that is the moment when our Original Being has a new opening to come into Presence. Techniques open the gates, then we must leap quickly to ride on the invisible back of yuan (original) chi between the waves of dragon and tiger, of yin and yang. So really, I think all the Healing Tao techniques should be seen as warmups for a Simple and True Inner Smile. Control of Chi must each time be followed by Surrender to Shen. Practically speaking,


appropriate time and emphasis must be given to allowing our inner heart virtues of love/acceptance (fire), kindness/compassion (wood), integrity (gold), wisdom (deep water) and trust (core earth) to merge with this Inner Smile. In my experience, this deeply felt natural virtue is what attracts the Tao Iimmortals. They are not faked out by the concept of virtue, by words imitating virtue or the techniques trying to control or force virtue. But when natural heart virtue and method unite in focused spiritual intent, they must come to assist their human brothers and sisters in cultivating the Elixir of immortality. As a Healing Tao-ist, are YOU ready to embrace the Simple and True?

Daoist Internal Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature's Intelligence
By Michael Winn When qi returns, Elixir spontaneously crystallizes
in the cauldron pairing water and fire.
Ying and yang arise, alternating endlessly,
the sound of thunder everywhere.
White clouds gather on the summit,
Sweet dew bathes the polar mountain.
Having drunk the wine of long life,
Y wander freely; who can know you? ou
Y sit and listen to the stringless tune, ou
Y clearly grasp the mechanism of creation. ou -Hundred Character Tablet of Ancestor Lu Dongbin (1) Daoist internal alchemy is one of the most difficult aspects of Daoism for westerners to penetrate. This is partly because few Chinese themselves can grasp its essence. The alchemical literature is fascinating but maddeningly obscure. It wears two masks simultaneously, one promising mystical illumination and immortality, the other promising a spiritual science, a systematic approach to bridge the dark gulf between a fragile human mind in a mortal body and the vast eternal life of the cosmos. My thesis will necessarily wear both of these masks, veering between intimate accounts of my experience with alchemy and my attempt to find an objective ground for understanding daoist alchemy as a deep language available to anyone willing to learn to speak its silent patterns. May the Dao Immortals smile within the hearts of all who read this.

Alchemy Formulas, Qi Field & Language Theory
When I was first initiated into daoist qigong and internal alchemy (nei dan) practice twenty years ago, I began having exciting and profound experiences. Mysterious hidden inner worlds were suddenly revealed to me. The interior dimensions of my body became a vast playground that I had somehow overlooked in my previous spiritual explorations. As I progressed through “Seven Alchemical Formulas for Attaining Immortality”, I gradually came to recognize the nei dan formulas themselves reveal a deep language by which Nature communicates with the different dimensions of its own intelligence. This universal field of intelligence in alchemical terms is the mind of the Dao. Physical nature would be the body of the Dao. These seven formulas were transmitted to my first daoist teacher Mantak Chia by One Cloud, a daoist monk who searched with limited success in various monasteries for thirty years for the secrets of internal alchemy. An abbot finally told him to “go into the mountains to find a teacher”. On Long White Mountain in northern China near Manchuria One Cloud met another daoist who had left his monastery, and who HAD found a true teacher of internal alchemy. He transmitted to One Cloud these nei dan formulas. One Cloud practiced these methods and entered into the breatharian state (bigu) for some years, meaning he fed his body on qi alone. (2) During the Japanese invasion One Cloud left his mountain,

and migrated on foot to the mountains behind Hong Kong. He healed local people and taught neidan to a few students. He was a simple man who constantly smiled; his only complaint was that eating some bad food after he came down the mountain would cause his early death. He died at age 96 in the 1970’s. His formulas resonate with writings attributed to Lu Dongbin, one of the semi-legendary “Eight Immortals”, around which the “Zhong-Lu” neidan tradition first flourished in the 10 and 11th centuries. Some of his formulas also resemble the teachings on nei dan of the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) tradition. Historically, it is not clear if the practice of internal alchemy adopted by temple schools of daoism like Quanzhen originally came from scattered “mountain dao” practitioners like One Cloud’s teacher. One Cloud told Chia that he had “given him the best from all his teachers”. The seven formulas by title and brief summary of their practice are found in appendix A. Today in China there are thousands of qigong forms and many different neigong and nei dan systems of internal mind training. At first this is bewildering, as if it were a spiritual labyrinth with too many paths. But now, looking back after 20 years , it is easy to see all methods as expression of a single common deep energetic language. Whether the life force, qi, is moved using body language or is shaped by the intention or imagination of a particular aspect of mind/spirit (shen), it is still the same language of qi. Just as one can produce many different word combinations in English, all comprehensible because of a common grammar and vocabulary, so one can create many qigong and neigong forms, each movement pattern having a unique effect on the body-mind’s qi field. Nei dan (”inner elixir”) is a special class of neigong (”inner skill”) that trains one to “speak” the deep language that silently pulses through the medium of a universal qi field. One of the meanings of the chinese character for “Dao” is “to speak, to tell”. (3) Hence in the famous first line of the Dao dejing (Tao Te Ching),”The Dao that can be spoken is not the true Dao”, the word “spoken” is the same character as that used for “Dao”. The line could even be translated, “The speaking that is spoken is not the true speaking”. So the idea that the Dao exists as an unspoken, or silent language, is emphasized in the very first line of this classic. Linguists generally agree there must exist a “deep language” structure that allows every child born to speak “natural languages” such as English or Chinese, or to create “formal languages” such as computer programs or symbol languages such as the I Ching or mathematics. Noam Chomsky posits a “universal grammar” that is deeper even than the “transformational grammar” he thinks underlies each natural spoken language. But no linguist has been able to describe the structure of this deep language other than to say that it is what defines intelligence itself, and all power of thinking and organized perception. Some linguists admit this deep language may best be explored by religion.(4) Neurobiologists, unable to locate a deep language structure in the brain, have theorized that memory and intelligence are held in some kind of holographic field. Physicists like David Bohm, Erwin Lazlo and Mae Wan Ho posit a holographic quantum field filled with selfcreating organisms that communicate via energy fields with a superconscious universal organism. (5) This organic quantum field theory (not accepted by most physicists, who view space/time as mechanistic) bears some similarity to ancient daoist alchemical ideas. One major difference is the daoist ideas have gone through several millennia of practical testing and application to the evolution of humans. My thesis is that a deep language ability is stored in the qi field, and that One Cloud’s nei dan formulas are a good example of how it is possible to train oneself to directly perceive and communicate with Nature’s intelligence in a mostly non-verbal and non-ordinary language. Daoist alchemy allows us to approach closely the Mystery of our Inner Voice. Whether we hear these voices inside our head as audible voices or as silent thoughts, or instinctual feelings from our gut, who is speaking to us? Alchemy answers the question: where do intuition and inner guidance arise from? By learning the alchemical process of commmunicating through resonance with different dimensions of the qi field, we can systematically get in touch with the origin of those voices. I define qigong (”skill with energy”) as a natural body language arising to the “surface” from neigong’s deeper grammar of qi patterns.


(6) Practicing qigong (in which I include taiji, bagua, and xingyi internal arts) is like learning the strokes of the qi alphabet and their “meaning” or expression in physical reality. By calming the mind, regulating the breath, and moving one’s body in particular patterns, the qi field governing the meridians and energetic centers of the physical body is activated and “speaks back” to one initially as different feelings of energy. Qigong and neigong are not something that one “does” in the ordinary sense of action; rather they are methods of shaping how one communicates. The shape of the qi patterns being communicated then shape one’s reality. The qi field is the field of all possible relationships. Every relationship involves communication; communication requires a language, and as Ludwig Wittgenstein demonstrated in his famed treatise on “private language”-- every language by definition is public and accessible. The seven neidan formulas I learned give a coherent public structure and sequence to a human language process for speaking with and listening to the deepest levels of Nature’s intelligence. I believe alchemy is a process of learning to speak with this universal intelligence using the entirety of one’s personal being -body, qi, and spirit fused into one.

On Alchemy, Iraq, and the Metal Element
Michael Winn Dear Lovers of Inner Peace, Spiritual people are often at a loss as to how to respond to political events. This essay is about looking beneath the surface, as that is where spiritual focus can leverage itself most powerfully, not in outer struggle. Both inner work and outer action are needed, but put inner work first as it will determine the direction and quality of outer action. This essay is a meditation on the transmutation of the metal element that is currently occurring in the global psyche around the issue of war in Iraq. At the end I offer a short sample meditation of how the individual adept can help the global mind process this crisis. I believe this inner alchemical work is extremely important, whether before or after a war in Iraq. Metal is the main element used in weaponry, and is the focal point of all alchemical work, both eastern and western alchemy, and in both internal and external (laboratory) alchemy. The transmutation of “lead” into “gold” is seen as both a psychic and material process. Like everything and everyone else, metal is considered to have both a divine and a demonic aspect. For the last month I have been on retreat on an undeveloped island near South America, meditating and writing a book on internal alchemy. This remove made it easier to examine the underlying layers of what is really Spiritual people are often at a loss to respond to pressing political issues. driving the current crisis over Iraq. I am not speaking of the conflicting national greed, power, and ego (disguised as moral superiority) that are present in any war as its surface cause. I am speaking of the deep global psyche of humanity and its relation to metal. Reading Mircae Eliade’s history of alchemy ( The Forge and the Crucible), I was reminded that it was on Iraqi soil, in ancient Babylonia, that alchemy is recorded as the first human effort to speed up the evolution of the metal element. Metal was mined, its ore an “embryo” pulled from the womb of the earth, and refined by fire, to bring out its “gold”, i.e. true higher nature. (I will ignore for simplicity’s sake the probability of much older civilizations that practiced alchemy, like Atlantis, and the pacific civilization that preceded Taoists in China). Metallurgy, along with agriculture, was the turning point in human history, as it led to the development of nearly all modern technology, from plowshares to swords to cruise missiles. Five thousand years later, the US is threatening to deluge Iraq with metal munitions, from bombs to bullets, but most notably the metal uranium in the form of depleted uranium. Uranium would be considered by alchemists to be a volatile metal that is being “forced” open to do its dirty work. And dirty it is; besides being toxic (to humans and tanks), it has a half life of 4.5 billion years. Whoever wins or loses any war in Iraq will be historically irrelevant -- the stupid politicians, proud generals, greedy bankers & oil companies and the horribly suffering soldiers and innocent

civilians will all die off and be forgotten in short order. However, Nature as a whole, and its disconsolate child Humanity, will have to deal with the consequences of this “corruption” of the metal element, basically forever. Which is why this war is not ultimately about politics, but about the spiritual evolution of humanity, and about whether we can refine and elevate our relation to metal specifically and to technology in general. This potential war is about the inner will of humanity, and whether the demon of metal technology controls us or we control it. Not a final decision, but an important marker, because of the global focus and the completely voluntary nature of the pre-emptive war being proposed. To get the sobering details of the effect of depleted uranium in the last Gulf War, read the interview (at end of this essay) with Major Doug Rokke, the top military physicist and officer in charge of monitoring biological, nuclear and chemical safety during that 1991 war. The most astounding fact he delivers is that the US military, ostensibly the bloodless victor in a quick war, actually had a casualty rate of thirty percent! After the war over 221,000. Veterans were discharged, basically “wounded” by radiation illness from our own weapons of mass destruction. So who really lost the war? What is this global crisis really about? It is not about whether the UN inspections will work to stop Saddam. It is about humanity “inspecting” itself, all the nations and all the billions of humans now connected through metal technology (computers, tv’s, satellites) getting to witness their own desire for and revulsion against using metal for violence and revenge. Essentially, it is an ancient drama about the demonic vs. the divine in metal, enacted in the theater of ancient Babylonia. Its about, will humanity stop itself from destroying itself with metal technology? The layers of psychic history going back to Babylonia are all present to the global psyche, even if we as individuals have forgotten. This will intensify the depth of penetration of this war into the global psyche. What is the spiritual significance of metal in this drama? Taoist alchemy clarifies this best: metal is ruled in the human body by the “po” soul, the Spirit of the Lungs that represents the personal metal element in the human psyche. The Po is the least evolved soul, the most prone to greed and narcissism, to “me” consciousness, the most attached to earth and body. The Po becomes a ghost after death, if not transmuted into “gold”, i.e. Integrated into the original spirit of ourselves and humanity. The Po is constantly at war with other elements/souls in our body, our heart spirit, etc. It doesn’t trust Heaven, or the celestial soul aspects of us. It is prone to use its metal chi demonically, to “cut” or wound its enemies in an age old cycle of revenge. If you cut the metal element in another person, it means you have cut their lung spirit so they can no longer breathe. (Depleted uranium particles ironically kill by being absorbed into the lining of the lungs). Metal also has the power to cut skin (considered part of our metal boundary in chinese medicine) to open up the blood. Blood holds the ancestral patterns of revenge feeding the killing impulse. If you kill someone in battle with your sword,you must look into the eyes of your noble brother. Killing a face-to-face human enemy soldier may allow for some spiritual redemption. It’s possible in that moment of killing there is a soul exchange, even though you have violated the Life Force by killing what your species has birthed. If, by absorption in the moment of death, you “eat” the soul of the killed person, and accept your responsibility in killing, some soul transmutation in both soldiers may occur. The blood sacrifice forces some soul movement. A painful path to change, but a path. What is truly evil or demonic about modern warfare is the spiritual separation from the act of killing that metal technology in weapons now allow. Modern soldiers and their pentagon guides never really kill anybody. The metal bombs and bullets and missiles do the killing. That is the only reason the US is even contemplating this war -- the naïve belief one can technologically kill the enemy at a distance without paying for it with a soul debt. That is true separation of actor from his act. It’s also a good working definition of evil -- I didn’t do it, the Devil pulled the trigger. Or the trigger somehow got pulled to killed the devil enemy. The devil, of course, is just our own demonic ego, hiding behind metal armor, separated from the rest of our soul consciousness and thus from humanity.


Can we escape this struggle within the two sides of our metalarmored ego, and transmute globally our heavy lead ego into gold this time, what we couldn’t do in Gulf War 1991? Or will it merely be another global spectacle, “ US Military gladiators brandishing cruise missiles over their sacrificial Iraqi victims in the coliseum”, played for our convenience on CNN? Sanitized by the media of course, because the public wouldn’t watch if they really saw how gruesome war is. How evil all war is, even wars of “necessary evil”. And I can tell you my experience, from watching the killing in African wars, the lifeless bodies stinking in the streets, that war is the greatest sickness on this planet. It’s too early to say, but there are positive signs. The Germans, with their memory of nazism, declining to support this hyped up war; the millions demonstrating worldwide. The smaller nations at the UN sticking together, refusing to be bullied by the big guns of the US. Maybe the US needs to express its excess yang, its aggression, and be witnessed by the global community, in order to see itself clearly and feel remorse. A new stage in the evolving global personality of humanity? I did have a lucid dream about Saddam Hussein down on my island retreat that was a bit shocking to me. Saddam was cornered in a valley, fighting to the very end, and suddenly he surrenders. He walks away unscathed, wearing spiffy casual civilian sports clothes. I am a lucky journalist who happens to get an interview with him. He is friendly, gregarious, buys everyone a drink and charms the house. He takes a liking to me. He is coarse in his personality, still smells from all his killing, but I can feel his real heart opening. I awake. Of course, this dream could be solely about the surrender of my own personal, or an ancestral, internal dictator. If so, it just means the “fire” of the global conflict is transmuting my internal metal element. But in my many years as a war correspondent in Africa and the mideast, I never had a single dream about a political leader. That’s why it was shocking to me. So the dream raises the possibility in my mind that the intense global media scrutiny of Saddam Hussein, and the antiwar protests, may be rapidly transforming him and us, the spectators. Saddam is a human being, stuck in a centuries old role of medieval Islamic politics. He is probably discovering that he genuinely likes the novelty of being the global underdog championing his nation’s right to peace. That feeling may be his ticket to feeling a different kind of internal security. Not to suggest Saddam should escape justice for his numerous crimes. I just want to highlight that dramatic and unexpected shifts in global consciousness may be occurring, bigger than all of the players involved. Anyway, the self-appointed job of alchemists is to speed up the transmutation of the metal element in man and in nature. The metal element - symbolized by our breath -- within each of us offers us a fulcrum point to change the demon of metal into divine gold. So I hope you will all join in the alchemical process this Friday, where ever you are. And everyday thereafter, or every breath you take thereafter....as metal is the dense octave of air. If we transmute our breathing, and soften it with the yin fire or “civil fire” within our hearts, just as a smith softens the metal on his fiery forge, we transmute our Po soul. A simple meditation is to use the Inner Smile. Just breathe deep into your lungs, embracing the aspects of your psyche caught up in internal wars. Dissolve your attachment to the global drama, stirred up by media reports. Smile to the blood consciousness of your ancestors that breathes in your lungs, and neutrally accept and witness the memory of the scars of their many ancient wars imprinted in your lung spirit. Breathe out, release. Feel the rigid “metal” structure of your beliefs and judgments of self-righteousness dissolving as you smile inside your lungs. Rigid metal means rigid breathing. Do the lung healing sound (Hissss...) to help release and recycle those trapped war feelings: the cycle of killing, fear and revenge, and grief over being trapped in it. Release our collective grief at being stuck in this dehumanizing cycle for so many millenia. Breathe in again, fresh chi of this moment, embracing life, then breathe out, letting go of the past. Contact your Yi, your creative power of intention centered in your spleen/earth element, by smiling to it. Ask its for help in strengthening our true metal, and to help our lungs-heavy lead consciousness to release whatever is ready to be released. As you breathe it

out, see it transmuted into a Gold pearl. This gold pearl is the transmuted metal that you imagine resting in the heart of gold of our collective humanity. Underneath the layers of hatred and violence and fear. As you breathe, nothing is discarded, everything - the fear, grief, hatred, the killers and their victims -- is gathered back into the radiant fire of our collective heart, but in a purified form. Y could imagine the gold pearl as a sun inside your ou belly cauldron, or floating in front of your third eye (upper cauldron).

To your inner gold and a peaceful heart,
Michael Winn Feb. 18, 2003 Ps. While we are on the topic of cultivating inner peace, the Fusion of the Five Elements process offers even more powerful methods for creating peace within. The Inner Smile is basic, Fusion is intermediate, Kan and Li is more advanced. The fusion process helps us to quickly transform negative emotion and transmute it back into innate human virtue. It is crucial to both our internal growth process and to our outer peace process. Some of you may have learned it and forgotten to practice. It requires review to master, but it pays off in the end. If you cannot study it live with an instructor near you, consider getting it on audio tape. It is key to inner alchemical transmutation of our heavy lead ego self. I use the fusion pattern at higher octaves all though the more advanced kan and li (water and firei) alchemy formulas. -----------THE WAR AGAINST OURSELVES An Interview with Major Doug Rokke FutureNet / Y es! http://www.futurenet.org/25environmentandhealth/rokke.htm Doug Rokke has a PhD in health physics and was originally trained as a forensic scientist. When the Gulf War started, he was assigned to prepare soldiers to respond to nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare, and sent to the Gulf. What he experienced has made him a passionate voice for peace, traveling the country to speak out. The following interview was conducted by the director of the Traprock Peace Center, Sunny Miller, supplemented with questions from YES! editors. QUESTION : Any viewer who saw the war on television had the impression this was an easy war, fought from a distance and soldiers coming back relatively unharmed. Is this an accurate picture? ROKKE : At the completion of the Gulf War, when we came back to the United States in the fall of 1991, we had a total casualty count of 760: 294 dead, a little over 400 wounded or ill. But the casualty rate now for Gulf War veterans is approximately 30 percent. Of those stationed in the theater, including after the conflict, 221,000 have been awarded disability, according to a Veterans Affairs (VA) report issued September 10, 2002. Many of the US casualties died as a direct result of uranium munitions friendly fire. US forces killed and wounded US forces. We recommended care for anybody downwind of any uranium dust, anybody working in and around uranium contamination, and anyone within a vehicle, structure, or building that’s struck with uranium munitions. That’s thousands upon thousands of individuals, but not only US troops. Y should provide medical care not only for ou the enemy soldiers but for the Iraqi women and children affected, and clean up all of the contamination in Iraq.


And it’s not just children in Iraq. It’s children born to soldiers after they came back home. The military admitted that they were finding uranium excreted in the semen of the soldiers. If you’ve got uranium in the semen, the genetics are messed up. So when the children were conceived -- the alpha particles cause such tremendous cell damage and genetics damage that everything goes bad. Studies have found that male soldiers who served in the Gulf War were almost twice as likely to have a child with a birth defect and female soldiers almost three times as likely. Q: Y have been a military man for over 35 years. Y served in ou ou Vietnam as a bombardier and you are still in the US Army Reserves. Now you’re going around the country speaking about the dangers of depleted uranium (DU). What made you decide you had to speak publicly about DU? ROKKE: Everybody on my team was getting sick. My best friend John Sitton was dying. The military refused him medical care, and he died. John set up the medical evacuation communication system for the entire theater. Then he got contaminated doing the work. John and Rolla Dolph and I were best friends in the civilian world, the military world, forever. Rolla got sick. I personally got the order that sent him to war. We were both activated together. I was given the assignment to teach nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare and make sure soldiers came back alive and safe. I take it seriously. I was sent to the Gulf with this instruction: Bring ‘em back alive. Clear as could be. But when I got all the training together, all the environmental cleanup procedures together, all the medical directives, nothing happened. More than 100 American soldiers were exposed to DU in friendly fire accidents, plus untold numbers of soldiers who climbed on and entered tanks that had been hit with DU, taking photos and gathering souvenirs to take home. They didn’t know about the hazards. DU is an extremely effective weapon. Each tank round is 10 pounds of solid uranium-238 contaminated with plutonium, neptunium, americium. It is pyrophoric, generating intense heat on impact, penetrating a tank because of the heavy weight of its metal. When uranium munitions hit, it’s like a firestorm inside any vehicle or structure, and so we saw tremendous burns, tremendous injuries. It was devastating. The US military decided to blow up Saddam’s chemical, biological, and radiological stockpiles in place, which released the contamination back on the US troops and on everybody in the whole region. The chemical agent detectors and radiological monitors were going off all over the place. We had all of the various nerve agents. We think there were biological agents, and there were destroyed nuclear reactor facilities. It was a toxic wasteland. And we had DU added to this whole mess. When we first got assigned to clean up the DU and arrived in northern Saudi Arabia, we started getting sick within 72 hours. Respiratory problems, rashes, bleeding, open sores started almost immediately. When you have a mass dose of radioactive particulates and you start breathing that in, the deposit sits in the back of the pharynx, where the cancer started initially on the first guy. It doesn’t take a lot of time. I had a father and son working with me. The father is already dead from lung cancer, and the sick son is still denied medical care. Q: Did you suspect what was happening? ROKKE: We didn’t know anything about DU when the Gulf War started. As a warrior, you’re listening to your leaders, and they’re saying there are no health effects from the DU. But, as we started to study this, to go back to what we learned in physics and our

engineering -- I was a professor of environmental science and engineering -- you learn rapidly that what they’re telling you doesn’t agree with what you know and observe. In June of 1991, when I got back to the States, I was sick. Respiratory problems and the rashes and neurological things were starting to show up. Q: Why didn’t you go to the VA with a medical complaint? ROKKE: Because I was still in the Army, and I was told I couldn’t file. Y have to have the information that connects your exposure to ou your service before you go to the VA. The VA obviously wasn’t going to take care of me, so I went to my private physician. We had no idea what it was, but so many good people were coming back sick. They didn’t do tests on me or my team members. According to the Department of Defense’s own guidelines put out in 1992, any excretion level in the urine above 15 micrograms of uranium per day should result in immediate medical testing, and when you get up to 250 micrograms of total uranium excreted per day, you’re supposed to be under continuous medical care. Finally the US Department of Energy performed a radiobioassay on me in November 1994, while I was director of the Depleted Uranium Project for the Department of Defense. My excretion rate was approximately 1500 micrograms per day. My level was 5 to 6 times beyond the level that requires continuous medical care. But they didn’t tell me for two and a half years. Q: What are the symptoms of exposure to DU? ROKKE: Fibromyalgia. Eye cataracts from the radiation. When uranium impacts any type of vehicle or structure, uranium oxide dust and pieces of uranium explode all over the place. This can be breathed in or go into a wound. Once it gets in the body, a portion of this stuff is soluble, which means it goes into the blood stream and all of your organs. The insoluble fraction stays -- in the lungs, for example. The radiation damage and the particulates destroy the lungs. Q: What kind of training have the troops had, who are getting called up right now -- the ones being shipped to the vicinity of what may be the next Gulf War? ROKKE: As the director of the Depleted Uranium Project, I developed a 40-hour block of training. All that curriculum has been shelved. They turned what I wrote into a 20-minute program that’s full of distortions. It doesn’t deal with the reality of uranium munitions. The equipment is defective. The General Accounting Office verified that the gas masks leak, the chemical protective suits leak. Unbelievably, Defense Department officials recently said the defects can be fixed with duct tape. Q: If my neighbors are being sent off to combat with equipment and training that is inadequate, and into battle with a toxic weapon, DU, who can speak up? ROKKE : Every husband and wife, son and daughter, grandparent, aunt and uncle, needs to call their congressmen and cite these official government reports and force the military to ensure that our troops have adequate equipment and adequate training. If we don’t take care of our American veterans after a war, as happened with the Gulf War, and now we’re about ready to send them into a war again -- we can’t do it. We can’t do it. It’s a crime against God. It’s a crime against humanity to use uranium munitions in a war, and it’s devastating to ignore the consequences of war. These consequences last for eternity. The half life of uranium 238 is 4.5 billion years. And we left over 320 tons all over the place in Iraq.


We also bombarded Vieques, Puerto Rico, with DU in preparation for the war in Kosovo. That’s affecting American citizens on American territory. When I tried to activate our team from the Department of Defense responsible for radiological safety and DU cleanup in Vieques, I was told no. When I tried to activate medical care, I was told no. The US Army made me their expert. I went into the project with the total intent to ensure they could use uranium munitions in war, because I’m a warrior. What I saw as director of the project, doing the research and working with my own medical conditions and everybody else’s, led me to one conclusion: uranium munitions must be banned from the planet, for eternity, and medical care must be provided for everyone, not just the US or the Canadians or the British or the Germans or the French but for the American citizens of Vieques, for the residents of Iraq, of Okinawa, of Scotland, of Indiana, of Maryland, and now Afghanistan and Kosovo. Q: If your information got out widely, do you think there’s a possibility that the families of those soldiers would beg them to refuse? ROKKE: If you’re going to be sent into a toxic wasteland, and you know you’re going to wear gas masks and chemical protective suits that leak, and you’re not going to get any medical care after you’re exposed to all of these things, would you go? Suppose they gave a war and nobody came. Y ou’ve got to start peace sometime. Q: It does sound remarkable for someone who has been in the military for 35 years to be talking about when peace should begin. ROKKE: When I do these talks, especially in churches, I’m reminded that these religions say, “ And a child will lead us to peace.” But if we contaminate the environment, where will the child come from? The children won’t be there. War has become obsolete, because we can’t deal with the consequences on our warriors or the environment, but more important, on the noncombatants. When you reach a point in war when the contamination and the health effects of war can’t be cleaned up because of the weapons you use, and medical care can’t be given to the soldiers who participated in the war on either side or to the civilians affected, then it’s time for peace. For more information on DU, see: THE WISE URANIUM PROJECT: http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/ THE NATIONAL GULF WAR RESOURCE CENTER: http://www.ngwrc.org VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE: http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org Sunny Miller’s interview was originally broadcast on WMFO (Boston) in November 2002 and is available for re-broadcast at: http://www.traprockpeace.org

books or the effectiveness of his meditation method, which I think are fine and a valuable part of the Taoist cultivation tradition. I consider Kumar Frantzis a good friend and colleague, and we have had deep discussions about this subject. But I think Kumar¹s introduction in his book is very misleading and inaccurate in its attacks on what he calls the Fire methods of alchemy in Taoism as being a false corruption of Lao Tzu¹s pure water method. Let me further preface my comments by saying I think Kumar is an excellent chi kung teacher, and has made valuable contributions to the American chi kung scene, especially on the use of movement as it relates to development of the energy body. I studied his six part chi kung system as well as his pa kua system, and edited his first book, Opening the Energy Gates of the Body. I think the Marriage of Heaven and Earth chi kung movement he got from his teacher Liu Hung Chieh is the best chi kung movement for opening the microcosmic orbit, although Kumar doesn’t use it for that since he doesn’t believe in “forcing” open those two water and fire channels. Here are a few of the points I’ve made to Kumar in the past about his alleged water method. Kumar has performed a valuable service by highlighting the water nature of many Taoist practices. He is not alone: see Alan Watts on Tao, The Watercourse Way. But he has performed an equal DISservice by trying to polarize the water and fire techniques into separate paths. This is essentially self-serving, a non-Taoist attempt to claim “my way is the best way, the true way of Lao Tzu” so buy my book and take my water method courses. Kumar¹s so called water method is actually not a pure water method, because no such thing exists. The core of his water teaching can be summarized as: “dissolve ice into water, dissolve water into vapor”. BUT WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MELT THE ICE, AND CHANGE THE WATER INTO MOISTURE? YOU NEED FIRE. Kumar just doesn’t name the fire; it is left unconscious. It is the fire of the mind focusing itself like a magnifying glass on the frozen bodymind tissues that dissolves the ice. There is no such thing as water operating purely by itself. The Five Elements are all interdependent, water cannot function without fire. In alchemy. My position is that if you are going to encourage the water-fire interaction, you are better off having both the fire and water elements made conscious. The Healing Tao practices begin with dissolving and have plenty of dissolving thruout: the Inner Smile is the prime practice here, but the Six healing Sounds, Fusion of the Five Elements and Kan and Li practices are all focused on dissolving. Kumar’s claim that Dissolving is the trademark of the Water Method is equally true of the Water and Fire Method. Kumar is falsely separating the two. What he really is trying to say is “I use the Yin method, I don’t force anything, I just allow it”. I sincerely thank Kumar for advertising this point. It is perhaps the only virtue I find in his labeling his approach the Water Method (as opposed to the Kan and Li label, which means the Water and Fire Method). I think that this is a good thing to highlight, especially since westerners have a tendency to force, they are overly aggressive and they injure their chi this way or exhaust themselves with their own impatience. So Kumar, like Juan li and other Healing Tao instructors, have chosen to highlight the yin methods. Many instructors feel Chia overemphasizes the yang methods, and they have correctly changed their practice to suit themselves. I include myself in this category. But Kumar is confusing “forcing” with “Fire method”. This is just a judgement on his part, and again a self-serving one that makes water look good by default. He is confusing Fire method by linking it with False Y ang, when pure fire element should be linked instead with True

On the Taoist "Pure Water Method" vs. "Water & Fire" Method of Alchemy
Thoughts on the Mind as Fire Michael Winn I have often been asked to comment on the difference between the “Taoist Water Method” promoted by B.K. Frantzis and the “Water and Fire Method” (Kan and Li) of alchemy taught in the Healing Tao, originally transmitted by Mantak Chia. Kumar has published two books on his Taoist water meditation method in his Relax Into Y Being series (a great title, and very our Taoist). The following comments are NOT a review of his


Y ang. All of the Taoist alchemical texts are unanimous is advocating true yang be cultivated. If I were to play Kumar’s labeling game in reverse, I would start calling his approach the FROZEN WATER METHOD of Taoism and go about pointing out all the evils of yin and water chi that is stuck in the physical plane for lack of Fire. Is this not the historical condition that women are trying to liberate themselves from? The yin energy of the planet, frozen beneath the weight of patriarchy? But I would really be talking about False Yin, not True Water or True Yin, which is never stuck. But Kumar seems to ignore these important distinctions. Classically in China, you use both the Yin and Y methods of ang regulating the Water and Fire. It depends on your body and mind type, on the season, on what you are working on, what you just ate, your phase of development, your age, your sex, etc. etc. This is the whole point of the I Ching: sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. The I Ching never says: ONLY FOLLOW. If you only follow in the water style, this can lead to very slow progress at times. Sometimes you need more fire to transform your life or a situation. Only doing water practice can lead to stagnation and holding of water in the body. Physically, this results in overweight condition; psychically, it can result in unnecessarily slow spiritual progress. I emphasize this alternation between fire and water methods in all my Kan and Li teachings, and in the basics as well: when you don’t have the attraction to doing a yang practice of guiding and interacting with the chi or your shen, then you simply do the inner smile and follow whatever happens. Do I dissolve first, or create first? I just ask before I start my meditation. Sometimes I start with a yang, self-guided meditation that lawfully manipulates the life force and helps to more quickly manifest my intention to work in a certain area. Then it may change in mid-stream, after I have connected to what I sought -- and I surrender to it. Is this a Fire or a Water Method? Why tie your hands with the labels? When I point this out to Kumar, he hastily defends by saying that the Water people use fire and water, they just do it in a watery way. If so, the very label “Water Method” starts to self-dissolve itself! Kumar’s own teacher Liu taught another one of his Chinese students a fire method of meditation, suggesting that different approaches may be suitable for different folks. Was Kumar so fiery as a killer martial artist that Liu heavily emphasized the water method to him? I don’t know, but it appears to have some merit. But no need to distort the entire corpus of Taoist practices to defend this choice. Kumar’s claim that the water method has an exclusive on effortlessness is very misleading. It is the balanced interaction of Water and Fire that opens the gates of the Yuan Chi. When you practice from this energy, that is the true effortless state, wu wei, and it is neither water nor fire, yin nor yang. Again, a false advertising claim for the so called Water Method. It doesn’t matter what approach you use to return to the Original Spirit, so why claim one is superior? The final point I wish to make about Kumar’s alleged Water method is that I believe that it ignores certain aspects of refining chi found in the Water and Fire (Kan and Li) Method. Fire has many virtues which accelerate spiritual progress when cultivated, and these are essential to forming the Elixir. Kumar tells me that at the very end of his process the Fire suddenly emerges from the Water (the hidden middle line of the water trigram). The end may mean years or decades of water method cultivation. Fair enough. But why wait that long to enjoy the benefits of fire? It is like saying, “Don’t cook your food, just eat it raw and your stomach fluids will naturally digest (cook) it”. The Pure water method ideology, if you take it to its extreme logical end, is essentially anti-Fire technology and against all the uses Fire has brought to mankind, both internally (spiritually) and externally (spark plugs and combustion engines that “force” a change in the energy state of gasoline, etc.). Does Kumar walk everywhere to protest to use of fire

combustion in car engines? Of course not. So why condemn use of fire in spiritual technology? I think it is more prudent to say, there are dangers when you play with Fire, better to approach Fire from a place of good understanding of the Water (=body, matter). The Kan and Li methods always place Water first for this reason -- it is the safest way to progress in the beginning. That is why students are better off learning through body movement (chi kung) in the beginning of their cultivation practice. But we still need to recognize the essential need for yang methods and true fire. Otherwise, you may get frozen into a position on the virtues of Water Only. Michael Winn ps. I invite Kumar to respond to the issue, and will post his reply when he does so..

Taoist Alchemy & Breatharians
5 Days in a Huashan Cave Michael Winn Why would anyone in their right mind choose to spend 5 days in a cold mountain cave without food or water? Short answer: Because the cave was on Mt. Huashan, the most famous Taoist sacred mountain in China. The long answer: I was curious to investigate the experience of Taoists who reputedly achieved the breatharian state through years of practicing internal alchemy meditation in these caves on little food or water. I wanted to have a small taste of their cave lifestyle, to see what it might evoke in me. The idea originated with my Taoist monk friend Chen (named changed to protect his privacy) who lives in Jade Spring Monastery at the foot of Huashan, along with about 50 other monks and nuns. I had already visited Huashan twice, and fallen in love with its majestic 7,000. ft. high sheer peaks and temples perched precariously on cliffs that regularly disappeared into the clouds. There was something eerie about the mountain - I had the feeling it was alive and watching me constantly. Was this because so many Taoists had allegedly achieved immortality here? Still being a mere mortal, I wasn’t sure exactly what immortality meant, even after two decades of doing Taoist cultivation. But when Chen said to me, “There are some secret caves here, and I thought you might like to meditate in one”, I promptly booked a date for the following year. I had seen many spectacular caves on Huashan on previous trips (see Qi Journal Spring 2000). But all of those caves had either been turned into Taoist shrines with statues inside, with a monk or nun who rang a bell or gave I Ching readings when hikers came in to pray, or they had been totally desecrated by tourism. One giant cave was turned into a mini-hotel, with coffin sized boxes for tourists to sleep in. Others were abandoned or filled with trash, being too close to the main path that torturously winds its way up the mountain, its thousands of tiny stone steps faithfully delivering a stream of hardy souls to the very highest peak. Huashan has become one of China’s most famous national parks, even though the communist government returned all the shrines and monasteries to the local Taoists to manage after appropriating them during the Cultural Revolution. When I finally settled down into my cave (one year later), and waved goodbye to Chen as his black Taoist frock disappeared over the edge of the cliff, I sat down in the mouth of the cave’s doorway to meditate. I focused first on my gratitude to the mountain for being such a powerful presence. The massive West Peak of Huashan towered 4000 feet of sheer wall above my cave. To get to my cave, I first had to climb up a 200 foot cliff with loose rocks, grasping at the roots of bushes, while wearing a backpack filled with camping gear. One misstep, or leaning too far back, and I would’ve been in a grave instead of my cave. I silently thanked Chen and other monks who had helped arrange my stay. They are part of a very ancient line of Taoists who are guarding


this mountain. The first reference to Huashan, which means “Flower Mountain”, comes from the Chou Dynasty, 3000 years ago. In fact, the Chinese character “hua” (flower) was invented to name this mountain, which has five peaks that unfold like petals of a flower. Taoists, attracted to this powerful Five Element feng shui, have been coming to Huashan to meditate for at least 2200 years, according to Han dynasty records. But how they survived on this towering hunk of granite, where little food can grow and the only water is collected rain, is still a mystery. So I thanked the spirits of Taoists past for sculpting this cave space, and asked them to share with me their secrets. Finally I thanked the cave itself, and any rock elementals who cared to listen, for being such a grand cave - to me it felt more like a palace carved out of solid rock. The doorway was six feet wide and ten feet high, fit for a race of giants. The domed ceiling was 25 feet high, with a window at what could have been a second story level. Chen had read the inscription carved on the outside of the cave. A Taoist monk named Can Xing had carved this cave, called “Spring Flower” (name changed to protect its location) during the Ming dynasty, which meant the cave was up to 600 years old. No one is quite sure how he or others carved the extraordinarily hard granite, one of Huashan’s many unsolved mysteries. The walls had uniform grooves a half inch apart, as if a giant comb were used to scrape out the insides of the mountain. After I finished saying all my thanks, an extraordinary thing occurred. My mouth was suddenly filled with a ball of pulsating energy, which slowly moved down my throat and esophagus into my stomach. Remarkably, this chi ball stayed in my gut during my time in the cave, and I am certain accounted for the fact that I never once felt even slightly hungry for the entire five day cave fast! Since this occurred immediately after my meditation thanking the cave, it felt like a clear communication from the mountain. I previously did have some fear about my decision to not eat or drink for five days, whether I would be strong enough to stay warm or to even climb down the cliff afterwards. So to have the mountain send me a chi ball into my spleen/ stomach, the vital organ center of earth chi in the body, was incredibly reassuring. Equally remarkable, I did not lose weight during the five days. I didn’t have a scale with me, but I did pinch the flesh all over my body to measure it, and none of it disappeared or grew taut. At my Healing Tao summer retreat program in New Y ork’s Catskill Mountains I had learned from a remarkable medical chi kung specialist, Madame Wang Y some weight loss chi kung techniques an, taken from the Taoist tradition of bigu, or “not eating”. The purpose of these bigu techniques to to satisfy your desire for caloric food with subtle chi (qi) that is breathed into the stomach/spleen. Overweight people then lose weight until they stabilize at their natural weight. I was expecting to use those techniques not to lose weight, but to fight off hunger in the cave. Y none of these bigu methods were necessary. et Undoubtedly, I was well disposed to having such a spontaneous experience. I had already thoroughly investigated the “breatharian” question (”Is it real, or just a metaphor for a spiritual state?”) and decided it was physically possible. Several of my Taoist alchemy students had stopped eating for months at a time while maintaining stable body weight. Just before I made the Spring Flower Cave my home, Chen had introduced me to an 80 year old Taoist female adept, Ciao Xiang Zhen, who had not eaten for 20 years! Ciao had been living on Huashan for nearly 50 years, up a different side valley with some other Taoist recluses. She had fallen and injured her hip, and so had moved to a more accessible location where I had the good fortune to interview her. She still wasn’t eating; Ciao admitted to me only to drinking 3 small tea cups of plain water daily and for variety, a small piece of fruit a few times a month. Her appearance was thin, but normal, and her eyes sparkled with the vigor of youth. Chen told me she is considered by the China Taoist Association to be one the “Eight Living Tao Immortals” in China, three of which are women. Skeptics of breatharianism (bigu) will remain skeptics, and that’s fine. Because bigu is not considered to be any big

attainment to go for, just something that can happen spontaneously as a result of your practice. It’s not a special requirement to get into Taoist heaven or necessary for most to think about achieving. But it’s still real, and for me, just knowing that its real expands the freedom of my spiritual imagination and its power of manifestation. Back to my first day in the cave. Although I felt I was off to a good start, I still had to face the next big issue in Cave Life: what do you DO all day and all night? Short answer: wrestle with your monkey mind. How do you do that? Long answer: practice Taoist cultivation methods, the most powerful of which is neidan gong, or internal alchemy. Alchemy is the art of communicating with the Life Force, as well as the science of locally shaping its universal chi field. The primary purpose of alchemy is to accelerate the unfolding and refining of one’s personal human essence, or jing. Jing is also translated as “substance” and is what generates our blood, sexual energy, and our cellular power to regrow our body. In Taoist alchemy one’s “raw” jing is refined into an “elixir” of refined golden chi or inner light by a process involving the internal coupling or “cooking” of water and fire. Water and fire are Taoist alchemical code names for the sexually polarized yin and yang forces within the body. To make a long story short, you could say I went off to a cold cave in China in order to have hot spiritual sex within myself. The offspring of this internal sex is the re-birthing of one’s Original Chi (yuan qi) and its Original Spirit (yuan shen), a.k.a. the original self or “your face before you were born”. Did it work? Hold on, while I fish around for some juicy details from my diary in the cave. Here’s a good place to start - the moment when I realized that by choosing to live in a cave I had stripped away every possible excuse to focus on something other than my core self: “Once you take away eating and drinking, socializing and entertainment and the myriad other distractions our monkey minds dream up - what’s left? A simpler level of being, in which more subtle perceptions arise. I sit in a granite cave, with its door opening out onto the bird filled valley below, and become aware that my mind is sitting inside its own cave, sitting inside my body cave with its sense openings, looking out of the body cave into the outer granite cave. I am in a cave within a cave, and I know, if I look inward, that I am also sitting inside other caves that exist within deeper dimensions of myself. “In Taoist cosmology, the three heavens in the Tao canon (a kind of Taoist bible collection of 1,160 mostly alchemical texts) are described as the “three caverns”. As I contemplate this idea of Heaven as a cosmic cave, my outer self relaxes back into a deeper level of awareness. I keep surrendering, and ask the spirit of Huashan to take me deep into its core. It feels like eventually I cross some kind of void, and relax into what I recognize as the “cavern” of Early Heaven. Here my observing self sits as a “soul” watching the activities of itself as a body-mind in a Later Heaven cave, the physical dimension. After this inner -outer cave duality stabilizes, I remember that my Original Ancestor, the Original Spirit from which all humanity has evolved - is sitting within an even deeper cave known as Primordial Heaven. This heaven is also known as Primordial Chaos (hun tun). This cavern is described as the darkest and most obscure of all three caverns. Here the Chaos-of-Oneness (with no distinctions possible) watches the perpetual play of Creation-as-Order it has set in motion. “So really, choosing to live for a week in a cave on Huashan is just a way of reminding myself that every reality has its own boundaries, its own cave walls. However, it seems our Original Spirit may effortlessly slip between these boundaries, as if its vibration were too fast to be caught in the net of any slower reality-cave. The other lesson I’m learning is that the so called “necessities” of physical life are not necessities - they are optional pleasures. Food is mostly recreational eating, deemed a necessity only because we refuse to acknowledge the possibility of eating directly from the infinite chi field of nature’s abundance. “How do we see into these deeper caverns nested within ourselves, that lead into the original cave-womb of creation itself, the “wuji” or


Supreme Unknown of the Tao? How many people sit and watch in the outer physical cave, and nothing much happens, except perhaps they see their boredom and frustration at being trapped in the seemingly solid granite walls of that cave reality? By watching the coupling of water and fire, the inner male and female, there comes an opening hidden from outer sight.” Now let’s slow down, before the metaphysical story gets too far ahead of the physical one. I should tell you that four years earlier I had spent a week in a cave in Pagan, Burma. I was in a Buddhist cave, 75 feet deep inside a pitch black mountain, with a 25 ft. high Buddha statue guarding the cave outside. That experience gave me a point of comparison with this Taoist cave experience on Huashan, in a relatively shallow 18 foot deep cave. As I settled into my life in this cave, I appreciated how clean and dust free this granite cave was compared to the dirt walls of my Buddhist cave. I recalled my confusion at the initial resistance the Buddhist cave seemed to have to my doing Taoist practices in its space. My Taoist meditation practices simply wouldn’t work, the chi wouldn’t flow. I decided the cave’s chi field had been deeply patterned by generations of Buddhist practitioners. Only after I opened my heart to the spirits of those before me did the mountain relax and only then did my alchemical practices begin to open up channels with the inner planes. Here it was totally different. Some invisible presence within Huashan mountain seemed to be actively pushing me deeper into Taoist practice at every moment. This ensured that I never got bored, even though my outer cave life was severely limited. I soon explored the parameters of what was possible within my palatial cave. It had enough room for me to practice chi kung movements and even my Wu style tai chi form and a tight circle of Pa Kua Chuan. Carved from solid rock was a three-foot high altar table in the middle of the cave, which was big enough for me to sleep on. Chen told me the cave had later been used in later centuries as a shrine, evidenced by holes higher up on the walls for holding statues. Bits of some of these statues were piled on one side of the cave, the destructive signature of teenage red guards from the 1960’s. This was one time I appreciated the house cleaning by them, as I actually preferred the cave naked, in its raw original form. There was another elevated pedestal in the center of the back of the cave, on which I respectfully set a single candle. I found that I rarely lit it as there was really nothing much to see in the cave with my outer eyes at night. I spread out my foam pad and sleeping bag on the central stone altar, as if my body was a sacrificial offering to the Spirit of this mountain. There was nothing else in the cave, except my pack, in which I kept some “emergency” food bars and a water bottle I never felt tempted to consume. The only other piece of furniture arrived unasked the second morning, when another Taoist monk, Wen Shi, undoubtedly sent by Chen, arrived with a wooden kneeling stool for me to sit in meditation on. It was taken from a nearby shrine to a Taoist female deity from the Nine Heavens. Wen Shi, concerned that I would be cold in the cave, also took off the black Taoist cape off his own back and gave it to me as a gift. My protestations were useless; he considered my flimsy pile jacket inadequate against the harsh mountain elements. I wrapped his cape around me, the dress uniform of Complete Perfection Taoists. Chen had told me that Taoists are becoming so rare in modern China that when he wears his traditional Taoist clothing outside the monastery in big cities, with his white leggings, black tai chi shoes and hair tied in a top knot, he is sometimes mistaken for a foreigner wearing some outlandish foreign dress! I began to merge into the cycle of night and day of cave life. At night I lay on my stone altar-bed in the pitch blackness and did Taoist dream practice, a method where you put the body to sleep while the mind stays awake and does special meditations in the twilight space between sleep and waking states. I sat up at 4 am to meditate with the deep violet-blue light of early dawn. From 7 to 9 am I did standing chi kung movements. Then I sat again in meditation until the sun entered the cave at 11:30 pm.

The boundaries between the two halves of the physical cycle of night and day began to dissolve as I sank deeper into the mind of the mountain itself. This can be a very difficult concept for westerners to accept, that supposedly inanimate natural objects like a mountain or the earth itself could have a “mind”. Y this is a very fundamental et premise of Taoist philosophy - that all of nature is alive and breathing from the universal chi field, its in-out (yin-yang) breath sustaining its very physical form. This means every aspect of matter also has its own intelligence. Even the rigidly fixed intelligence of the granite rock of Huashan can be an energetic pathway into its “parent” spirit of the mountain, whose core intelligence is the earth itself. A few days earlier I had asked Cai, the breatharian female adept, if she ever felt like the mountain was communicating with her. She smiled. “ I have never felt it speak to me like some human spirit, but its presence is always very strong for me. Everyone who comes to Huashan to live must feel its presence, why else would they stay?” The high piezo-electric conductivity of granite may contribute to the yang chi I felt flowing through Huashan. Others confirmed to me that historically Taoists from all over China considered Huashan as having very yang chi for cultivation practice. I later visited Mt. Qingcheng (”Azure Truth”) Shan in Sichuan Province, the birthplace of one sect of Taoism 2000 years ago. It was a completely different experience, and I noticed how powerfully yin its chi was. The shape of Huashan, bursting up dramatically towards the Heavens in a five-petal flower formation, is an expression of its yang nature. In Taoist feng shui Huashan’s shape is considered to be a reflection of a yang stellar constellation manifesting on earth. Not far from my Spring Flower cave was another hidden cave used since Han dynasty times for viewing the Pole Star, the central star or higher earth element around which the other four stellar quadrants/elements of Heaven rotate each night. This inspired me on some evenings to go out on the narrow ledge in front of my cave and practice Taoist star alchemy, a method of absorbing and balancing the chi from all the star quadrants into the crystal palace or upper dan tien (etheric space of the pineal gland). Meditating in this granite cave day and night for five days awakened memories in me of the seven trips I had made to Egypt to meditate inside the Great Pyramid. The walls of the King’s Chamber are made of a special red granite, and above this chamber (which architecturally represents the pineal gland) there are five giant slabs of granite with space between them, wrongly thought to be for earthquake adjustments. According to esoteric lore I learned while studying pre-Egyptian internal alchemy practices, these five slabs of granite represent the five subtle bodies of man that are awakened by initiation in the pyramid. Taoist internal alchemy holds a similar pattern of unfoldment, but uses different methods to achieve the awakening. But the use of granite to amplify spiritual vibrations from the mountain’s deep earth consciousness and act as a ground for Heavenly frequencies may be similar in the Taoist and Egyptian traditions. Mountains are just natural pyramids; their axis acts as a double vortex between the center of the earth below and the stars above. My experience of Huashan, a giant “earth flower” made of solid granite, is that the mountain is a vast initiation chamber for those who can attune to its inner frequency. When you align your human body axis to axis of the mountain, it becomes a pathway for communicating with all that the “mind of the mountain” is communicating with. Huashan is thus just an individual outlet for the collective planetary consciousness, like any ley line or sacred place. The more a place gets used for spiritual awakening, the more powerful and skillful it becomes at using the natural chi field to communicate with humans. For those following the path of the Tao, this is the major reason to visit China’s sacred mountains. This lure of awakening to one’s spiritual truth is undoubtedly what motivated Taoists to spend years digging these caves. Chen told me


that records reveal it took up to 30 years to dig a large cave like Spring Flower Cave out of the cliff wall of solid granite. After digging it, they would undergo tremendous deprivation of ordinary human pleasures to live in the cave. There had to be a special payoff in spiritual pleasure to keep them from abandoning their simple cave life. Meditating in solid rock seems to cause a special resonate with the bone level of human consciousness, where Taoists consider the jing or sexual essence to be stored. Bone and the jing within it is spiritually the most dense level of our human body, and thus the hardest to reach by ordinary meditation. But it is also the secret substance needed to crystallize an immortal Body of Light This may also explain why so many Taoist are said to have achieved their immortality on Huashan - they were able here to concentrate their full being on the process of gathering their jing essence and refining it into chi, shen, and ultimately wu (nonbeing). What about harsh weather? Y might ask, as I did: why didn’t the ou cave adepts simply light a fire in their caves to keep warm? Chen answered this question before he would even show me the way to the cave. “There is one very strict condition for your staying in the cave”, he warned me.”Absolutely no heating or cooking fires are permitted. Y will notice that none of the dozens of caves on Huashan have their ou ceilings blackened by fire. This traditional Taoist rule against using fire is not to make cave life harder than it already is. It is to protect your internal practice. A strong external fire will disturb the delicate balance of water and fire within your dan tien. One purpose of cave practice is to activate more powerfully the internal fire needed for neidan (alchemy) practice”. Of course, I readily agreed to this condition. I soon discovered other factors that may have heloed warm Taoist cave adepts. The cave itself is good insulation. They did do not freeze in winter because the internal earth temperature radiates an average 57 degrees F. into the cave. They put wood doors on the cave to keep out the worst winter wind and retard heat loss. From that minimal baseline of external support they did internal alchemy practices to heat their body to a sustainable and comfortable temperature. While in the cave, I spent many hours practicing “internal chi breathing”, a formerly secret method of empty force breathing (kong jing) that powerfully heats the dan tien or belly cauldron. This unique method mixes the chi from the fire (du mo) and water (ren mo) channels, and synchronizes the rhythm of physical breathing with chi body rhythms. Once the dan tien is warm, it feeds warm yang chi to all the deep channels of the body, particularly the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. These control your core body temperature and autonomic system functions, and are the reservoirs that overflow to feed the vital organs and their meridians. I teach this Internal Chi Breathing as part of the fundamentals of chi kung, but it was valuable for me to see it work so effectively in the cave. I found my cave to be quite warm at night, as if it perhaps were still absorbing heat form the daytime sun. This may have been amplified by movement of warm valley air masses rising after sunset. I usually had to toss the cover of my sleeping bag off during the night. I noticed the reverse seemed to occur in the morning: as the sun rose, the cave went through a chilly period from 7 am to 11 am, perhaps from cold valley air masses rising. The sun would not actually shine on my cave until 11:35 am each day. I would watch the pyramid-like shadow of West Peak slowly move across the valley. Then the sun would rise above West peak and cook my cave for the afternoon. I would do practices to directly absorb solar chi , and to circulate it throughout my body and into the chi body of the mountain. Of course, similar weather shifts are changing everyone’s patterns of bodily chi flow every moment. But the cave seemed to amplify my feeling of the mountain’s deep chi rhythmically pulsating with the cycles of the sun and moon. One night, the moon rose just as the sun was setting. I sat in the doorway of my cave, as if the darkness behind me were a warm opening from the earth’s womb. The forces of the sun and moon entered my body, and having well trained pathways from my inner alchemy practice, flowed inside my cauldron and coupled within my core channel. I watched in awe as these cosmic streams of energy effortlessly made love inside me.

My body began to glow from within, and I noticed that even though a cold wind came up as darkness descended, it did not disturb my internal bliss or make me feel cold. The experience continued long after the sun had set. After two hours, I finally moved back inside my cave-womb, feeling both deeply peaceful and exhilarated. It felt like the mountain had again been teaching me something about the Tao how nature meditates inside us if we meditate inside nature. In alchemy, this is known as wu wei, a state where things happen effortlessly, in the deep silence of the universal mind. Y personal our mind doesn’t need to make this happen with visualization, movement, or mantra. Once natural forces have been alchemically accelerated within the adept’s body, wu wei is the ensuing feeling of child’s play as your chi flows with zero resistance between the local self and the Tao. After two days of not eating or drinking water, I awoke on the second night with a swollen tongue and feeling very overheated. I selfdiagnosed myself, and decided it was the lack of water flowing through my kidneys that was causing my heart to overheat. I had brought water, but had decided on arriving in the cave to not drink any, to more quickly test my body response to the deprivations of cave life that might have been experienced by earlier Taoist adepts. I recalled that one of my western friends had a Taoist spiritual guide who taught him how ancient adepts drank their urine and then refined it with internal alchemy. Since this put no new water into my system, and was a well tested method used by sailors to survive at sea, I began drinking my urine. No need to feel squeamish about this, if you’ve never drunk your urine. Urine doesn’t stink until after it grows cold. It was my first time, but I literally guzzled my yellow fluid down the next morning. I found it to be warm, salty, and like a very mild and tasty broth - and very satisfying to my kidneys and heart, which cooled off. I had no more problem the rest of the time, and had the feeling I could have continued for a very long time. There is also a homeopathic effect also created by recycling one’s urine repeatedly through your system, as it concentrates many subtle essences that can have healing properties. There is a large literature on people healing serious illnesses with urine drinking. I also noticed something unusual. Every time I urinated, I would pee on the ground the starting and ending urine flow, to remove toxins accumulated in the bladder. I was losing about 30% of my urine each day, a gradual loss of body water. Curiously, the empty water bottle I used to catch the urine always refilled to the same level each time. This meant my body was either producing water from thin air or it was converting blood or body fat into water. This continued the entire five days, and since I didn’t grow thin, it felt like my kidneys were producing new water, in the same way my spleen chi felt like it was producing new food from the chi field. Of course scientists would say I was deluded and just consuming myself on a fast. But what can scientists say about others who rarely eat for months or years on end? I recalled a conference sponsored by another nei dan teacher, Y Xin, attended by a number of his scientistan students who themselves had stopped eating for long periods without undue weight loss. Modern science does not have a paradigm for this and many other simple things in life, like love. The facts of our reality do not always fit the modern materialist hypothesis. This is why I find Taoist internal alchemy so fascinating - it allows anyone to use his body-mind as a cosmic laboratory. Y don’t need big ou science grants or a $6 billion dollar super-collider to run an experiment. Y can apply Tao spiritual science to explore all the deepest mysteries ou of the universe in your own body, as a micro-universe. The Microcosmic Orbit meditation, the first of seven formulas of alchemical practice in the system I learned, was by itself a kind of internal super-collider for the yin and yang forces flowing within the body. I was using the cave to test for its effects on my own practice. I found the results to be very positive. The experimental nature of internal alchemy has led to the development of many different systems of neidan or internal alchemy within China. On Huashan, Chen told me that historically the Taoists here followed a form of neidan taught by Chen Tuan, an 11th century


Taoist famous for his dream practice, even though Huashan today formally belongs to the Complete Perfection school of Taoism that follows Lu Dong Bing style of alchemy. Ironically, the Seven Tao Formulas of Immortality I learned (via Mantak Chia) came from an adept named One Cloud who renounced his Complete Perfection monastic life to seek in the mountains the true teachings of alchemy. One Cloud found a high level hermit teacher, and used the Seven Formulas to become a breatharian himself. Y these Seven formulas et are recognizably within the tradition of Lu Dong Bing, even though they don’t teach the theory of reincarnation adopted by the Complete Perfection school. Neither Lao Tzu nor Chuang Tzu taught reincarnation in their writings. I believe it was because living in the Tao dissolves all divisions of past and future into a present moment that is incarnating ever fresh from the coupling of Heaven and Earth. There is a beautiful simplicity to this vision: there are no endless cycles of the same individual recycling and suffering through different lives; every human is instead the direct, fresh, and unique child of Heaven and Earth. There are no past lives, only a multiplicity of parallel lives in the present moment. Each person who rfines their essence and thus completes themself in this life completes life for all Heaven and Earth. One’s level of completion is what defines one’s level of immortality, as a human, earth, heaven, or celestial immortal. The concern is not to live physically forever, just long enough to complete one’s true destiny. Ultimately everyone has the same destiny, to return consciously to the Tao. The adepts on most Taoist sacred mountains in China have adopted a different set of nei dan methods to explore the Tao. Y all et these variations derive from the same core principles of yin-yang chi flow, of five elements cycles on a matrix of eight primal forces emanating from a ninth neutral force (yuan, or original chi) in the center. The fluid and changing nature of Taoist practices makes it very difficult for westerners to pin down, and thus to understand in their normal analytical manner, what exactly internal alchemy is. Unlike most religions, Taoist alchemy is not based on a fixed set of beliefs, or on an single divine entity who saves humans, but rather is based on the merging of human body-mind rhythms with cosmic rhythms. As the adept learns to shape the chi field through chi kung and nei kung practices, he or she also shapes their destiny in the world. I arrived in the Spring Flower cave just a few weeks after the Sept. 11 bombing of the World Trade Center. It might have appeared I was retreating from the world’s problems, rather than engaging them. Y I et did not experience it as a withdrawal, but rather saw my cave an observatory from which I could more clearly interact with the convulsive rhythms pulsing through the planetary brain from the heart of America. When you are caught up in reactive emotional patterns of society and politics, it is difficult to directly perceive the underlying natural forces at work in shaping society. Every event, even one seemingly caused by evil forces, is ultimately an expression of natural forces seeking to achieve balance. I am not talking about the immediate or surface political reasons for terrorism, and maybe I should have made that clearer. I am talking about the core spiritual reasons/imbalances in the global mind that surface from the deep unconscious and get shaped by cultural forces into whatever they are. By the time any thought form/impulse gets to the stage of action, be it beneovlent or violent, it has gone thorugh many filters/layers of consciousness, some of which reflect the global brain imbalance I was attempting to refer to. These imbalances come from fears that are very primordial/deep ancestral, and precede the current situation. From my cave perspective, I saw that beneath the apparent political issues surrounding the 9-11 terrorist attack were deeper spiritual divisions in the collective global mind. The left-brained western hemisphere does not comprehend and thus cannot trust the more right brained eastern hemisphere. Its similar to the difficulty men and women have in communicating. This is a very ancient ancestral pattern buried deep within the planet that is

resurfacing in a new form. The mistrust breeds fear, which in the current scenario has translated into western politico-military strategists seeking to dominate with weapons the near eastern and asian peoples and their resources. The U.S. military sees China’s huge population and political system as its only long term potential competitor on a global scale, and the oil rich Muslim countries as essential to controlling and containing the China threat. What can a simple western Taoist, while sitting in a cave in China, to do about all this? I love both China and America, the peoples of both the near eastern and the west. The politicians tell me I have to choose, that only one side can be in control. My natural response to this event as a Taoist is that there is always a third choice. I chose to align with and alchemically balance the natural chi field of the planetary mind with this third point, the stillpoint between the global yin and yang forces. My hope was to bypass the apparent political polarity on the surface of the planet and use Huashan to help me dive deep into humanity’s collective heart. My intent was to lessen the intensity of fear driving the two split and competing halves of the planetary brain. As a westerner sitting in a cave at the geographic center of China near its ancient capitol of Xian, I felt perfectly positioned to initiate such an alignment through meditation. To amplify the effect of my practice, I had pre-arranged for my wife and alchemy partner Joyce Gayheart to do similar meditations from the nearly exact opposite side of the planet back in America, not far from Washington D.C. Lao Tzu became famous in China because his 5,000 character meditation manual (the Tao Te Ching) integrated politics and spirituality. It emphasizes repeatedly the necessity for politial leaders to harmonize with the chi field of the Tao. Following the Tao is not about choosing one political system or leader over another, but about choosing the balance point between all contending forces. Only from this still point of calmness can the emotion-crazed and polarized politicians on both sides be guided to peace and harmony. This situation today is no different from Lao Tzu’s 2500 years ago. Unless the innate harmony of the Tao is sought, the cycle of guerrilla terrorism vs. state terrorism (a.k.a. war) will continue until all parties exhaust themselves and many innocents are harmed. This is a slow and tortuous way to achieve balance. The meditations I did on the global situation from my cave on Mt. Huashan were very profound. I linked my own polarized brain hemispheres and deep energy body channels to the powerful granite meridians of Mt. Huashan. These connected me into the core of the planetary brain that links humanity into a single collective mind. I called in the polarized forces from the different Tao alchemy formulas, in equal and opposing streams of chi flow: male sexual fire vs. female sexual water, sun vs. moon, stellar spirit vs. earthly matter, formless chi field of Early Heaven vs. formed chi field of Later Heaven. Ultimately all these poles are fluctuations between the eternal desire of beings to return to the primordial chaos of Oneness vs. the impulse to create new order as the Ten Thousand Things. Into the meeting point or cauldron of all these octaves of my consciousness, I called in the archetypal fear splitting the planet in half. Fear lacks its own center, and thus cannot survive such powerful cosmic impulses to unite in the center. I had an experience of the vast currents of fear flowing about the planetary chi field as fuel for a powerful meltdown into a deep and peaceful inner space. Joyce and I, meditating on opposite sides of the planet, were only two people out of six billlion people on the planet. But by alchemically aligning and accelerating these natural forces, I am certain that we were able to dissolve some deep unconscious layers of fear and shift the mind of humanity far out of proportion to our tiny number of two. In this way, the Spring Flower cave on Huashan became in the inner planes a cauldron of hope and renewal for all humanity. Later, after I left Haushan, I could still feel the chi from Huashan’s granite still coursing through my deep channels, and the heart of humanity beating more palpably within my own heart.


The only book I took with me into the cave was Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. In it Lao Tzu comments that “the sage stays at home, does nothing, and yet everything is accomplished.” Staying home is a Taoist metaphor for staying in one’s spiritual center, in the inner heart of hearts, at the core of one’s personal cauldron. The easiest way to “do nothing” is to align with the natural harmonizing flow of cosmic forces. Those forces will ultimately and effortlessly accomplish the return to peace and harmony. Internal alchemy is one very deep and powerful way to align with those forces. Lao Tzu also mentions that “Humans hate to be alone, poor, and hungry”. Y there have been countless generations of Taoist adepts on et Mt. Huashan who have chosen to live in remote mountain caves in lives of apparent aloneness, poverty, and hunger. Why did they do it? Perhaps only the paradoxical thinking of Lao Tzu can define their motive, incomprehensible to the great mass of humanity: “We we gain by losing, we lose by gaining,”Lao Tzu advises. In their cold caves without much food or water, lost to the gaity of outer world, I believe these alchemy adepts fed themselves and gained everything by embracing the Tao itself. Michael Winn is a pioneer in bringing Tao arts to the west. He is founder & director of Healing Tao University which offers 30 week long summer retreats in all of the Tao arts in New Y ork’s Catskill Mountains. Recent President of the National Qigong Association USA, he wrote 7 books with Mantak Chia. and offers in depth Tao home study audio-video courses in chi kung and Taoist inner alchemy. He is leading a China Dream Trip Oct. 6-20, 2002 with an optional week Oct. 19-27 in Taoist monasteries and cave practice on Mt. Huashan. Contact: Info@HealingDao.com or 888-999-0555 (973-777-4442) or www.HealingTaoUSA.com Becoming The Immortal Child The Egyptian Book of The Dead as Inner Alchemy Text Translated by Normandi Ellis Note: The link between the Egyptian concept of immortality as an Eternal Child and the Daoist cultivation of the Immortal Child is made very clear in the following passage. The notion that the “gods” are a collective within this Immortal Child is also strikingly similar. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is obviously not a funerary text at all, but about spiritual passage between heaven and earth. The adept in both ancient Egypt and in ancient China becomes the immortal child to make that passage WHILE STILL ALIVE. Are you willing to reimagine yourself? - Michael Winn

I’ve dreamed the nightmare a hundred times, that old revulsion of bone and flesh, waking in sweat, in a headlong rush toward the world, into the cool certainty of fires that burn in sudden stars, the heat in the body. That I am precludes my never having been. What I know was given to me to say. There is more. There are words that exist only in the mind of heaven, a bright knowing, a clear moment of being. When you know it, you know yourself well enough. Y will not speak. I am a child resting in love, in ou the pleasure of clouds. I read the book of the river. I hold the magic of stones and trees. I find god in my fingers and in the wings of birds. I am my delight, creator of my destiny. It is not vanity. There are those who live in the boundaries of guilt and fear, the limits of imagination. They believe limitation is the world. Y can not ou change them. There is work of your own to do. Y will never reach ou the end of your own becoming, the madness of creation, the joy of existence. Dance in the moment. Reach down and pull up song. Spin and chant and forget the sorrow that we are flesh on bone. I return to the rhythm of water, to the dark song I was in my mother’s belly. We were gods then and we knew it. We are gods now dancing in whirling darkness, spitting flame like stars in the night. In the womb before the world began, I was a child among other gods and children who were, or may be, or might have been. There in the dark when we could not see each other’s faces, we agreed with one mind to be born, to separate, to forget the pact we made that we might learn the secrets of our fraternity. We agreed to know sorrow in exchange for joy, to know death in exchange for life. We were dark seeds of possibility whispering. Then one by one we entered alone. We walked on our legs, and as we had said, we passed in well-lit streets without recognizing each other; yet we were gods sheathed in flesh, the multitude of a single spirit. Gods live even in darkness, in the world above your heads, in the crevices of rocks, in the open palms of strangers. I am a child, the seed in everything, the rhythm of flowers, the old story that lingers. Among cattle and fruit sellers, I am air. I am love hidden in a shy maiden’s gown. I am the name of things. I am the dream changing before your eyes. I am my body, a house for blood and breath. I am a man on earth and a god in heaven. While I travel the deserts in frail form, while i grow old and weep and die, I live always as a child inside the body of truth, a blue egg that rocks in the storm but never breaks. I sleep in peace in my mother’s lap, a child mesmerized by sunlight on the river. My soul is swallowed up by god. Out of chaos came the light. Out of the will came life.

Becoming the child
(from Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of The Dead translated by Normandi Ellis, complied from egyptian funerary texts and religious hymns from 3000 B.C-300 A.D) In seafoam, in swirlings and imaginings I am fish, tadpole, crocodile. I am an urge, an idea, a portent of impossible dreams. I lie between heaven and earth, between goodness and evil, patience and explosion. I am innocent and rosy as dawn. I sleep with my finger in my mouth, the cord of life curled beside my ear. Like a child in its mother’s belly, I am with you but not among you. I know no ending for I have no beginning. I have always been here, a child in the silence of things, ready to wake at any moment. I am possibility. What I hate is ignorance, smallness of imagination, the eye that sees no farther than its own lashes. All things are possible. When we speak in anger, anger will be our truth. When we speak in love and live by love, truth in love will be our comfort. Who you are is limited only by who you think you are. I am the word before its utterance. I am thought and desire. I am a child in the throat of god. Things are possible-joy and sorrow, men and women, children. Someday I’ll imagine myself a different man, build bone and make flesh around him. I am with you but a moment for an eternity. I am the name of everything.

On Immortality, the Body, & Wuji
Michael Winn Question has been asked: according to Tao alchemy principles, is the physical body immortal? The issue can be simplified. Jing , chi, shen (body substance, energy, and intelligence/spirit) are all one, and all disappear together into and emerge out of the Wuji, the Supreme Unknown. Ther wuji is NOT a true void, more a womb of unknown origin. If either spirit or substance or energy lives, they all live. If one dies, they all die. Spirit and substance are just two ends of the same pole, connected by energy. The movement of their apparent life and death is not just between body and spirit, but between wuji/ Unknown and creation/ Known. So even the infinite field of Original Spirit has to face this Unknown. The Original Spirit (Yuan Shen) is closest to the wuji, the other levels of spirit (in stars, planets, or human bodies) are dimensionally (i.e. vibrationally) more distant. But all claim the wuji as their grandmother. Jing, chi, and shen all have equal and simultaneous reality, and need each other to know themselves. How does spirit know that it exists except by Body/jing’s presence? That is what ensures Body’s Immortality. Otherwise Original Spirit would just snap it fingers in the causal plane and disappear in a second this entire troubled physical plane. It doesn’t do this, because it NEEDS for body/substance to evolve itself back into its original immortal state of awareness.


But we could speculate that Immortality itself, the Eternal Life of Spirit integrated with Body, ceases to exist and becomes something else in the presence of the Supreme “Black Hole” of Wuji. Perhaps we cauld call it Non-Mortality, or Amortality? I wish I were close enough to even pose the question to the proper Presence or Absence. Smiling at this Headiiness, Michael Winn 2001

Tao instructor from Wales) and I traversed the Michael ley line across southwestern England to St. Michael Mount (a dramatic island fortess opposite Mont St. Michel across the channel). We crossed to Ireland and explored Celtic sites like New Grange and spent the night in some of these underground womb-tombs called barrows. These sites I believe were constructed using ancient Atlantean alchemical sciences, and they come alive when you practice alchemy in them. The earth chi was intensely powerful, and the green pearl kept calling to me from the deep earth. A few weeks later I went to China and spent a week in a cave in bigu (not eating) on the Taoist sacred mountain Mt. Huashan (Flower Mtn). I wrote a separate article on that experience, but didn¹t have space to go into the green pearl. On Huashan I worked extensively with the green pearl, doing alchemical meditations to facilitate expanding its pathway by linking it with my heart and by resonance to the heart of all humanity at this time of crisis. So now, the Y of the Water Horse rolls around, and what does ear this green pearl mean? A Water Y means that the dominant phase of ear chi flowing within the planet is watery. This chi gushes and rises up in waves, as is Water¹s wont. The Horse is a yang symbol of fire and expansion, linked to high noon and Summer Solstice. In 1985, when I did a four month overland journey following Marco Polo¹s footsteps across western China to Xanadu (north of Beijing), I visited the crumbled palace where the famous bronze “Flying Horse” from the Han Dynasty was discovered. The reason the Chinese emperors expanded their empire to envelop what is today the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts in Chinese Turkestan was to obtain the magical horses of Ferghana. I gave a copy of this beautiful bronze statue to my wife Joyce, who as a Water Horse naturally fell in love with it. It has little birds sculpted underneath the hooves of a magnificent horse, giving the impression it is flying. Even today in modern China the Horse represents fire. During Fire Horse Y ears many Chinese traditionally abort female babies because such yang fiery chi in a woman is considered very difficult and unlucky. This present cycle of Later Heaven (physical plane) time takes us into a natural water-year & fire-horse alchemical combination “cooking” the planet at this time of crisis. I constantly remind alchemy adepts-in-training that Nature is the great alchemist, human alchemists are just imitating Her art & science. So after the Dark Snake crawled out of the hole, the Water Horse is going to speed up the transformational cooking of the unconscious energies exposed to the light of day. This means there could be some very dramatic shocks, likely much stronger than 9-11, to the global psyche. But not to worry. This is just part of a spiritual tidal wave that is cleansing the planet. The sick chi has to surface in order to be embraced and healed. I feel the presence of the green pearl of the planet¹s celestial Hun is a signal to me that the birthing process of the planet is about to enter a new phase. The human alchemical process of cultivating the “elixir” and birthing it into an “immortal child” that lives in simultaneous heavens or dimensions has been well described in classical Taoist literature and in my other articles. In my Sun-Moon Alchemy (Greater Kan & Li) retreats I talk about a parallel alchemical birthing process that is happening within the planetary being. It is known popularly as “earth changes”, which many view with apocalyptic dread. To me, accelerating earth changes are just planetary birthing labor pains, and the adept of internal alchemy is a midwife. It is perhaps no coincidence that I find myself teaching the Sun-Moon alchemy retreat three times this year ­ in May in Tuscany, Italy (in a natural earth amphitheatre formed from an old stone quarry), in July at Dao Mountain, N.Y., and in September at Glastonbury, England. There we will again rent Stonehenge for a Taoist Fall Equinox ceremony (it was truly amazing to feel it come alive last year) and hopefully physically descend into the Chalice Well (Glastonbury¹s most powerful yin vortex) as part of our deep earth journey.

State of the Universe Address
Y of the Water Horse ear Michael Winn It¹s Chinese New Y the second new moon after the Winter ear, Solstice, Y of the Water Horse. It begins early Tuesday morning ear (EST), Feb. 12, 2002. My physical body is only a tiny speck in the universe, how can it grasp what is really going on within these vast cosmic cycles of the earth, moon, sun, and stars? My energy body reaches out into the chi field, shaped like a giant question mark, its curved hook hoping to catch some answers. Since everyone¹s Original Spirit is the center of the universal field of awareness, I am reminded that each of us can deliver our own State of the Union address to ourselves and our friends. Here is mine. The State of the Universe, as I experience it. First, a short look back gives a better view of the general flow. 2001 was mostly a Snake Y and some dark snakes certainly came crawling ear, out last September and afterwards. People are afraid of snakes, and so a global wave of fear enveloped the planet. While the outer events of 9-11 were horrifying to contemplate, my inner vision was elated and bursting with excitement, even as the nightmare unfolded. Maybe it is because I love physical snakes as well as energy snakes (dragons). In the human body snake chi is just the kundalini dancing. It can be painful if your energy body is not prepared, and ecstatic if it is. I felt the planetary ego-crust was finally cracking open, and the Dark Side could best initiate this, since it is the crust. 9-ll was a beautiful example, I reminded myself, of how the Light Side needs the Dark Side in order to reveal the True Side (i.e. its Side-lessness, a.k.a. the center). On Sept.15, I flew on one of the first United planes to cross the Atlantic, and taught in Glastonbury, England one of the most powerful Inner Sexual Alchemy (Lesser Kan & Li) retreats I¹ve ever experienced. I knew it would be powerful, even on the morning of 9/11, as I could feel the chi field humming. In fact, it started six days earlier for me, when I turned 50 on Sept. 5th. My birthday present to myself was to do five hours of chi kung and meditation, and commit myself to living another 100 years (before reviewing my “ soul contract”). I noticed that my heart beat immediately made a dramatic shift, speeding up to a stable average of 10 beats faster per minute (and maintained that rate for the last five months). I was concerned and alarmed by this at the time. I didn¹t understand until six days later that I had simply jumped the gun on the quickening about to occur in the planetary heartbeat of humanity. Atop the Glastonbury Tor, a pyramid shaped mountain rising mysteriously from the plain below with spirals terraced into its sides, I had a vision. Isis, the tuned-in woman who runs the Shambala retreat center where we were staying at the base of the Tor, had told me exactly where to stand at the confluence of two polar ley lines (called Michael and Mary lines, suggestive of deep yin and yang). I rooted my energy body deep down inside the earth, where I saw a luminous green pearl pulsing deep inside the earth¹s core. It felt like a long hidden treasure waiting to reveal its precious, joyful, essence. I interpreted this green pearl (through my filter of Taoist alchemical language) to be the Hun spirit of the planet. Hun is the celestial spirit of the body, expressed physically through the liver function. It assists the deep ocean of jing chi (sexual essence) of the kidneys rising up towards the solar heart chi. Later this green pearl kept coming to me as my local guide Barry Spendlove (Healing


But what happens when a planet births its own Immortal Child? The same thing that happens when a human child is birthed: it separates into a parallel physical reality similar to its parents, yet slightly different. That¹s why kids see the same world as their parents, but through slightly different (parallel) eyes. That is the job of each generation of souls waving through Later Heaven. Their destiiny is to allow the life force to manifest its cyclic changes through them. But occasionally a generation hits a special point in the cycle, and that seems to be the case with humans alive right now. The chi field of Early Heaven (formless) and the chi field of Later Heaven (physical form) are coupling and penetrating each other more deeply than they have for milleniua. The extremely subtle experience of this Cosmic Love-making is cultivated in the sixth of One Cloud¹s Seven Formulas of Immortality, called the Congress of Heaven and Earth. It will be interesting to see what new experience unfolds in the group cauldron of my Heaven and Earth Alchemy retreat in late August at Dao Mountain. This is the level of practice where you work with the expansionary shift in space itself. It is an opportunity to ground the virtues (te) or unconditional spiritual qualities (love, truth, acceptance, trust, etc) of Early Heaven into the physical plane. This is what will nourish the new born immortal child of planet earth as it separates into a parallel astral reality from its parent. What does this mean for humans living on the old parent earth? Y have a free ride if you willing to hitch yourself to Nature¹s ou alchemical process of accelerated transformation. That is why an ounce of focused internal alchemy practice now will be worth a ton of blissful embodiment later. The planetary immortal earth child is just a collective space where we can all continue cultivating ourselves on a slightly less dense version of earth. The dark side will still be present, as you can¹t have bodies without it. But it won¹t be so stuck and evilappearing, but a planet where the life force flows creatively and freely, without obstruction. A place where souls can shape the chi field to complete themselves, where long life will be the norm. What will be most confusing is the transition period to this greater collective reality, where we will literally be in both worlds at once. Y ou may be programmed by materialist science to disbelieve my conjecture about this, as some new age fantasy. But think again. Y are already ou experiencing yourself in multiple dimensions: your body and your mind are the closest example. Body is solid and “proveably” exists in the physical, the mind is formless and cannot be proven to exist, yet we know it does. We are all already looking through a formless Mind window into a world of Body forms. That makes the most ordinary moment in life a multi-dimensional experience. When we all “look” or envision together, in sync with deeper elemental forces of the planets, sun, moon, and stars, this collective fusion of the five elemental forces can create another solid-appearing reality. This re-birthing process is in accordance with both spiritual law and the laws of physics that flow from the chi field (quantum field and parallel universe theory if you prefer scientific lingo). We already function in multiple dimensions each moment, but we don¹t notice it because the perceptual shifts between dimensions usually occurs in nanosecond time frames and our senses are operating much more slowly. What is confusing is the dimensional overlap between an old reality and an emerging new reality. It is sort of like projecting two movies at once on the same screen. This was apparent to me even as the world trade center was collapsing: my inner reality was expanding with compassion, love and joy at the release of stuck planetary energy, my outer reality was filled with death, suffering, war-hysteria and paranoia from political manipulation and lies. I chose to give the inner reality more weight, as being my unfolding reality, and the latter as the dying gasps of a reality whose negativity and self-contracting nature dooms it to eventual death.

The fact is, multiple realties can co-exist. Good-bad, right-wrong, male-female, and Me-Other occupy the same yin-yang energetic space simultaneously, even if we have separate physical bodies. All of these polarized energetic patterns are living in a single spectrum of consciousness. I expect that during the Y of the Water Horse to see ear the apparent disparity between these polarities intensified. The DevilAngel faces of humanity will be out in full force, moving the drama along. Something like a nuclear suitcase bomb exploded in a major city, or some other apocalyptic event that the military will use to expand their global domination. Maybe an earthwquake or volcano near some major city that throws the global economy into confusion. Most people will get sucked into the drama, and feel compelled to choose between the Light and the Dark. A minority of spiritually mature folks will find in it an opportunity to slip through the widening crack in the middle to find our Original Face, between the pendulum swings of the global theatre. That is where the new reality will be gradually crystallizing, comprised of beings who no longer want to create the old, dog-eat-god, fear-controlled reality. How long will this process take? Impossible to predict. How long does it take you to shift between the dreaming and the awake state? In astral time, it has already occurred, the earth has already birthed its immortal child-new parallel reality. How long it takes for each of us to pkhysically shift into it, and thereby add to its ever growing density, will depend on our need to serve in the old reality or play out our attachment to its many thrills, some not so healthy. Normally, I only go into these more difficult to accept spiritual ideas with students at the Greater kan and li level who are having some clearer experience of their ability to cultivate original chi and create a new internal reality. Or to perceive at least the seed of their original self, if not a fully birthed immortal child. But things are speeding up here. I am sharing my experience of the current earth-field shift with you so you may be inspired to explore it and verify for yourself the presence of the expanding Green Pearl of the Earth¹s celestial hun soul. I find it usually appearing in the middle dantien (heart center). (The Green Pearl may also be linked to the Atlantean legend of a Green Emerald Tablet that recorded the earth¹s history in it. If true, I believe it is the job of the alchemist to find, decode, and then merge with this green crystal or pearl.) This type of “earth re-birthing itself” information has been proclaimed by many teachers/prophets/psychics over the last twenty years. The information is in the collective intelligence field of humanity, for anyone choosing to access it. But I never found these prophets to offer much practical training to actually communicate with these changing earth forces the way the Taoist tradition of neidangong (inner alchemy) does. The most important thing is to stay grounded, so that ALL of your shen (vital organ spirits that comprise the ling, or soul) can shift together in a harmonious and integrated fashion. Otherwise you get conflicts, and your multiple shen want to split into different realities. This means staying a very calm, centered, neutral observer through the wildest of times, even when the Horse seems to be galloping over a cliff. I hope this information may motivate some to take their chi kung and inner alchemy path a little more seriously. This year, by the way, is not only the beginning of a new Chinese year, but the beginning of a new century, as this calendar (based on 60 year cosmic energy cycles) dates back 4700 years to when the Y ellow Emperor created it. I consider “Y ellow Emperor” to be code for “Great Spirit of Planet Earth”. Next year will be the Y 4701. Time to hop on your flowing ear Water Horse and throw an even bigger party! Wishing you a joyous and chi-filled year, Michael Winn


Looking for Taoists in China, Mortal and Immortal
Michael Winn Had I discovered a favorite meditation spot of the Immortals (”shien”) said to inhabit Ht. Hua Shan, or “Flower Mountain”, the most famous sacred Taoist mountain in China? I was sitting on the gnarled branches of a centuries old pine tree. This tree, for some strange reason, grew sideways about forty feet out from the face of a sheer cliff, like a tiny dart stuck on the side of the mountain. It was a 3500 foot drop off to the ground, measured only by a handsome white Y osimitelike granite cliff face. To look down into the dizzying abyss below was to openly stare death in the face. I rooted my spinal qi into the tree trunk, so I wouldn’t think about falling or being blown off the tree. As I got centered, I allowed my mind to explore the bottomless void below. I slowly expanded my energy body until I could feel the empty space of the natural bowl formed by the mountains merge into the center of my now giant sized dan tien. Suddenly, a surge of qi shot through my physical body, flowed through me into the tree, then penetrated deep inside the mountain. I experienced being in an even more vast empty space inside the mountain. This space felt very primordial, the qi very formless. Iit was deeply calming and blissful. It felt like the heart space of the Spirit of Flower Mountain. Was it showing me me where to root my center of gravity and awareness if I really wanted to meet with the Immortals who had achieved themselves on Hua Shan? Facing me was a cave that He Zhi Zheng, a Taoist adept from the 13th century, had dug by hand out of the vertical mountain wall. The only way to get to the cave, with my tree serving as its front porch, was to walk along a narrow board one foot wide for 200 feet across the sheer wall of the bare granite cliff, clinging to a chain. It’s both scary and exhilarating, like mountain climbing with no safety rope. This guy Zheng was serious about wanting his privacy. I asked a monk if anyone ever fell down off the cliff. His answer was a typical taoist aphorism. “No”, he said. “The more dangerous it is, the more careful everyone is.” He Zhi Zheng is just one of the colorful Taoists that made Shaanxi province renowned as the stronghold of Taoism. Some 55 miles from Hua Shan China’s ancient capitol, Xian, where I had visited the Tang Dynasty 8 Immortals Temple. Sixty miles beyond Xian I had also visited Luoguantai, a famous Taoist Monastery built on the spot where Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching. The surrounding plains of Shaanxi is virtually the largest outdoor museum in China, with temples and relics from nearly every dynasty that ever ruled China, including the famous terra cotta underground army of Emperor Qin. My quest was to discover how Taoism was faring in modern China, and to energetically observe if (or how) the quality of contemporary Taoists would reflect the ongoing presence of the ancient Immortals. My own passion for twenty years was to practice deeply the Taoist internal alchemy formulas that cultivate the “Golden Elixir”, the inner light of eternal life grasped while one is still in mortal body. I had just finished two weeks with the National Qigong Association studying with medical qigong masters in Beijing hospitals (see Qi winter ‘99 issue). Now I wanted to peek underneath the religious life of

the Shaanxi Taoists. I had found the perfect guide and companion to climb Mt. Hua Shan with me. Wu Zhongxian, at age 32 was already a lineage holder in taoist neigong (internal mind cultivation) and a superb qigong healer. Like me, he was not really interested in becoming a religious Taoist, but he was friends with many monks, as many had similar internal practices apart from their use of religious deities and mantras. Wu pointed out “it’s important to remember that the Eight Immortals are real historical figures, and that seven of the eight came from Shaanxi province. Chun li Chuan received the formulas of inner alchemy here from the Tao, and taught them to Lu Dong Bin. “ Ancestor Lu” taught them to five others, who left Shaanxi to spread the inner alchemy (nei dan) teachings across China and to found different schools of Taoism. But Shaanxi province still remains the most important center of Taoism.” Back on Mt. Hua Shan, I finished meditating in my pine tree. I asked Wu, what did he think the adept He Zhi Zheng ate while perched in his bird-nest cave? “Maybe he was a breatharian, the qi up here is quite pure and nourishing”, Wu replied. He pointed up high above the cave, at some Chinese characters carved into the sheer cliff wall. “Nobody can figure out he got up there to write that poem. Even climbers say with modern equipment they can’t reach that spot because of an overhang. How did he chisel that poem 700 years ago from solid rock? The government has a 10,000 yuan reward for anyone who can solve this mystery. I don’t know, maybe he was a Tao Immortal, and flew up there.” Zheng did have had one problem. His heart was too big. He dug 72 caves on Mt. Hua Shan, named “Flower Mountain” for its five petalled peaks spreading up to heaven like a giant stone lotus. But Zheng would give away each cave he dug to his neigong students. His last cave was the one facing me, chosen for its excellent feng shui: facing southwest for warming sun, the pine tree indicating strong nourishing qi. Today inside the cave there is a shrine to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Chinese tourists and pilgrims still brave the cliff walk to make prayers there, bowing and lighting incense in a timeless ritual. I remembered the words of Chen Yu Ming, the young vice abbot of Jade Spring monastery at the base of the mountain: “There are still a lot of Tao Immortals said to reside around Hua Shan”, he said, and pointed out a surprising fact. “Of all the sacred mountains occupied by Taoists in China, Hua Shan is the only one dedicated to the Goddess. Most of its many temples and shrines are to different female deities. This is a bit odd, since historically mostly only male adepts were allowed to live here. Perhaps it was considered too steep and difficult for women. So the few lady Taoists who were permitted to come here were of exceptionally high caliber. Some practiced to a higher level than the monks and became Immortals. They were in perfect health, but one day suddenly their body could not be found. But their spirits would make themselves known.” Wu and I inched our way back along the cliffwalk to visit the much larger Jade Emperor’s Cave. Inside were life-size statues of Taoist religious deities, and a young monk wearing the traditional Taoist outfit, dark blue cotton with white leggings and his hair tied in a top knot. He finished giving an I Ching reading to one of the thousands of Chinese who flock to Hua Shan every year, making it one of China’s most crowded national parks. Hsueh Yu Chang, the monk, is 36 years old, and has been living on Huashan for ten years. “I plan to live here for the rest of my life”, he exclaimed, and his sincerity was apparent. It is the same story I have heard from all of the forty monks and and ten nuns who reside here. Even those who rotate to work in the monastery at the base of the mountain eventually long to go back up. “Life is very magical here”, Chang says. “In the winter it is quiet and blanketed with snow, so I do a lot of meditation, study old tao texts, and visit with my friends on other parts of the mountain. In summer I serve as spiritual counselor to the public”. In another temple on Huashan I had a long talk with a Taoist nun, Liang Gui Zhi. Like the monks, she wore pants, and her face had the same happy warm glow that comes from living a simple life and cultivating a radiant inner smile. She was shy at first, but after we shared a couple of cups of tea together she began to talk. “The oldest living Taoist on Hua Shan today is a woman, the 70 year old Chao Xiang Chen”, she said. “She has lived here continuously for 50 years,


except for during the cultural revolution when the communists forced her to leave. Now she lives in seclusion, in a remote valley that takes 4 hours to walk to. She is a great and wise teacher to all the young taoists.” I asked Liang if female adepts were trained to cultivate their middle dan tien (heart) first, as suggested by some ancient texts. “The lower dan tien first, later the middle”, she replied. She assured me the women received equal treatment with the men. She herself grew up helping around Wu Dang mountain taoist temple, which is close to Shaanzi, and later moved to Hua Shan, where she was gradually adopted as a nun about ten years ago.. “Taoists like to wander from mountain to mountain”, she noted. “We are free to leave anytime we wish. I love Hua Shan because I can meditate under the quiet sky at night, and climb mountains by day.” She politely declined to give her age, but did allow me to photograph her. Most taoist monks and nuns will not allow tourists to photograph, but I had a letter of introduction from the vice abbot, and was considered an exception. I found out later Liang was sixty; she looked much younger. I noticed she wore lipstick, her one concession to the modern idea of beauty. In the summertime, up to 10,000 visitors, mostly Chinese, swarm like ants up the stone stairs carved out of the steep mountain rising 7,150 feet from the plains of Shaanxi. There is a spectacular cable car ride ($7.) that will take you up halfway the mountain, the highest lift in all Asia. Riding it, I felt like an eagle. Off season there are only a few hundred people on any given day. The monks and tourists stay in former monasteries converted into hostels that are fairly primitive. Many chinese cannot afford the cable car and hike the six hours from the bottom, starting at midnight in order to catch the magnificent sunrise at the top. This is a better way to get to know the whole mountain. This midnight trail is lined with little tents lit by bare light bulbs selling food and water to the hikers: prices rise with the altitude. I see many people carrying heavy provisions up coolie style, a stick with two heavy bundles at each end. A man, carrying 50 pounds of cement bags to build a new hotel, told me he earned only $7 for the 12 hour roundtrip, but he was desperate for the money. How did Hua Shan come to be a taoist holy mountain, and the source of so many famous qigong and neigong teachings? The mountain is home today to about 50 Taoist monks and nuns, much reduced from the past, but still holding the thread of an ancient taoist presence. Records suggests that taoists have lived on the mountain for over 2200 years, since at least the Han Dynasty (200 B.C.). Taoist hermits may have been attracted to its special spiritual energy, but they could not scale the higher peaks. Each peak is named after the four directions, with South Peak being the highest, and East Peak having the most hair raising cliff climbs. It was not until the Sung Dynasty, a thousand years ago, that a way was found to reach the upper peaks by a carved “stairway to heaven” that is so steep that you must hold onto a chain to keep from falling over backward! There is a boulder called “Back Rock”, because so many would turn back, diismayed at the vertical stairs in a section called “Thousand Foot High Precipice”. Legend has it that one of the most famous Taoists, Chen Tuan, won the mountain at a chess game. Chen Tuan, beat Zhao Kuangyin, who later made good on his promise to deliver the mountain if he became Tang Dynasty Emperor, which he did (960-976 AD). Chen Tuan presided over a revival of Taoist neigong practices, and is especially famous for his Taoist Dream Practice. There is a cave at the Jade Clear Spring Monastery where he lived his later years, and today it is a shrine with a statue of him in the classical dream practice pose (lying on right side, right hand supporting the head, like a Sleeping Tiger). Records note he would meditate in this position for months without eating while he flew about in his dream or energy body. Hua Shan was taken away from the Taoists for ten years during the cultural revolution. Later the temples (but not the mountain itelf) were returned to the Taoists. Perhaps the government

realized nobody else could really take care of it. Chen Yu Ming is a slender 30 year old monk who in addition to being Vice Abbot is Jade Spring librarian and musician. He gave me a private concert on the classical gu ching, a seven stringed hammered dulcimer-like instrument. The music was quite elegant. He is the resident intellectual at the monastery, and is the new breed of young Taoists who have chosen to turn their backs on commerce crazed modern China for communal life in a mouintain monastery. He is not isolated, as I noticed a TV in his room, otherwise simply furnished with calligraphy. “The cultural revolution was terrible for the monks and nuns. They were given three options: return to their home, become a farmer in Shaanxi, or do hard (slave) labor. Most chose the hard labor, because they did not want to marry and return to society. They wanted to keep open their hope of returning to Hua Shan. Many of them died of starvation and brutal labor conditions. But the ones who survived are our teachers today. They tell me, “Trust the Tao, and accept whatever it delivers to you. The immortals will help at the right moment”. Their hearts are pure and forgiving. Amazingly, they hold no anger against their former tormentors.” I ask Tsong Fa Ching, a young 26 year old monk who studies Wudang style tai chi chuan in his spare time, why he joined the monastery. “When I was eighteen, I saw a TV cartoon drama about the Eight Taoist Immortals, using their powers to help the common people,” he said. “ I knew immediately I wanted to be a Taoist. My parents lived in the south of China, and were opposed bitterly, because monks do not bear grandchildren. At twenty I ran away and this was the first Taoist monastery I could find..They accepted me, and I have been happy ever since.” At the Eight Immortals Temple in Xian, a fabulously well preserved Tang Dynasty complex that has been continuously operating for 1400 years, I found similar stories, and another 50 monks and nuns. Huang Shizen (”He who walks on Air”) is only 26 years old, another of the breed of young Taoist leader. He is well educated, speaks English, and travels to other Taoist temples to attend ceremonies and keep harmony between temples in different provinces. He had also just opened his own small taoist temple in another part of Xian. I ask Huang if he has strict dietary and sexual rules to follow as a monk. He winces, and says with a sigh, “I get tired of people asking me if I eat meat or have sex. In fact, most of the monks are vegetarian and celibate. But that is irrelevant to spiritual attainment. The Tao is about spiritual freedom. More important to remember that, not religious rules of behavior.” Together we leave the bustling capitol city of Xian to drive to Luoguantai, famous for its location at the mountain pass where Lao Tzu was stopped by the gate keeper and asked to write down his wisdom. The 5000 chacracter masterpiece, the Tao Te Ching was alledgedly written on this spot. The monastery is nicely kept up by the 42 monks and 8 nuns. By a large statue of Lao Tzu I take a photo of Huang and another young taoist leader, the 30 year old Liu Si Chuan. One is dressed in black, the other in white, like a designer yin-yang outfit. What’s the difference? “The summer outfit is white, the winter is black”. Of course. Harmonize with the seasons. Huang introduced me to the abbot, Ren Fa Rong, who is also his meditation teacher. Rong is famous as a scholar of Lao Tzu and vice president of the All China Taoist Association. At age 70, Ren Fa Rong is friendly but inscrutable. Of all the Taoists I met in China, his shen, or spirit, felt the most powerful. We had tea and discussed Lao Tzu. “There are over a thousand commentaries on the Tao Te Ching”, he noted. “It’s good to have a lot of interpretations. Lao Tzu was not just writing about the politics of his time, he was also guiding us about nei dan (inner alchemy). Ultimately Lao Tzu is writing about the Natural Tao, which embraces everything.” I promised Ren Fa Rong I would return for a longer study, and bring some western students of the Tao with me. He seemed happy to deepen that connection, gave me his commentary on Lao Tzu, and asked if I would help translate and publish it in America. I heard myself saying yes. (Any Chinese translators out there?) The words of one young monk captured the essence of what I encountered in Shaanxi. “We are religious Taoists, but the original Taoists had no religion. Our uniforms and temples are merely a


reflection of the local culture. None of it matters. Only, can you grasp the essence?” Michael Winn is leading a joint NQA-Healing Tao trip to China Sept 23 - Oct. 7, 2000. It includes a week studying with Taoists in Luoguantai & Hua Shan, a week training in medical qigong in Beijing. Winn lives in Asheville, NC, has 20 years teaching experience. He is Past President of the National Qigong Association USA, writer of 6 books on neigong with Mantak Chia, is founder and Dean of Healing Tao University in Big Indian, N.Y., the largest offering of low cost Tao Arts in the west with 33 summer retreats (academic credit available) in qigong, feng shui, healing, herbology, pa gua, taoist alchemy, etc. For free newsletter & catalog of neigong home study courses, call 888-432-5826 (or 201-656-2346). Email info@healingtaousa.com or visit www.HealingTaoUSA.com/retreats

Story of Mantak Chia Meeting Taoist Adept One Cloud
Introduction and interview with Mantak Chia by Michael Winn, written for PBS book by Francesco Garripolli accompanying his PBS film Qigong: Healing Art of the 21st Century Michael Winn Taoist Master Mantak Chia is a major pioneer in awakening the West into the Way of the Tao over the last 20 years. He is co-author of over ten books on qigong and its inner meditative aspect, neigong. He is the first to openly initiate westerners into the secret methods of Taoist inner alchemy, the ancient methods for healing the split between body/mind and sexuality/soul. It’s a path that leads to long life and a deep blissful, spirtual rebirth. His books include Awaken Healing Energy of the Tao, the first book in English on opening the Microcosmic Orbit, a kind of unifying “chakra” or wheel that connects all the meridians and energy centers of the body. I co-authored with him a revolutionary approach to connecting sexual energy to physical and spiritual health: Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy, followed by Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy. Other books focused on different types of qigong: Iron Shirt Chi Kung, Bone Marrow Nei Kung, Transform Stress into Vitality (Six Healing Sounds), Fusion of the Five Elements (mind training of the vital organ qi and emotional qi), Chi Nei Tsang (Deep Organ Massage) and Tai Chi Chi Kung. His specialty is in teaching people how their “energy body” -- the collective meridians and deep qi channels that connects the body-mind -- can be activated to function as one smoothly functioning whole. I was one of a small group of western students who helped him found the Healing Tao Center in 1982. We were tucked into a tiny cubbyhole in New Y ork’s Chinatown -- a little place with a big vision. Today, the International Healing Tao has over 1000 instructors worldwide on every continent teaching the classical Taoist approach of harmonizing “water and fire” -- male and female, yang and yin. It has given me and hundreds of thousands of others a practical way to manage our health, our emotions, our sexuality, and our minds. It led to my spiritual experience of nature (body nature and worldly nature) as an energy doorway that connects me with “God” in every moment. This is the humble simplicity and beauty of the Tao, the Natural Way. Here is Mantak Chia’s account of how he came to the Way:

was One Cloud, and he was 90 years old though he looked thirty years younger. I was impressed by his kind smile and gentle strength. He lived simply, ate simply, a diet with no salt. He taught me about taoist alchemical salt, which is heated in bamboo, and used as a solvent to aid meditative practice. I visited White Cloud once or twice a week for almost four years. He took a liking to me, seemed to think I had the patience to learn something deeper from him than other students. He taught me the classical seven Inner Alchemy formulas of Immortality that he himself had used to stop eating food . He said he had existed solely on chi (qi) for many years when he lived in the mountains of north China. He started eating again when the Japanese started bombing and he came down out of the hills. He believes that his liver was contaminated by bad food at that time, which may have been a cause of his eventual death at age 96. I had returned to Thailand, and opened my own Natural Healing Center in the mid 70’s in which I taught qigong, tai chi, and the beginning levels of inner alchemy -- the Inner Smile and Microcosmic Orbit. I was amazed at how many people got healed. I thought of One Cloud often, of his beautiful smile and his teaching me to smile into the body’s vital organs and the dan tiens (energy centers). I preferred his light-hearted Tao teachings to the local Buddhist monks, who were stern and took themselves too seriously. I also appreciated my mother’s Christian teachings, but the Tao teachings were always practical and wise and gradually became my main focus. I think the qigong principles of harmony and balance are very similar to the Christian teachings on love, they are just expressed in a more concrete energetic form. I don’t see any difference between the idea of universal qi and Holy Spirit. I also noticed many monks would go see a Chinese doctor when they got sick, suggesting they knew that chinese medicine, based on principles taken from qigong, had a deep understanding of the body. When I was 21, a western style doctor told me I would die from an inherited kidney problem. So I found another Taoist teacher who showed me how to rejuvenate my kidneys by recycling my sexual energy. I believe it saved my life, and I have taught it to thousands of other people and seen how it helped them also. For me, this is the real joy of teaching qigong and neigong. I get to watch so many people heal and blossom like a flower when they experience their connection to the flow of qi.

Clearing the Confusion Over Fusion
Article for Immortal Child Newsletter, Healing Tao Instructor’s Association, 2001-2002 Michael Winn Since Mantak Chia¹s book on Fusion of the Five Elements was published 15 years ago, there has been a lot of confusion over the Healing Tao practice of Fusion.. There were a lot of practices in the book that were NOT part of the original fusion practice, but bits of higher Kan & Li alchemy practices (five animals, five planets, taking pearl out of the body, etc.). As the editor of that book, I objected at the time and edited these higher practices out on the grounds that people should master the emotional level of alchemy before playing in cosmic fields beyond the body. Master Chia put these Kan and Li practices back in and published it, as was his prerogative. He admitted to me some years later that it was a mistake, as the Fusion practice, which we hoped would revolutionize the western psychological community, was largely disregarded by them as being too esoteric or too Chinese in its imagination and not suitable for general western use. The problem has been compounded over time as these and many other higher practices have been downloaded even into the first weekend Basic orbit courses. This tendency to compress the entire Healing Tao system into a single powerful technique I call the “Tao Big Whopper”. It looks like a delicious, super juicy bargain, but how many people can actually get their mouth around it? Or if they do manage to sink their teeth in, can they really digest the cosmic chi from stars and planets in their first weekend? Can they go home and successfully recreate that practice? After studying and teaching Taoist alchemy for 20 years, my conclusion is that most people cannot. Their heads get excited with a

Mantak's Chia's Story
I am Chinese, and grew up in Thailand. My mother was a Christian chaplain, but I was surrounded by Buddhist monks who taught me meditation at age six. I watched other Chinese do chi kung in the parks, but didn’t get deeply into it until I went to Hong Kong to attend high school. One of my classmates took me up into nearby mountains where a Taoist adept lived in a simple hut. His name


lot of information, they feel high energy at the workshop, but it is difficult to ground these cosmic chi frequencies. Admittedly, these frequencies are bombarding us every moment, and I believe Master Chia¹s intent is admirable in wanting to share as much as he possibly can as quickly as he can. But after years of experimenting with the progression of “information feed” into students of alchemy, and visiting China and studying with other Taoist teachers, I appreciate the importance placed on gradual development in Taoism. There simply is no rush. If you hurry, you might rush past what is sitting right under your nose. What is right under your nose is your Original Chi, the energy of your original self known as yuan chi. The Inner Smile is the core method for radiating this original chi to every level of your being. But because of the many layers of tension ­ ancestral, karmic, or acquired ­ original chi is not easily grasped. Thus the ancients, over thousands of years of testing, evolved seven formulas for releasing the obscurations that cloud our Original Spirit, whose light shines on a functional level as yuan chi. The formulas follow Taoist cosmology, and the adept must progress through each level before progressing to the next. Without this foundation, the original chi never crystallizes into the Immortal Embryo, the original spirit made manifest here in the physical plane. So people practice for years, but they hit a plateau and nothing further seems to be happening. Eventually they give up ­ too much work and time, too little fruit. The major obstacles for practitioners are emotional and sexual. The Healing Tao is a leader in teaching methods for moving sexual chi, but I have found most Healing Tao practitioners to have largely bypassed their emotional energy body development. The Fusion practices don¹t seem to be working well enough, and this ultimately retards transformation of sexual chi into higher spiritual awareness. It is one of several reasons why so few practitioners are really successful in their Kan and Li practice. This failure may be due partly to differences between Chinese and western practitioners ­ we have very different emotional bodies, the Chinese are more collective-minded, we demand more emotional expression and individual development. But more fundamentally I think it is because of confusion over the Fusion practice. When I was at Tao Garden four years ago, I ran into many people who were overwhelmed by negative feelings because they were fusing all their negative emotions at once into a single pearl. But their negative emotions were not transforming, they were just jammed into a single point of very “stuck” consciousness. This can be shifted easily by first charging up one¹s pearls with “te”, the virtuous qualities of the Tao that are flowing into our physical body-minds (Later Heaven) from our pre-natal self (Early Heaven). By first absorbing our POTENTIAL power for love & acceptance into the heart pearl, kindness into the liver pearl, gentle wisdom into the kidney pearl, integrity/strength into the metal pearl, and trust/ openness into the spleen pearl, we build a reservoir of yuan chi in our emotional body that then allows us to more easily dissolve our negative emotional patterns back into yuan chi. The pearl is a just post natal accumulation of yuan chi. The practical implication of this is that for westerners I believe it is important to practice the Creation Cycle BEFORE the Control Cycle. This effectively means REVERSING THE FUSION FORMULA SEQUENCE: nurture the five shen (vital organ “spirits or body intelligences” with the Fusion II formula before you attempt to dissolve negative emotions with the Fusion I formula. As a teacher, I have found this reversal to be the most effective sequence for emotional transformation. It is even more effective if the students understand the difference between shen, qi, and jing, the three core component of Taoist alchemy. I now teach this difference in the Basics, because it is the secret to effortless practice beginning with the Inner Smile and Six Healing Sounds and going through all the Kan and Li practice. If you don¹t understand the difference between jing-chi-shen, you end up using unconscious ego fragments (shen/body spirits not yet integrated) to manipulate your emotional chi field. This is like asking a drunk person to drive you home ­ the likelihood of making a wrong turn or having an accident is greatly increased. Why ask a dysfunctional aspect of your psyche to be in control? It merely

ends up seizing more control, and amplifying your emotional dysfunction. The net result is the Healing Tao is filled with people who have become a kind of “control freak” to the extent their ego-head is trying to control the chi of their emotional body, rather than actually engaging their true feelings. This attempt to avoid one¹s true feelings is accomplished by focusing on cosmic chi from planets and stars before you have a clue as to what your emotional body is and how it functions. By absorbing higher cosmic chi frequencies too soon you can actually amplify your emotional imbalance. I know of students who followed the fusion formulas in the book (of the nine formulas in the book, the last 4 are actually kan and li) and whose pearl shot out of their heads and left them feeling numb, empty or stuck for years. By going out of the body prematurely, it becomes very difficult to actually feel what is going on inside your body emotionally. This is one of several reasons I am STRONGLY opposed to the technique of “shooting the pearl” out of the crown at any level of practice. It is NOT a Taoist practice, and cannot be found in any alchemical text. Master Chia borrowed it from the Tibetan “powa” practice of exiting the body at the moment of untimely death, i.e. the method is designed to be used for emergency exit only. The Tibetan masters warn to NOT practice it regularly because it is considered to SHORTEN YOUR LIFE. How could it not? It resembles a kind of spiritual ejaculation of your essence out the crown. I heard a first hand story about a young westerner who did powa practice every day up in a monastery in Nepal. One morning, they found him sitting up dead ­ at age 25. I guess the practice worked. A powerful practitioner like Master Chia might be able to pull the ejaculated essence back into the body (which he fortunately is now instructing students to do), but my observation is that most students are unable to entirely draw it back in. This is because the spiritual gravity of the planets and stars and other unconscious levels of ourself is greater than our body¹s spiritual center of gravity in the dan tien. This is especially true in head centered westerners, directing their chi practice from their head brain rather than their belly brain.. How many men can ejaculate sexually and then pull their seed essence back into their body by “thinking” it back? The result of ejaculating one¹s pearl essence is to send your chi orbiting in the low astral plane, where your essence floats unconsciously. In the low astral your essence is even more difficult to manage as it pulls on your emotions and can be manipulated by other entities that want to feed on it. This is especially true if the pearl is sexually charged, as it magnetizes (attracts) negative entities that match your negative emotional makeup. In my understanding of Taoist alchemy, your essence is best directed in the opposite direction, i.e. take it deeper INSIDE the body, deeper into the pre-natal field within the dan tien, so it can fuse into a pearl and be present WITHIN the body. The cosmic planet and star frequencies can be simply absorbed into the pearl and one¹s inner space, without needing to ejaculate the pearl out in order to magnetize or attract those chi frequencies. Y can expand your AWARENESS ou (shen) out to the planets at that stage without ejaculating your essence (jing) into outer space. Again, the adept needs to understand how the jing, chi, and shen function differently, and GRADUALLY train them to reintegrate into their original self. When the pearl/immortal child is sufficiently developed, it will spontaneously leave the body if appropriate. The process of building up the immortal child/pearl by absorbing cosmic chi cannot easily happen if the emotional body is stuck. So we are back to square one, how to first relax and then transform the emotional body using the Fusion practice. This requires just feeling the emotions and their relation to the body without masking them or blasting them with intense downloads of cosmic chi or other manipulations and visualizations by the head/mental body. I have found the Inner Smile to be more useful here, but the smile cannot reach the emotional patterns if they remain unconscious or as one¹s “ideas ABOUT feelings” rather than the feelings themselves. Ultimately, I believe the primary purpose of the Fusion practice is to allow one to get in touch with one¹s Original Feeling, i.e., the first unconditioned feelings of yuan chi that arise in Early Heaven


BEFORE we convert this chi into Later Heaven negative emotions. This is why I have found it so effective to do Fusion II creation cycle first, but with the twist of using it to circulate the unconditioned feelings or original virtues of each of the five vital organ shen ­ unconditional love, unconditional kindness, unconditional trust. Once we have a foundation and relation to our unconditioned or original nature, it is simple to release or transform our acquired negative emotional patterns. To assist in this process, I have also developed chi kung movement forms to help students embody these patterns without getting into excessive mental manipulation. I hope this short description is enough to help you try this revised version of the Fusion practice for yourself. If not, I have recently made my Fusion teachings and other Healing Tao practices available on 10 audio homestudy courses and 8 video tapes. This series ties all the Healing Tao practices using the Taoist cosmology of the higher practices, without prematurely imposing the higher practices onto the beginning practices. I focus on what happens to the jing-chi-shen relationship in each of the seven formulas of immortality. This Taoist cosmology of three Heavens (Primordial, Early, and Later Heaven) and the cultivation of Original Chi is explained in a longer article (30 pages) posted on my HealingTaoUSA.com website. The article is titled “Daoist Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature¹s Intelligence”. To get a more indepth understanding of this subject, I share all that I have disocovered about these practices in my home study audiovideo coures: Chi Kung Fundamentals 1 & 2, Internal Chi Breathing 3 & 4, Fusion 1, Fusion 2 & 3, Healing Love and Taoist Dream practice. On The Day YOU Were Born Deborah Frasier This poem captures beautifully the Taoist vision of our inner spiritual child birthing itself into a manificently interconnected planet. Enjoy a lovely poem well worth reading every time you celebrate a reBirthday. Michael Winn On the eve of your birth word of your coming passed from animal to animal. The reindeer told the arctic terns, who told the humpback whales, who told the Pacific salmon, who told the monarch butterflies, who told the green turtles, who told the european eel, who told the busy garden warblers, and the marvelous news migrated worldwide. While you waited in darkness, tiny knees curled to chin, The Earth and her creatures with the Sun and the Moon all moved in their places, each ready to greet you the very first moment of the very first day you arrived. On the day you were born the round planet Earth turned toward your morning sky, whirling past darkness, spining the night into light. On the day you were born gravity’s strong pull held you to the Earth with a promise that you

would never float away... ...while deep in space the burning sun sent up towering flames, lighting your sky from dawn until dusk.

On the day you were born the quiet Moon glowed and offered to bring a full, bright face each month, to your windowsill... ...while high above the North Pole, Polaris, the glittering North Star, stood still, shining silver light into your night sky. On the day you were born the Moon pulled on the ocean below, and, wave by wave, a rising tide washed the beaches clean for your footprints... ...while far out at sea clouds swelled with water drops, sailed to shore on a wind, and rained you a welcome across the Earth’s green lands. On the day you were born a forest of tall trees collected the sun’s light in their leaves, where, in silent mystery, they made oxygen for you to breathe... ...while closer to your skin and as high as the sky, air rushed in and blew about, invisibly protecting you and all living things on Earth. On the day you were born The Earth turned, the Moon pulled, the sun flared, and then, with a push, you slipped out of the dark quiet where suddenly you could hear... ...a circle of people singing with voices familiar and clear. “Welcome to the spinning world,” the people sang, as they washed your new, tiny hands. “Welcome to the green Earth,” the people sang, as they wrapped your wet, slippery body. And as they held you close they whispered into your open, curving ear, “We are so glad you’ve come!” From the book On the Day Y Were Born by Deborah Frasier ou


Healing Tao goes Breatharian
Eve Adesso Note by Michael Winn: I was not totally surprised when Eve called me shortly after taking the Greatest Kan and Li 1999 summer retreat at Big Indian to tell me she had stopped eating and was a little concerned. That retreat had been a virtual meltdown experience for everyone present. I felt I was witnessing in the group deep genetic and karmic mutation within the space of that week, in which we go beyond being earth centered to living from the True Heart/Solar Logos/Stellar Mind/Great Shen. Teaching the “Water and Fire”alchemy retreats has initiated short periods of stopping eating for me in the past. After one retreat, just as I was about to put a fork full of food in my mouth, a voice suddenly commanded me: “Don’t put that food in your mouth!”. I obeyed, and never got hungry for three days. Currently I am eating because I enjoy it, but I am more actively considering the phase of giving equal enjoyment to not eating. I also shared with Eve the experience of Barbara Peter, a Swiss Healing Tao Senior Instructor, who stopped eating for four months as a result of her Kan and Li practice. Barbara finally started eating only because her family was too freaked out by it. Other people’s fear of death by starvation seems to be the main obstacle to shifting the thought form from eating solid food to eating chi. Bernie Bayard, another Healing Tao Instructor from Portland, Ore., also stopped eating for a period of some months. He was inititated into a process taught in Australia whereby you simply stayed in a room for 21 days without food or water, but held the strong intention that your genetic/biological system would shift over into living off divine lifeforce. He says many other people had used this method in a remote village in Australia to jump start this shift, even without having developed a high level spiritual practice. He also noted that becoming breatharian didn’t cure their ego issues, so you still need the spiritual practice! If anyone in the Healing Tao community have other experiences or information about “bigu”, Chinese for breatharianism, please send it to me for future issues of the Immortal Child Instructor’s Newsletter or for posting on the website.
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Vol. 22, No. 5, 392-396 (2002) DOI: 10.1177/027046702236892 © 2002 SAGE Publications

indicated that Y Xin Life Science Technology has enabled human an participants to live a normal lifewith little or no food intake for prolonged periods—a state referred to as bigu. Bigu is described in historical records as “taking in qi to avoid food,” and is regardedas a special technique to achieve along and healthy life. In this study, experiments were designed to study whether cells in vitro can survive without commonly acknowledged essential nutrients after receiving external qi treatments from Dr.Y Xin, a chief physicianand a an renowned life scientist. Results reported here indicate that mouse hybridoma cells can survive inDulbeco’s modified Eagles medium without serum orin phosphate-buffered saline buffer without other nutrientingredients after qi treatment. These results are the first evidence that a cellular equivalent of the human bigu phenomenon or cellular bigu phenomenon may occur. Key Words: bigu • Y Xin • Y Xin life science technology • qi • an an cellular bigu

What Bigu Means to Me
by Eve Adesso (formerly Eve 2000) drlovesong@mindspring.com HUANG T’ING CHING (The Y ellow Court Canon) states: “The grains of hundreds of cereals are the spirits of the earth. Though the five flavours are beautiful on the outside, they (actually) are an evil foulsmelling demon. The foul smell corrupts the soul and the Embryonic breath is annililated. How can you attain the return of infancy? Why not eat breath which is the supreme harmonious essence, so as to be able not to die and enter the HUANG NING (The Y ellow Repose). (1) I had always thought of breatharianism as something esoteric and attainable only by mountain dwelling hermits, and most certainly highly unlikely for a New Y City resident like myself. I was wrong! ork It’s been over three months now that I’ve been in the bigu, loosely translated as the breatharian state. Michael Winn asked me to share my experience with you through the newsletter. I want to emphasize that this is about my personal journey, yours may be very different.

Some background
In 1996, despite my active Tao practice, my immune system crashed and I became so tired I could barely walk up the stairs to my loft. This put me on a path of learning about nutrition, and I began exploring many new things. I went to the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico to teach and participate in their program. I arrived in an open minded yet skeptical state about the “Living Foods Lifestyle” that they teach there. The only thing I was sure of was that 2 weeks in the Caribbean in the winter would do me a lot of good. Little did I know that this would lead to my first bigu-like experience. I was teaching qigong in the morning on the beach and the Healing Tao in the evening and following their program of eating 100% Living Foods (raw fruits and vegetables, prepared in special ways to make them more easily digestible) while participating in their classes about relaxation, meal preparation, the digestive system, colon care, etc. I learned that cooking food kills it’s enzymes, that are equivalent to the chi or life force of the food. The first few days of the diet I experienced detoxification. I felt generally sleepy, with aching joints, then hyper in other moments. As the detoxing subsided I began to feel a light, indescribable state of consciousness that I had never achieved while eating cooked foods. At times I felt blissful and caught glimpses of eternal vision. I had not yet felt this level of clarity and harmony so, in spite of the fact that Chinese medicine often discourages the eating of raw foods, upon my return home I made a concerted effort to change my eating habits. I grew sprouts and greens in my loft, soaked nuts and seeds and prepared these new foods. I was by no means a living foods poster child but I did my best and my health improved.

Studies on the Fundamental Theory of Bigu (Food Abstinence)—Preliminary Experimental Observations of Cellular Bigu
Xin Y an Chongqing Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine/New Medicine Science Research Institute Alexis Traynor-Kaplan School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego Hongmei Li UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Jun Wang New Medicine Science Research Institute Hua Shen New Medicine Science Research Institute Zhen-Qin Xia School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego Clinical studies as well as hundreds of case reports have

Abstention from grain
By Sun Bu-er


Once you can feed on the living energy, Y lungs will be in an extraordinary state of clear coolness. our Forget the spirit, and there are no appearances to cling to; Merge with the ultimate, and the existent emptiness is gone. For breakfast look for wild taro roots; When hungry at night, pick wetland mushrooms. If you mix in smoke and fire, Y body will not walk on the jewel pond. our This poem by Taoist Immortal Sun Bu-er, one of the most beloved figures of Chinese folklore, speaks of the practice of abstention from cooked food. It is possible to do this because the living energy, the spiritual breath fills our bodies, so that we naturally do not think of eating. It does not mean starving oneself or enduring hunger.
“If you mix in smoke and fire, your body will not walk on the Jewel Pond.” The immortal body should be pure clear spirit. If you do

not abstain from cooked food, then ordinary murky energy will mix into the body, so you cannot hope to transcend it. The Jewel Pond is the abode of the female Immortals. Legends of the Immortals say that the palace of the Immortal Queen Mother of the West has a jewel pond on it’s left. (2)

Y ears passed and I regained my health and vitality. Even so, in recent years I began to feel like my qigong practice was stalled and I didn’t know why. It seemed like I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere. I study astrology and was very intrigued at the prospective of the dramatic Aug 11th total eclipse of the sun that was to be coupled with a powerful grand cross astrological lineup. Many astrologers were predicting that August 11, 1999 would be a crucial turning point where the material would lose importance and the spiritual would come to the forefront. I was searching for a place where I could be receptive to the shifting energy with a good group of people. The Greatest Kan and Li Retreat in Big Indian taught by Michael Winn seemed like the best choice. In retrospect I see that, for me, it was ideal. I feel that his teaching and being open to the energy around the eclipse were instrumental in strengthening my chi field and nudging me into bigu. Big Indian is located in a protected park area of upstate New Y where nature is still wild and powerful. The grounds ork and buildings are filled with statues and art from India and China. The marriage of nature, sacred art and meditation create a beautiful and highly charged environment that nourishes deep transformation. Michael Winn taught the internal alchemical practice of Greatest Kan and Li in a clear way and I was able to get it. I felt myself making a deep alchemical connection between the incandescent sun and lush, fertile earth. I was able to internalize the essence of each and hold them within my energy body. Hang-ups and blockages that had stymied me, some since childhood, were being cremated from within and dissolving into blissful, chi-filled insights as they transformed.

Bigu begins
I had no clue as to what was about to happen. I had been back from Big Indian for about two weeks. One Friday night, after a relaxing day of saunas at the local Russian baths, I went with my significant other and a friend out to eat at a Ukrainian restaurant that featured dancing and live music. Carried away by the moment, I ate a much heavier meal than I was used to. The next day I felt awful and decided that my system was due for a cleanse and I would begin a two week regime of eating strictly Living Foods. I went out and bought a large supply of sprouts, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, bagged wheat grass, etc. The next day I began my familiar routine of preparing the mainstay of Ann Wigmore’s approach to Living Foods; “Energy Soup”, made of sprouts, greens, seaweed and avocado. Later I ate fruit or salad. On the second day, I knew from past experience that I would experience symptoms of detoxification such as fatigue, achy joints, and sluggishness and sure enough, I felt tired. On the third day, though, to my surprise I felt fine and I was beginning to notice that I wasn’t hungry. What I was feeling was very different from past cleansing diets and fasts. Usually the detox symptoms would last for days and I would be plagued by hunger, dizziness and weakness. I was puzzled because none of this was

happening. This is when the thought, “Could I be in bigu?” first crossed my mind. The forth day was when the truth started to reveal itself. I was finishing up work on my CD and had a recording session scheduled for the afternoon. In the morning I was busy vocalizing and preparing and didn’t have time to eat. It was a beautiful September afternoon when I emerged from the subway and began my eight block walk across Manhattan to the recording studio. As I walked through the busy streets and into the Gramercy Park area my attention was drawn by the scattered trees and autumn leaves. I was feeling a calm centeredness that bordered on ecstatic. Even so, I felt grounded and was experiencing no hunger, dizziness, or any of the things I normally would have felt if I hadn’t eaten all day. Feeling this level of blissful serenity, in the midst of the frenetic energy of Manhattan was a new experience for me. At this point I realized that something was up since I felt significantly better after NOT eating. Right then a sign advertizing fresh papaya juice caught my eye, I went into the cafe and ordered one. It tasted great, but after drinking it I noticed that my energy and blissful state went down a few notches. This was the beginning. I realized I might be in bigu and declared that, from that point on, that my eating or not eating would be an experiment. Subsequently I noticed that the less I ate, the better I felt. So, I stopped eating. The first week was disorienting to say the least. The lifelong habit of eating is a strange thing to revolutionize. Anxiety about being different would alternate with the feeling that something miraculous was happening. I recieved insight after insight on the priorities of my life. I couldn’t treat myself like a “feed me and I work” machine anymore. I figured out how to cut back on working and still have what I need. My qigong practice became my daily bread, my food, my life. I took the subway to the beach a couple of times a week and did a long practice session, drinking in the sea air. Eventually I began doing a long practice session starting at midnight. The chi at this time of night feels tremendously nourishing. The Tao Canon and many masters recommend practicing at this hour. In addition to practicing I began buying many books on qigong and reading something every day. I’ve been finding the translations from the Tao Canon, the ancient texts to be especially helpful and inspiring. A lot of the metaphorical language is becoming clearer to me. I also have become very sensitive, feeling my own and other peoples emotions more clearly and powerfully than ever. When fears would arise I would meditate and consult my inner guidance on whether to continue. During the first few weeks at times I felt tired and weak, but in my quiet state I realized that it was due to detoxing. As time passes and more and more toxins are eliminated I feel stronger and stronger and and at the same time more vulnerable, due to the heightened sensitivity. I do a weight lifting workout 2-3 times a week and have maintained a normal work schedule. I have decided that, if my hunger reasserts itself or I notice any decline in health or eccessive weight loss I will return to eating, but so far the opposite is taking place. In the first month and a half I lost 18 pounds. Now my weight has stabilized and I am at my ideal weight. I visited a doctor that has knowledge of qigong to monitor my physical condition. I continue to take blue green algae and tonic herb teas such as reishi mushroom and ginseng.

What is Bigu?
The term bigu denotes an advanced qigong state during which the practitioner is able to maintain his or her normal activities without eating or drinking (and sometimes sleeping) for long periods, in some cases for several months and years at a time. A characteristic of the bigu state is that one’s overall condition improves rather than weakens, contrary to ordinary techniques of prolonged fasting. In addition , bigu encompasses other elements which exceed or transcend the beneficial effects of therapeutic fasting. These extraordinary aspects of the bigu state have been occasionally observed by medical and scientific practitioners; for example, archeological evidence includes an oracle bone scripture found in a 1000 year old tomb in Hunan, China, which contains a detailed written account with pictures denoting the bigu phenomenon.


Y Xin stresses that bigu should be seen as a “signpost” or an an adjunct to one’s practice, but not as an ultimate goal. He once said “The bigu state should not be advocated or overemphasized.” The potential of qi gong far surpasses these phenomena. (3) My first real exposure to the bigu concept was while studying with Dr. Y Xin and his organization. In some of his books (see footnotes), an bigu is mentioned and scientific studies done in China are cited. In one of his speeches he talks about a Chinese woman in bigu, living in the US that gave birth to a healthy baby subsisting on just water. What I am doing would be called “non-standard bigu” i.e. drinking liquids and occasionally eating small amounts of fruit or vegetables as opposed to “standard bigu” which involves no eating or drinking, except for water. It’s hard for me to know for sure what is happening physiologically. It feels as though most of my nourishment is being absorbed directly from the surrounding chi through the breath with more intense absorption taking place during practice. Scientific research studies in China have shown that practicing qigong can improve absorption of nutrients from food. I believe that the small amount of food and liquids I am ingesting is being utilized to the maximum. I have no doubt that the mystery of bigu is something that will eventually be understood through scientific research and monitoring.

In addition to broadening my knowledge on the subject of bigu, I feel I have benefited from Dr. Y Xin’s emphasis on having a big goal an towards the benefit of humanity. Big contributions are sustained on a foundation of smaller contributions and having “put one’s house in order”. “We should extend our view of life as ordinary work and contribution to include great contributions. Body and soul should be directed towards making great contributions to the entire human race, society and the universe. We should always view our life as part of the the whole-part of the life of the entire universe.” (5)

Dr Yan Xin
Dr Y Xin often says that cultivation; i.e. aligning yourself with an and accumulating virtue in your everyday life should constitute 70%, and is by far the most important element in qigong while physical and meditation practices should constitute 30%. Virtue can be seen as the predominant benevolent force that is omnipresent in the universe. This aspect cannot be underestimated. Food and eating are powerful, hypnotic, gratifying and satisfying. Meals are social, ritualistic and imbued with love and creativity. What can take their place? What can feed us more than physical food? A breatharian goes straight to the source, cuts out the middleman, so to speak and absorbs the nutrient of all nutrients, the supreme substance complete with everything nessessary to sustain life, directly. Technically that energy may be accessed through the breath and the saliva but spiritually it rides on virtue. In my case, it felt as though my excitement and commitment to my music and working on the book I am writing “launched” me into bigu. And, although my art benefits me, personally, my overriding drive and enthusiasm are with the impact I believe it can have towards freeing the human race. Bigu often feels like a precious gift. It’s great to finally have enough time in my life for the things I consider most important. Eliminating cooking, eating and shopping frees up 2-5 hours per day. Much money is saved and can be reallocated. My mind feels clear and unclouded by the burdensome digestive process. At some point this may run it’s course but I know that I will never go back to the excessive and unconscious eating that I used to consider normal. I am so grateful to have made the Healing Tao and qigong a part of my life. I feel I am deeply changed forever. In respect for yin and yang, I want to mention some of the dark, fearful moments I’ve encountered in my “bigu beginning”. Over the past ten years I had, one by one, eliminated addictive behaviors and substances from my life. The only one left was food. At times I ate heavy foods to supress unpleasant feelings. It’s much harder now to run from bad feelings whether induced by present day events or arising from within. I have to sit down and deal with things. I know that in the long run this is the best option, but in the short run...... it hurts! In these painful moments sometimes I break down and eat something but mainly I deal with it by stopping to practice Fusion and explore and transform the cause of my anguish. I’m also working on slowing down my life and pulling myself further away from that version of modern day existence that is nothing more than a whirlwind of earning and spending, held in place by various addictions. The practice of breatharianism is far from being known or accepted. Apart from my qigong and spiritually minded friends, I don’t always tell people that I’m in bigu and not eating. If I’m around at meal times I often say that I’ve already eaten or that I’m fasting. If the subject of food comes up I talk as if I were eating. Otherwise it can sometimes become an exasperating conversation that results in incomprehension and possible condemnation (of me!). Some can’t fathom what I’m doing and have not been supportive. The world is crawling with experts who are certain of one thing: to live you must eat. Some of them have medical degrees. At times the feeling of being at odds with a large part of society has been formidable. Specters of starvation loomed and many fears arose; In my meditation I asked for insight and was answered........... with a cosmic symphony of blooming harmonics. The sound entered every pore and massaged every cell, whispering, singing, shouting “Y are ou

The golden rule of bigu
This is a good place to emphasize some things I’ve learned from my friends at Y Xin Qigong. Bigu is an effect or gift of advanced and/ an or prolonged qi gong practice. IF YOU’RE HUNGRY YOU’RE NOT IN BIGU. As we all know, if you’re not in bigu, going without food can be hazardous to your health. If you want to become breatharian I believe that it’s essential to develop a very close rapport with your body and be able to distinguish between physical hunger and mental cravings. Eating disorders are rampant in our culture. Be careful. If you’re hungry, eat, in a healthy and balanced way. Keep practicing. Do good deeds. This will bring you closer. My understanding of bigu is that it is not “not eating”. It is practicing to a level where all your meridians merge and you and feel the chi continuously buoying you up. Y hunger dissapears. Y feel our ou full, bright and mildly ecstatic.

Lu T’ung, a Tang poet, wrote of tea: “The first cup moistens my lips and throat, the second cup breaks my loneliness, the third cup searches my barren entrails but to find therein some five thousand volumes of odd ideographs. The forth cup raises a slight perspiration,all the wrong of life passes away through my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified; the sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup, - ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of cool wind that rises in my sleeves. Where is Horaisan? (mythical islands in the Eastern sea, commonly associated with immortality). Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.” (4) The Zen idea of stopping everthing to be in the moment while drinking tea has helped me. It gives me something to focus on when everyone else is eating. If I feel comfortable enough with the people I’m with I sometimes sit at or away from the table and practice while they are eating......we are all taking in nourishment, just in different ways. Initially, when my partner would make his dinner I would feel afraid that the connection we had around food would dissapear and put distance between us. Sometimes I make tea, or we make a soup, then we sit down at the table together and I drink tea or some of the broth of the soup.We may have lost some of our food connection but we practice together much more often. He’s much more interested in qigong now and I’ve come home several times to find him re-reading Mantak Chia’s and other books about the Tao. He’s been in the martial arts since he was a teenager and has been hearing stories about of breatharians for a long time. He’s excited for me and has been quite encouraging. At times he has felt a transference of energy and his appetite has lessened or dissappeared and he has become extremely sensitive.

Having big goals towards the benefit of

loved, you are loved, you are loved”. It took my hand and led me into the infinite void, into an emptyness that is so full, so vibrant and so teeming with life as to satisfy all hunger for eternity. There I bathed in a mystic dew charged with serene passion and sublime sexuality. O paradise! How can I do you justice? Y splendor eludes capture even our by the otherworldly art of poetry. I’d also like to mention another important issue; finding a way to maintain a bigu state and yet not be totally out of kilter with society. Many intimate and beneficial social moments are centered around eating with other people. Eating small amounts of food in these situations often feels balanced to me now. Not eating and getting into a converstion about me being in bigu can create disharmony. At parties I’m finding it enjoyable to sample vegetarian delicacies, dance and make merry with everyone else. After a joyful social event the food passes out my body easily, with no ill effects. The trick is not exceeding a certain amount of solid food. Tales of the 8 Taoist immortals emphazise the parties and good times that punctuate their lives lived in service of the poor and sick. My experiment continues. I will keep you posted. I would also love to read about the experiences of others. Best wishes and abundant chi to all of you who are reading this and to all my fellow Healing Tao instructors, students and friends. Thank you for being a source of support and inspiration to me over the years. In closing I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to Mantak and Maneewan Chia for their pioneering spirit and their teachings that enabled me to lay down a solid foundation. Another pioneer that I’d like to thank is the late Ann Wigmore and everyone at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico for their practical and valuble teachings on Living Foods.......... I’d also like to thank Dr. Y Xin and his New Y students for an ork introducing me to Y Xin Qigong and the idea of bigu. an And many thanks to Michael Winn for his committment and clear alchemical teachings and for asking me to write this article. If you’d like to order “Journey to Eden” a CD of Eve’s original songs please call (718) 333-1116. Eve will be teaching at the Ann Wigmore Institute, call her for dates. 1) excerpted from THE PRIMORDIAL BREATH Volume II Original Books, Inc PO Box 2948 Torrance, Ca. 90509 2)excerped from IMMORTAL SISTERS Secret teachings of Taoist Women, Translated and edited by Thomas Cleary 3) excerpted from Volume 9 Chapter 7, “Bigu - An Advanced Qigong State for Healing and Self Developement” YAN XIN QIGONG COLLECTION 1997 International Y Xin Qigong Association an order from: Ms. Lihe Zhang 82 Cameo Dr. Willimantic, CT. 06226 Tel & Fax: (860) 456-0732 E-Mail: zhanglihe@hotmail.com 4) The BOOK of TEA by Kakuzo Okakura 5) excerpted from Chapter 6, Cultivation of Virtue. “SECRETS and BENEFITS of INTERNAL QIGONG CULTIVATION” by Dr. Y Xin, an Amber Leaf Press 2 Pennsylvania Ave. Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355 E-mail; alp@op.net Y Xin Qigong website: www.qigong.net an

I CHING on LAW (Original Shen) and Unfoldment of CHI
Michael Winn There is an old Chinese text written by Wang Fu-chih that

neatly summarizes the Shen-Chi-Jing principles of Taoist alchemy, only using the language of the I Ching on Law-Energy-Number: “Between Heaven and Earth there exists nothing but law and energy. The energy carries the law and the law regulates the energy. Law does not manifest itself (has no form); it is only through energy that the image is formed, and the image yields the number. If this law becomes blurred the image is not right and the number is not clear. This reveals itself in great things and expresses itself in small things. Thus only a man of the highest integrity can understand this law; basing himself on its revelation he can grasp the symbols, and observing its small expressions, he can understand the auguries.” The Dream of Life from Readings from World Scriptures - by Prof Andrew Wilson Chuang Tzu How do I know that the love of life is not a delusion? How do I know that he who is afraid of death is not like a man who left his home as a youth and forgot to return? Lady Li was the daughter of the border warden of Ai. When she was first taken captive and brought to the state of Chin, she wept until the bosom of her robe was drenched with tears. But later, when she went to live in the royal palace, shared with the king his luxurious couch and sumptuous food, she regretted that she had wept. How do I know that the dead do not repent of their former craving for life? Those who dream of a merry drinking party may the next morning wail and weep. Those who dream of wailing and weeping may in the morning go off gaily to hunt. While they dream they do not know that they are dreaming, In their dream, they may even try to interpret their dream. Only when they have awakened do they begin to know that it was a dream. By and by comes the great awakening, and then we shall know that it has all been a great dream. Once upon a time, Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, a butterfly fluttering about, enjoying itself. It did not know that it was Chuang Tzu. Suddenly he awoke with a start and he was Chuang Tzu again. But he did not know whether he was Chuang Tzu who had dreamed that he was a butterfly, or whether he was a butterfly dreaming that he was Chuang Tzu. Between Chuang Tzu and the butterfly there must be some distinction. This is what is called the transformation of things. from Readings from World Scriptures - by Prof Andrew Wilson The Tao of Cultivating Sexual Energy Element Books (Nov. 2000) Michael Winn Sexuality is a universal way for people to quickly access their chi flow. The ancient Taoists developed many different methods to tap the enormous power of sexual energy in order to direct it towards creating better physical health, a greater sense of vitaliity and zest for life, and to refine the sexual impulse into a steady state of spiritual bliss. Sexual chi kung can heal sexual dysfunction and impotence, improve sexual relationships, relieve PMS and menstrual difficulty. At the core of all chi kung is the cosmic yin-yang pulsation of polarized energy around a neutral pole. Think of creation as a continuous cosmic orgasm, and the human orgasm as an exquisite echo of that pulsation. When you get them in rhythm and harmony, your personal “energy gates” open to the cosmic flow of light and love. There are two major paths: Single Cultivation, in which you harmonize your male-female pulsation as “ internal love-making”, which is possible only because every person has both yin (female) and yang (male) chi within their own body, regardless of their sex. The other is Dual Cultivation, in which you exchange yin & yang chi with a lover/partner. Taoist Theory: Sexual chi is said to originate in the kidneys and bone marrow, which includes in the Chinese view the penis and vagina/uterus, prostate & ovary glands, the bladder and kidney organs and their meridians, and in women their mammary glands/breasts. All are part of the “water element” that regulates the body’s “jing”, or sexual bodyessence. How is sexual chi different from other kinds of chi? Sexual chi is 1) very “sticky”, acting as the stabilizing or bonding energy between opposing male-female or yin-yang forces. Think of it as super-glue; 2) it has the power to amplifiy or multiply whatever it bonds to. It intensifies emotions, it multiplies cell and glandular


reproduction rates, either in your body or by birthing children. It can also multiply your creative energy in the world of play or career. The major ways that sexual chi is lost or exhausted. Men: by excessive sex and ejaculation. “Excessive” varies by body type, age and climate, but be especially careful during the winter, when chi is normally going in deep, not out. There are methods of slowing down ejaculation during sex so that men can “draw” out the essence from their spern and recycle it around the body and nourish other centers. It is not necessary to become celibate. These practices include “Testicle Breathing” and “Drawing Up the Golden Nectar”. The goal is to shift from a limited “genital orgasm” to a “whole body orgasm”. Slowing or stopping “ejaculation” doesn’t prevent a man from having “orgasm” or being “multi-orgasmic”. Ejaculation is physical, orgasm is your chi pulsating. But don’t get obsesssed with “stopping” ejaculation, focus rather on opening up your chi channels and recycling sexual/orgasmic chi until you finally ejaculate. Then this physical ejaculation does not cause major loss of chi. It also slows the man down to stay in closer harmony with the woman’s slower cycle of arousal. Women: Excessive bleeding during the menstrual cycle causes loss of “jing”. By energetically detoxifying the body with sexual chi kung before the cycle begins, the need for bleeding as a means of detoxing is vastly reduced. The menstrual cycle can even be voluntarily stopped at a higher level of practice. This practice is called, “Slaying the Red Dragon”. Women also train to re-direct their orgasmic chi flow up to the higher energy centers in the heart and brain. Both sexes: poor diet, shallow breathing, and negative emotions or mental attitudes will exhaust your sexual vitality. Improving these plus a regular moving chi kung practice of at least 20 minutes daily are the mainstay of preventing low sexual energy and many associated dysfunctions. Another key in sexual kung-fu is understanding the relation between the fire element in the heart and the water element in the kidneys. These fire and water essences stimulate each other and keep the other in check. So you need to keep proper exchange between them, so they get into a steady state. This can be done by gently breathing between the middle and lower dan tiens, through visualization, and by guiding chi in the right channels. By simply keeping a very open heart you protect against blind lust, which ultimately injures the kidneys because it can never be satisfied by physical sex alone. The kidney shen (”spirit, or intelligence”) needs touch and sexual stimulation, but it is also always seeking the love of the heart shen. A word of Caution: Sexual chi is much more powerful than most people realize. Note how long it takes people to recover from broken love or divorce. Thus it is essential that you prepare your energy field properly with chi kung practice for several months before attempting “ovarian or seminal kung-fu”. If sexual chi is mis-directed into the wrong energy channels, the result may range from mild discomfort to severe impairment of physical health. Any method that is powerful can be mis-used. What is the proper way to prepare for sexual chi kung? 1. Learn the Six Healing Sounds and Five Animals Chi Kung to release trapped negative emotional chi. These are simple, and can be learned from books or tapes. They release the chi trapped in each of the five vital organs. Y don’t want to unconsciously amplify these old ou trapped feelings with supercharged sex chi. So don’t practice while in any extreme emotional state. 2. Practice the Inner Smile. This insures a calm and balanced mind when you do the sexual practice. 3. Learn the Microcosmic Orbit. This gives the sexual chi a safe pathway up the spine and down the front of the body, with automatic “safety overflow” valves into other major meridians. If you don’t learn this, there is a danger of some people getting “kundalini psychosis”, too much chi in the brain leading to delusional states. Any chi practice that opens the lower dantien will also prepare you and ground you. Once the Microcosmic Orbit is open, it is much easier to balance the chi flow to the endocrine glands along its path: adrenals, pineal and pituitary, thymus, heart and spleen, and gonads. These glands regulate the body metabolism during sexual arousal, and their healthy functioning is essential to get the benefits of the sexual

practice. 4. Get a live teacher to help you train. Sexual kung-fu is not an end in itself, it is merely a vital step in the larger process of cultivating and refining your chi. Y should simultaneously train in standing/rooting ou chi kung to ground the volatile sexual chi. The higher level of sexual chi kung practice is known as “inner sexual alchemy”, in which you become aware of the role of “shen”, the vital organ spirits, in regulating your inner yin-yang balance. Michael Winn co-authored with Mantak Chia the classic Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy and wrote six other books with Chia. If you cannot get a teacher, Tao Home Study Audio courses on Taoist Sexual Cultivation are available from Michael Winn on HealingTaoUSA.com/bookstore or email bookstore@healingtaousa.com. Note: before ordering the Taoist Sexual Course, the prerequisite course is Chi Kung Fundamentals covering the Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds, Microcosmic Orbit. The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm Daoist and Tantric Sexual Cultivation in the West Michael Winn By abstaining from intercourse, the spirit has no opportunity for expansiveness, yin and yang are blocked and cut off from one another. - Classic of Su Nu (Wile,1992, 7) Sexual love can be one of the most powerful human experiences. Over the past two thousand years, certain Daoist and Tantric cultures sought to tap the power of sexuality to cultivate elevated spiritual states of awareness and achieve immortality. These practices appear to have originated in China and India and later spread to Tibet and elsewhere in Asia. Daoism and Tantrism are both experiential approaches to life, and share similar microcosmic-macrocosmic theories of the human body as an inner mirror of outer Nature. The body-centered cosmology of each has led to a spectrum of sexual practices that range from ritualized physical sexual intercourse to celibacy accompanied by conscious subtle-body love making. (Bokemkamp, 1997, 43; Wile 1992, 25, White, 2000, 15). Both posit a multi-dimensional universe governed by divine, all pervading polar energies identified in Tantra as Shakti-Shiva deities or in Daoism as the yin-yang forces of Heaven and Earth. These polar forces arise from a mysterious non-dual unity, whose dance within the physical plane follows a five-fold pattern of harmony governed by five families of deities or five phase principles. Both offer alchemical maps, often hidden within mandalas interiorized within the body - yantras in Tantra and I Ching (Yijing) patterns in Daoism - that can be fully understood only by the initiated adept. These subtle body maps allow the adept to navigate the apparent chaos of conflicting physical and sexual desires to find the way to the true self at the still center of the drama of creation. Despite these underlying similarities in their cosmology, the Tantric and Daoist methods of sexual cultivation, both physical and subtle body, are radically different. Since the late 1970’s Daoist-Tantric sexual practices have been widely publicized and taught in the West. As a student, teacher, and private scholar of these practices during this period, I took it upon myself to “test” the methods of different Tantric and Daoist schools that washed up on Western shores. I was driven by an intense curiosity about the nature my own sexuality, which I intuitively felt to be central to my spiritual evolution. This journey led me to travel widely in China and India to investigate the cultural context of these practices and discern their differences as paths emphasizing Fire (Tantric) or Water and Fire (Daoist). My goal is to show how Western sexual needs have shaped the teachers and teachings of Daoist and Tantric sexual practices in the West. I will examine the sexual behavior, attitudes, lineage, and methods of different teachers, and if their practices were largely re-invented or presented in radically different ways from traditional Asian lineages. I hope to clarify the relation between physical sex, subtle body sex, the issue of celibacy, and the traditional distinction between medicaltherapeutic sexual practices and mystical approaches to sexuality. I’ll explore why sexuality is so crucial to spiritual transformation, and


describe the different kinds of subtle body orgasm one might evoke using Daoist and Tantric methods. The broad framework of my study is that (1) there is a deep tension in every human being between a non-sexual, non-dual core Being and a sexually polarized male-female Body. This tension is alleviated by development of an intermediate Energy Body that is androgynous (both male and female) in nature, and which is the deepest drive behind all forces of spiritual evolution. (2) This tension between Being and Body is so powerful that most “Enlightenment” states cannot bridge it, despite claims to the contrary. It is only bridged by what are called Immortality practices in both Tantra and Daoism. In general, I found more detailed medical and internal sexual practices available in the Daoist tradition, described in a concluding overview. This paper is titled The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm because in the course of teaching sexual practices to Westerners, I have polled thousands of students to find out why they are learning a sexual practice. Asked to select between understanding their sexuality, improved sexual performance, better love relationships, and having a spiritual orgasm, about eighty percent choose spiritual orgasm. Because the river of Daoist and Tantric history is so vast, with so many tributaries, generalizations are inevitable in my thumbnail sketches of a wide array of teachers and teachings I encountered. The obstacle to all research on sexuality is widespread lying and concealment. Subtle body sex complicates this problem, since by definition the Daoist-Tantric experience of the body-as-divine-cosmos-copulating-within-itself is personal in nature. In the spirit of creating a new openness about delicate sexual-spiritual issues, and to vivify the reader’s senses, I often shift to a first person narrative. I accept (on behalf of my unnamed informants) full responsibility for any inaccuracies in my brief footnote to this chapter of Western religious history. Sexual Revolution as Cultural Context Tantrics and Daoists have often assumed the role of rebelling against the prevailing social and sexual values, which were dominated by a strict caste system in India and overtly anti-female values of Confucianism in China. Tantrics and Daoists were also early experimenters with “external alchemy”, the use of mind-altering natural substances to quicken one’s spiritual evolution. It is not surprising that their ideas came into widespread popularity in the West during a period of widespread cultural rebellion in the 1960’s with mind expanding drugs, pelvic-undulating rock music, and a pillprovoked Free Love movement, all designed to topple Establishment values. The Western sexual revolution occurred without any Eastern stimulus; but once it was happening, it needed somewhere to go, and Tantric and Daoist teachings offered a new and more spiritual direction into which the sexual revolution could mature. If we imagine that planet earth has a single global libido, I suspect these ancient teachings would have surfaced any place where sexual freedom was exploding. It is important to first remove a naivete common to Westerners about oriental sexual practices. Teachers of traditional sexology, whether medical or spiritual, are difficult to find today in either China or India. On seven trips to China, despite an extensive network of Daoist contacts, no one knew of a single teacher of Daoist sexual cultivation, even though all were well aware of its historical and textual presence. There are two reasons. One, Daoist sexology has a bad historical reputation for being abused and used to promote sexual vampirism, making it risky to teach in Communist culture. Two, as Fang Ru Ruan’s Sex in China study notes, ancient China produced the world’s oldest and most detailed sexology texts, but modern China is one of the most sexually repressed countries in the world - sale of pornography is punishable by death. The neo-Reichian Yugoslav filmmaker Dusan Makaveich showed in his 1972 film Mysteries of the Organism that as political repression increases, sexual freedom decreases. This political repression may be a factor in recent medical reports in mainland China of increasingly widespread sexual dysfunction. Most current Daoist books on sexology are coming from Taiwan and Hong Kong, often centered around trained courtesans (Lai 2001, McNeil 1999), or from Chinese living in Thailand (Chia/Winn 1984, Chia 1986, 1996, 2000).

Three trips to India, numerous contacts and books on Tantra convinced me the situation there is not much different. Mainstream educated Hindus are puritanical in their sexual mores, and Tantrism is seen as low caste and morally suspect excuse for black magic, especially seduction spells (vashikarana), suitable for entertaining stories but not serious pursuit. It is an underground subculture, with a invisible subset of adepts skilled in the esoteric sexual rites described in classical Tantric scriptures, erotic paintings and sculpture. Tantric practices are kept alive by secrecy: “publicly Vedic, secretly Tantric” is the Indian aphorism that summarizes the situation. My thesis is that amongst the Tantric male teachers who brought their sexual wares to the West, few had any actual training in physical sexual practices. I believe most recreated them from ancient texts or invented them out of their own needs or the expectations of their Western students. Asian sexual practices would likely not have taken root in the West except for the ground being prepared by Sigmund Freud (d. 1939), his students Carl Jung (d.1961)and Wilhelm Reich (d.1957), and the early sex researcher Havelock Ellis (d.1939). The widespread acceptance of the theory of sexual impulse being a fundamental shaping force of the personality opened Westerners to the Daoist-Tantric metaphysic that went one step further, giving sexuality a key role in spiritual evolution. Jung expanded this greatly with his explorations into eastern mysticism, writing introductions to both Tantric and Daoist esoteric texts. In his essay on the Secret of the Golden Flower, Jung tried (without success, in my opinion) to impose his anima-animus psychological archetypes on yin-yang theory. Jung lacked the practical energetic methodologies (beyond “talk” therapy) for directly experiencing and guiding these subconscious male-female forces in the body into superconscious states. Reich tried to fill this gap, and died in prison in the U.S. for spreading his teachings and devices promoting a universe - and human body centered around orgasm, through the medium of “orgone”, similar to prana in India and qi in China. The ideas of these psychologists later became increasingly mainstream, and set the stage in 1972 for bestselling self-improvement books like The Joy of Sex, by Alex Comfort, a scholar of Tantric erotic art and philosophy. The appearance of crazy wisdom teachings from Tibetan Buddhist Tantrics like Chogyam Trungpa (d.19 89) inspired beatniks and poets like Allen Ginsberg, who as a homosexual in a homophobic society was attracted to a teaching claiming enlightenment could be achieved by following and completing your ordinary desires. Two early major stimuli to the growth of Asian sexual practices in the West were 1) publication of From Sex to Super Consciousness (1974) by Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh and his growing popularity as a “sex guru” of Tantric and new age mysticism, and (2) publication of the bestselling Sexual Secrets (1979) by Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger , with classical texts and six hundred illustrations of Tantric and Daoist sexual iconography. Unlike previous erotic art books, it offered a living spiritual path. These events put images and a vision of sexual-spiritual liberation into popular media with a psychology accessible to Westerners. Nik Douglas was an English rock music producer who went to India for eight years in the 60’s, several of them wandering about as a Tantric sadhu, stirring the ashes of his guru’s sacred dhouni fire. Douglas made the first film on Tantra in English, financed by Mick Jagger -- a clear statement of alignment between Tantra and rock music subcultures. Douglas published Chakra magazine in India and had an indirect but pivotal role in introducing the Beatles to their guru, Maharishi Mahesh. This subsequently gave other Indian gurus instant rock star status, promoting their teachings to the rebel youth culture in the West. Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation movement passes itself off as Vedic, and completely avoids sexual issues and practices. But as Douglas points out in his history of Tantra, Spiritual Sex (1997), the TM power mantras given to initiates, chosen by birthdate, are Tantric. The Vedas themselves are hymns to be sung, but do not offer mantras, which Douglas traces to the older Dravidian vegetative fertility cults in India.


Traditionally, in Hindu Tantra a lineage tranmission is essential, a personal initiation by a guru. Rajneesh (1931-90) was an Indian professor of philosophy who basically had no guru - he got his initiation from books. From his wide readings and direct experimentation, Rajneesh “self-invented” a Tantric path for Westerners to explore themselves. He forbade his Indian followers from using the techniques devised for Westerners, as he felt that Western minds worked differently. He had a genius for translating obscure mystical concepts into a workable Western psychology. He offered Westerners exactly what they wanted: freedom from guilt about sex, the promise of enlightenment, and a smorgasboard of workshops led by followers that allowed them to explore and integrate their eclectic mix of Eastern and Western methods. Having no lineage, he invented a feeling of lineage for Westerners by requiring them to wear swami-like robes. Rajneesh set the stage for his Western followers to appropriate the five element Tantric chakra system and psychologize it to fit their own spiritual needs and Western archetypes. This trend towards a “selfinvented” spirituality became a hallmark of the New Age movement in the West. Tantra and Daoism both have a long history of experimenting with and absorbing new spiritual technologies, so I do not use the term “self-invented” pejoratively, but only to distinguish it from teachings adopted from traditional lineages in India or China. Nik Douglas, who met Rajneesh in India before he was famous, told me his main recollection him was of a “nice professor type who wanted me to set him up with intellectual Jewish girls who would fuck”. This suggests an early stage of trying to reconcile his sexual and intellectual identities. Rajneesh was later touted as the “sex guru” by the media because he told his followers to have as much sex as they could possibly tolerate until they no longer desired it. This was his novel application of a traditional Tantric principle of using ordinary desire to obtain enlightenment. At seminars he would begin by requiring everyone to strip off their clothes and sniff the armpits and genitals of a member of the opposite sex. Rajneesh reportedly entered a phase of natural celibacy between the ages of forty-two and fifty-five, so he was not having sex at the height of his fame as a sex guru. This highlights the paradox, found in many traditional Tantric and Daoist lineages, of an approach that advocates celibacy yet employs sexual energy as the main force in their meditation. Personal Account: Kundalini Rising in the West My own first spiritual initiation experience offers a snapshot of how Tantric methods leapt across cultural lines without a lineage to define it, and how the Tantric-induced experience of kundalini, the female Shakti force rising within the body, itself blurred the boundary between the sexual and the spiritual. I was working as a free lance war correspondent in Africa in 1978. Enroute to the airport leaving the U.S. I grabbed Rajneesh’s Book of Secrets, his compilation of a hundred different Tantric methods. I had never heard of Rajneesh. Later, stuck waiting for a visa in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, I had time to browse the book. I had never had a guru or any meditation training. Rajneesh’s Book of Secrets overwhelmed me with the number of techniques in it. So I picked the simplest one I could find, a breathing method. It instructed me to follow my inhalation and exhalation, while gradually increasing the length of the pause between breaths. I got deep into the process, lying on a straw mattress in a sweltering $3. per night flea bag hotel, shared with a black South African refugee whose epileptic seizures were my only distraction. I practiced for three to five hours at a time, and found I could slow my breath down until the pauses seem to last interminably. One day, after two weeks practice, I felt my breath stop completely. During a long pause between breaths, I entered a deep, peaceful state, and felt I no longer needed to breathe air. Suddenly my whole body shook, then exploded in an intense orgasm and I watched myself catapulted into the space around me, with a clear vision of my body expanding rapidly through the walls of the room. After this initial explosion, I felt like a mushroom cloud above a nuclear

blast, with the debris of my former consciousness blown to bits and slowly raining back down on my transparent body in blissful droplets. I was shocked, scared, and excited. I realized I had entered some other dimension of myself, and decided I had to make it a priority in life to find a way to stay connected to it. I decided to give up meat, drugs, and sex, the latter decision particularly shocking to me as at that time I was prone to having three girlfriends at once. Since my beyond-the-body experience was a thousand times more orgasmic than the best sexual orgasm I had previously experienced, being celibate didn’t seem to matter. I didn’t know it then, but I had entered the realm of my subtle bodies and their spontaneously orgasmic properties. I had no guru or formal initiation, my only teacher was a book, yet I found myself celibate, on the Tantric path, and questing for a repeat spiritual orgasm. When I returned to New Y ork, I hunted down the nearest Rajneesh ashram, a dingy cellar in Tribeca. I did Rajneesh’s Dynamic Meditation to arouse the kundalini, but it didn’t work for me, and I didn’t like the “group grope” feeling of the people there. I didn’t want strangers grappling with my newly delicate energy field, and the methods seemed to lack sufficient internal focus. The only book in print that seemed to confirm the reality of my experience was Gopi Krishna’s Kundalini:The Serpent Power, an account of his twelve year ordeal with his kundalini current run wild, finally cured by simply eating meat. Krishna published many later books claiming the kundalini - the dance of the ida (solar), pingala (lunar), and sushumna (central) currents of prana up the spine -- was the evolutionary force behind all genius and all genetic evolution. When I interviewed Gopi Krishna shortly before his death in 1984, I was not impressed by his spiritual presence. He seemed very intellectual, an Indian pundit with thick black glasses whose energy was mostly in his head. I began practicing White Tantric Y oga, taught by Y Bhajan and his ogi 3HO organization, and found that it systematically stimulated and sustained the blissful experience I had in Africa. I practiced this system of kundalini yoga daily for four years, which employed a rigorous combination of yogic asanas (postures), “breath of fire” (rapid belly breathing), yogic locks (squeezing different body parts tightly), mudras (hand positions) and mantras. I took ice cold showers at 4 am, and found my sleep needs reduced to four hours. I also began experiencing different siddhis or spiritual powers, ranging from bursts of telepathy and foreknowledge of the future (useful in planning my free lance writing career) and, more dramatically, having repeated experiences of the entire universe collapsing into a single point. I would be immobilized for up to an hour, as if my being were condensed into a heavy steel ball at the center of the universe, with a contracting pressure so intense not even my mind could escape its gravitational power. Being a self-employed writer, I was able to practice four to eight hours a day. The link between kundalini and sexuality was self-evident. My testicles pulsed day and night, I could feel and internally hear my sexual energy rushing up my spine and throbbing in my third eye. At other times I experienced fiery sexual-like currents of electricity flowing throughout my body. I felt like I had discovered organic LSD, and walked about in an ecstatic state, feeling ten foot tall and looking down from above my head into the mundane reality below. I was still celibate, but had so much sexual energy I masturbated daily to release the pressure. My conversion of sexual energy into blissful subtle energy must have been unbalanced, as it eventually led to a weakening of my physical body. This subsequently led to my shift to Daoist inner sexual alchemy practices. I was told that I was practicing the traditional ancient science of Tantra, but later investigations by myself and others into Y Bhajan ogi raised serious questions as to whether his methods were “self-invented” from a hodgepodge he had collected while formerly a customs official in Delhi. Bhajan had no identifiable guru, no specific Tantric lineage or school, and had mixed his yogic methods with a curious blend of religious worship of Sikhism. I went to the Punjab state in India, and widespread inquiries produced no one who had ever heard of any Sikh


Tantrics there. This is not to judge Bhajan’s methods as ineffective, but simply to note the pattern of self-invented Tantrics coming to the West to seek a following. One of his innovations was to line up male yogis and female yoginis facing each other in long rows, up to a hundred people in length. They would stare into their opposite sexed partner’s eyes while doing rapid breath of fire in different asanas, building up a tremendous sexual energy field that would shift into a higher octave of shared collective bliss. Bhajan offered little real training on sexual energy management, other than the advice to limit sex to once a month with a married partner. The only specific technique for men was to sit with their perineum over the heel (mulabanda), to block the upward flow of sexual feeling from going out the penis. Y his ashrams, with serene white-turbaned et and long-bearded Western yogis, were filled behind the scenes with frequent sexual affairs between adepts who could not follow their guru’s admonitions. One of Bhajan’s inner circle at the time revealed to me the existence of lawsuits against Bhajan (who was married) by female followers for sexual abuse, and told of a coterie of sexual favorites and “deviant” sexual practices in his inner Tantric circle. A different yogi, also a leader in 3HO, later left to become a Daoist student of Mantak Chia, from whom he learned the Microcosmic Orbit meditation, a method of circulating energy up the spine and down the front channels of the body. This radically differed from kundalini yoga in suggesting the subtle energy circulated in endless loops that ultimately spiraled into the center of one’s core consciousness, instead of a linear flow from lower chakra to upper chakra to union with an absolute self somewhere above the head. The Orbit is also the key Daoist channel for circulating sexual energy. Before he left Bhajan’s organization, Bhajan’s lieutenant introduced the Microcosmic Orbit meditation into the White Tantric practice. It later became standard practice to help ground the many spacy yogis, who, like myself, were literally floating out of their bodies. America had become an accelerated microcosm of the Orient, where different Tantric and Daoist schools traded methods over the centuries along the Silk Road trade routes. Bhajan’s pattern of appearing sexually conservative in public while engaging in sexual practices in private was common in other Tantric gurus in the 1980’s, most famously Swami Rama of the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Pennsylvania and Swami Muktananda at his Siddhi Y ashram in New Y ogi ork’s Catskill Mountains. Both were discovered to be giving “Tantric initiations” to dozens of young female devotees in the guru’s private boudoir. There is a tradition in Indian Tantra of gurus initiating with a drop of semen or saliva, or performing ceremonial sexual rites where sexual union with a low caste or untouchable virgin female is used by male adepts to enter a divine state of union (White, 1996). But the Tantric sex scene in America more closely resembled the groupie music and movie star scene. The young girls who were “gifted” with the guru’s initiating lingam (penis) reported that it was quick sex, and felt like a man masturbating inside them, with no deep ceremonial, emotional, or spiritual connection made. There was no body-specific training in the Siddha Y program at that time in transmuting sexual oga energy into spiritual energy, other than what occurred naturally through devotional chanting. All the acharyas (novitiates) and Western swamis had to take strict vows of celibacy. Swami Rama’s followers were particularly galled by his insistence that male and female yoga students were not allowed to hold hands, under penalty of being expelled from the ashram. Was this seemingly compulsive sexual behavior by enlightened masters a kind of crazy wisdom, an intentionally paradoxical Tantric behavior that we morality-bound Westerners could not understand, or was there something else going on here? Thousands of followers would testify to the spiritual powers of these men. For me, it raised a new question: is it possible to be spiritually enlightened, and at the same time be an emotional and sexual midget? Over time, my later study of Daoist subtle body development suggested this was likely the case. Muktananda and Rama were trained by Tantrics that

emphasized austerities, including abstention from sex, while driving all energy into the head to nourish the spiritual body. They likely had no previous sexual experience in India. These head centered (third eye and crown) practices are typical of “fire” school methods for achieving rapid enlightenment, which often suppress physical body urges to achieve this expanded headenlightened state. These repressed sexual urges can later suddenly emerge powerfully, amplified by the active fire energy of the adept’s spiritual body seeking to ground itself in the sexual waters of the earth plane/physical body. The trigger activating this release could have been the shift from the sexually repressive culture of India to the free-sex culture of New Y ork. The unconscious desire of the young female devotees to have sex with their guru may also have been a factor; to Rama and Muktananda’s opened subtle vision these sexual desires may have been perceived consciously, and they may have been simply unable to resist an opportunity to seek balance for their excess spiritual fire. A Tantric might argue these events were simply life offering a new opportunity for exploration by all concerned, to be viewed without any moral judgement. But was there a patriarchal blindness and excess male-fire insensitivity to the very goddess Shakti force which Tantrics universally claim to worship? Swami Rama escaped to India for two years at the height of his scandal to let things cool off. When he returned, I had the opportunity to personally ask him, what is the purpose of sexuality in spiritual evolution? His answer was evasive, mentioning that some cultures allowed multiple wives, implying sexualspiritual development was completely culture-determined rather than obeying some cosmic law. Muktananda was brought to the West in 1971 by his student Albert Rudolph, a Brooklyn Jew, former nightclub bouncer and later an art dealer. Muktananda inducted Rudi into his religious order, and so Swami Rudrananda (”Rudi” to his followers) donned traditional swami saffron robes. But Rudi didn’t follow traditional swami rules. Rudi was open about his Tantric self-inventedness, and was open about his sleeping with both male and female followers to intensify their spiritual awakening. His honesty about this was refreshing and shocking, exemplified by his book titlle, Spiritual Cannibalism. I saw from a video of Rudi that he had excess kundalini, causing his head to whip back and forth ferociously. Rudi’s creative re-invention of an American Tantra was cut short by a 1973 plane crash. He trained a new generation of American Tantrics who spread his experimental approach to Tantrism, often blending it with Tibetan Tantric and later Daoist alchemical teachings. Two of Rudi’s top students, John Mann and Lar Short, exchanged teachings with me and my first Daoist teacher Mantak Chia in the mid 80’s when Chia rented Rudi’s Big Indian ashram in the New Y ork Catskills. Some of that ended up in The Body of Light (1988), Mann and Short’s comparison of the subtle bodies in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Daoist traditions. Chia learned from them the Tibetan Powa technique of shooting one’s essence (bindu) out of the physical body before death, which he borrowed and integrated into his Daoist teachings. This ejected essence is, in my view, the sexual-spiritual substance that allows one to create a new incarnation, a specialty in the Tibetan tradition. While editing the Daoist chapter in The Body of Light I took of number of their Tantric initiations, and tried Rudi’s experimental method of making sexual love with any astral beings met while travelling in the subtle planes. I later rejected this (and the powa practice) as unnecessary and potentially distracting to the process of Daoist inner sexual alchemy. The low astral plane is filled with halfbeings of low vibration and hidden agendas. In Daoist alchemy one is kept busy sexually coupling sun, moon, planet and star energies of higher frequencies. One discovery that emerged from our sharing of Daoist, Tantric, and Bon Dzogchen teachings that had been absorbed into Tibetan Buddhism was the clear similarity of Daoist alchemy subtle body coupling using pearls and channels to the completion stage annutarayoga Tantric practices with its colored male and female drops and winds. Detailed in Geshe Gyatso’s Clear Light of Bliss (1982), these


vajrayoga practices emphasize the value of having a physical sexual consort to speed the opening of the heart needed for highest attainment and interpenetrating mind awareness. John Mann later developed an innovative two person Tantric meditation method called Divine Androgyny, which I consider a quintessential Tantric sexual coupling of higher subtle bodies. A male and female adept sit on chairs facing one another and do nothing except stare in each other’s eyes and surrender to whatever flows through. This creates a build up in the sexually polarized subtle energy field between them which eventually begins to pulsate. If the adepts are highly skilled and attuned, the pulsating field becomes quite intense, tangible to anyone sitting in between, and can result in deep healing for all involved in the process. (Mann, 2000) In the late 70’s and early 80’s I also took a series of Tibetan Tantric initiations from two lineage heads, the Karmapa and Dalai Lama. I never pursued these practices in depth, as I did not feel drawn to their complex mandalas of visualized deities and their guru worship. But friends who studied Tibetan Buddhist Tantrism reported they kept their sexual practices very secret from Westerners. A Western female acquaintance went on a three-year Buddhist retreat, believing she would practice various austerities. She afterwards reported the retreat was a “veritable Peyton Place,” with lusty Lamas besieging her to become a consort and thus speed their path to enlightenment. I heard reliable reports of another lama who insisted all the western women on retreat become his consort. Two of the four major Tibetan sects require celibacy, but all four teach methods for sublimating sexual energy into subtle bodies, projected as various deities. Skill in this kind of astral projection creates the possibility of “astral sex affairs” that occur mostly in dream time or meditative states. A different female friend, involved in helping Tibetan teachers, confided to me she was under “astral rape” attack for months by a Tibetan Tantric practitioner who became obsessed with her as his consort after she terminated a brief sexual affair. I shared with her some Daoist methods for defining the boundaries of one’s subtle bodies, which seemed to help. Sexual intercourse opens subtle body connections that can be extremely difficult to dissolve. Men become obsessed with pornography for the same reason: they are having astral sex with their own projected fantasy in the low astral plane, the subtle body closest to the physical. Any divorced or separated couple also knows too well how difficult it is to cut the bonds of sexual attachment, especially in cases of first true love. This is often because their sexual energy bodies have been “glued” together in the low astral plane. My own experience is that this can go beyond a strong subtle body sexual relationship. It may involve the exchange of what the Daoists call the jingshen, the vital organ spirits that animate the personal body. It is difficult to separate from someone else because a part of their consciousness is actually living inside your body, and vice versa. Similar situation may be found in certain deep child-parent relationships, which may be intensified by an unspoken sexual polarity. This is a vast topic, beyond the scope of this paper, but it does imply a spontaneous and high level of subtle body sex that is usually unconsciously willed. California Tantra One of Rudi’s New Y students was Franklin Jones (b. 1939), who left ork Rudi to try Scientology for a year before starting his own movement. Jones moved to California and became the self-proclaimed God-man and World Teacher Da Free John (later changed to numerous other names). It appeared Da Free John had such an extreme case of rising kundalini heat that it permanently burned off his hair. Jones-Free John is clearly a case of second generation Western self-invented Tantrism, a showman who created a Wizard of Oz mystique by teaching from behind panels, too sacred to be viewed by his followers. He later added a modern twist. He lived for a long time on an island in Fiji, surrounded by multiple wives and “gopis” (female devoteeslovers), and daily instructs his followers in a California ashram

in the most minute aspects of their lives by computer email. Jones may be another Tantric case of excess fire seeking female sexual water to cool and ground itself. The California Tantra scene in the 1980’s and 90’s was blossoming with its own flavor, and students (mostly of Rajneesh) sprang up teaching Tantric workshops. These typically were taught in the nude, and often encouraged participants to sexually partner with a stranger, with instructions to first tune into them by breathing together and holding one’s hand over their partner’s heart. This extremely simplified and reinvented Tantric sex ritual for Westerners may have cemented the media definition of Tantra as being primarily a practice of spiritualized sexual intercourse, which of course it never was in India. Even the famed Tantric ritual of the “Five M’s” (pancha makara) that culminated with coitus (maithuna) was proceeded by mantric initiation and ordinarily required lengthy prior subtle body training (Tigunait, 1999). But Californians wanted both quick sex and quick enlightenment, the latter being one promise of Tantra, and so market demand attracted the teacher supply to satisfy it. This public sexual intercourse in a group workshop setting seems to be an enduring part of the Western reinvention of Tantra. It fits a general Tantric pattern of defying public mores for the purpose of shocking someone into enlightenment, but I put it more into the category of psycho-therapeutic or medical sexual therapy than subtle body practice. Participants are usually guided to take the sexual energy up the chakras in the spine, but may have little or no prior training in meditation or in stabilizing internal states of consciousness with mantra, yantra, internally created alchemical symbols or visualizations, or mudras, the hallmarks of traditional Hindu Tantrism. This may be because Rajneesh, the self-invented Tantric guru of many of them, did not himself have lineage training in these methods. Rajneesh also did not believe mantra was suitable for Westerners, as he felt it produced a soporific state of self-hypnosis in which it was difficult to be fully present in the body. In 1997 I met Jwala, a women who had been one of the first teachers on the California Tantra scene in 1980. Her practice of Tantric initiation involved gently masturbating men while guiding them to move their sexual energy up the chakras to their heart and head, and counseling them on sexual issues. She confirmed my perception of California Tantrism being more focused on physical sexuality as therapy, exemplified by her own professed challenge to spiritual progress in terms of building a stable subtle body awareness. I knew by then that if there is excessive focus on physical sexuality, the subtle body energy is pulled down and eventually dispersed. This limitation of focusing excessively on physical sex may prove to be the force that moves California style Tantrism towards subtle body sexual cultivation practices. In 2000 I taught the Daoist inner sexual alchemy practices of Lesser Water and Fire in Switzerland. One of my students was the director of a Tantric Institute in Germany that was using Rajneesh inspired methods taught by Margo Anand, whose teachings and first book The Art of Ecstasy, was also influential amongst California Tantrics. (This book borrowed the Inner Smile technique from the books I had written with Chia, as well as material from Nik Douglas’ Sexual Secrets, both without acknowledgement, which we both gracefully accepted at the time as her hidden fear of not having a tradition behind her). At the end of the retreat, this student, a male, broke down in tears. “I have been teaching and helping so many people with their sexuality”, he said. “But I have been personally at a dead end, I could not get beyond the boundary of my physical maleness and the limitations of physical sex. I was feeling very frustrated. But now I have a very great gift from you and from the Dao, the subtle love-making between my inner male and female souls. Now I have a way to move forward!” Kriya Y oga: Tantra and Celibacy In 1983, two years after I had shifted my main practice from White Tantric Y to Daoist internal alchemy, I stumbled onto Kriya Y oga oga, a Tantric method taught by Swami Paramhamsa Hariharananda Giri


(”Baba” to his followers). His Kriya Y was definitely not selfoga invented, but strictly followed the initiations he had received in India from Sri Yukteswar and from his student, Paramhamsa Y ogananda, who founded the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) in the USA the 1920’s. Baba was later made President of Sri Yukteswar’s ashram in Puri, India, and took higher level kriya initiations from other yogis in a lineage extending back to its founder Lahiri Mahasay. Lahiri, a railroad engineer with five children, claims an immortal being named Babaji appeared to him in 1862 and taught him six kriyas (Sanskrit root kri, to act, ya, divine soul). These kriyas offered a structured internal map of subtle body development, through six stages of samadhi. To objectively explore these practices, I eventually discontinued my Daoist internal alchemy practices for a few years. Kriya Y is Tantric in its divinization of the body. In the first kriya, oga prana is circulated up and down the spine. In the second kriyas, internal seed (bij) mantras are silently chanted to infuse the spinal pathway and the multi-petalled lotuses visualized in the chakras and fifty body parts. Then the 50 letter-sounds of the sanskrit alphabet are spiralled around the cranium, activating the primordial sound which is gradually captured into the center of the cranial void space in higher kriyas. The higher kriyas drop all use of mantra as one enters the higher void spaces. Like Rajneesh, Hariharananda completely eschews all use of chanted mantra, which he considers an intermediate level of practice: “if you are busy shouting to your Mother, how can you hear God speak to you?” he would ask. In Kriya Y there is a typically oga Tantric progressive internalization of the cosmos within the body, which evolves into the experience of one’s inner soul focusing on the subtle current of sound, light, and vibration/heat in the central channel (sushumna). Baba’s private deity is Kali, the paramount Tantric goddess, who he claims has intervened to allow him an extremely long life (age 96 at this writing in 2002). He was 75 when I first met him, a few years after he arrived in the West. Kriya Y is a interesting case. It was originally designed for oga householders, who could have sex and children, eat meat, and meditate at home to achieve enlightenment. The original technique was very Tantric in allowing one to indulge these worldly pleasures, but one had to watch from the soul level as one indulged. Lahiri insisted his students get married, and his subtle body teachings were quite sexually explicit: “I beheld the Red Lingam (”penis”) of Shiva inside of me; it contained the energy of the Sun. Then I came up to the third eye, and entered the Maha Y (”Great Vagina”). (Satyeswarananda, 1988) But oni the lineage was virtually captured and shifted into the monastic Giri (”mountain”) order of swamis who were forbidden from having sex, watching theatre, eating meat or any food cooked by a non-initiate. An American student of Baba’s visiting Benares, India ran into the grandson of Lahiri Mahasay, who complained bitterly that Kriya Y oga had been hijacked by Hindu monks. Y ogananda did not think Westerners were prepared for Kriya’s shakti power, and so only taught the first kriya to his followers, a method of circulating prana up and down the spine without mantras. Nonetheless, the SRF-simplified Kriya Y has spawned many oga splinter schools of American swamis claiming lineage and has achieved widespread acceptance in the West. Meanwhile, the SRF-promoted facade of Y ogananda’s yogic purity as a celibate is beginning to crumble under various challenges. I had a student whose father claimed to have been in Y ogananda’s inner circle, which he reported included sexual affairs. A man closely resembling Y ogananda in appearance filed a lawsuit to examine genetic tests by SRF to determine if Y ogananda was his father. SRF devotees and relatives claim the test results were negative. Hariharananda may eventually prove to be one of the few cases of complete sexual abstinence amongst Tantrics who have come to the West. He claims it was only when he gave up all sexual desire that he achieved enlightenment. I found Hariharananda to be a fountain of illumination and wisdom, a Brahman with a tiger’s mind who could recite the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanisads, yet who also radiated a heart that was lovingly pure and had a child-like innocence. It was impossible not to love him. After meditating for decades, at the age fifty Baba attained

nirvakalpa samadhi , the sixth kriya and highest level of enlightenment possible. He is famous for his yogic power to stop both his breath and heartbeat for extended periods while in samadhi. Since then, for the last forty-five years, he has been revered as a fully realized “God man” in India. It is not my place to judge anyone’s level of spiritual attainment, but I did have the expectation was that such an evolved being would at least be sex-neutral, if not sex-positive in his attitude. I instead discovered he was both female-negative and sex-negative, raising the same question again: was sex and subtle body training incompatible? Or was cultural conditioning at work? Working for some years in close personal contact with Baba while editing his Bhagavad Gita in the Light of Kriya Y (I989), I noticed how his aversion to oga women also manifested itself as subtle attraction to and need for women to be around him. Privately he expressed anti-body sentiments (”from the senses down, the body is the domain of the devil”), and made anti-female comments (”if you marry a woman, they will constantly lure you to bed and weaken your power to meditate”). He often publicly recounted a favorite story of how once a foreign woman at his ashram in India had tried to seduce him. She crawled on top of him naked, but his steely control was such that neither his mind nor his penis was aroused. Hariharananda’s top-heavy, male-fire crown chakra consciousness seemed to regularly attract yogic successors-to-be who would act out his suppressed lower desires, involving themselves in money scandals and love affairs that invariably resulted in their dismissal. When I last saw him in 1999, he was having severe back pain. I read his pulses using Chinese diagnostic methods, and observed a kidney deficiency, a weakness in his water element. This was likely due to his practicing Fire methods his entire life. The thing that seemed to help his back pain was having teams of young female devotees massage his body, reminding me of the celibate Mahatma Gandhi sleeping beside two young teen girls to rejuvenate himself. The sexual energy Baba denied himself directly his entire life he could only allow himself to receive indirectly through female touch. There may be other systems of Kriya Y with different attitudes oga about sex. The editors of Tantra Magazine in the 1980’s were Kriya Y practitioners of a different Babaji lineage (Herakan Baba, an oga immortal whose followers claim he materialized in a body in India in the 1970’s) and the magazine was definitely sex-positive. But it appeared their mix of Kriya and Tantra was not by lineage training but rather an integration of their own choice, a part of the trend amongst Westerners to reshape Tantric methods to fit their own sexual and spiritual needs. recount the details of my experience with Hariharananda to highlight a recurring split amongst some Tantrics (and historically, Daoists) between sexual and subtle body development. It is ok for their lay followers to have sex or get married, but the elite cadre of acharyas and swamis who attain subtle body enlightenment need to be celibate. The equation of celibacy and anti-sexual attitudes with enlightenment led me to question whether Hariharananda’s Fire path paradigm of nirvikalpa samadhi as enlightenment was complete. Despite his worshipping Kali and using Tantric meditation methods to divinize the body, underneath he seemed to reflect a widespread patriarchal based Indian spirituality that feared the sexual power of women, and perhaps deep beneath that, feared an earth centered consciousness. My desire to integrate my sexual and earth nature fully was a key factor in my resuming my Daoist Water and Fire inner alchemy practices. Daoist Sexual Cultivation in the West In 1981 I became one of the first Westerners to study with Mantak Chia. He was a thirty-six year old Chinese married man working as a healer in New Y ork’s Chinatown. He left Thailand in 1976, chased out by Thai Western style medical doctors threatened by his Bangkok center offering low-cost healing. For a few pennies people sat on a large platform, charged with a negative ion current strong enough to detoxify chronic ailments. Chia’s unorthodox approach to life served him well in the West, where he wore multiple hats as healer, martial artist, and inner alchemist. He was eager to bridge the gap between modern science and ancient Daoist methods. He was equally


comfortable with medical and bedroom sexual practices (fangzhong) and the subtle body coupling employed in internal alchemy (neidangong). Most important, he was willing to openly share his knowledge with Westerners. Other books have been published in the West on Daoist medical sexology (J. Chang 1977, S. Chang 1986, Heng 1997), but they lack deep understanding of Daoist alchemy or subtle body development. Chia had studied in the mountains behind Hong Kong with One Cloud, a Daoist hermit, who transmitted to him Seven Formulas for Immortality. These alchemical meditations offered a subtle body map of spiritual development: one stage of clearing physical blockages and opening the channels of the energy body, followed by three stages of enlightenment and three stages of immortality. It embraced a paradigm of Water and Fire (kan and li), a continuous yin-yang, femalemale, earth-heaven exchange of energies through a well-defined network of physical and subtle energy body channels. But it required first harnessing one’s sexual energy as the raw fuel to be refined by spiritual practice. Sexual attraction was a very powerful aspect of one’s worldly destiny (ming). It had to be cultivated and refined before one could restore one’s original nature (xing). Sexual practice with a partner strengthened the yin-yang flow of qi, and thus rejuvenated the physical body. But as I explored deeper into One Cloud’s alchemy formulas, I found that the higher sexual practice was dual cultivation of xing and ming, essentially the sexual coupling of the spiritual and earthly dimensions of oneself. Apart from his difficulty translating obscure alchemy terms, Chia’s teachings on Daoist alchemy and sexual energy cultivation had no complex layers of Chinese religious deities to peel off, no mantras in a foreign language, and did not require long waits by students humbly prostrated at the foot of a master. Chia broke with Chinese traditions of personal initiation and secrecy, and presented instead the beginnings of a spiritual science, accessible to Westerners, based on principles of resonance between cosmic forces of Nature and the human body, mapped and refined by generations of Daoists. The alchemy formulas appear to date back one thousand years to the tenth century teachings of the semi-legendary Daoist Immortal Lu Dong Bin. Rather than employing mantra to vibrate the subtle bodies as in Tantra, Chia used a combination of physical qigong movement, natural healing sounds, and transformation obtained by alchemical coupling of polarized energies inside three subtle bodies defined by jing-qi-shen (sexual essence-subtle breath-spirit). These fire and water couplings occur within five-fold colored psychic spheres and eight deep “extraordinary” channels that form the infrastructure of one’s energy body. This energy body is mapped out within an internal mandala of spinning bagua (eight -sided shapes), most likely derived from the Yijing (I Ching). Daoist alchemy presents classical yin-yang theory as the cosmic pulsation of polarized positive-negative energy around a pole (chungmai) of neutral or Original Energy (yuanqi) that extends between Early Heaven (xiantian) and Later Heaven(houtian), or earth. The “ten thousand things” were procreated by the copulation of Heaven and Earth, and yin-yang is their eternal multi-orgasmic movement. The human sexual orgasm is an exquisite echo of that pulsation, and internal alchemy is the process of interiorizing within the physical body the cosmic subtle body love-making. By getting one’s human qi - especially sexual energy (jingqi) - to flow in rhythm and harmony with the hidden cycles of Nature, one’s personal energy gates open to the cosmic flow of inner light and spiritual powers (de) of the Way (Dao). Nurturing healthy, non-depleting physical sexual orgasm is just the beginning level of Daoist cultivation practice. One Cloud’s internal alchemy formulas created increasingly powerful subtle body orgasm. The sexual nature of these subtle body processes was quite explicit. The key practice in the second alchemy formula (Lesser Enlightenment of Water and Fire) is entitled “Self-intercourse”. It requires the adept to revert to the androgynous state of his Early Heaven self. The adept gathers the five jingshen (deep

body intelligences/spirits, or vital organ “gods”) into two primal yin (inner female) and yang (inner male) forces that copulate in the lower dantian. This fire-water copulation births an immortal embryo, made of androgynous Early Heaven yuan qi that coagulates within the adept’s physical body. This embryo is slowly birthed up the core channel, nourished by the copulation of natural sexually polarized geomantic forces within the earth below, planetary and stellar forces in heaven above. In the sixth formula this reaches a crescendo as the fullout sexual Congress of Heaven and Earth, a kind of multii-dimensional sexual coupling of their virtues. All of these copulations gradually restore the yuanjing, the pre-natal and pre-sexual substance of the adept’s original nature (xing). Chia told me he originally sought out Daoist medical and bedroom sexual practices because a Chinese doctor read his pulses and told him at age 21 that his kidneys were weak and that he would die very young. This motivated Chia to hunt down various Chinese teachers of Daoist sexology, and pay them large sums of money to get their secrets. In Chinese medicine, “the kidneys” is a broad energetic sphere that includes the sexual organs, kidneys, bladder and their meridians, and the breasts in women. The kidney spirit or intelligence is said to regulate the endocrine glands, blood, bone marrow, and sexual essence (jing), all essential to long life. Jing, the subtle substance holding the form of one’s body, is the key ingredient to apprehending the function of sexuality in this Daoist cosmology. Jing is perhaps best understood in Western terms as prime matter. Jing is the raw fuel that drives the pulsating rhythm of the body’s moment-to-moment cellular division and reproduction of itself. In modern terms, it generates stem cells, genes, and the sexual energy of the glands, but is not sexual energy itself. The jing is governed in humans by the kidney water spirit, called the zhi, literally the “will” to be in bodily form, to survive, to seek pleasure, and to fulfil a specific destiny while in a body. It is the jing that in the human animal is radiating polarized waves of male or female sexed energy we label charisma or magnetic power. In short, jing is the source of sexual desire and the feeling substance of earthiness. Without jing, spirit (shen) would not be able to embody its virtues or have direct sensory experience of physicality. If one is feeling “spiritual bliss”, the bliss part is vibrating jing. Jing is also the main source of vexation for spiritual seekers who ignore it or run from their sexual impulses in order to chase after the other end of the spectrum of consciousness, the shen or spirit body, which spreads out as an infinite sea of pure awareness. This also defines the key difference between centering a meditation in the Fire-head-shen or Water-belly-jing cauldrons within the body. One of the main ways Chia rebuilt his kidney jing was a method of semen retention and recirculation of sexual energy (jingqi) in the Microcosmic Orbit (xiao zhoutian). Recent scholarship suggests the Orbit began as a sexual practice to rejuvenate the brain (huanjing bunaeo) two thousand years ago and evolved to become a spiritual practice as the qi was observed to spiral inside the body. (Pregadio, 2000, 427). Skill in semen retention is essential to the successful male practice of One Cloud’s internal alchemy. Other systems of neidangong may require celibacy in the hope that it will result in the indirect or spontaneous redirection of sexual energy to the subtle bodies. But this is a hit or miss proposition, and can result instead in sexual repression. Non-celibacy requires a deliberate method of guaranteeing the sexual energy is recycled in the Orbit, which is later refined and taken up the central subtle body channel. How does it work? At a moment prior to ejaculation (whether in coitus with a woman or self-pleasuring), the orgasmically vibrating seminal qi is introjected by the man up his spinal yang fire channel (dumai, Governor Vessel) to refresh the brain and its master glands, the pituitary and pineal. If in coitus, the male draws up his partner’s female sexual essence (jingqi) as well, and offers his to her. When the brain is full of the rejuvenating sexual essence, it overflows down the yin front water channel (renmo, Conception Vessel) which clears and purifies qi flowing into yin meridians, heart, navel and sexual organs. The physical method can be done with a partner (dual cultivation) or without a partner (single cultivation), and is practiced using varying levels of non-


aroused (cool) or aroused (hot) sexual energy. Ejaculation is Physical, Orgasm is Pulsing Chi One goal of the medical sexual practice is to shift from a limited “genital orgasm” to a pleasurable and healing “whole body orgasm”. Slowing or stopping “ejaculation” doesn’t prevent a man from having “orgasm” or being “multi-orgasmic”. Ejaculation is physical, orgasm is chi pulsating. One should not get obsessed with “stopping” ejaculation, but focus rather on opening up the chi channels and recycling sexual energy to one’s partner until you finally ejaculate. Then this physical ejaculation does not cause major loss of jing, as the essence is already extracted. Semen retention also slows down the man’s fiery nature to stay in closer harmony with the woman’s slower cycle of arousal. Another key in “sexual kung-fu” is understanding the relation between the fire element in the heart and the water element in the kidneys. These fire and water essences stimulate each other and keep the other in check. By keeping proper exchange between them, one enters a steady state that opens the door to subtle body love-making. By simply keeping an open heart you protect against blind lust, which ultimately injures the kidneys because it can never be satisfied by physical sex alone. All aloneness at core is the heart spirit (shen) seeking the love, sensual touch and sexual stimulation of the kidney shen, and the deeply embodied kidney spirit seeking the heart’s virtue of unconditional acceptance and love. This kind of internal biological psycho-dynamics is currently opening for Western students the field of Daoist depth psychology. It promises to deepen the Freudian and Jungian approaches with a clearly defined network of energy channels and psychic spheres linking the physical and the spiritual realms. Changing the Western Sexual Paradigm I had read of semen retention being practiced by Tantric yogis, but had assumed that I would have to sit in a Himalayan cave for twenty-five years and attain enlightenment before mastering it. Chia presented the reverse paradigm: one had to gain some mastery of semen retention (or the equivalent female practice, menstrual blood-ovary retention) before one could master the subtle body practices. Equally important, semen retention - an inner celibacy of one’s spirit (shen) attaining unity with one’s seed essence (jing) - freed the male adept from enforced outer celibacy. Practitioners could have their cake (physical sexual pleasure) and eat it too, as long as they maintained this inner unity of body essence and spirit. The accessibility of this Daoist sexual practice to the average Western male offered them a radical and totally new approach to sexuality. It also offered a revolutionary and healthy way to alleviate male horniness. The learning context presented by Mantak Chia and his trained Western instructors made it easy for Western students to accept. The practices were taught in an open and accepting atmosphere, with men and women studying each other’s “esoteric biology” in a shared and fun space. After the sexual repression I had witnessed in so many Indian teachers, I was shocked and pleased by Mantak Chia’s innocent directness about sexual matters. Would these sexual teachings promote a culture of promiscuity amongst the Westerners who learned them? Chia and I delayed publication of our co-authored book on Daoist sex for nearly a year while pondering this question and its ethical ramifications. Looking back over the twenty one years that I have known Mantak Chia, I never heard a single accusation of his sexual involvement with students. Certainly there was a degree of open experimentation between male and female students attracted to one another. But there was a strong caution placed against promiscuous and indiscriminate absorption of another’s sexual energy (sexual vampirism), as sexual exchange was a double edged sword in which you also absorbed your partner’s “psychic garbage”. This meant sexual relations demanded deep transformational effort and great selectivity in

choosing partners. It was the opposite approach of the Rajneesh inspired California Tantra of having sex with a stranger at a weekend workshop. Shortly after meeting Chia, I described my White Tantric Kundalini Y practice to him. He diagnosed it as “heating the room” - I was oga driving all my sexual fire up the spine and out the crown, where it dispersed into the room. As soon as I learned to recirculate my rising kundalini energy down my chest through the front Orbit channel and began practicing semen retention, I quickly grew physically stronger and more grounded spiritually. Most Tantrics work only with the spinal fire path and not the water path in the front. I gradually dropped my intense Kundalini Y sadhana as the Daoist oga methods grew on me. The lure of a more effortless practice (wu wei) attuned to nature, the grounding embrace of the feminine through qigong and in the Water and Fire subtle body practices, and a poetic yet scientific approach to spiritual development were the attractions. I was also learning new practices focused on circulating sexual energy in ways I never dreamed possible - through the bone marrow, or using it to give substance to an inner “pearl”, which was circulated through the core channels and eventually into subtle body dimensions. Using the sexual essence as the catalyst to crystallize my subtle bodies in the lower dantian solved the problem I’d observed with most headcentered practices, that the “fire” - the clarity of meditative bliss would gradually disperse in the chaos of modern life. Later I would end up using the Orbit and other Daoist methods to heal many cases of “kundalini psychosis” - generally energy running up the wrong channel or stuck in the head. The condition is usually easy to correct if the person has not been heavily drugged by psychiatrists who do not understand the energy body. These cases were often Western Tantrics who believed, as I once did, that their energy flow was supposed to move only up the spine in a linear, one-way direction from lower to upper chakra. The Daoist model was that the energy was always moving in spirals, cycles, and orbits; the Orbit was a kind of unified chakra. Any energy movement up had to be balanced by a movement down, until one finally arrived at the still point of no movement at the intersecting center of the physical and subtle body, called the lower dantian (”field of the elixir”). This is the doorway to pre-natal jing, from which all embodiment effortlessly emanates. But to shift my spiritual focus from the third eye to my navel was extremely challenging, as my Tantric Fire teachers had always considered this a lower energy center to be swiftly left behind. It took me a while to understand that chakras are centers of post-natal energy, and are not operating at the pre-natal and inner dimensional depth as the dantian. This shift in my practice led to my writing collaboration with Chia, which over time produced seven books on qigong and neigong (”inner skill”). Chia taught me the techniques he knew, and I would test them out on myself before writing about them, often under his name. Our second book, Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy (Aurora Press, 1984) catapulted him to fame, and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The book became a key force in a larger paradigm shift in Western culture, begun earlier by an influx of Tantric ideas, that sexual and spiritual development were inseparable. Why was a book on semen retention, radically antithetical to Western sexual values and even to Rajneesh-New Age Tantra style, so successful? One, it linked biological sex-as-natural-science to a kind of spiritual science, a comfortable fit for Western minds. This helped remove guilt promoted by Judeo-Christian religious beliefs separating sex and spirit and labeling sex as sinful. Two, the book was written in my sophisticated Western literary voice, infused with insights from my years of Tantric practice, posing as Mantak Chia’s voice, the Daoist transmitting his oral tradition. (This was such an effective literary device for entraining readers that it created confusion among readers who met Chia. Hearing his “Chinese English” created difficulty believing he was the author). Three, there was no missionary pressure on the reader to leave one’s chosen path and join a Daoist religion. The sexual and energetic teachings were put out as the “energetic open


architecture” of the Dao, from which one could take what one needed, whether for sexual health or spiritual health. Chia and I were frankly surprised at the time by the diversity of response, and in retrospect, at the book’s contribution to the globalization of emerging new spiritual attitudes towards sexuality. We received hundreds of letters from men following many other spiritual paths -Sufi, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish - thanking us for giving them a way to stay on their chosen path and embrace their sexuality instead of repressing it. For example, the well known Catholic mystic David Stendl-Rast wrote to say the book had been of immense practical help to him and he was recommending it widely to other Catholic priests to help them deal with their celibacy. It was just as typical that a man with no spiritual background would show up at a “Healing Love” workshop because “I just met a girl and thought this might help.” The sexual teachings became the hook that converted many such seekers with superficial external desires into serious students of Daoist internal cultivation. This book,Taoist Secrets of Love and its later sequels - Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy (1986), The Multi-Orgasmic Man (1996), and The MultiOrgasmic Couple (2000) - combined with a global network that grew to one thousand Healing Tao teachers in thirty countries certified to teach Daoist sexual and subtle body practices, became a major doorway for tens of thousands of Western spiritual seekers to enter on a path of the previously obscure Daoist alchemy formulas passed on by the hermit One Cloud. (Winn, 2001) Daoist Female Sexual Practices in the West Teaching Daoist female sexual practices to Western women who expected equality of the sexes and wanted to use these practices to improve their personal relationships presented a special challenge. Douglas Wile in his definitive Art of the Bedchamber (1992) surveyed the last twenty five hundred years of Chinese texts on sexuality, and noted a progressive decline in the treatment of women and a proportional increase in patriarchal type of sex manuals in which the yin essence of women was used by male adepts for their own spiritual progress. The Chinese women who use these practices today are mostly Daoist nuns stopping their menstrual cycle because they’ve made a lifetime commitment to childless, monastic meditation - not a motivating factor for most women in the West. In 1983 at a Daoist retreat I met a potential female consort, Joyce Gayheart, shortly after I had conveniently decided to drop my four year experiment with celibacy, in order to test the practices I was writing about in Taoist Secrets of Love . She later became my wife and has remained my partner for the last nineteen years, offering us the opportunity to explore the full range of Daoist physical and subtle body sexual practices that require time and maturity to master. Joyce taught me directly about my own hidden yin nature. I now recognize every relationship as a transmission to one’s partner that the essence they are seeking is already hidden inside them as an inner male or inner female. In the early years we used Daoist methods to prolong physical love-making for many hours, interspersed with periods of meditation. Our most powerful early experience together is interesting because it reversed my expectation that physical sex’s main spiritual use was to jump start our subtle body meditations. The opposite proved to be true - our subtle bodies jumped in and made love first. We had sat naked for a few minutes, facing each other in a cross legged meditation position to tune in. We were both suddenly overtaken by a powerful energy field with extremely intense and unusual vibrations. Not a word was spoken, as our mental, emotional, and speech faculties were completely suspended, but we later confirmed having an identical experience. One aspect of our consciousness began experiencing a very yang orgasm, expanding out of the bedroom faster than the speed of light, whizzing through galaxies, exploding supernovas, and then beyond. Another part of us was orgasmically imploding inward with opposite and equal force, grounding and concentrating inward this great intensity in our physical bodies. After a half hour in this wonderful sacred trance, the vibrational field subsided in intensity. We afterward made physical love as planned. It was

pleasurable, but seemed anti-climactic, mostly a way to digest and ground the subtle body orgasm that had spontaneously enveloped us. This permanently shifted the nature of our sexual relationship. Our subtle bodies would quickly attune and we found we could exchange deep sexual energy for hours, lying beside each other, naked or clothed, without any physical stimulation or intercourse. It was a direct exchange of sexually polarized subtle bodies. As our energy bodies mingled and coupled, we were infused with loving spiritual qualities. This led us to long periods of spontaneous abstention from physical intercourse that could last for many months, but with exquisitely sublime daily subtle body coitus. As our subtle bodies crystallized and became more “real”, it eventually graduated to astral sex - the ability to intentionally exchange orgasmic subtle energy at great distances. I attribute the longevity of our relationship to this subtle body love making, and it created a very solid foundation for making advances in our individual inner alchemy practices. Joyce’s early experiences with the female sexual practices I anonymously appended to my third editing project, Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy (1986), written under the name of Mantak and his wife Maneewan Chia. Maneewan in fact did not contribute any content to the book and appeared to me to be a nonpractitioner. I was forced to resort to interviewing Joyce and dozens of Chia’s Western female students to evaluate the effectiveness of the Daoist female sexual practices because there was no pool of qualified Chinese Daoist female practitioners available. The female sexual practices (Ovarian Breathing, Slaying the Red Dragon, and others) focus on initially reducing or later completely stopping loss of eggs and blood through menstruation, said to be the main source of women’s loss of jing. They progress to cultivation of ovarian essence, absorbing male sexual essence and redirection of the genital orgasm up the spine and or into the lower dantian and other vital organs until full body orgasm is achieved. Its medical applications include relief of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and menopausal hot flashes, healing of infertility (”cold womb syndrome”) and a variety of glandular and sexual dysfunction including frigidity. But application of these practices to Western women was largely experimental, due to the lack of role models. Study groups were formed to compare results, resulting in deeper levels of female sexual practice. (Piontek, 2001) Several women did completely stop their menstrual cycle through voluntary internal practice. Most used it to simply lighten the amount and color of blood flow as they learned how to detoxify their blood. But most important was the paradigm shift of women gaining control of inner sexual forces and liberation of qi trapped in the uterus using Daoist subtle body methods. Westernizing of Daoist Sexual Practices Editorial collaboration by myself and other senior students with Mantak Chia resulted in the conversion of what had been a one-to-one “ear-whispered” transmission in China into an open and detailed curriculum of progressive courses that Westerners could pay for and take when they were ready. Transmission was given according to the level of the teacher and received according to the openness of the students in the course. Those who didn’t get the transmission simply took the course again. The integration of sexual energy, whether physical-sexual or subtle body sexual polarities, remained central to this curriculum. This process meant the information on Daoist sexual practices presented to the public was filtered through Western editors and teachers. Daoist principles were honored as the cornerstone of every practice. But the content of the books and courses was inevitably reshaped to suit modern Western psychological and sexual needs. This included acceptance of gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual practitioners; the need to enhance the sexual and emotional quality of personal relationships, the relationship of sex to sports performance and artistic or career creativity. Supportive Western sexological research was marshaled showing the difference between the prostate spasm that causes ejaculation and the whole body physiology of orgasm. We


presented Western scientific biological studies relevant to semen retention and longevity, showing how nematode worms, when genetically altered to stop sperm production, lived twice as long. The Healing Tao organization was an educational structure created so Westerners would feel comfortable learning some times strange sexual practices that did not fit into the ordinary context of their culture. A good example is the Bone Marrow neigong practice of hanging weights of up to fifty pounds by a silk cord tied around the testicles and penis to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and increase capacity to absorb sexual energy into the bone marrow. Or for women to exercise their vaginal muscles by inserting a jade egg into their vagina and move it about as an internal exercise. This evolved into an innovation for women drilling holes in their jade eggs in order to also hang two or three pound weights for greater isometric effect in strengthening the internal fascia. There was “tongue kung-fu” for strengthening that versatile sexual muscle, and methods for absorbing qi directly into the genitals from the sun. Sexual energy was cultivated (often by mixing it with qi drawn up the earth) to magnify one’s power of healing oneself and others, or to add power to martial arts skills like tai chi chuan. Unlike Rajneesh’s promotion of Tantra in the West, there was a deliberate attempt to de-sensationalize these Daoist sexual practices. No nudity was allowed in workshops and teachers focused on them as primarily internal sexual-spiritual practices that could be practiced fully clothed, but also had optional application to the bedroom arts. California Tantrics criticized Healing Tao practitioners for their focus on semen retention, claiming it made men uptight and selfish about holding onto the seed instead of sharing it with women. This was sometimes true for men who did not integrate semen retention with other Daoist subtle body practices. I know of men who transferred old sexual patterns of guilt onto their inability to quickly master semen retention, instead of treating it as a gradual subtle body training process. In other cases, emotional struggle was created in their love relationships if men became too technique oriented. The transmission of these Daoist sexual practices to Westerners was complex, involving subtle body experiences, and not always successful. Over the past two decades tens of thousands of Westerners learned these sexual practices with virtually no negative side effects. The few cases with side effects usually already had an extreme imbalance, they did not have a teacher, did not learn the other methods to open energy channels first, or used too much force. This is the problem inherent in people learning a powerful practice from a book. Y periodically I was et challenged by Chinese students who would repeat warnings from some mainland China qigong master that all sexual practices were very dangerous and should be avoided, as they can cause craziness and deep psychological disturbances. Investigation led me to conclude that these warnings were valid - but mostly for mainland Chinese, whose culture of collective “face” suppresses individual emotional and sexual impulses in order to not disrupt the larger social harmony. The emphasis in China is on fitting in, not making trouble, but certainly not on personal selfimprovement. Sexual kung-fu could unleash suppressed feelings in people that had no model for integrating them, and hence they “went crazy” from what are called “qi deviations” by qigong professionals. Western students occasionally reported similar problems, but these were almost always people who had bypassed all preliminary practices such as the Six Healing Sounds and Inner Smile. Westerners are generally encouraged to explore their individual impulses. In my experience they are sexually and emotionally better equipped to practice Daoist sexual cultivation than the average Chinese person. This curious conclusion was confirmed by a top qigong teacher in Beijing, Dr. Cai Jun, one of the few Chinese with a Ph.D. in qigongology. Cai Jun told me it was easier for Western students to open their qi flow than for his Chinese students. He thought it was because the Chinese had fixed ideas about qi. The addition of sexual force to any energetic practice is the equivalent of throwing gasoline on an open fire. The expansive force and multiplying nature of sexual energy needs a safe and clear energy

channel to flow in, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This integration must occur both internally and in one’s outer relationships. This defined the Healing Tao’s multi-level Daoist training as a far more complicated and ambitious transformational process than other meditation traditions which did not consciously engage sexual energy and its accompanying emotional and mental challenges. Modern awareness of psychoanalytic processes and growing public acceptance of sexual equality, combined with the Daoist energy body training of the Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds, Microcosmic Orbit, and Fusion of the Five Elements from White Cloud’s first alchemy formula, allowed most Westerners the possibility of safely integrating the self-released sexual forces in a way suitable for their relationships and spiritual development. The methods taught by Chia have since been further developed by myself and others to deepen and simplify their psychological accessibility to westerners. In China this integration could also occur traditionally through close personal supervision by a qualified teacher. But since the cultural milieu is still largely Confucian, patriarchal, and sexually repressive, finding a suitable teacher and achieving a Daoist model of male-female harmony within oneself is difficult. One very visible stage in the process of Westernizing Daoist practices was my founding in 1995 of Healing Tao University. This has a faculty of twenty Western and Chinese specialists teaching the full spectrum of Daoist Arts and Sciences, with the sexual cultivation and alchemy as the core curriculum. No similar institution exists today in China. Ironically, it is only in the West that Daoist sexual practices are being publicly taught. This sexual freedom is apparently irresistible to some young Chinese Daoists who migrate to the United States. I know of two Chinese priests, ordained in celibate Complete Perfection monasteries, who married here and are openly teaching practices of internal alchemy. In China they would be told that sex would spoil their practice, and asked to leave the order. In America, nobody cares or knows better. A New Y orker cartoon circa1995 sums up public perception: a fashionably dressed young lady walking down the street exclaims to her friend, “Wow! Y ou’ve just got to try Taoist sex!” Sex, Enlightenment, and Immortality What is the functional relationship between ordinary human sexual desire and the more abstract realm of subtle bodies? The short answer is that physical sex nourishes post-natal qi, and subtle body sex nourishes pre-natal qi. Sexual intercourse can “cook” the male-female post-natal qi and speed its transformation back into the yuan qi from which they originated. The long answer is more complicated. Most people are stuck in deep struggle, paralyzed by the wide gap between their sexed animal body and their core non-polar original being. The experience of one’s androgynous (bi-sexed) subtle body offers a transitional stage in both Daoist and Tantric esoteric traditions. Nature lures humans to pursue subtle body refinement by tantalizing them with the sublime experience of spiritual orgasm. The sexual identity issues are complicated by celibacy issues. When learning a new subtle body practice, it is often best to avoid sex as a distraction, but it may be resumed once the subtle body practice is stable. Or the reverse: many who learn Daoist alchemy “selfintercourse” find themselves spontaneously losing outer sexual desire, and needlessly panic. It returns, just like a woman regains her sexual appetite after being occupied by pregnancy. But subtle body sex may trigger deep fears around changing one’s physical sexual identity. When one begins the Daoist subtle body practices of neidangong, the vertical axis of heaven-earth communication is activated. The coupling of yang jingshen (heart and liver spirits) with yin jingshen (kidney and lung spirits) causes one’s parental and ancestral jing to begin resonating with its “true earth”. This is the infinite pool of prenatal yuanqi flowing into the lower dantian through the Door of Life (mingmen), the point of moving qi between the kidneys. The attraction between inner maleinner female, water-fire, kidneys-heart, jing-shen, outer body passion inner loving acceptance - all are polar forces of Destiny (ming) and Original Nature (xing) played out in a very dynamic theatre of meditative alchemy. But the bottom line is that the subtle body heaven-


earth axis cannot fully open if the horizontal male-female axis has not first been made conscious and its impulses harmonized. Sexual balance precedes and is a prerequisite to stable experience of heaven-earth harmony. The opposite is also true; some practitioners rush this transition, and try to use the sexual force prematurely to open up the Heaven Earth axis without first balancing the male-female axis. In the sexual cultivation process the human adept leads a double life. One life is physical, where the adept appears quite ordinary, and may have sexual relations as the desire to complete one’s essence spontaneously arises. Physical sex may benefit health and add longevity, but not make one physically immortal. The other life is inner, where parallel relationships are played out between one’s own polarized subtle bodies, and possibly with others. There are periods of intense subtle energy copulation and active love-making that birth new spiritual virtues and powers. These alternate with phases of deep stillness, gestation, and observation. The adept’s inner life follows invisible currents flowing between heaven and earth. The inner and outer sexual couplings intersect and nourish each other. The human heart holding the balance point between the inner and outer lives is what defines humans as one of the three treasures of the Dao, along with heaven and earth. This is the human path of spiritual immortality. West as Cauldron for Dao and Tantra The growth of Tantric and Daoist sexual cultivation practices in the West since 1974 initiated a period of remarkable experimentation, adaptation or outright re-invention inspired by ancient methods from Asia. Westerners radically reshaped these sexual practices to suit their own needs, a process likely to continue as they mature and study more deeply the subtle body maps of the Daoist and Tantric traditions. Since my explorations into Tantra in the 1980’s, new writers on its theory and practice have published (Svoboda 1993, Frawley 1994, Tigunait 1999, White (2000). Whether they fuel a new wave of Westerners exploring lineage Tantric subtle body and sexual cultivation remains to be seen. Sales of Rajneesh’s Tantra tapes and books, claimed to be in the millions sold, have reportedly increased every year since his death. Nik Douglas predicts Westerners will evolve virtual Tantric initiations, with mantras delivered over the internet. On my journey seeking out Tantric and Daoist practices in the West, I observed three general approaches to sexual cultivation: physical sex only, celibate subtle body cultivation only, and physical and subtle body sex together. I noted a pattern among some highly achieved male teachers of a strong, possibly excessive kundalini fire in the head being a possible cause for seeking female energy and/or sex. My observation about these teachers is not meant as a criticism of their methods, as I personally used many of them for years to great benefit. Simple modifications to most methods can easily ensure energetic balance, and this has already happened as part of the globalizing process of Westerners exposed to both Tantric and Daoist practices. I found the Fire-solar culture of Tantra and the more Water-Lunar culture of Daoism (Torchinov, 1997) to balance each other. Because I feel the current cosmic cycle is favoring the rebirth of the feminine, I eventually settled into Daoist practice. The difficulty some highly achieved adepts had in balancing their sexual energy highlights the possibility that the cosmological splitting of our original non-dual being, first into an etheric androgyne and then into physical male and female sexed bodies has created a spiritual trauma so deep that it cannot be fully resolved by what are considered states of enlightenment in the Daoist and Tantric traditions. Individual self-realization may be insufficient to heal the vastness of this collective wound, which may be the core issue driving the human incarnational process. Sexual issues may continue to arise as long as one is still in a physically sexed form, perhaps a bleed over from the collective field of human sexual consciousness into the highly purified (non-polar) vessel of an individual adept. The resolution of this cosmic sexual tension may occur only by achieving what is called immortality, the alchemical re-fusion of spirit and body-matter into its original essence, requiring an adept to merge not only into the mind of Nature (enlightenment) but to merge fully into its body. This is

the ultimate focus of subtle body sexual cultivation. A major force attracting Western spiritual seekers to Daoism and Tantra is the drive to integrate their sexual desire into a subtle body experience that I term the quest for spiritual orgasm. This quest has put Daoist and Tantric sexual cultivation practices into a Western cultural cauldron and created positive evolutionary pressure on their traditional methods. I believe this process will ultimately birth a new spiritual science in the West with recognizable Daoist and Tantric principles as its foundation. This article will be posted on www.HealingDao.com, articles. Permission granted to share it digitally as long as entire article is intact. Bibliography Bokenkemap, Stephen. Early Daoist Scriptures, UC Press, Berkeley 1997 Chang, Stephen. The Tao of Sexology: The Book of Infinite Wisdom. Tao Publishing, SF 1986 Chang, Jolan. Tao of Love and Sex, Dutton 1977 Chia, Mantak & Maneewan. Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy, Healing Tao,1986. Chia, Mantak, and Abrams, Douglas. The Multi-Orgasmic Man, Harper 1996. Chia, Mantak, and Abrams, Douglas. The Multi-Orgasmic Couple, Harper 2000, Douglas, Nik and Slinger, Penny. Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy Destiny Books, 1979 Douglas, Nik Spiritual Sex: Secrets of Tantra from Ice Age to New Millenium, Pocket Books 1997 Frawley, David. Tantric Y and the Wisdom Goddesse, Morson oga Publishing, Utah 1994 Gyatso, Kelsung. Clear Light of Bliss, Wisdom, London, 1982 Hariharananda, Swami. Bagavad Gita in the Light of Kriya Y oga. Michael Winn, ed India 1989 Heng, Cheng. The Tao of Love, Marlow, NY 1997 Jwala. Sacred Sex:Ecstatic Techniques for Empowering Relationships. Inner Juice, Ukiah 1993 Krishna, Gopi. Kundalini: The Evolutionary Power in Man, Shambala, London 1971 Lai, Hsi. The Secret Teachings of the White Tigress: Female Taoist Masters, Destiny Books, 2001 Mann, John. Divine Androgyny, Portal Press, 2000 McNeil, James. Ancient Lovemaking Techniques: The Journey to Iimmortality. Pine Press, Calif. 1999 Piontek, Maitreyi. Exploring the Hidden Power of Sexuality, Weiser 2001 Pregadio, Fabrizio, and Skar, Lowell. Daoism Handbook, ed. L. Kohn. Brill 2000 Rajneesh (Osho). The Book of Secrets, 112 Meditations of Vignan Bhairav Tantra, Osho Pub. 1998 Ruan, Fang Fu. Sex In China:Studies in Sexology in Chinese Culture, Plenum Press, NY 1991 Rudrananda, Swami. Spiritual Cannibalism, Overlook Press, NY 1978 Rama, Swami. Living with the Himalyan Masters, Himalayan Institute, 1975 Satyeswaranada, Swami. Original Lahiri Mahasay: Father of Kriya Y oga, San Diego 1988 Short, Lar and Mann, John. The Body of Light, Fourth Way Books, 1988. Svoboda, Robert. Aghora II, Kundalini, Brotherhood of Life, 1993. Tigunait, Pandit. Tantra Unveiled:Seducing the Forces of Matter & Spirit, Himalayan Institute 1999 Tortchinov Evgueni. “The Doctrine of the Mysterious Female in Taoism” in Everything Is According to the Way (Bolda-Lok, Australia 1997 ) Wile, Douglas. Art of the Bed Chamber:The Chinese Sexual Y oga Classics. SUNY Press, NY 1992 Winn, Michael and Chia, Mantak. Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy, Aurora Press, 1984 White, David Gordon. The Alchemical Body:Siddha Traditions in Medieval India, U of Chicago, 1996 -Ed, Tantra in Practice, Princeton 2000


Winn, Michael. “Daoist Alchemy as a Deep Language for Communicating with Nature “ paper, May 2001 conference on Contemporary Daoism. www.healingdao.com, Articles Happiness, Sexuality and Love Tao & Tantra: A leap into the Inner Heart Marco Bizzozero Interview with Marco Bizzozero,, former Director National Theatre of Italy. Famous in Europe as a clown, actor, mime artist, and the first high wire artist ever to perform at La Scalia (Milan Opera), Marco is currently Director, Flower of the Tao Center in Milan, Italy, where he teaches Taoist internal alchemy, tai chi, and chi kung. Question: Marco, how would you describe Tao-Tantra? Tantra is a path to inner fullness through sexuality and pleasure, through happiness and a total coming-together of human beings; it puts men and woman in contact with Tao, with the universe, the absolute, the natural whole. Tao and Tantra are essentally similar spiritual paths, that evolved different methods for achieving the same ecstatic unity. I have simply combined some of their methods back together, taken the best of each to make their common essence more accessible to westerners. When Taoist or Tantric ecstasy extends through the erotic experiences of a man and a woman, a new state of consciousness is generated, a state which in a flash illuminates and reveals the fundamental essence of being and of the cosmos. Such a deep abandonment to love leads to a sense of wholeness and togetherness: sweetly and subconsciously, the energy of the two lovers extends. The beating of time is irrelevant, subjectivity is ignored, joy merges and submerges their hearts, and their hearts open up to an oceanic sensation of love. Wrapped in this supreme grace, lost in a divine sincerity, for a few moments the lovers discover the total essence of existence. Happiness, deep abandonment, an extended awareness, a full and total coming-together of two human beings in one - these are the provisions for achieving Tao, supreme reality. Q: Are such experiences within anyone’s grasp? Unfortunately they are not common experiences, since sexuality nowadays in not a free and joyous experience, and therefore it is difficult and rare to achieve a total abandonment to our senses, and to our lovers. Love is without a doubt a great path that can lead to a Tantric experience, but a relationship must be cultivated, it must be nourished every day, to make it blossom like a flower, with a great deal of care and attention. Q: Can an erotic relationship between a man and woman who are not a regular couple be fruitful? Can it help to achieve Tao-Tantra? Most certainly! But here again there are hurdles. We have not been educated to seek pleasure, and we don’t even know how to experience intimacy outside an amorous relationship, outside a regular relationship of a couple. When such a situation arises, and when that magic encounter takes place, there is an immediate desire for an amorous relationship. If intimacy is not created, before too long a veil of alienation will come down between the two lovers, estranging them from one another. The path we follow is a difficult one. Even in the situation of sex without love, sex for pure pleasure, pure biological satisfaction, there can be no true joy -- or at least very rarely is it achieved. Casual sex, or a sexual adventure often appears to lead to a devastating series of lost pleasures, a whole round of frustrations. But those fleeting encounters are just missed opportunities. Such situations are often just a cavorting of mutual friction, a body-to-body battle to release pent-up anger, roleplays based on mirrors and masks, subtle games of domination. Anxieties to be part of such games, anxieties about how we are

judged or not judged all come into play. And in the end, numb, after a climax that lasts no longer than a sneeze, we are wrapped up in our escapes from solitude. But pleasure, affections and intimacy are essential sources of nourishment for personal growth, for achieving happiness -- and so sooner or later we all return to that spiral of amorous relationships. Off we go again in that seductive, fateful roundabout of thinking with our hearts. Until perhaps one day we will meet our knight in shining armour or our princess, or perhaps we will pretend that we have found a suitable kingdom, or perhaps we will just lose interest. But in this spiral of broken relationships, so much of men’s and women’s happiness is lost forever. The time has come to change all of this, and action must be taken at the very root of life, where our sexuality lies, where our primary and fundamental life-giving force is averted. This essential energy (Jing), like the thick sap that travels through the stem of the rose, becomes physical pleasure in the body; later, when it is red like the petals of the rose, in our hearts it becomes beauty and love (Chi); eventually, like a scent that spreads all around, it becomes creation and awareness (Shen) in our thoughts. We cannot go on cutting off the stem of the rose because this reveals the thorns: the petals will die, and with them our love and their very scent. Q: Does real happiness exist? Can we really live in happiness? Happiness is what brings human beings closer to the universe, the absolute. Unfortunately it is something that is hard to grasp, like a breath of air that just brushes past us and disappears, leaving just a vague memory. Living in happiness means being in love with life, in love with our existence. Because happiness is in itself a love of life. Happiness is the very essence of life. Sometimes, for example, when we fall in love with someone, we are full of love, we are happy. Everything whirls around us, everything is alive, bright and shiny, everything is a discovery. We see the divine all around us. Once again we realise that life is a matter of interpretation ñ it is a projection of what we feel inside. A light is lit inside us, and it is a warm, joyous light fuelled by love; outside of our bodies life is lit up. The rose of love is blossoming inside us, its perfume is spreading beyond our skin, touching the objects that we touch, touching the faces of the people we love: and everything becomes love. This is life becoming happiness, life returning to a state of happiness. Hence, if we discover a flower in a field, if we look into the eyes of our loved one, or glance into the eyes of a child who is watching us, then we can enter this enchantment and through it make out the splendour of the universe. Q: Why does this experience of happiness in relationships always come to an end? Our relationships fail because they stem from need, not from abundance. They do not derive from a heart brimming with love; they are experiences that are born with the other person and depend on the other person. But no other person can fill our hearts for ever. Someone else can give us love and affection, but not happiness. Q: But we were told that love could last for ever, in eternal happiness, and we fell for it! Instead love, true love, creative, earnest love, love that has the courage not to give up in the face of changing states of awareness in both lovers, very often, with just a few exceptions, sooner or later will die. And when this happens, when love abandons us, we feel betrayed by life. And evil appears dark inside us: we see the emptiness from which our love arises, life itself seems empty. Q: But how can we be happy, just because we are alive; how can we fall in love with life itself? Tao and Tantra teach us how. Firstly we need to nourish our authenticity, and with this the image we have of ourselves. The coming-


together of a man and a woman can prove to be a fountain of unique discoveries and changes. In Taoist-Tantric ecstasy (as in love-making), the state of being from which everything stems is abandonment, and abandonment derives from listening. Tantra teaches us that an ability to listen is the highest personal quality. A man who knows how to listen can discover divine femininity in a woman, and likewise a woman who listens can discover divine masculinity in a man. The most profound abandonment stems from the heart, from reciprocal adoration. It implies seeing Buddha in the body and in the eyes of another, sensing the mystery, knowing how to adore the other person. This is the wonderful path that ñ whether it is part of an amorous relationship or not ñ makes us perceive the marvels of existence, that makes us fall in love with life. Men and women cannot go on waging war on one another. A war that we wage on someone is a war that we fight in ourselves. There is only one male archetype, for men and for women: two interpretative approaches, but only one archetype. And this is likewise true for the female archetype. By diminishing the value of the male side of a man, a woman reduces the value of the male side to her own character. And the reverse is true for men, who for centuries have not cultivated the female side to their characters, at the same time subtracting value from the feminine side of women’s characters. This closing of the chakra of the heart, this juggling for power upsets the balance with gravity itself, the balance between yin and yang that give a unity of being to both men and women. Today we need to give meaning and value to the male and the female sides of our characters, treating them as divine principles. We need to make them blossom in our social conscience, loving them and taking pleasure from them, inside man and inside woman. Through meditation ñ through cultivating the energy behind the female and male sexual values, and the exchange of energy ñ Tao and the Tantra teach us to create the wealth that is within us, and to share it in loving play. Only someone who has inner wealth can find the freedom of need: “Only those who come to the fountain will quench their thirst.” Inner wealth means identity of gender, autonomy, independence, a capacity to listen, the opportunity to share. Only when our thirst is truly quenched can we become a source of freedom for our partner. And man and woman can become reciprocal sources of nourishment and growth. The symbol of yin and yang reveal to us the great power that our relations have. When we nourish the image that our partner has of him or herself with love, we cultivate the life inside our partner, just like water and the sun. “Just as the top is, so is the base; just as the inside is, so is the outside”: accepting the shadow of our partner and reflecting the light of his or her image, we clean the mirror of our own awareness, and we fuel our very fountainheads of love. In other words, by nourishing the image our partner has of him or herself, we create inner light and inner wealth in ourselves. This is what being a couple means, this is an opportunity for existential happiness. Loving ourselves, loving others, loving life -- these are all part of a single, inseparable and divine experience. Q: Is there a great deal of interest in Tao-Tantra in Italy? Last year a hundred or so people attended our Tao-Tantra seminars. This is an important sign, a courageous sign of a desire to get to know the intimate side of our relationships and to make them blossom. For many of us it was a fantastic experience of opening up, of trust and abandonment, of coming together, both on an individual level and with others. At the end of each group session, alongside this true, re-discovered joie de vivre, this seeing the light of the

world, there was a great awareness of what we were seeking, and what we could expect from human relationships: a feeling of togetherness, uniquely and humbly in the face of the mystery of life. Q: What are the main approaches and techniques used during your group sessions? All approaches are part of an alchemy-like process that hinges on two poles of energy during love-making: that of the heart (fire, passion, listening, thoughtfulness, abandonment, accepting without judging, celebrating the expectation, the event itself, the awareness of our divine nature), and that of sexuality (water, sweetness, the expression of our desires, the extension into cuddles, kisses and hugs, the “touching of the soul”, “the wheel of love”, the cultivation of sexual energy and multiplying it). Many approaches (linked to the pole of water) are Tantric and Taoist meditations, techniques to expand our awareness so that we can become conscious of our sexual energy and propel it into our body and into our partner’s body. These are techniques to expand physical pleasure and energy, allowing the man to decide the right moment for ejaculation, separating this moment from orgasm, exchanging his own vital yang principles with the yin principles of the woman. Such practices allow the woman to re-discover her Tantric nature and her vast erotic power. In this manner, when this exchange of energy and pleasure goes beyond the genital organs, there results an “alchemy-like union”, in other words an extension of the orgasm to the organs and to the brain: at this point the coming-together of the partners becomes Tantric ecstasy. Q: What level of intimacy is needed? Usually these approaches are not experimented in full within the group, time and total intimacy being required. However, we work on preparing the techniques and the energy needed. At no time have any participants been forced to take any of the experiments further than they wished. Many of the exercises involve various opportunities for experiences: the level of intimacy is free, and the levels of intimacy chosen by all participants are carried out in full and complete respect of the other participants. Q: And as for the heart, what do you mean by “a leap into the inner heart”? Of great importance, indispensable for this alchemy-like process are the experiences that activate the centre of the heart, that allow participants to take a true “leap” into their hearts, and into that of the group. And this leap comes about through games, dances and rites; we abandon our masks, our defenses, our fears and our prejudices. For a few days and in certain moments, we go back to living like children, experiencing all the authenticity of our experiences. The Tao-Tantra group is a place for sacred encounters, providing trust, friendship and support. It is a great opportunity for development, enwrapped in a collective field of spiritual energy, where the light of love and awareness pervades and transforms all those taking part. Here, everything becomes a game of enchantment. The sensation of feeling at home, protected and loved, leads to a incantation in the eyes of our companion, where we discover the qualities of our own hearts. This is the magic that allows us to see the Eternal Tao in others and in ourselves the combined forces of Shiva and Shakti, Great Yin and Great Y ang.. And bewildered, we continually ask ourselves why we are so far from such an awareness in our daily lives, so far from such happiness. This is the happiness of being here, playing this Sacred Game of Life, where laughing together is a grace, and where silence is a presence: together with our partner, heart to heart, skin against skin, here, together, on the threshold of mystery. My Spirisexual Self


Raven Cohan Perhaps it would be helpful if such a word existed as Spirisexual. That way, perhaps we would be less likely to separate sexuality and spirituality. Our culture and even our spiritual pathways can lead us to believe they are separate. Deep within me from a young age, I felt very strongly that they were one. When I became an active seeker of spirituality, (at fifteen,) I waited to find a pathway with which I could identify, that would support me in growing even further toward merging body and spirit. Meanwhile I practiced varied meditations and learned to live my life. Bliss is a state that can be obtained by sitting and meditating, and also it can be obtained in physical ways. Some people take drugs or drink to hope to obtain bliss. In this lifetime I haven’t wanted to ever do that. But I have been blessed with being highly orgasmic naturally. Back in 1964, I discovered such an exulted state when I became sexually active at eighteen years of age! It seemed like a miraculously, joyful place one could easily find, just by connecting with a partner and letting go. Without going into lengthy details, the inhibitions that I might have run into, were not a factor. I happened to be at the right place in time, as there was a sexual revolution going on, and I was in the right career, (show business) and very importantly I seemed to be mentally, emotionally and physically more independent than the average female. As I write this, I am in bliss. I have learned to be able to produce rapture when I want, with or without a sexual encounter. It so happens that about two hours ago, I did make love to my husband. Let me describe my bliss from head to toe. My scalp is breathing, my third eye area feels as if a tongue is moving on it in a sensual way. My brain is pulsing, and when I look into it, rays of light shoot in all directions. My ears are buzzing out orgasmic Morse Code. My nasal cavities are throbbing with space. My gums, lips and roof of my mouth are feeling as piquant as with a favorite hot sauce. Ah, the neck...It feels buffed, or polished to a high gleam. My heart spreads through my chest. It openly spills out into my breast and runs loving feelings down toward my belly which is as contentedly full as after a perfect meal of kisses. The sexual organs are the place from which many people believe orgasm originates. That is a learned, and limiting belief, but the sexual organs do indeed in bliss, feel like a kitten purring image that must be iterated by a goodly amount for the reader to get the true picture. These are not simply aroused, or horny feelings I’m describing. They are dream-time orgasm at their best. I’ve trained my mind to encourage the feeling in any part of my body and to replicate orgasm. Legs and arms too, vibrate with a chi-filled feeling. And the most important part is my spine which contain icy tingles just like from a song lyric. Continuous messages are delivered to the brain to keep up this roller-coaster ride of beyond-orgasmic feeling for long time periods. I am in a similar blissful state after beginning my meditation, (sometimes as intense, sometimes less so.) Y ears ago, before I trained to be able to do this, I did have spontaneous multi-orgasm a few times in my life, but now with practice, it is becoming more and more a way of life. The best part is that I can be doing other things, and not always lose the intensity of the ecstasy. The point of this description is that some people don’t know what orgasm feels like, and some don’t know what bliss feels like. Some will say they are separate feelings because they lose their body in bliss. In my opinion, it is a choice to separate or not. Typing an article takes a certain part of the brain, and being in bliss can take a certain part of the brain. How can I be performing in both states at once? Perhaps I can illuminate with the following information. My teacher, Master Mantak Chia, was measured on Oct. 25, 1996 for his ULP (ultraslow brain potentials,) in the laboratory of the , Institute for Applied Biocybernetics Feedback Research in Vienna, Austria. To quote literature reproduced by the Intl.

Healing Tao, “The level of ULP closely correlates the flow of energy in the body: clarity, efficiency, health, the ability to concentrate, the ability to react, the sexual experience and other mental activities. The measuring instrument was a biofeedback device developed in the IBF: the PCE-Scanner. The measured figures were diagrammed...” To obtain this entire document on the web, find it at www.healingtao.com . It helps people to understand that with practice, one can complete the techniques of Inner Smile, Microcosmic Orbit and Orgasmic Upward Draw, and energy continues to increase for the next many minutes and can stay at a high level for over half a day, (as was recorded on Chia,) and one can continue doing other things and maintain this highly rapturous state. The results, as reported by the Institute in Vienna, are different than from using mantras or chanting, but everyone’s individual experience is unique, and I wouldn’t personally declare that any other practice couldn’t put one toward being able to keep the energy inside the mind and body like those practices that I’ve learned from Master Chia over the last eighteen years. Teaching my Tai Chi-Chi Kung classes always puts me into bliss and I am thrilled when sometimes out of a clear blue sky, bliss pops up, like a sun shower. I often have a Utopian dream that if the world was trained to do this we wouldn’t have people needing to relieve their frustrated sexual feelings in violent or other out-of-control ways. The understanding that spirituality and sexuality are one, could have as a timely example, saved President Clinton, and our entire nation from embarrassment due to his inability to keep his sexual needs within the control of his own mind and heart. The less we separate spirituality and sexuality, the more easily will these controls be learned. Y this et, practice of mine also teaches me patience. We must all come to our varied evolution as we are ready. BIO: Raven Cohan has been a certified Healing Tao instructor since 1983, and lives in Hollywood, FL. SUGGESTED READING: THE MULTI-ORGASMIC MAN by Mantak Chia and Douglas Abrams Arava Harper Collins, San Francisco The Forces of Love, Eros and Sex Eva Broch Pierrakos Note: Here is an interesting lecture on the relationship between the three forces of Love, Eros, and Sex. If you substitute the Taoist concepts of Shen (Spirit) for Love, Chi for Eros (the flowing yin-yang pulsation of the chi field is inherently orgasmic), and Jing (sexual essence) for Sex Force, the talk becomes relevant to Taoist practitioners. The Taoist sexual practices, when cultivated to a higher level through Taoist internal alchemy meditation, take one far beyond the scope of what is suggested by this lecture. The transformations between jing, chi, shen and back again are the main focus of alchemy, and the jing (sexual essence) is the primordial force fueling the process in the physical plane. The higher level Taoist adept also transcends the limitations inherent in monogamous relationships by learning to absorb needed jing, chi, or shen qualities needed for personal completion from other people at a distance (without sexual relationship) or from the earth, planets, and stars. But this lecture puts these three terms into popular western concepts and may help them come more alive, particularly the emphasis on married relationships being a vessel for soul (shen) exploration. Many Taoist sexual practitioners get stuck at the level of cultivating chi only, without exploring the spiritual presence of shen (spirit/intelligence) underlying the chi field. After nearly 19 years with my partner Joyce Gayheart, my own experience is that the deeper one’s alchemy practice takes you into the Tao, the deeper the soul experience of one’s partner. The lecture was channeled over 40 years ago from “Spirit” by Eva Pierrakos, but survives the test of time. Her Pathwork center in the New Y Catskills was used for Healing Tao ork summer retreats by Mantak Chia from 1989 to 1992. Many Pathwork students went on to become well known channels -- Pat Rodegast


(Emmanuel books), Barbara Ann Brennan, and Michael Morgan. Published by The Pathwork © Foundation (1996 Edition) Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 44, January 16, 1959. - Michael Winn Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I bring you blessings, my dearest friends. Blessed is this hour. Tonight I would like to discuss three particular forces in the universe: the love force as it manifests between the sexes, the erotic force, and the sex force. These are three distinctly different principles or forces that manifest differently on every plane, from the highest to the lowest. Humanity has always confused these three principles. In fact, it is little known that three separate forces exist and what the differences between them are. There is so much confusion about this that it will be quite useful for my friends to hear what the reality is. The erotic force is one of the most potent forces in existence and has tremendous momentum and impact. It is supposed to serve as the bridge between sex and love, yet it rarely does. In a spiritually highly developed person, the erotic force carries the entity from the erotic experience, which in itself is of short duration, into the permanent state of pure love. However, even the strong momentum of the erotic force carries the soul just so far and no farther. It is bound to dissolve if the personality does not learn to love, by cultivating all the qualities and requirements necessary for true love. Only when love has been learned does the spark of the erotic force remain alive. By itself, without love, the erotic force burns itself out. This of course is the trouble with marriage. Since most people are incapable of pure love, they are also incapable of attaining ideal marriage. Eros seems in many ways similar to love. It brings forth impulses a human being would not have otherwise: impulses of unselfishness and affection he or she might have been incapable of before. This is why eros is so very often confused with love. But eros is just as often confused with the sex instinct which, like eros, also manifests as a great urge. Now, my friends, I would like to show you what the spiritual meaning and purpose of the erotic force is, particularly as far as humanity is concerned. Without eros, many people would never experience the great feeling and beauty that is contained in real love. They would never get the taste of it and the yearning for love would remain deeply submerged in their souls. Their fear of love would remain stronger than their desire. Eros is the nearest thing to love the undeveloped spirit can experience. It lifts the soul out of sluggishness, out of mere contentment and vegetation. It causes the soul to surge, to go out of itself. When this force comes upon even the most undeveloped people they become able to surpass themselves. Even a criminal will temporarily feel, at least toward one person, a goodness he has never known. The utterly selfish person will, while this feeling lasts, have unselfish impulses. Lazy people will get out of their inertia. The routine-bound person will naturally and without effort get rid of static habits. The erotic force will lift a person out of separateness, be it only for a short time. Eros gives the soul a foretaste of unity and teaches the fearful psyche the longing for it. The more strongly one has experienced eros, the less contentment will the soul find in the pseudo-security of separateness. Even an otherwise thoroughly self-centered person may be able to make a sacrifice during the experience of eros. So you see, my friends, eros enables people to do things they are disinclined to do otherwise; things that are closely linked with love. It is easy to see why eros is so often confused with love. How then is eros different from love? Love is a permanent state in the soul. Love can only exist if the foundation for it is prepared through development and purification. Love does not come and go at random; eros does. Eros hits with sudden force, often taking a person unaware and even unwilling to go through the experience. Only if the soul is prepared to love and has built the foundation for it will eros be the bridge to the love that is manifest between a man

and a woman. Thus you can see how important the erotic force is. Without the erotic force hitting them and getting them out of their rut, many human beings would never be ready for a more conscious search for the breaking down of their own walls of separation. The erotic experience puts the seed into the soul and makes it long for unity, which is the great aim in the Plan of Salvation. As long as the soul is separate, loneliness and unhappiness must be its lot. The erotic experience enables the personality to long for union with at least one other being. In the heights of the spirit world, union exists among all beings -- and thus with God. In the earth sphere, the erotic force is a propelling power regardless of whether or not its real meaning is understood. This is so even though it is often misused and enjoyed for its own sake, while it lasts. It is not utilized to cultivate love in the soul, so it peters out. Nevertheless, its effect will inevitably remain in the soul. Eros comes to people suddenly in certain stages of their lives, even to those who are afraid of the apparent risk of adventuring away from separateness. People who are afraid of their emotions and afraid of life as such will often do anything in their power to avoid -- subconsciously and ignorantly -- the great experience of unity. Although this fear exists in many human beings, there are few indeed who have not experienced some opening in the soul where eros could touch them. For the fearridden soul that resists the experience, this is good medicine regardless of the fact that sorrow and loss may follow due to other psychological factors. However, there are also those who are over-emotional, and although they may know other fears of life, they are not afraid of this particular experience. In fact, the beauty of it is a great temptation to them and therefore they hunt greedily for it. They look for one subject after another, emotionally too ignorant to understand the deep meaning of Eros. They are unwilling to learn pure love, and simply use the erotic force for their pleasure and when it is worn out they hunt elsewhere. This is an abuse and cannot continue without ill effects. Such a personality will have to make amends for the abuse -- even if it was done in ignorance. In the same vein, the over-fearful coward will have to make up for trying to cheat life by hiding from eros and thus withholding from the soul a medicine, valuable if used properly. Most people in this category have a vulnerable point somewhere in their soul through which eros can enter. There are also a few who have built such a tight wall of fear and pride around their souls that they avoid this part of life experience entirely and so shortchange their own development. This fear might exist because in a former life they had an unhappy experience with eros, or perhaps because the soul has greedily abused the beauty of the erotic force without building it into love. In either case, the personality may have chosen to be more careful. If this decision is too rigid and stringent, the opposite extreme will follow. In the next incarnation circumstances will be chosen in such a way that a balance is established until the soul reaches a harmonious state wherein there are no more extremes. This balancing in future incarnations always applies to all aspects of the personality. In order to approach this harmony to some extent at least, the proper balance between reason, emotion, and will has to be achieved. The erotic experience often mingles with the sexual urge, but it does not always have to be that way. These three forces -- love, eros, and sex -- often appear completely separately, while sometimes two mingle, such as eros and sex, or eros and love to the extent the soul is capable of love, or sex and a semblance of love. Only in the ideal case do all three forces mingle harmoniously. The sex force is the creative force on any level of existence. In the highest spheres, the same sex force creates spiritual life, spiritual ideas, and spiritual concepts and principles. On the lower planes, the pure and unspiritualized sex force creates life as it manifests in that particular sphere; it creates the outer shell or vehicle of the entity destined to live in that sphere. The pure sex force is utterly selfish. Sex without eros and without love is referred to as animalistic. Pure sex exists in all living creatures: animals, plants, and minerals. Eros begins with the stage of


development where the soul is incarnated as a human being. And pure love is to be found in the higher spiritual realms. This does not mean that eros and sex no longer exist in beings of higher development, but rather that all three blend in harmoniously, are refined, and become less and less selfish. Nor do I mean that a human being should not try to achieve a harmonious blend of all three forces. In rare cases, eros alone, without sex and love, exists for a limited time. This is usually referred to as platonic love. But sooner or later with the somewhat healthy person, eros and sex will mingle. The sex force, instead of being suppressed, is taken up by the erotic force and both flow in one current. The more the three forces remain separate, the unhealthier the personality is. Another frequent combination, particularly in relationships of long standing, is the coexistence of genuine love with sex, but without eros. Although love cannot be perfect unless all three forces blend together, there is a certain amount of affection, companionship, fondness, mutual respect, and a sexrelationship that is crudely sexual without the erotic spark which evaporated some time ago. When eros is missing, the sexual relationship must eventually suffer. Now this is the problem with most marriages, my friends. There is hardly a human being who is not puzzled by the question of what to do to maintain the spark in the relationship which seems to evaporate the more habit and familiarity with one another sets in. Y may not ou have posed the question in terms of three distinct forces, yet you know and sense that something goes out of a marriage that was present at the beginning; that spark is actually eros. Y find yourself in a vicious ou circle and think that marriage is a hopeless proposition. No, my friends, it is not, even if you cannot as yet attain the ideal. In the ideal partnership of love between two people all three forces have to be represented. With love you do not seem to have much difficulty, for in most cases one would not marry if there did not exist at least the willingness to love. I will not discuss at this point the extreme cases where this is not so. I am focusing on a relationship where the choice is a mature one and yet the partners cannot get around the pitfall of becoming bound by time and habit, because elusive eros has disappeared. With sex it is very much the same. The sex force is present in most healthy human beings and may only begin to fade -- particularly with women -- when eros has left. Men may then seek eros else-where. For the sexual relationship must eventually suffer unless eros is maintained. How can you keep eros? That is the big question, my dear ones. Eros can be maintained only if it is used as a bridge to true partnership in love in the highest sense. How is this done? Let us first look for the main element in the erotic force. When you analyze it, you will find that it is the adventure, the search for the knowledge of the other soul. This desire lives in every created spirit. The inherent life-force must finally bring the entity out of its separation. Eros strengthens the curiosity to know the other being. As long as there is something new to find in the other soul and as long as you reveal yourself, eros will live. The moment you believe you have found all there is to find, and have revealed all there is to reveal, eros will leave. It is as simple as that with eros. But where your great error comes in is that you believe there is a limit to the revealing of any soul, yours or another’s. When a certain point of usually quite superficial revelation is reached, you are under the impression that this is all there is, and you settle down to a placid life without further searching. Eros has carried you this far with its strong impact. But after this point, your will to further search the unlimited depths of the other person and voluntarily reveal and share your own inward search determines whether you have used eros as a bridge to love. This, in turn, is always determined by your will to learn how to love. Only in this way will you maintain the spark of eros in your love. Only in this way will you continue to find the other and let yourself be found. There is no limit, for the soul is endless and eternal: a whole lifetime would not suffice to know it. There can never be a point when you know the other soul entirely, nor when you are known entirely.

The soul is alive, and nothing that is alive remains static. It has the capacity to reveal even deeper layers that already exist. The soul is also in constant change and movement as anything spiritual is by its very nature. Spirit means life and life means change. Since soul is spirit, the soul can never be known utterly. If people had the wisdom, they would realize that and make of marriage the marvelous journey of adventure it is supposed to be, forever finding new vistas, instead of simply being carried as far as you are taken by the first momentum of eros. Y ou should use this potent momentum of eros as the initial thrust it is, and then find through it the urge to go on further under your own steam. Then you will have brought eros into true love in marriage. Marriage is intended by God for human beings and its divine purpose is not merely procreation. That is only one detail. The spiritual idea of marriage is to enable the soul to reveal itself and to be constantly on the search for the other to discover forever new vistas of the other being. The more this happens, the happier the marriage will be, the more firmly and safely it will be rooted, and the less it will be in danger of an unhappy ending. Then it will fulfill its spiritual purpose. In practice, however, marriage hardly ever works that way. Y ou reach a certain state of familiarity and habit and you think you know the other. It does not even occur to you that the other does not know you by any means. He or she may know certain facets of your being, but that is all. This search for the other being, as well as for selfrevelation, requires inner activity and alertness. But since people are often tempted into inner inactivity, while outer activity may be all the stronger as an overcompensation, they are being lured to sink into a state of restfulness, cherishing the delusion of already knowing each other fully. This is the pitfall. It is the beginning of the end at worst, or at best a compromise leaving you with a gnawing, unfulfilled longing. At this point the relationship turns static. It is no longer alive even though it may have some very pleasant features. Habit is a great temptress, pulling one toward sluggishness and inertia, so that one does not have to try and work or be alert any more. Two people may arrange an apparently satisfactory relationship, and as the years go by they face two possibilities. The first is that either one or both partners become openly and consciously dissatisfied. For the soul needs to surge ahead, to find and to be found, so as to dissolve separateness, regardless of how much the other side of the personality fears union and is tempted by inertia. This dissatisfaction is either conscious -- although in most instances the real reason for it is ignored -- or it is unconscious. In either case, the dissatisfaction is stronger than the temptation of the comfort of inertia and sluggishness. Then the marriage will be disrupted and one or both partners will delude themselves into thinking that with a new partner it will be different, particularly after eros has perhaps struck again. As long as this principle is not understood, a person may go from one partnership to another, sustaining feelings only as long as eros is at work. The second possibility is that the temptation of a semblance of peace is stronger. Then the partners may remain together and may certainly fulfill something together, but a great unfulfilled need will always lurk in their souls. Since men are by nature more active and adventurous, they tend to be polygamous and are therefore more tempted by infidelity than women. Thus you can also understand what the underlying motive for men’s inclination to be unfaithful is. Women tend much more to be sluggish and are therefore better prepared to compromise. This is why they tend to be monogamous. Of course, there are exceptions, in both sexes. Such infidelity is often as puzzling to the active partner as to the “victim.” They do not understand themselves. The unfaithful one may suffer just as much as the one whose trust has been betrayed. In the situation where compromise is chosen, both people stagnate, at least in one very important aspect of their soul development. They find refuge in the steady comfort of their relationship. They may even believe that they are happy in it, and this may be true to some degree. The advantages of friendship, companionship, mutual respect, and a pleasant life together with a well-


established routine outweigh the unrest of the soul, and the partners may have enough discipline to remain faithful to one another. Y an et important element of their relationship is missing: the revealing of soul to soul as much as possible. Only when two people do this can they be purified together and thus help each other. Two developed souls, who have a knowledge of purification in their subconscious, though they may ignore the various steps of these teachings, can yet fulfill one another by revealing themselves, by searching the depths of the other’s soul. Thus what is in each soul will emerge into their conscious minds, and purification will take place. Then the life-spark is maintained so that the relationship can never stagnate and degenerate into a dead end. For you who are on this path, and follow the various steps of these teachings, it will be easier to overcome the pitfalls and dangers of the marital relationship and to repair damage that has occurred unwittingly. In this way, my dear friends, you not only maintain eros, that vibrating life-force, but you also transform it into true love. Only in a true partnership of love and eros can you discover in your partner new levels of being you have not heretofore perceived. And you yourself will be purified also by putting away your pride and revealing yourself as you really are. Y relationship will always be new, regardless of how our well you think you know each other already. All masks must fall, not only the superficial but the real, which you may not even have been aware of. Then your love will remain alive. It will never be static; it will never stagnate. Y will never have to search elsewhere. ou There is so much to see and discover in this land of the other soul you have chosen, whom you continue to respect, but in whom you seem to miss the life-spark that once brought you together. Y will ou never have to be afraid of losing the love of your beloved; this fear will be justified only if you refrain from risking the journey of selfrevelation together. This, my friends, is marriage in its true sense and the only way it can be the glory it is supposed to be. Each of you should think deeply about whether you are afraid to leave the four walls of your own separateness. Some of my friends are unaware that to stay separate is almost a conscious wish. With many of you it is this way: you desire marriage because one part of you yearns for it -- and also because you do not want to be alone. Quite superficial and vain reasons may be added to explain the deep yearning within your soul. But aside from this yearning and aside from the superficial and selfish motives of your unfulfilled desire for partnership, there must also be an unwillingness to risk the journey and adventure of revealing yourself. An integral part of life remains to be fulfilled by you -- if not in this life, then in future lives. Should you find yourself alone, you may, with this knowledge and this truth, repair the damage that you have done to your own soul by harboring wrong concepts in your unconscious. Y may discover your ou fear of the great adventurous journey with another, which will explain why you are alone. This understanding should prove helpful and may even enable your emotions to change sufficiently so that your outer life may change too. This depends on you. Whoever is unwilling to take the risk of this great adventure cannot succeed in the greatest venture humanity knows -- marriage. In this way, my dear friends, you not only maintain eros, that vibrating life force, but you also transform it into true love. Only in a true partnership of love and eros can you discover in your partner new levels of being you have not heretofore perceived. And you yourself will be purified also by putting away your pride and revealing yourself as you really are. In this way, your relationship will always be new, regardless of how well you think you know each other already. All masks must fall, not only the superficial but the real, which you may not even have been aware of. Then your love will remain alive. It will never be static; it will never stagnate. Y will never have to search ou elsewhere. There is so much to see and discover in this land of the other soul you have chosen, whom you continue to respect but in whom you seem to miss the life spark that once brought you together. Y will never have to be afraid of losing the love of ou

your beloved; this fear will have justification only if you refrain from risking the journey of self-revelation together. This, my friends, is marriage in its true sense and the only way it can be the glory it is supposed to be. Each of you should think deeply about whether you are afraid to leave the four walls of your own separateness. Some of my friends are unaware that to stay separate is almost a conscious wish. With many of you it is this way: you desire marriage because one part of you yearns for it -- and also because you do not want to be alone. Quite superficial and vain reasons may be added to explain the deep yearning within your soul. But aside from this yearning and aside from the superficial and selfish motives of your unfulfilled desire for partnership, there must also be an unwillingness to risk the journey and adventure of revealing yourself. An integral part of life remains to be fulfilled by you -- if not in this life, then in future lives. Only when you meet love, life, and the other being in such readiness will you be able to bestow the greatest gift on your beloved, namely your true self. And then you must inevitably receive the same gift from your beloved. But to do that, a certain emotional and spiritual maturity has to exist. If this maturity is present, you will intuitively choose the right partner, one who has, in essence, the same maturity and readiness to embark on this journey. The choice of a partner who is unwilling comes out of the hidden fear of undertaking the journey yourself. Y magnetically draw people and situations ou toward you which correspond to your subconscious desires and fears. Y know that. ou Humanity, on the whole, is very far away from this ideal, but that does not change the idea or the ideal. In the meantime you have to learn to make the best of it. And you who are fortunate enough to be on this path can learn much wherever you stand, be it only in understanding why you cannot realize the happiness that a part of your soul yearns for. To discover that is already a great deal and will enable you in this life or in future lives to get nearer to the realization of this idea. Whatever your situation is, whether you have a partner or are alone, search your heart and it will furnish you the answer to your conflict. The answer must come from within yourself, and in all probability it will relate to your own fear, unwillingness, and your ignorance of the facts. Search and you will know. Understand that God’s purpose in the partnership of love is the complete mutual revelation of one soul to another -- not just a partial revelation. Physical revelation is easy for many. Emotionally you share to a certain degree -- usually as far as eros carries you. But then you lock the door, and that is the moment when your troubles begin. There are many who are not willing to reveal anything. They want to remain alone and aloof. They will not touch the experience of revealing themselves and of finding the soul of the other person. They avoid this in every way they can. My dear ones, once again: understand how important the erotic principle is in your sphere. It helps many who may be unwilling and unprepared for the love experience. It is what you call “falling in love,” or “romance.” Through eros the personality gets a taste of what the ideal love could be. As I said before, many use this feeling of happiness carelessly and greedily, never passing the threshold into true love. True love demands much more of people in a spiritual sense. If they do not meet this demand, they forfeit the goal for which their soul strives. This extreme of hunting for romance is as wrong as the other, where not even the potent force of eros can enter the tightly locked door. But in most cases, when the door is not too tightly bolted, eros does come to you at certain stages of your life. Whether you can then use eros as a bridge to love depends on you. It depends on your development, your willingness, your courage, your humility, and your ability to reveal yourself. Are there any questions in connection with this subject, my dear friends?


QUESTION: Y It is so difficult for a woman to talk to a man. es. Men don’t answer when one tries to get into a conversation touching the emotional understanding. That makes it very, very difficult for the woman. ANSWER: Here is a great error, my dear. But let us first establish one fact that should be well understood. Woman is by nature more emotionally inclined. Man is by nature more spiritually, or on a lower level, more intellectually inclined. By that I do not mean that he has to be what you call an intellectual. It is simply that usually the reasoning faculty is stronger in men. Because of this the revealing of his emotions is a very difficult step for a man. In this a woman can help him. The man will help the woman in other ways. The mistake you make is in thinking that revelation and the meeting of souls is brought about by talking. Oh, it may be a temporary crutch, it may be one detail; or rather it may be simply a tool, a means of expressing certain facets. But this is all. It is not in the talking that you find the other soul or that you reveal yourself, though this may be a part of it. It is in the being that this whole and basic attitude is determined. It is the woman who is stronger emotionally. For her it is usually easier to muster the courage to meet soul to soul and touch the deepest core of longing that is also in man. If she can use her intuition and reach that part of her partner, he will respond provided he has the maturity. He must respond. Whether this response comes occasionally through a conversation or not, is not so important. It is not a question of whether a verbal discussion serves in reaching the other soul. Certainly, speaking is a part of it, together with all the other faculties. But the ability to speak about things is not the determining factor. First the inner basis has to be established. Then you will be flexible enough to use all the faculties God has given you. To find and meet the other soul means going into the state of inner being; the doing is only an incidental result, a mere detail which is part of the outer manifestation. Is that clear? QUESTION: Y it is clear. And I think it is wonderful. In other es, words it is the task of the woman to find the other soul? ANSWER: It may often be that it is easier for the woman to take the first necessary steps after eros is no longer capable of maintaining its own momentum. But both need to have the basic willingness to go on the journey together. As stated before, the woman often finds it easier to reveal herself, to let the emotions come out. The mature woman who is earnestly willing to undertake the adventure of true marriage will have the mature and healthy instinct to find the right partner. The same applies to the man, of course. Once this willingness exists in both, either one may lead the way. It does not make any difference who starts. It may often be the woman, but it may also be the man at times. Whoever starts it, a time will come when the other one will also lead and help. In a relationship that is alive, healthy, and flexible, it must alternate and change constantly. At any given time, whoever is the stronger, the leader, will help in the liberation of the other. For this soul-revelation is a liberation -liberating the other soul from the prison of loneliness, and liberating the self. This prison may even appear comfortable if you live and stagnate in it long enough. One should not wait for the other to start. Whoever is more mature and courageous at a particular instant will start, and will thus raise the maturity of the other which may then surpass his or her own. Thus the helper becomes the helped; the liberator becomes the liberated. QUESTION: When you talk about the revelation of a soul to another, do you mean that, on a higher level, this is the way the soul reveals itself to God? ANSWER: It is the same thing. But before you can truly reveal yourself to God, you have to learn to reveal yourself to another beloved human being. And when you do that, you reveal yourself to God too. Many people want to start with revealing themselves to the personal God. But actually, deep in their hearts, such revelation to God is only a subterfuge because it is abstract and remote. No other

human being can see or hear what they reveal. They are still alone. One does not have to do the one thing that seems so risky, requires so much humility and thus threatens to be humiliating. By revealing yourself to another human being, you accomplish so much that cannot be accomplished by revelation to God who knows you anyway, and who really does not need your revelation. When you find the other soul and meet it, you fulfill your destiny. When you find another soul, you also find another particle of God, and if you reveal your own soul, you reveal a particle of God and give something divine to another person. When eros comes to you, it will lift you up far enough so that you will sense and know what it is in you that longs for this experience and what is your true self, which is longing to reveal itself. Without eros, you are merely aware of the lazy outer layers. Do not avoid eros when it wants to come to you. If you understand the spiritual idea behind it, you will use it wisely. God will then be able to lead you and enable you to make the best of helping another being and yourself on the way to true love, of which purification must be an integral part. Although your purification work through a deeply committed relationship manifests differently than it does in the work on this path, it will help you toward a purification of the same order. QUESTION: Is it possible for a soul to be so rich that it can reveal itself to more than one soul? ANSWER: My dear friend, do you say that facetiously? QUESTION: No, I do not. I am asking whether polygamy is within the scheme of spiritual law. ANSWER: No, it certainly is not. And when someone thinks it may be within the scheme of spiritual development, that is a subterfuge. The personality is looking for the right partner. Either the person is too immature to have found the right partner, or the right partner is there and the polygamous person is simply carried away by eros’ momentum, never lifting this force up into the volitional love that demands overcoming and working in order to pass the threshold I mentioned before. In cases like this, the one with an adventurous personality is looking and looking, always finding another part of a being, always revealing himself or herself only so far and no further, or perhaps each time revealing another facet of his or her personality. However, when it comes to the inner nucleus, the door is shut. Eros then departs and a new search is started. Each time it is a disappointment that can only be understood when you grasp these truths. Raw sexual instinct also enters into the longing for this great journey, but sexual satisfaction begins to suffer if the relationship is not kept on the level I show you here. It is, in fact, inevitably of short duration. There is no richness in revealing oneself to many. In such cases, one either reveals the same wares all over again to new partners, or, as I said before, one displays different facets of one’s personality. The more partners you try to share yourself with, the less you give to each. That is inevitably so. It cannot be different. QUESTION: Certain people believe that they can cut out sex and eros and the desire for a partner and live completely for love of humanity. Do you think it is possible that man or woman can swear off this part of life? ANSWER: It is possible, but it is certainly not healthy or honest. I might say that there is perhaps one person in ten million who may have such a task. That may be possible. It may be in the karma for a particular soul who is already developed this far, has gone through the true partnership experience, and comes for a specific mission. There may also be certain karmic debts which have to be paid off. In most cases -- and here I can safely generalize -- avoidance of partnership is unhealthy. It is an escape. The real reason is fear of love, fear of the life experience, but the fearful renunciation is rationalized as a sacrifice. To


anyone who would come to me with such a problem, I would say: Examine yourself. Go below the surface layers of your conscious reasoning and explanations for your attitude in this respect. Try to find out whether you fear love and disappointment. Isn’t it more comfortable to just live for yourself and have no difficulties? Isn’t really this what you feel deep inside and what you want to cover up with other reasons? The great humanitarian work you want to do may be for a worthy cause, indeed, but do you really think one excludes the other? Wouldn’t it be much more likely that the great task you have taken upon yourself would be better fulfilled if you learned personal love too? If all these questions were truthfully answered, the person would be bound to see that he or she is escaping. Personal love and fulfillment is man’s and woman’s destiny in most cases, for so much can be learned in personal love that cannot be attained in any other way. And to form a durable and solid relationship in a marriage is the greatest victory a human being can achieve, for it is one of the most difficult things there are, as you can well see in your world. This life experience will bring the soul closer to God than lukewarm good deeds. QUESTION: I was going to ask a question in connection with my previous one: Celibacy is supposed to be a highly spiritualized form of development in certain religious sects. On the other hand, polygamy is also recognized in some religions -- the Mormons, for instance. I understand what you said, but how do you justify these attitudes on the part of people who are supposed to look for unity with God? ANSWER: There is human error in every religion. In one religion it may be one kind of error, in other religions another. Here you simply have two extremes. When such dogmas or rules come into existence in the various religions, whether at one extreme or another, it is always a rationalization and subterfuge to which the individual soul constantly resorts. This is an attempt to explain away the counter-currents of the fearful or greedy soul with good motives. There is a common belief that anything pertaining to sex is sinful. The sex instinct arises in the infant. The more immature the creature, the more sexuality is separated from love, and therefore the more selfish it is. Anything without love is “sinful,” if you want to use this word. Nothing that is coupled with love is wrong -- or sinful. There is no such thing as a force, a principle, or an idea that is in itself sinful -- whether sex or anything else. In the growing child who is naturally immature, the sex drive will first manifest selfishly. Only if and when the whole personality grows and matures harmoniously will sex become integrated with love. Out of ignorance, humanity has long believed that sex as such is sinful. It was kept hidden, and therefore this part of the personality could not grow up. Nothing that remains in hiding can grow; you know that. Therefore, even in many grownups, sex remains childish and separate from love. And this, in turn, led humanity to believe more and more that sex is a sin and that the truly spiritual person must abstain from it. Thus one of those oft-mentioned vicious circles came into existence. Because of the belief that sex was sinful, the instinct could not grow and meld with the love force. Consequently, sex in fact often is selfish and loveless, raw and animalistic. If people would realize -- and they are beginning to do so increasingly -- that the sex instinct is as natural and God-given as any other universal force and in itself not more sinful than any other existing force, they would then break this vicious circle and more human beings would let their sex drives mature and mingle with love -- and with eros, for that matter. How many people exist for whom sex is completely separate from love! They not only suffer from bad conscience when the sex urge manifests, but they also find themselves in the position of being unable to handle sexual feelings with the person they really love. This occurs quite often in some measure, although it does seem extreme. Because of these distorted conditions and this vicious circle, humanity came to believe that you cannot find God when you respond to your sex urges. This is all wrong; you cannot kill off something that is alive. Y ou can only hide it so that it will come out in other ways which

may be much more harmful. Only in the very rarest cases does the sex force really become sublimated so as to make this creative force manifest in other realms. Sublimation in its real sense can never occur when there is fear and escape involved, as is the case with most human beings. Does that answer your question? QUESTION: Perfectly, thank you. QUESTION: If two young people fall in love and marry and they are not well matched and they don’t understand each other, is it possible that these two people could go on this journey together and have a good marriage? ANSWER: If both are willing to learn love for one another and gain maturity together. Even where an immature choice was made, it could still become a successful marriage, but only if both are willing and are clearly aware of what marriage is supposed to be. If both lack the will and sense of responsibility for that, they will not have the desire to make such a journey together. QUESTION: How does friendship between two people fit into this picture? ANSWER: Friendship is brotherly love. Such friendship can also exist between man and woman. Eros may want to sneak in, but reason and will can still direct the way in which the feelings take their course. Discretion, and a healthy balance between reason, emotion, and will are necessary to prevent the feelings from going into an improper channel. QUESTION: Is divorce against spiritual law? ANSWER: Not necessarily. We do not have fixed rules like that. There are cases when divorce is an easy way out, a mere escape. There are other cases when divorce is reasonable because the choice to marry was made in immaturity and both partners lack the desire to fulfill the responsibility of marriage in its true sense. If only one is willing -- or neither -- divorce is better than staying together and making a farce out of marriage. Unless both are willing to take this journey together, it is better to break clean than to let one prevent the growth of the other. That, of course, happens. It is better to terminate a mistake than to remain indefinitely in it without finding an effective remedy. One should not, however, leave a marriage lightly. Even though it was a mistake and does not work, one should try to find the reasons and do one’s very best to search out and perhaps get over the hurdles that are in the way. Since they are due to inner mistakes, the partners could try to make the best of it, if both are in any way willing. One can learn a lot from one’s past and present mistakes. To generalize that divorce is wrong in any case is just as incorrect as to say that it is always right. One should certainly do one’s best, even if the marriage is not the ideal experience that I discussed tonight. Few people are ready and mature enough for it. Y can make yourself ready by trying to make ou the best of your past mistakes and learn from them. My dearest friends, think carefully about what I have said. There is much food for thought in what I told you, for each of you here, and for all those who will read my words. There is not a single person who cannot learn something from them. I want to close this lecture with the assurance to all of you that we in the spirit world are deeply grateful to God for your good efforts, for your growth. It is our greatest joy and our greatest happiness. And so, my dear ones, receive the blessings of the Lord again; may your hearts be filled by this wonderful strength coming to you from the world of light and truth. Go in peace and in happiness, my dear ones, each one of you. Be in God! Edited by Judith and John Salyo, Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 44 (1996 Edition)


For information to find and participate in Pathwork activities world wide, please write: The Pathwork â Foundation, PO Box 6010, Charlottesville, VA 22906-6010, USA Call: 1-800-PATHWORK, or Visit: www.pathwork.org The following notices are for your guidance in the use of the Pathwork® name and this lecture material. Trademark/Service Mark Pathwork® is a registered service mark owned by The Pathwork Foundation, and may not be used without the express written permission of the Foundation. The Foundation may, in its sole discretion, authorize use of the Pathwork® mark by other organizations or persons, such as affiliate organizations and chapters. The copyright of the Pathwork Guide material is the sole property of The Pathwork Foundation. This lecture may be reproduced, in compliance with the Foundation Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Policy, but the text may not be altered or abbreviated in any way, nor may the copyright, trademark, service mark, or any other notices be removed. Recipients may be charged the cost of reproduction and distribution only. Any person or organization using The Pathwork Foundation service mark or copyrighted material is deemed to have agreed to comply with the Foundation Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Policy. To obtain information or a copy of this policy, please contact the Foundation. Spirituality, Sex Energy, and Relating Lar Short Star Wars made popular the phrase “May the Force be with you!” as a futuristic mythic blessing that was easily accepted as having some universal truth today. What does it mean to have the Force be with you? What would it mean if the Force was against you? Other than the All-Pervading Energy substitute for God, Tao, or Buddha-Nature; what is the Force in terms of embodied individual beings? How and where does it arise in each of us? Rather than hoping that the Force is operating in our favor, as if It is an outside agent; what can we do to make sure It is with us? The Force arising within us as individuals is metaformically connected with our genitals. The knot of confusion that seems to drive everyone crazy is actually a fearful contraction at the root of our life force. When our root energy is knotted up, the angst of separation, the compounding of ignorance, and the closing of the Heart occurs. Fearful contracting at our root energy is what keeps us reactively selfdestructive and programmable to the layers of learned helplessness that make up the cultural trance. Every death-oriented guilt cult has used our contracted condition politically and coercively to make sure the Force is not with us, but against us. Often the Force is presented as dual, as if it were two forces constantly at war in a good versus evil struggle into eternity. As learned helplessness takes hold, our internal dialogue betrays us. We learn to accept the invalidating messages that have been conditioned into internal verbiage over the natural innocence and wisdom of our living body. Closed spiritual systems have become part of the sad history of the enslavement of humanity by beliefs rather than the means to Awakening and Freedom. The maps that have become “dogmatic truth” are outdated and often dangerous, no matter how sacred their ancient associations may be. Even if their content was once conscious and alive, it is now lost in the worship of the containers. Our root energy is the individual expression of the Creative Force in our body-speech-mind. How we use our root energy determines the orientation of our life force; whether we orient towards the creative or towards the destructive. Our root energy brings us into this life, determines our vitality and aliveness, and reproduces other bodies both physical and spiritual. Misusing this root energy is the primary factor in our aging and death. The cycles of charge and discharge of this Force make for the sense of excitement and/or fear. These cycles of charge and

discharge in our organism are the basis of our spiritual growth, sexuality, and relating to others. When it is used creatively it is the energy of re-creation that produces fun, enthusiasm, inspiration, enjoyment, and spiritual rebirth. When used destructively it becomes the destructive emotions, upset, struggle, fighting, quitting, dis-ease, the drama of relationships, aging and death. By gaining clarity at the root of our embodied experience, one regains one’s birth-right of direct connection with the evolutionary engine. Unnecessary struggle and dualism evaporate in the wisdom of innate clarity. Contact address for Lar Short: paulp@laplaza.org, His website soon to be up. Lar Short, along with John Mann, were two teachers who had a significant influence on Mantak Chia’s teachings. Lar integrates many different spiritual traditions and offers retreats near Taois, NM. Multifaceted Health Benefits of Medical Qigong Kenneth M. Sancier, Ph.D. and Devatara Holman MS, Ed. Note: These two surveys of medical qigong (chi kung) research by Kenneth M. Sancier, Ph.D., et al. provide an excellent glimpse of the powerful effects of qigong practice in healing a wide variety of chronic illnesses and dramatically extending lifespan. In Dr. Sancier’s second article, Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong, he cites three separate long-term studies in China, ranging from 20 to 30 years, and involving nearly 1000 patients suffering from high blood pressure. The practice of qigong was found to cut the mortality rate of fatal strokes by 50% ! They also found that qigong allowed patients to take smaller doses of medicine. Prof. Sancier is a former research scientist at Stanford Research Institute. His curiosity and scientific background inspired him to collect a database of 3500 scientific studies on qigong and similar kinds of “energy medicine”. His impressive scientific background is given in the full biography at the end of the article. From the conclusion to his Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong article: “This review deals with a small fraction of the large collection of clinical research on medical applications of qigong. The information presented is intended to illustrate the potential of qigong exercise for restoring normal body functions in people with chronic conditions, many of which accelerate the aging process. The main conclusion from many studies is that qigong exercise helps the body to heal itself. In this sense, qigong is a natural anti-aging medicine. Two studies indicate that qigong exercise is superior to some physical exercises. Qigong can complement Western medicine in many ways to provide better healthcare. For example, qigong has special value for treating chronic conditions and as a preventive medicine, whereas Western medicine has special value for treating acute conditions. There are many medical applications of qigong that can complement Western medicine to improve health care. Some examples include chronic problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, aging, asthma, allergies, menstrual and sexual function, neuromuscular problems, and cancer.” The Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong article is posted below, following the first article. Both are posted on http:// www.qigonginstitute.org/html/papers. (those are pdf version with graphs). Qigong Institute is non-profit and is sustained by donations and low-cost user fees for their Qigong & Energy Medicine Database. www.QigongInstitute.org is the best place for deep research into scientific study of medical qigong benefits. But please note that the Qigong Institute does NOT take on the job of recommending which type of qigong is best for which disease. For advice on the best qigong (chi kung) form for your medical condition you should contact info@healingdao.com. All of the qigong video/DVD’s offered on www.healingtaousa.com could be classified as medical qigong. With the exception of people with terminal illness, almost everyone will benefit most by starting with Qigong (Chi Kung) Fundamentals 1 & 2. They work on healing simultaneously all organ and meridian systems using the Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds, and Microcosmic Orbit.


Qigong (Chi Kung) Fundamentals 3 & 4 work on tendons and deep bone marrow (and thus blood) issues. Deep Healing Chi Kung and Primordial Qigong are both longer (20-45 minute practice time) medical qigong forms that may be invaluable for people to both prevent and heal serious conditions, including terminal conditions such as cancer. - Michael Winn Multifaceted Health Benefits of Medical Qigong By Kenneth M. Sancier, Ph.D. and Devatara Holman MS, MA, Lac Introduction It is a challenge for the Western mind to understand the function of Qi (“chi”) in the context of bodily functions as defined by science. According to Chinese medicine and Qigong theory, Qi has an infinite number of functions in the body. The foundation of Qigong and TCM theory dictates that intention (Yi) directs the movement of Qi, which in turn directs the flow of blood in the body. Increased or decreased electrical activity in specific areas of the body determines blood flow and fluid balance, accumulation and dispersal of substances. The practice of Qigong is the act of bringing awareness and skill to direct the function and movement of Qi. The correct movement of Qi is a force that engages the body’s natural tendency toward homeostasis. Continued practice provides reinforcement of the body’s inclination toward homeostasis and therefore toward optimal use of all its functions and potential. What are called ‘special abilities’ or ‘psychic powers’ that sometimes develop in Qigong practice are simply the product of our natural capacity in the refined human state. For health maintenance, the Qigong practitioners do not have to be an expert. Almost anyone can learn to practice Qigong to maintain and improve his or her own health. The objective of the exercises is to strengthen the Qi in the body and remove obstructions to Qi flow that may have developed due to injury, emotional states, diet, disease or other factors. Conversely, obstruction of Qi flow can also produce disease. Qigong Most Developed Form of Energy Medicine Of all the energy medical practices, Qigong has the most developed theoretical basis and has been subjected to the most extensive research. In China, the collected knowledge about the therapeutic benefits of Qigong was developed over thousands of years. Medical Qigong is now practiced in clinics and some hospitals that integrate traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and conventional Western medicine. In Western hospitals Qigong is among several complementary practices used including Therapeutic Touch, Mindful Meditation and Reiki. Clinical Research Demonstrates Multifaceted Effects of Qigong In the early 1980’s Chinese scientists initiated research on the health and healing claims of Qigong. Of the hundreds of research studies that were performed, few were published because suitable journals were unavailable. However, about 1400 reports were published as abstracts in the proceedings of conferences. English abstracts of these reports as well as those from scientific journals are collected in the Qigong Database™ that presently contains more than 2000 records of Qigong studies (Ed.: now contains 3500 studies including all types of energy medicine) and is available from the Qigong Institute. (Sancier KM 2000) One of the authors has discussed the medical benefits of Qigong. (Sancier KM 1994; Sancier KM 1996a; Sancier KM 1996b; Sancier KM 1999; Sancier KM Weintraub 2000) Wang and Xu, two westerntrained doctors in China explored some of the multiple health benefits of self-practice as summarized in the table (Wang CX 1991; Wang CX 1993; Wang CX 1995): Qigong Biological Benefits Activities of two messenger cyclic nucleotides Anti-aging Antithrombin III Asthma Blood flow to the brain for subjects with cerebral arteriosclerosis Blood pressure Blood viscosity

Bone density Cerebral functions impaired by senility Endocrine gland functions Erythrocyte deformation index Factor VIII-related antigen Hypertension Immune system Longevity, 50% greater; after Qigong 30 min/twice daily, 20 years Plasminogen activator inhibitor Serum estradiol levels in hypertensive men and women Serum lipid levels Sexual function Strokes, 50% fewer after Qigong 30 min/twice daily, 20 years One of the prime benefits of Qigong is stress reduction, and a main ingredient of practice is intention (i.e., Yi) that uses the mind to guide the Qi. While Qi itself has not been measured, multiple types of measurements demonstrate the effects of Qi on the body. For example, simultaneous measurements of the interaction between a Qigong master and receiver included respiration, EEG, vibrations, blood pressure, skin conductivity, and heart rate variability. (Y amamoto M 1997) Different physiological measurements have sought information about the effects of Qigong on the brain and emotions. These include measurements by high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG), functional MRI (fMRI), neurometer measurements, and applied kinesiology. Neuroimaging methods were used to study regional brain functions, emotions and disorders of emotions. Differences were found on the effects on the brain during meditation by Qigong and by Zen meditation.(Kawano K 1996) The effects of emitted Qi (waiqi) has also been extended to cell cultures, growth of plants, seed germination, and reduction of tumor size in animals. (Sancier KM 1991) Spiritual healing, which involves the mind, has been the subject of two volumes by Benor.(Benor DJ 2001; Benor DJ 2002) His discussions also include scientific studies describing the beneficial effects of prayer on subjects’ health. The work of Richard Davidson and Paul Ekman, researchers of the Mind and Life Institute, may go along way to illustrate the role of intention alone on the brain and body.(Davidson JD 1999) In current studies underway at University of California at San Francisco Medical School and University of Wisconsin, they are observing the electrical mechanisms in the brains of highly trained Buddhist lamas during various states of focused intention. Using functional, fMRI, highresolution EEG and state-of-the-art reflex monitoring, their early results illustrate that electrical activity and blood flow in the brain can be directed by conscious intention. Through systematic and repeated practice of intention, wellpracticed lamas have succeeded in training the brain to direct electrical activity away from areas associated with the biochemistry of stress, tension and disturbing emotional or physical states (i.e., the amygdala and right prefrontal cortex) and increase activity in the area associated with the biochemistry of healthful emotional and physical states (i.e., the left prefrontal cortex). Moreover, they have observed that the state of conscious intention on compassion engages a state of relaxation and well being which surpasses even that achieved during a state of rest. The early results of this research suggests that parts of the brain thought previously to be fixed in function, such as the stress reflexes of the reptilian brain, may in fact be plastic in nature, able to be changed, shaped and developed through ongoing practice of conscious intention.(Lama Dalai 2003) Cost containment of healthcare is a subject of vital contemporary interest. For example, in the treatment of asthma self-applied Qigong led to significant cost decreases, such as reduction in days unfit for work, hospitalization days, emergency consultation, respiratory tract infections, and number of drugs and drug costs. (Reuther I 1998) Recommendations • The vast research of medical benefits of Qigong offers a rich source of information for benefiting mankind. Medical cost containment is an attractive benefit of Qigong practice and should be further explored to provide healing potential without side effects. • The science and art of Qigong may open a window into new thinking about health, medicine, psychology and spirituality. It is a


physical, mental and spiritual practice that continuously supports our natural tendency toward homeostasis. • If that tendency is supported with regularity, allowing one to hover more closely to that point of balance, then the entire being can experience a tremendous evolutionary advantage. • Innate abilities have an opportunity to develop; the senses more keen, organ function more consistent and strong, the sympathetic nervous system relaxed, parasympathetic nervous system efficient, the mind relaxed, alert, clear, freely channeling messages in a multitude of new and diverse directions. • From a scientific point of view, the promise of Qigong practices provides new avenues for understanding some of the subtle aspects of human life and its natural inclination to strive for balance. • For clinicians it shifts our focus from a battle with disease to a cultivation of health. • For practitioners of Qigong, it gives us an experiential understanding of greater balance within ourselves and of the cultivation our individual physical, mental and spiritual potential. - Kenneth Sancier, PhD. (reference list to the article follows the biography of Dr. Sancier) Second article Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong, follows the references. It has more detailed examinations of studies on the different kinds of disease benefiting from chi kung/qigong. Biography Dr Sancier is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qigong Institute. He is a professor at the American College of Traditional Medicine in San Francisco. He received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and has carried out basic and applied chemistry research. As a research chemist he published 70 articles in scientific journals and holds 12 patents. He is an editor of the Journal of the International Society of Life Information Science (JISLIS), Director of the California Information Center of ISLIS, on the Advisory Board of the Journal Of Alternative Therapies, and is on the Council of the World Academic Society Medical Qigong. Since 1986, he applied his scientific background to study and evaluate reports on Qigong that claimed health and healing benefits. This evaluation depended on a series of activities including participating in international Qigong conferences in China, Japan, Canada and USA and sponsoring the First World Congress of Qigong in San Francisco. To summarize the information on Qigong that he had collected, he led the development of the Computerized Qigong Database.™ The Database is a compellation of over 3500 citations on qigong and energy medicine. With English abstracts of almost all research on Qigong since 1986, it provides means to search the entire collection using any search word(s). The Database, which is available on a CD from the Qigong Institute, has been used as a source for six books, 7 dissertations, and numerous research projects. He has carried out and published experimental studies of mind/ body interactions. Including experimental studies and reviews, he has published about 25 papers in peer reviewed journals. Reference List Benor DJ. Spiritual healing-scientific validation of a healing revolution. Vol. 1. Visions Publications,Southfield, MI 48034, 2001. Benor DJ. Spiritual healing-scientific validation of a healing revolution, Prof. supplement. Vol. 2.Vision Publications, Southfield, MI 48034, 2002. Davidson JD, Abercrombie H, Nitschke JB, Putnam K. Regional brain function, emotion anddisorders of emotion. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 1999; 9:228-34. Kawano Kimiko 1, Kushita Kouhei N 2. The Function of the Brain using EEGs during InducedMeditation. J Intl Soc Life Info Science 1996; 14(1):91-3. Lama Dalai, Goleman Daniel. Destructive Emotions, how can we overcome them? New Y ork, NY:Bantam Books, 2003. Reuther I, Aldridge D. Treatment of bronchial asthma with qigong Y angsheng–A pilot study. JAltern Complement Med 1998; 4(2):173-83. Sancier KM. The effect of qigong on therapeutic balancing measured by electroacupunctureaccording to Voll (EAV): A preliminary study. Acupunct Electrother Res 1994; 19(2/3):119-27. Sancier KM. Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong. J Intl Soc Life

Info Science 1996a; 14(1):12-21. Sancier KM . Medical applications of qigong. Altern Ther Health Med 1996b; 1(4). Sancier KM. Therapeutic Benefits of Qigong Exercises in Combination with Drugs. J AlternComplement Med 1999; 5(4):383-9. Sancier KM. Qigong and neurologic illness. Weintraub M. Complementary and alternativemedicine for neurologic illness. St. Louis, Missouri: Harcourt Health Sciences, 2000. Sancier KM. Qigong database. Adv Mind Body Med 2000; 16(3): 159. Sancier KM, Hu B. Medical applications of qigong and emitted qi on humans, animals, cell cultures & plants: review of selected scientific research. Am J. Acupuncture 1991; 19(4):36777. Wang CX, Xu DH. [The beneficial effect of qigong on the ventricular function andmicrocirculation in deficiency of heart-energy hypertensive patients]. Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1991; 11(11):659-60. Wang CX, Xu DH. [Effect of qigong on plasma coagulation fibrinolysis indices of hypertensivepatients with blood stasis]. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1993; 13(7):415-6. Wang CX, Xu DH, Qian YC . Effect of qigong on heart-qi deficiency and blood stasis type ofhypertension and its mechanism. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1995;15(8):454-8. Y amamoto M 1, Hirasawa M 1, Kokubo H 1, Sakaida H 1, Kimiko Kawano K 2 1. Study on Analyzing Methods of Human Body Functions Using Various SimultaneousMeasurements(VSM) -The Second Y Report of the 5-Y ear ear-Project Supported byScience and Technology Agency(STA), Japan-. J Intl Soc Life Info Science 1997; 15 (2):2.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong by Kenneth Sancier Ph. D. History of Qigong Research in China In the early 1980’s, scientists in China began to study the medical benefits claimed for qigong. Since then, research on hundreds of medical applications of qigong have been reported in the Chinese literature. Of special interest for the present article are clinical reports of the medical benefits of qigong that claim to retard or reverse some diseases associated with aging. Most of the original research was reported in Chinese, but access in English to most of this material is possible by reference to the proceedings of international conferences of qigong. Since 1986, ten such proceedings contain about 840 abstracts of talks given at the conferences, more than half of which are in English. These abstracts, along with about 160 abstracts of articles in the scientific literature, have been organized as a computerized database. The database enables searches and development of bibliographies across this entire body of information by using any key word. The clinical outcomes reported in this article are partly based on material in the database and partly on the author’s person contacts with researchers. The word qigong is a combination of two ideas: qi the vital energy of the body, and gong the skill of working of the qi. Medical qigong for health and healing consists primarily of meditation, physical movements, and breathing exercises. Qigong practitioners develop an awareness of qi sensations in their bodies and use their mind, i.e., intention, to guide the qi in the body. The benefits of qigong are said to extend beyond health and healing to enhance spiritual life and even special abilities, such as psychic powers. Internal Self-Practice & External Transmission of Medical Qigong Medical qigong is divided into two parts: internal and external. Internal qi is developed by individual practice of qigong exercises. When qigong practitioners have sufficiently mastered the skill, they can “emit” qi (external qi or waiqi in Chinese) for the purpose of healing another person. There are many scientific reports of the medical existence and efficacy of emitted qi. The present article focuses mainly on internal qi because almost everyone can learn qigong exercises for maintaining health and for self-healing, whereas, there are a limited number of skilled qigong masters available for healing. Range of Biological Benefits of Qigong


There are numerous reports of the effects of emitted qi on living systems and the functions and organs of the human body. The present author reviewed some examples of medical applications of qigong and emitted qi on humans, animals, cell cultures, and plants, and he also published some of his experimental research on physiological effects of qigong. He discussed some clinical and experimental evidence showing that qigong exercise and external qi affects various functions and organs of the body. A short list of some of the functions and organs affected by qigong, and the measurement techniques employed (in parentheses), include: the brain (EEG and magnetometer); blood flow (thermography, sphygmography, and rheoencephalography); heart functions (blood pressure, EKG, and UCG); kidney (urinary albumin assay); biophysical (enzyme activity, immune function, sex hormone levels (laboratory analysis); eyesight (clinical); and tumor size in mice. Clinical studies on anti-aging benefits of qigong Several clinical studies will be described to illustrate the scope of research on medical applications of qigong to treat chronic medical conditions that may affect the aging process. Some details may be omitted because of space limitations. The critical evaluation of the research studies will be left to medical specialists. 1) Therapeutic balancing of the meridians and functions of the body The profound effect that internal qigong practice may have on balancing the energies of the organs and functions of the body is illustrated by measurements using Electroacupuncture According to Voll (EAV). In EAV the electrical conductance of the skin above individual acupuncture points is measured using low voltage and low current. Diagnosis depends on measuring the relative electrical conductance and its time dependence. An important diagnostic criterion of degeneration of an organ is an “indicator drop” that may occur during the measurement when the conductance reaches an apparent maximum value but then decreases before leveling off. Measurements were made at 24 acupuncture points at the ends of the 12 meridians in the fingers and toes of subjects and were made by the same operator and equipment. The subjects were asked to perform a qigong exercise of their choosing for 10 to 15 minutes, for example, sitting or standing meditation or moving qigong. Two series of EAV measurements were made before and after healthy subjects practiced qigong. In the first series, four subjects were examined by EAV before and after they practiced qigong. Qigong exercise decreased the average of the EAV measured values of the four subjects in the range of -19 to -31% (p<0.004). Qigong eliminated almost all the indicator drops. In the second series, each of seven subjects was examined by EAV three times in a blind protocol so that the operator did not know whether a subject had practiced qigong before the second or third examination. The results showed that qigong exercise changed the average EAV measured values in the range of -17 to -35% for four subjects and in the range of 4 to 15% for three subjects. Indicator drops again were markedly decreased. These preliminary results show that internal qigong practice can make significant changes in the therapeutic balancing of the meridian and organ systems. In a similar type of study, the electric current at acupuncture points on 14 meridians was measured using a single square wave voltage pulse technique. Both a qigong master, who emitted qi, and a qi-receiver were measured simultaneously and continuously. The results show that internal and external qigong produce different values in some measurement parameters, and also some synchronous behavior was observed between the sender and receiver. 2) Clinical studies of effects of qigong on hypertensive patients Several groups in China have investigated the effects of qigong on hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure). The research of Wang, Xu and coworkers of the Shanghai Institute of Hypertension was selected for discussion because it serves as a model for the many different effects that qigong may have on organs and functions of the body. For these studies, the patients practiced “Y Jing Yi Shen Gong” for 30 minutes an twice a day. This qigong is claimed to be especially valuable for therapeutic purposes and delaying senility. The qigong exercise consists of a combination of sitting meditation and gentle physical movements that emphasizes a calm mind, relaxed body, and

regular respiration. In 1991, the Shanghai group reported a 20-year controlled study of the anti-aging effects of qigong on 204 hypertensive patients. Subsequently, they reported a 30-year follow-up on 242 hypertensive patients, and more recently, the researchers reported an 18-22 year study of 536 patients. The patients were randomly assigned to the two groups. To control blood pressure, the patients were given the same hypotensive drug and in the same hospital. None of the patients smoked. Blood Pressure The effect of qigong exercise on blood pressure is shown graphically in Fig. 1. The blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) in millimeters mercury is plotted as a function of time over 20 years for the group consisting of 242 patients, 122 in the qigong group and 120 in the control group. During the first two months, the blood pressure of all patients dropped in response to the hypotensive drug. Subsequently, and over the period of 20 years, the blood pressures of the qigong group stabilized while that of the control group increased. Remarkably, during this period the drug dosage for the qigong group could be decreased, while the dosage for the control group had to be increased. Fig. 1. Effect of qigong on blood pressure of hypertensive patients over 20 years. Qigong group (n=104) practiced 30 min/day twice/day, control group (n=100). Mortality and Stroke The incidences of mortality and stroke for the 30-year study are shown in Fig. 2. These results show that qigong exercise decreased by about 50 percent the incidence of total mortality, mortality due to stroke, and morbidity due to stroke. At the end of 30 years, 86 patients survived in the qigong group and 68 in the control group. These results clearly show that qigong has significant potential for preventing strokes and extending life. Improvements in heart function and microcirculation Aged hypertensive patients usually are found to have a deficiency of Heart-energy, which often leads to a weakened function of the left ventricle and a disturbance of microcirculation. The researchers evaluated the effects of qigong for120 aged patients by using ultrasonic cardiography (UCG) and indices of microcirculation. Experiments showed that the left ventricular function (LVF) in the hypertensive aged group (80 cases) was lower than that in the aged normal blood pressure group (40 cases), while the LVF in the deficiency of Heart-energy hypertensive patients (46 cases) was lower than in the non-deficiency Heart-energy hypertensive patients (34 cases). After practicing qigong for one year, cardiac output was increased, the total peripheral resistance decreased, and the ejection fraction mitral valve diastolic closing velocity and the mean velocity of circumferential fiber shortening tended to be increased. Significant changes did not occur in the group without Heart-energy deficiency. Quantitative evaluation of nailfold disturbances in microcirculation was made on the above groups by observing 10 indices of abnormal conditions: configuration of micrangium, micrangium tension, condition of blood flow, slowdown of blood flow, thinner afferent limb, efferent limb and afferent limb ratio, color of blood, hemorrhage, and petechia. The results showed that hypertension had an accelerating effect on the disturbance of microcirculation. The incidence of disturbance of microcirculation disturbance was 73.9% in the deficiency of Heart-energy hypertensive patients. After a year of qigong practice, the incident of disturbance was 39.1% (p<0.01). The results suggest that qigong exercise has beneficial effects on Heart-energy and regulation of the blood channel, and qigong seems to have improved abnormal conditions of blood circulation. Improvement in sex hormone levels One consequence of aging is that the levels of sex hormones change in unfavorable directions. For example, female sex hormone (estrogen) levels tend to increase in men and decrease in women. Three studies indicate that qigong exercise can reverse this trend. The effect of qigong exercise on plasma sex hormone levels was determine for hypertensive men and women. The sex hormones levels were measured before and after qigong practice for one year. Seventy male patients with essential hypertension (ages 40 to 69; disease stage II) were divided into two groups. For the qigong group


(n=42), which practice qigong for one year, the estradiol level (E2) decreased from 70.1 to 47.7 pg/ml, a decrease of 32% (p<0.01), while no significant changes occurred in the control group (n=20). The testosterone levels (T) of both groups decreased about 7%. The value of E2 for the qigong group (47.7 pg/ml) approached that of healthy men (42.2±5.8 pg/ml) of the same age but without hypertension or cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, or endocrine diseases (p<0.05). For women (ages 51 to 67, the number in the group is not available), the aging process was associated with failure of ovarian function manifested by decreased E2 and increased T levels. Qigong practiced one year resulted in an increase of E2 from 40.9±.3.5 to 51.6±3.5 pg/ml, a value about equal to that of normal menopausal controls without hypertension or cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, or endocrine diseases. The value of T was also increased by qigong from 25.5±2.2 to 37.2±2.2 ng/dl. The favorable changes in estradiol levels, E2, brought about by qigong are summarized in Fig. 3 for both men and women. In an auxiliary study, the 24-hour urinary estradiol levels were determined in 30 men ages 50 to 69. Qigong for one year resulted in a decrease of 31% in E2 and a decrease of 54% in the estradiol/ testosterone ratio (E2/T). These changes were accompanied by improvements in symptoms associated with Kidney deficiency hypertension, such as soreness, dizziness, insomnia, hair loss, impotence, and incontinence. The average score for these symptoms was changed favorably by qigong from 5.5±2.3 to 2.8±1.3 (p<0.001). Y Ming and co-workers reported similar favorable changes in e plasma sex hormone levels E2 in 77 male and female qigong exercisers after 2 months qigong compared with 27 controls. They did not observe significant changes in testosterone. The three studies above show that qigong exercise can help restore the sex hormone levels that had deteriorated because of aging. Changes in blood chemistry in hypertensive patients Wang, Xu and co-workers made a series of determinations indicating the profound effects that qigong exercise may have on blood chemistry of hypertensive subjects. Improvements were noted in plasma coagulation firbrinolysis indices, blood viscosity, erythrocyte deformation index, levels of plasma tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI), VIII factor related antigen (VIII R:AG), and anti-thrombin (AT-III). In another study, they reported that qigong exercise beneficially changed the activities of two messenger cyclic nucleotides (cAMP and cGMP). Reversing symptoms of senility To study the mechanism of keeping fit by qigong, a controlled study was made of 100 subjects classified either as presenile or with senile impaired cerebral function. The subjects were divided into two groups of 50 people each with a mean age of 63 years and with a similar distribution of age and sex. The qigong group practiced a combination of static and moving qigong. The control group exercised by walking, walking fast, or running slow. According to TCM method of classifying the vital energy, more than 80% of the patients in each group were classified as deficient in vital function and vital essence of the Kidney. Criteria for judging outcome were based on measuring clinical signs and symptoms including cerebral function, sexual function, serum lipid levels, and function of endocrine glands. After six months, 8 of the 14 main clinical signs and symptoms in the qigong group were improved above 80%, whereas none of the symptoms in the control group were improved above 45%. These results suggest that qigong can reverse some symptoms of aging and senility. In this regard, qigong exercise is superior to walking or running exercises. Enhanced activity of anti-aging enzyme SOD Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is produced naturally by the body but its activity declines with age. SOD is often called an anti-aging enzyme because it is believed to destroy free radicals that may cause aging. The effects of qigong exercise to treat disorders of retired workers were studied by Xu Hefen and coworkers and included determinations of plasma SOD. For their study, 200 retired workers,100 males and 100 females, ranging in age from 52 to 76 were divided into 2 groups: the qigong exercise group and the control group, and each group consisted of 50 males and 50 females. The main qigong exercise was Emei

Nei Gong (one kind of qigong exercises of the Emei School), and was practiced at least 30 minutes a day. The result showed that the mean level of SOD was increased by qigong exercise. For example, the SOD level was larger in the qigong group (about 2700 µ/g Hb) and than in the control group (1700 µ/g Hb), and this difference was significant (p<0.001). This study shows that qigong exercise can stimulate physical metabolism, promote the circulation of meridians and regulate the flowing of qi and blood, thus preventing and treating disorders of aging and promoting longevity. Cardiovascular function Several studies reveal the potential benefits that qigong may have for improving the cardiovascular function of those with heart disease as well as old people. This conclusion is based on three studies reporting that qigong exercise can protect healthy pilots from altitude stress when they flew rapidly from a low altitude to the high altitude of the Tibetan highlands. Before entering the Tibetan highland, 66 healthy young men were divided into two groups: a qigong group of 32 men who did Qiyuan Qigong exercise for 4 weeks, and a control group of 34 men who exercised to radio music. The two groups of men rapidly entered the highlands from a lower altitude. Before and after entering the highland, measurements were made of symptoms of altitude sickness and physiological changes. The qigong group suffered less altitude stress than the control group as measured by blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen consumption, microcirculation on the epex of tongue and the nail fold, and the temperature at the Laogong point of the left hand (p<0.01). The researchers suggest that qigong can prevent stress from altitude changes. In another study of changes in altitude, healthy young men were divided into three groups. Forty males were in the qigong group and practiced Qiyuan qigong for 4 weeks prior to entering the highlands; 40 men were in the control group and exercised to radio music for 4 weeks prior to entering the highlands; and 40 males were residents living at high altitudes. The results show that the integral value of symptoms of acute mountain sickness was lower in the qigong than in control group (p<0.01 to 0.05). Pulmonary ventilation of the qigong group was significantly improved compared with the control group (p<0.01 to 0.05), and nearly equal to the resident group. In another study, air force pilots were randomly divided into two groups: a qigong group of 22 men who had practiced Qiyuan Qigong exercise for eight weeks, and a control group of 18 men who did physical exercise for eight weeks before entering the Tibetan highlands. Microcirculation was measured at tongue apex and the nail fold, and also from the temperature at the Laogong point in palm of the left hand. When the men entered the high altitude, abnormal blood pressure and microcirculation of tongue apex and nail fold occurred in both groups. The abnormalities were statistically less in the qigong group than in the control group (p<0.01). The temperature at Laogong kept steady in the qigong group, but was reduced in the control group (p<0.05). The results of these three studies with healthy subjects lead to the conclusion that qigong also should be effective in improving the health of people with cardiovascular conditions including the aged. In fact several research studies have reported such beneficial effects of qigong on cardiovascular diseases. The three studies also provide evidence that qigong exercise is superior to physical exercise such as calisthenics. Blood flow to the brain Qigong exercise has been shown by rheoencephalography to increase blood flow to the brain. For 158 subjects with cerebral arteriosclerosis who practiced qigong for 1 to 6 months, improvements were noted in symptoms such as memory, dizziness, insomnia, tinnitus, numbness of limbs, and vertigo headache. During these studies, a decrease in plasma cholesterol was also noted. These results may offer hope to people with cerebral arteriosclerosis. Cancer Feng Lida pioneered in research showing that emitted qi from qigong masters produced marked changes in cell cultures of cancer cells from mice. Several studies reported the effects of emitted qi on tumors in animals. For example, emitted qi was reported to inhibit the growth of implanted malignant tumors in mice but did not destroy the tumors. Encouraged by the results with animals, researchers carried out clinical research on the effects of qigong on human subjects with cancer.


In a clinical study of qigong as a therapeutic aid for patients with advanced cancer, 127 patients with medically diagnosed malignant cancer were divided into a qigong group of 97 patients and a control group of 30 patients. All patients received drugs, and the qigong group practiced qigong for more than 2 hours a day over a period from 3 to 6 months. The results summarized in Fig. 4 show that both groups improved, but the qigong group showed improvements four to nine times greater than the control group in strength, appetite, diarrhea free, and weight gain of 3 kg. The phagocytic rate, which is a measure of the immune function, increased in the qigong group but decreased in the control group. There are claims that qigong can cure cancer. Researchers, who seem to be more conservative, generally express the opinion to the author that qigong can at least slow the growth of cancerous tumors and reduce their size. Combination therapy of qigong & drugs is superior to drug therapy alone. There is ample evidence in the literature that therapy by a combination of qigong exercise and drugs is superior to that of drugs alone. The advantages of a combination therapy of qigong and drugs over drugs alone were discussed earlier in this paper for hypertension and cancer. The mechanism of this apparent synergism is not entirely understood, but undoubtedly relates to the fundamental mechanism of qigong. Qigong is believed to remove blocks to the ready flow of the qi (energy), blood, oxygen and nutrients to all cells of the body as well as to promote removal of waste products from cells of the body. Blocks to energy (qi) flow may result from injury, disease or stress. Increases in qi flow and blood circulation help nourish diseased or stressed tissue, providing a means for the body to heal itself. This mechanism suggests that qigong also could promote drug uptake to tissue and cells via increased blood circulation. Omura’s research shows that drug uptake was increased by using qigongized paper (i.e., paper to which emitted qi was sent) applied to afflicted area of the body. Conclusions This review deals with a small fraction of the large collection of clinical research on medical applications of qigong. The information presented is intended to illustrate the potential of qigong exercise for restoring normal body functions in people with chronic conditions, many of which accelerate the aging process. The main conclusion from many studies is that qigong exercise helps the body to heal itself. In this sense, qigong is a natural anti-aging medicine. Two studies indicate that qigong exercise is superior to some physical exercises. Qigong can complement Western medicine in many ways to provide better healthcare. For example, qigong has special value for treating chronic conditions and as a preventive medicine, whereas Western medicine has special value for treating acute conditions. There are many medical applications of qigong that can complement Western medicine to improve health care. Some examples include chronic problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, aging, asthma, allergies, neuromuscular problems, and cancer. These areas of public health deserve consideration by the Western medical establishment. References   Footnotes 1.Kenneth M SANCIER, Ph.D., Copresident & Director of Research, 561 Berkeley Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA. Phone/ Fax +1-415-323-1221. 2. Some of the material in this article was adapted from the article, “Medical Applications of Qigong,” by K.M. Sancier, Ph.D., and published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 1996;2 (1): 40-46. 3. Qigong Databaseª is available from the Qigong Institute, East West Academy of Healing Arts, 450 Sutter Street, Suite 2104, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA. 4. The p-value is the probability that two quantities are not the same: the smaller the p-value smaller the probability and the more significant the result. 5. Wang C, Xu D. Private communication, May 1995. 6. Duration of the study is not available. Endnotes [1] Sancier K M, Hu B. Medical Applications of Qigong

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[43] Xong Jing, Lu Zhong. Curative effect on 120 cancer cases treated by Chinese-Western medicine and qigong therapy. Proceedings, Second World Conf on Academic Exchange of Medical Qigong, Beijing, China.. 1993: 131 [44] Fu Jingzhi. Treatment of advanced gastric cancer in the aged by the combination of qigong and medicinal herbs. Proceedings, Second World Conf on Academic Exchange of Medical Qigong, Beijing, China.. 1993: 132-133. [45] McGee C T, Chow E P Y. Miracle Healing from China -Qigong.. 1st ed. Coeur d’Alene, ID: Medipress; 1994: 8-19. Healing Cancer with Chi Kung Therapy Michael Winn Medicine in the west is undergoing a millennial sea change. Millions of people are exploring energetic healing. Doctors dismiss most of these New Age therapies as placebo effect or unscientific. I believe the most effective method of healing chronic disease to emerge will not be New Age, but rather an 5,000 year old method from China known today as Chi Kung therapy. Also spelled “qigong”, this ancient art and science means literally “skill in managing your energy flow”. One of its greatest uses may prove to be in healing cancer, which has defied western medical approaches despite billions of dollars in research for a “magic bullet”. The ancient Chinese found the magic bullet. It is hidden in the flow of the life force within our body. They called it “chi”. Chi is also the energetic matrix of our mind and of all existence. Chi is what links our body, our mind, and our spirit and the natural world into a unified whole. Once you learn how to mange your chi, or go to a chi kung master who helps your chi to heal you, you can literally dissolve cancerous tumors and areas of blockage. While chi kung’s medical effectiveness has been well documented in China by scientists for a wide variety of chronic illnesses, the stories of recovery from cancer are among the most frequent and most dramatic. Many patients have been told to go home and die, that not even chemo or radiation (widely used in China today) can help. They go home, and out of final desperation begin doing chi kung movements and meditations. Twenty years later, they are leading classes and writing books on how chi kung saved their life. I have been working with chi kung for twenty years and seen many so called “miraculous” healings. According to chi kung theory, these are not miracles, they are fully understandable scientific effects. Most disease is caused by emotional trauma and lack of sexual energy flow. This constricts the free flow of chi in the body. The type of emotion will usually determine where the tumor will appear. In the weakened areas, tissue begins to form around the stagnant chi, and then a virus, seeing an area of unconsciousness with nobody “living” in that part of the body, decides to take up residence and grow itself. This process is occuring in everybody, including healthy people not diagnosed with cancer, but it usually dissolves itself before a tumor grows. So according to Chinese medicine, nearly everybody has cancer, but it simply is not fatal or noticeable. If you understand that your “energy body”, the sum total of your energy channels (used in acupuncture) and the quality of your overall “field” of awareness is constantly in flux, then it is easier to accept that you can dissolve your tumor without drugs or surgery. The physical body is not a “thing”, it is a living process, only more dense than your emotions or thoughts. But the matrix of all three of these is the same -- the life force, or chi. Last year I co-led a National Qigong/Chi Kung Association delegation to China to view first hand the qigong doctors working in the main hospitals in Beijing, which all have qigong departments. The qigong doctors have studied both western medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), but have chosen instead to practice a different branch of this medicine, qigong therapy. They took a four year course in it at Medical school instead of acupuncture or herbology. They wear white coats, just like all the other doctors, and they get sent the most difficult cases that nobody else can heal. They have a


very high success rate, although not everyone responds to chi healing. Cancer is considered to be one of the toughest blockages to dissolve, so it requires specialists and best results come with patients who truly want to live -- enough to practice at least 3-4 hours of chi kung a day. I met with Feng Lida, a 74 year old woman scientist who has devoted the last 20 years to the scientific study of qigong. She showed me slides of cancer cells, taken with an electron microscope, before and after chi emission by a chi kung therapist. “The cells get zapped by chi, and they dramatically slow down their rate of reproduction and become more susceptible to immune cells gobbling them up’, she told me. She points at a disintegrating cancer cell with jagged edges. “The best thing is not to try to kill the cancer cells, because we have observed experimentally that they fight back even harder. The chi kung therapist simply focuses on weakening the cancer cells, and on strengthening the healthy cells.” Numerous scientific studies in China have shown that cancer patients who have undergone chemo or radiation and afterwards practice chi kung live twice as long on average as those who don’t. They require less medication, experience less nausea, and recover the health more quickly after the debilitating treatment. Patients often get up early and practice in the parks daily with others who have the same type of cancer. The support group seems to increase their statisical improvement even more, an effect seen in western cancer support groups also. The Chinese say the group sharing opens the heart, and thus improves chi flow. Western medicine has no clear model for the connections between psychology and physical healing, but in Chinese medicine this is clearly mapped out. How realistic is chi kung therapy for the average western cancer patient? This depends on how advanced the cancer is, how strong the willpower and constitution of the cancer patient is, and whether they are willing to practice chi kung daily. Chi kung does not rely on belief to work, but is more effective if you are not resisting it. Many cancer patients do not really want to live, they are tired of life or don’t understand the alternative healing solutions available to them. So in my own sessions, that is the first question I ask: Do you really want to live? If I don’t sense an authentic committment to the healing process I refuse to proceed on the spot. My own chi is too precious to waste fighting someone else’s inner death wish. This is not being cold-hearted; it is simply accepting each person’s free will, and going with their flow. Besides, there is nothing wrong with “dying”, since no one really dies -- they just shift to a different energy state. The ancient Taoists understood this clearly. There is no struggle between Life and Death, only an apparent struggle between yin and yang, life in form (body) and life in the formless (spirit). Death doesn’t really exist, it merely defines a transitional state between two experiences of life. But the cancer industry apparently thrives on the Fear of Death, so much so that the thought form “Cancer “ has nearly become synonymous with the thought form of “Death”. Buying into this is actually what kills most people, not the cancer itself. I’m sure many of you have heard stories of people who were first diagnosed with a cancer that they may have had for years, and die shortly afterward. I have developed a special chi kung form that I call Medical Chi Kung. It is based on a movement chi kung method used in chinese hospitals successfully for healing tens of thousands of patients suffering from chronic illness, including cancer. I have recently made the form more powerful by adding more”internal” chi kung methods which include special healing sounds and colors, facing in certain directions to get greater balance, and connecting your inner being to the Sun and the Earth as powerful centers of cosmic healing chi. It can be done even by the wheelchair bound or the bedridden, but is most powerful standing. The secret is to purify the clogged up energy channels in the body and embrace your love of life. The energy channels used in this chi kung form are deeper than the ones used in acupuncture, altho that is certainly an important support for many people. I

consider the ultimate test of successful chi kung practice to be whether the person is now feeling in harmony with themself, not whether their tumor has disappeared. One of my clients, a 69 year old women named Molly from Asheville, came to me several years ago for chronic depression. I was not surprised when she was diagnosed shortly afterwards with lung cancer, because she was literally afraid to breathe. Molly intensified her chi kung practice, even though she had trouble practicing or holding concentration. Today the tumor is not gone, but Molly is now a happy person. “I am blissfully sick”, Molly exclaimed. “Now I always feel happy, because I have connected with my chi flow. I’ve had to give up kayaking and bicycling, but I’ve got something much more profound. Sometimes I feel a glowing chi ball moving around inside me. What a delight! I couldn’t have gotten through my cancer without chi kung. I can breathe better, I can get to sleep at night. My soul is healing, and I’ve lost my fear of death. My body is still trying to catch up, and nothing makes it feel better than chi kung.” Michael Winn is President of the National Qigong (Chi Kung) Association of USA, Professor of Tao Arts/Sciences and the founder of Healing Tao University in Big Indian, N.Y., the largest chi kung program in the USA with a faculty of 24 teachers. He also lead a Medical Qigong Training in China trip that gave healers clinical experience in major Beijing hospitals in September 2000. Winn has co-authored or written with Tao Master Mantak Chia seven books on chi kung over the last 20 years. For a free copy of his 12 page Chi Newsletter and summer course curriculum: call 888-432-5826, or visit www.HealingTaoUSA.com/retreats. In the spring and fall Winn lives in Asheville, NC. Email is winn.tao@att.net. For local Asheville chi kung workshops and classes, call 828-236-2200. The Gentle, Easy Way to Pack Y Iron Shirt our Secret of Relaxing into Y Root our by Michael Winn

“Can you maintain undivided concentration until your chi is as supple as a baby’s?” - Tao Te Ching Of all the chi cultivation methods taught in the Healing Tao, the Iron Shirt packing technique is the one most often abused -- with potentially dangerous side effects. At summer retreats, nothing pains me more than to watch students packing their breath in Embrace the Tree posture. Their faces turn beet red from holding their breath too long. Their mouths are clenched in a grimace, as their brains overheat from excess warm chi rising up from a pounding heart. The air finally burst from their stressed lungs in a huge sight of relief. A student, gasping to recover, feels a vague pride at having suffered through his daily dose of bitter medicine. If this describes you, read on. Y are not properly practicing chi ou kung (”energy mastering exercise”) - you are butchering a very gentle internal art designed to build power over time. Iron Shirt chi kung can and should be a pleasurable way to cultivate your chi without strain on your lungs or heart. The worst types are those who pack and squeeze as many extra breaths into their body as possible. I know this personality type well, as it once described me. For the first two years after I learned Iron Shirt 1, I took great pride in swallowing an extra twenty breaths and forcing them from my lungs into my organs and fascia. My whole chest and face glowed red hot. The more intense it felt, the stronger I thought my chi was getting. More likely I was a case of my over inflated energy causing my ego to balloon as well. Then one day after practice, I noticed a mass of little red dots spread all over my chest. The blood vessels were beginning to pop. That shook me up. I stopped all packing immediately. But the red dots didn’t disappear, and six years later many of the blood spots remain, grim reminders of youthful excess.


be able to relax and “unpack” the effects of doing the Iron Shirt chi kung. 1. Breath Packing Does Not have to Strain Y Body our It took me those two years of practicing the wrong way before I finally gave up and realized that the breath packing process should be done without any strain to your body. If you are straining your self, you are probably creating subtle injury to your lungs, diaphragm, heart, or blood vessels. If you have any heart weakness or irregularity, there is a danger of aggravating it with breath packing and you should do the postures with NO packing. What is it about packing that makes it so powerful? There are three simultaneous processes that deliver a triple whammy: a. Squeezing muscles compresses the fascia, draws blood to a local area. b. Inhaling air injects oxygen, which is converted into available energy by the body. Holding the breath causes you to burn reserve chi stored in body cells. c. Mental concentration directs the chi from the organs, blood, and oxygen to the local point being squeezed. At what point does holding your breath strain your body? If you feel any dizziness, or your lungs are straining for oxygen, or your heart is pounding, your blood pressure is rising to your head, you are probably stressing yourself. If you find your self obsessed by the thought, “Can I breathe now?”, you should be breathing air. 2. Single Biggest Danger of Packing is Failure to “UNPACK” Packing is an intense contraction of your physical and energy body. It needs a counterbalance of relaxation and expansion. Failure to relax the muscles squeezing the chi into the bones and fascia sends a negative message to your body. Most people are unaware they’ve left instructions for the body to remain “uptight”. Excess packing tension is also imprinting psychic stress on your energy body. This may show up later as a blockage in your meditation if it goes uncorrected. Master Chia had warned me years ago that I was packing too hard, but I ignored his warning. The same warning is issued at workshops today, but with the number of students multiplied a hundred fold, it simply is not possible for many students to get the repeated feedback they need. Other students are so out of touch with their bodies that they actually don’t know when they are stressing it. The net effect is the same -- Master Chia’s warning not to hold the packed breath if strain is felt goes unheeded. 3. Packing is Historically an Advanced Method In China, the Iron Shirt methods were historically used by more advanced martial artists seeking to make their bodies invulnerable to blows. There was a lot of secrecy, so that your potential opponents wouldn’t get the benefit of this powerful internal technology. It probably originated in the Shaolin Temple schools, which make it a Buddhist chi kung practice, as they often used more force on the body than the Taoist methods, which stress effortlessness. There are hundreds of schools and thousands of different chi kung forms in China, so many of the Buddhist and Taoist methods have been borrowed and mixed together in endless combinations over the centuries. Master Chia has taken this training method for fighters and adapted it for purposes of fighting off illness and accelerating development of the energy body. According to one friend who studied in China, oriental martial artists do not try any powerful packing of the breath until they have undergone preliminary warm-up exercises and supervised body training for at least two years. This is to ensure their body will be able to handle the additional chi pressure that is created in all the organs without negative side effects - high blood pressure, heart stress, chi imbalances, etc. This body training also insures that they will So what is the lesson for those Americans, who are in lousy shape physically, if they want to learn Iron Shirt chi kung? Y might start by ou attending a Healing Tao summer retreat, where you could receive more intensive instruction. Unfortunately, due to the nature of weekend teachings and lack of follow-up correction by a qualified instructor, many students do not properly learn Iron Shirt chi kung. Master Chia has often said you cannot hope to learn the Iron Shirt chi kung in a weekend workshop. The basic principles of chi kung are taught there, but its difficult to absorb them on a body level. Individual feedback is essential from a qualified instructor after you have practice a bit. The summer retreats offer a better chance to practice daily, get your structure and rooting tested, and take the time to learn to pack your breath gently, without strain. 4. Gentle “Pulsation Packing” is Easier Today I often do Embrace the Tree, but I rarely use any physical packing of the breath. I stand in the posture, and I go deep within the energy channels of my body and the earth, and pack the chi using my mind only. This is the true goal of Iron Shirt chi kung -- to increase your ability to breathe internally. I’m completely relaxed, and enjoy it immensely. Not only is there no feeling of strain or forcing my body, but I use the process of pulsing the breath to gently release stress from my body into the earth. I call this pulsing of the breath “pulsation packing”. It is the same as regular Iron Shirt packing, only more gentle. Y frequently release ou the breath before any strain can build up. I inhale, gently squeeze a point for 2 to 5 seconds, exhale and completely relax. This is repeated at the same point 5 to 15 times. After pulsation packing at the perineum, I would then move to the sacrum, kidneys, chi ball, and chi belt, repeating the same process at each point. This warms and opens each point without straining the body. I never pack above the waist, for the simple reason that so much chi is generated by the pulsation packing in the lower tan tien that the chi naturally overflows and fills the upper body. The idea is to pulse your breaths and squeeze the muscles as delicately as you would do a tai chi movement. Or pretend you are a young baby doing Iron Shirt -- can you squeeze your muscles with the same soft delicacy, letting only your chi be firm and strong inside? 5. Gentle Packing of Lower Body: A Simplified Sequence I advise most of my students to develop the lower half of their body first -- feet, legs, perineum, kidneys, naval -- before even trying to build up chi into the upper body. I personally never physically pack breath into my upper body -- if the spring below is gushing forth, it will naturally pulse above into a full fountain. The only packing I do in my upper body is with my mind. It is too easy for stress to accumulate in the chest and shoulders without further squeezing and packing them physically. If you are already carrying a lot of stiffness and tension in your upper body, you should especially avoid tightening those muscles. If you lead an extremely active physical life and your upper body is very loose, your body may tell you its o.k. If you listen carefully inside to what your body says, it usually includes the message: “Be Gentle, Don’t Hurt Me!” This lower body approach helps keep your mind calm and brain cool, but warms up your lower tan tien, which is the key to good rooting. I tell students to follow this sequence for the first six months, with heavy emphasis on bone breathing, long, slow breaths, keeping the brain cool, and extremely gentle squeezes in the lower body followed by total release of all muscle tension:


a. Set your structure for standing. Begin with arms hanging relaxed at the side in standing position. Focus on standing with proper structural alignment: weight on the center of the foot, sacrum sinking, jade pillow rising, spine, bones and joints clearly aligned. b. Begin bone breathing, earth to navel. Put your hands over your navel. Slowly inhale as with your mind you draw chi from the earth through your bones and meridians up to your lower tan tien. Slowly exhale from your navel back down to the feet into the earth. After a few minutes, your mind will get very cool and calm, and the navel will start to tingle. c. Visualize all the channels and points you wish to strengthen. As you bone breathe, see the key energy points of Iron Shirt and just mentally spiral energy at those points. Emphasize the lower half of the body. When the lower half of your body fills up, the chi will naturally flow up the spine and down the front of the chest. d. Gently begin to pack. Hold breath for 5 seconds max. Hands may remain over navel or raised into Embrace the Tree position. Ever so gently as you inhale from the earth to the navel, pause at one point per breath. Delicately squeeze on the inhale and then release the muscles completely on the exhale back down to the feet. With a slow, cool, breathing rhythm, repeat 10 or 15 times squeezing only one point per inhalation: perineum, or kidney / ming men, or chi ball, or chi belt. e. Repeat above, but spiral and squeeze at each point. Combine the pulsation of gentle squeezing-packing at each point as you inhale with mental spiraling. This will help train your mind to open the points later without any inhaling or squeezing the point. As your mind gets more steady, you will be able to do a double spiral at each point, one clockwise and one counter-clockwise spiral, without any strain on your lungs. If you start to feel any strain, do a quicker spiral - and release the breath sooner. Then inhale to the next point, and repeat. f. Stand quietly, and breathe internally. (See following description of internal breathing.) 6. What Kind of Chi are Y Storing in Y Body? ou our One goal of Iron Shirt chi kung packing is to increase your capacity to store chi in your body. It will then be available whenever you need it - to live creatively, or to survive any crisis. But if you want to become an internal alchemist, the higher process leading to complete realization of the Tao, you need to understand some fine distinctions about the type of chi you intend to store in your body. The major distinction is between “wei chi” -- the external or postnatal chi, and the “nei chi” -- the internal, or prenatal chi. Food, sunlight, water, and air energies are all post-natal, or acquired after birth. They strengthen the body, but only temporarily. Ching, or vital essence, and the original chi bubbling forth from your tan tien are examples of pre-natal chi. It would also include your DNA and inherited physical and mental abilities, which are innate to you. These prenatal energies are much more concentrated and potent. Both wei chi and nei chi are necessary to life, and humans must constantly regulate and balance these inner and outer energy sources. I draw these distinctions in reference to Iron Shirt packing, because many students forget that packing a lot of air into their fascia is giving only a temporary boost of energy. That packed air is post-natal chi that is destined to be shortly consumed or spent. However, the purpose of all chi kung is long term. In the case of Iron Shirt packing, the short term purpose is to open up the energy channels in our vital organs and fascia with the external chi so that the body is proteced from illness or blows. The long term goal of Iron Shirt packing is to create more room in our energy body for internal chi to circulate during meditation. This is why I urge students not to get overly focused on the

external aspect of the packing, and cultivate the internal chi as they stand in postures. In this high sense, Iron Shirt chi kung becomes a standing meditation that increases our capacity for internal breathing. 7. Internal Breathing Requires Deep Relaxation After you do this systematic contract-release breath for a few minutes, your whole body begins to rhythmically pulsate. If you surrender your mind to this pulsing process, your body begins to breathe and pulsate itself automatically. But your mind must be very calm and 100% focused internally. This pulsing is the first stirring of internal breathing. I focus my breath in my lower tan tien with very light packing, and then exhale and release it into the earth. I begin pulsing between the earth and my navel. Then I just stand quietly, and spiral the Fusion belt routes to clear my body’s energy field and connect it with Heaven and Earth. If I am calm and my mind is clear, the Tao fills me with fresh chi that pours in through my feet, my bones, and my three tan tiens navel, heart, and crown. This is quite blissful, and the chi circulates spontaneously through the channels I have opened through more formulaic meditation. One of the goals of all Taoist chi cultivation practice is to increase your ability to breath internally. Taoist adepts and yogis from other traditions have long claimed this marvelous state is attainable with proper training. Some students misinterpret this and think that by forcibly holding their breath, they can stop physical breathing and begin internal breathing. Y cannot force your breath into stopping, and thereby gain ou instant enlightenment. This confused belief leads to abuse of training methods like Iron Shirt packing. Y have to “charm” your autonomic ou nervous system and vital organs into a deep state of relaxation. If you convince your vital organs that your body has a surplus of internal chi, then they don’t need to bother working so hard to gather extra postnatal chi from the air, sunlight, sex, etc. Instead you begin breathing at the lower tan tien, which connects you to your primordial, or original breath (also called pre-natal chi). 8. Internal Breathing is Spontaneous Pulsation The few times I have experience true internal breathing have occurred spontaneously and unexpectedly - not because I willed it. But I had created the right conditions: my mind was very calm and focused inward, my physical breathing so deeply relaxed as to be negligible. The air was moving imperceptibly between my two nostrils. Suddenly, my physical breathing stopped completely. My breath was literally snatched away by the explosion of inner energy and light. When this kind of total internal breathing occurs, you have activated your internal atomic power, sometimes called the kundalini. Y realize that your soul is always breathing the “Original Chi”, the ou primordial breath of God, which arises from within. That is why the Taoists often refer to it as “embryonic breathing” -- you feel like you are back in the primal womb, breathing through an umbilical cord connected directly to the purest source, the wu chi, the un-nameable & unknowable Tao. But what would internal breathing be like in a more ordinary, less mystical state of consciousness, i.e. when you’re standing in posture? This primordial breath is experienced in your subtle body as an extreme fin yin/yang pulsation. On the physical level, it stimulates inhalation - exhalation. But this is not just a mechanical sucking in and out of air. It is your soul body - your higher mind - drawing the chi from the oxygen and feeding it to the vital organs, glands, blood, etc. With this chi, your body can function and your soul can operate your five senses to enjoy life on this plane. So while standing in Embrace the Tree,


simply be aware that it is your soul body/spirit that is breathing in the oxygen that sustains your physical pulsation. This will sharpen your awareness of the internal breathing that is happening unconsciously in you every moment. 9. Safe & Pleasurable Packing Power: Five-Point Plan I believe a safe practice for Americans seeking the powerful benefits of Iron Shirt chi kung would include the following: a. Always do 10-15 minutes of warm-up to increase your chi circulation before doing any packing practice. These are taught at the summer retreats, and are as important as the practice itself. This is not a muscle warm-up like joggers do. This is a chi warm-up. Stretches must be done slowly, with full awareness of chi flowing in your blood and meridians. Develop a warm-up routine that is a gentle movement chi kung, and do it every day. b. Exhale frequently to prevent tension buildup. Follow a long term program that begins with very gentle breathing exercises. Give your self a spacious time frame of months or even years. Inhale to the energy point you are working on, i.e. perineum or kidneys, and then exhale. Inhale to the next point, and then exhale. After a few weeks or months, you may be able to comfortably hold your breath for two or three points before exhaling. In this way you will gradually build up the capacity of your body without straining it. c. Holding the breath is not important -- opening the energy channels is what counts. In Embrace the Tree and other postures, keep the emphasis on training your mind to open up energy channels. These channels can be opened in many different ways -- with movement, with meditation, with sounds, with dozens of different types of breathing techniques. The Iron Shirt breath packing techniques can be used to quickly stimulate the energy channels, but you don’t want to develop a dependency on them, or it will slow your progress later. They are crutches meant to be thrown away as soon as you can walk (breath internally). d. Listen to your own body, and do what it tells you is safest. If an instructor is leading you in the Iron Shirt practice, and he/she is holding the breath longer than you can comfortably do it, don’t be afraid to exhale and resume normal breathing. Just follow along by spiraling the chi at each point instead of packing it. It’s o.k. to pack the chi mentally, without squeezing your muscles and holding your breath. And don’t copy nearby students who are straining their bodies. e. Keep your chi kung practice simple and fun. If you start with gentle breathing methods and keep your mental focus simple and calm while in each posture, you will love the fresh vitality you’ll feel daily and get addicted to your practice! But if you feel stress from doing the packing, this will create mental resistance and you will eventually stop practicing. Remember, packing is only a small part of iron shirt chi kung -- your structure, rooting, keeping a calm mind and internal circulation of chi are all equally important. 10. Rooting and Packing: Two Different Processes There is a tendency among the beginners to try to root themselves by packing their breath and squeezing their abdominal and neck muscles tightly. This actually makes it easier for someone testing your structure to uproot you, because the body is being held rigid as one piece by muscular effort. Genuine rooting develops only after you relax both your mind and your body. When these are both as soft as a baby’s, your internal chi easily mixes and absorbs the earth’s chi. So what does genuine rooting feel like? In Embrace the Tree posture your body is rooted when it literally feels solid as a mountain. Y feet and legs connect with the Earth chi below and they our merge into one piece. Y feel “packed” -- but it’s not a feeling of ou

high internal pressure. It’s cooler, more still. Y you still feel et movement inside your body/earth. There are underground rivers and lakes hidden inside the body/mountain -- your chi meridians and tan tiens which serve as the transportation and storage system of your energy body. There are two points worth noting about the effect of packing on rooting: a. Breath packing can help to partially open energy channels, but if your mind cannot control the chi, it will probably rise up to your head and actually uproot you rather than sink down and root you to the earth. There is no benefit in indiscriminately opening up energy channels or creating strong internal chi pressure -- it is the balance and harmonious flow and high quality of your chi that is important. b. Breath packing is a method of taking the chi from oxygen in the air and converting it into body energy. Rooting occurs when your body’s chi is mixed with the earth chi. Do not confuse the chi absorbed from air and the chi absorbed form earth, as they serve different functions. The air is the fire element, which has a tendency to rise up. The earth holds the water element, which is heavy and flows deeper into the earth. Thus water is far superior as guide for rooting into the earth’s gravitational field. It is also much cooler for packing and condensing chi in the body. In my own case, my tendency to over-pack had over-stimulated by heart and lung fire, so my mind was jumping about wildly and it was impossible to really root. After I stopped excessive packing of breath, my rooting improved dramatically. This was because I was able to relax, and let my mind sink down into the cool earth and contact it’s chi. We are all naturally rooted -- it is only our own mental resistance that uproots us. If we put on our Iron Shirt gently, and pack it slowly and safely for a few minutes each day, our bodies will begin to glow with good health. Qigong Therapy as Alternative/Complementary Medicine Michael Winn and Don Lonsdorf, MD Introduction (Origins and History) Qigong (or “chi kung”, pronounced chee kung) literally means “skill in managing the Breath of Life”. It’s an ancient healing art utilizing meditation, movement exercises, self-massage, and special healing techniques to regulate internal functions of the human body. Qigong is a Branche of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along with acupuncture & moxibustion, herbology, and tuina (massage). Its practice can promote, preserve, circulate, balance and store Qi (or”chi”, vital energy) within the body to achieve health and longevity. Archeological finds in China depict Qigong movements at least three thousand years ago, and some believe it goes back 8,000. years. The 3500 year old Internal Medicine Classic refers to “ancient ones” who understood Qi thousands of years earlier. Other old texts suggest Qigong is the “grandfather” of basic theories of Chinese medicine and other healing modalities in Asia that employ the concepts of Qi and its circular pulsation of Yin and Y in the body’s meridians. (Examples: ang ki is the Japanese word for Qi, Do is the word for Tao: Ai-ki-do, Rei-ki, Jin Shin-do are all derivative schools.) The major schools of Qigong are Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian. The three major types are martial, medical, and spiritual, with Taoism being famous for its medical styles. Although there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different styles of Qigong, most have the common purpose of relaxing and strengthening the body, improving mental capacity, nurturing innate potential, promoting longevity, and preventing or treating disease. For these reasons, Qigong is called the “Chinese Miracle Exercise.” The better known Tai Chi Chuan is actually a series of short qigong movements strung together to create a longer “form”. An estimated 100 million people around the world today practice Qigong on a daily basis for its many benefits, making it possibly the world’s most popular health exercise. Mechanism of Action According To Its Own Theory


What is Qi? It is the Life Force (bio-force, or matrix of primal energy) that underlies all existence, from subatomic particles to galaxies to empty space itself. Within humans it is the very substance of our aliveness that pulsates at varying rates within our vital organs and cells. Different qualities of qi define and regulate different biological functions, just as a stem cell differentiates into specialized functions. Qi is NOT mechanical energy, it is the intelligent mind substance that crystallizes into our thoughts, feelings, sensations, desires, and cells. It’s the motive force of DNA replication and immune system function. Qi is the functional level of the body’s innate intelligence. Qigong shares the same philosophical foundation as Traditional Chinese Medicine (which is actually modern) with its theories of Qi and Blood, Yin/Y ang, Meridians & Zang-Fu Organs, Five Elements, and the pathogenesis of disease. It also embodies the older Classical Chinese Medicine which focuses on the alchemical transformations between Shen (mind), Qi (energy), and Jing (body essence) and the shamanic concept of the Five Jing Shen (”vital organ souls”) that govern one’s health. Beyond the overlap of theory, the methods of Qigong differ from those of acupuncture, herbology, and massage. When Qi becomes deficient or excessive, stagnant or blocked in different parts of the body, or unable to ward off pathogenic factors, a pattern of imbalance is set up that can lead to disease. Imbalances in Qi can occur as a result of improper diet, over strain, stress, lack of physical exercise, traumatic injury, toxins, environmental factors (wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness), or the seven emotions (anger, worry, sadness, grief, fear, fright, joy). When the bodyÕs natural equilibrium is overcome by any of these factors, disease can occur. One type of qigong therapy employs “external qi emission”. The qigong healer may tap into either his personal or universal energy which is then focused and radiated into the patient’s body lying on a table or while sitting. This alters the energetic matrix of the patient’s meridians, and causes their physical body to be regenerated. The patient may feel a gentle warmth or tingling begin to flow in different parts of the body. Depending on the skill of the healer, it can be used with great success on anything from mild headache to broken bones to sexual dysfunction as well as chronic illnesses such as cancer and aids. Some healers can work at a distance, even hundreds of miles away. The second type is for a patient to self-practice qigong. The patient is taught how to do qigong movements and meditations that will benefit their particular condition. Some are specifically designed for different illnesses, i.e. asthma, a special anti-cancer walk or for joint disease, and others are meant to balance the qi of summer, winter, or the heart or lung meridian, etc. All are easily performed even by the elderly or by people in a weak condition. The patient usually feels improvement immediately and a general sense of well-being. The powerful Qi meditation methods known as “neigong” create “internal qi movements” using the mind to flow qi in the meridians. Most famous is the “microcosmic orbit”, which circulates qi up the spine and down the front of the body. Others might use sub-vocal sound frequencies focused on the vital organs (the “six healing sounds”), or by evoking postive feeling states (the “inner smile”). There is even a sexual qigong for redirecting sexual qi to alleviate impotence, PMS, and stimulate the production of hormonal pre-cursors in the bone marrow. The self-practice approach requires self-discipline on the part of the patient, but because the patient is taught how to take responsibility for their own healing it generally produces the most effective and lasting results. Once the patient learns to generate “qi” within themselves, the results are not limited to self-healing. Y may ou continue to practice the qigong to achieve ever higher levels of wellness and spiritual awareness. Qigong is so simple yet powerful that many healers use qigong to repair themselves from “healer burnout”. Biologic Mechanism of Action The physiological effects of Qigong have been extensively scientifically studied in the past twenty years. The Computerized Qigong Database (Qigong Institute) has over 1300 studies. Qigong has been shown to decrease blood pressure, decrease oxygen consumption, increase respiratory efficiency, improve cardiovacular functioning, alter and integrate brain wave patterns, decrease

stress hormone levels, and improve cellular and humoral immunity . These changes are characteristic of effects on central and autonomic nervous systems, hormones, and neurotransmitters. The overall relaxation response is believed to play a significant role in the mitigation of the devastating effects of stress, and the prevention and treatment of illness. There are seven aspects of emitted qi that have been quantified scientifically. Qi emission resulted in significant changes in infrasound, electromagnetic, static electricity, infrared radiation, gamma rays, particle and wave flows , organic ion flows, and light. Most dramatic were human infrasonic frequencies that leaped from 60 MHz to 400,000. MHz during qi emission. In experiments on externally emitted qi from Qigong masters on various biological substrates and chemical compounds, emitted Qi was found to affect DNA synthesis and structure, protein synthesis, artificial cell membranes, chemical reactions, and polarized light beams. In similar experiments involving long-distance Qi emission and its effects on molecular structures, evidence was found to suggest the existence of such a phenomenon. Research into emitted Qi is still in its infancy, but it is rapidly expanding our knowledge of human biomagnetic energy. Study of emitted Qi on biological systems has the potential to unsettle the foundation of modern science and thinking. Qigong does not appear to behave entirely according to the laws of linear physics, but rather to the advanced concepts of quantum and chaos theories. Demographics Qigong exercises and meditations are practiced on a daily basis by an estimated 100 million people in China and in growing numbers throughtout the world. The profile of those utilizing Qi healing ouside of China is not well known. In the authors’ experience, the typical profile of a client seeking Qi healing is: woman, professional, higher education, between age of 30 and 50. Qigong teachers and self-practitioners are now relatively easy to find in North America, especially in large cities with Asian communities. Contact national Qigong associations, Qigong (Chi Kung) or Tai Chi Schools, acupuncture schools, Chinese associations, herbal pharmacies, health food and martial arts stores, alternative health publications. Forms of Therapy internal (self-practice) and external (qi emission) qigong are the two broad divisions. Internal Qigong consists of meditation and movement exercises which are practiced by individuals to regulate their own Qi. External Qigong is performed by a trained Qigong practitioner to detect and correct imbalances in the circulation of Qi in another person. Indications and Reasons for Referral Most older children and adults can learn to practice simple Qigong to increase their sense of well being, decrease stress, improve health, prevent illness, and especially to treat chronic and difficult conditions. Qigong is a valuable adjunct to Western medicine in that it supports a pro-active, preventative approach to health. Qigong therapy alone is not appropriate for acute or emergency situations unless the Qigong therapist is highly skilled and experienced. Common reasons for referring someone to Qigong instruction or therapy: Management of chronic illness Wellness promotion/preventative medicine Stress management Inability of Western medicine to clearly diagnose an illness or condition i.e. strange or bizarre symptoms that donÕt conform to any known Western pattern of disease. Patient requests Òholistic or naturalÓ treatment options Unacceptable risk (to patient or physician) of proposed medical interventions Terminal illness: palliative or therapeutic stages Research Base:


Most of the research on Qigong in the past 30 years are in abstracts in proceedings from international scientific meetings or published in Chinese. Many are now available through the Qigong Institute research database. Evidence Based Several studies suggest Qigong can reduce both systolic and diastolic high blood pressure, decrease the amount of medication required to stabilize hypertension. It reduces excessive responses to stress and improves the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. In an impressive twenty-two year controlled study of 244 hypertensive patients, Qigong practice was shown to decrease overall mortality (19.3% Qigong vs. 41.7% controls), decrease the incidence (18 % Qigong vs. 41 % control) and mortality for stroke (13.9 % Qigong vs. 24.7 % controls), improve control of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and help reduce antihypertensive medication dosages (47.7 % of the Qigong group in contrast with an increased dosage requirement in 30.85 % of the control group). Qigong also helps offset cardiovascular lesions such as progressive retinopathy and abnormal ECG findings. Studies suggest Qigong affects hormonal balance, decreasing estradiol levels in hypertensive men and increasing estradiol and testosterone levels in post-menopausal women. It improves left ventricular function, increases cardiac output, and decreases peripheral vascular resistance in patients with essential hypertension and coronary heart disease. Hemodialysis patients reported subjective improvements in appetite, increased frequency of bowel movements, increase in general well-being and physical strength, improved sexual activity, and sleep quality. Basic Science The existence and measurement of Qi has been the object of many studies. Seto et al. measured an extraordinarily large magnetic field (10-3 gauss) emanating from the palms of three individuals emitting Qi. This is one thousand times stronger than the known, naturally occurring human bio-magnetic field (10-6 gauss). The frequency of this unusual magnetic wave was 4 to 10 Hz (29). Chien et al. documented the effects of emitted Qi on human fibroblast cell growth, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and boar sperm respiration. Studies suggest several possible mechanisms for the physiological effects of Qigong. Emitted Qi is able to affect RNA and DNA UV absorption , change artificial phospholipid membranes , and alter molecular compositions of non-living substances similar to those found in the body. Similar results at long distances defy our current understanding of physical laws. The effects of Qigong on the nervous system have been well studied. The Qigong state is different from the waking state, resting with eyes closed, drowsiness, sleep, or any state in between. EEG studies show slowing of alpha peak frequency and increase in alpha-1 (8-10 Hz) components in the anterior-frontal regions (7, 12) . Qigong meditation with active abdominal breathing is a method common to many schools. In one study, this was found to improve ventilatory efficiency for O2 and CO2 by about 20%. Risk and Safety Qigong enjoys an enviable and remarkable safety profile, but is not without possible side effects. Side effects are infrequent and are usually not due to the techniques themselves, but rather to incorrect practice. Patients with acute infections should avoid vigorous types of qigong which may circulate the infected blood. Some White Crane styles with rapid fluttering of limbs have been reported to overstimulate frail individuals, causing nervous breakdown. Qigong “deviation syndrome” -- dizziness, headache, nausea, palpitation, feeling hot or cold, dissociative feeling -- is easily corrected by the practitioner with relaxation and correct mind set, body posture, or breathing. Qigong induced psychosis has been described in rare cases with auditory hallucinations and delusions. This is usually

self-limited and resolves soon after stopping Qigong. When this fails, an experienced Qigong practitioner or master can help. Efficacy The percentage of patients who respond to Qigong vary according to the level of experience and skill of the practitioner. Common estimates of benefits run from 80 to 90 %. With greater length of practice and experience, the benefits appear to increase. Efficacy is enhanced if people fully commit to practice on a daily basis. In a study of hypertensive patients, the overall mortality rate of people who practiced>3/4 of the timewas 11.2 % compared with 29.3 % in the inconsistent group. Future Research Opportunities and Priorities Further research will likely be directed toward demonstrating effectiveness rather than understanding why and how Qigong works. Office Applications Qigong can infuse Qi into everything that acupuncture needles can, and reach even deeper into the mind-body relationship. This makes it a premier treatment choice for most chronic conditions: Hypertension: benefits include improved blood pressure control (systolic and diastolic), decreased medication use, decreased mortality, decreased incidence and mortality of stroke, offset of the progression of cardiovascular lesions and retinopathy . Asthma: disorders which are affected by emotional components or stress are very amenable to Qigong,which improves respiratory efficiency. Allergies: Studies show Qigong can affect the immune system and stabilize the effects of stress and emotions. Stress and stress-related disorders: (e.g. fatigue, tension headaches, poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, problems with appetite, vague aches and pains, etc.) Sitting and moving Qigong are excellent tools to mitigate the devastating effects of stress on the mind, body and spirit. Cancer: with experimental data about the effects of Qi on DNA, protein synthesis , chemical reactions, cell growth, the immune system, emotional well-being, and improved quality of life, Qigong should be an integral part of all programs dealing with cancer. Many studies have been presented at scientific meetings about the beneficial effects of Qigong on cancer cells and tumors. AIDS: Same reasons as for cancer. Gastro-intestinal: Irritable bowel, peptic ulcer disease, poor appetite, constipation, hemorrhoids, etc. The effects of Qigong on the functional aspects of digestion are well recognized by research. Chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia: These syndromes can be frustrating to treat with Western medicine. Qigong can help these patients rebuild their stores of Qi and balance their energy circulation. Diabetes: There is evidence that Qigong can alter hormonal levels in the body. Specific Qigong techniques exist for diabetes mellitus. Arthritis: Qigong is often used for arthritis. It appears to benefit rheumatoid as well as osteoarthritis. The exercises are gentle and generally easy to learn. Musculoskeletal pains and sports injuries: Acute or chronic musculoskeletal injuries. Best used under the guidance of a trained Qigong practitioner to avoid further injury. Low energy states: If Western medical investigations reveal no clear cause for fatigue or low energy states, it is likely due to Qi deficiency. Hepatitis: Anecdotal reports of benefits. Some schools have specific Qigong techniques for hepatitis/liver problems. Practical Applications Most Qigong schools or instructors in the United States teach Qigong self-practice, which include meditation and/or gentle, movement exercises. For patients who practical methods to promote well being, deal with stress, Òrecharge their batteriesÓ, balance their mind-bodyspirit, or handle functional complaints or disorders, Qigong is a great tool.


As for Qigong therapy (external Qi emission), most physician initiated referrals (authorÕs personal practice) tend to be for conditions that do not respond to standard medical treatment, for strange symptoms that do not fit into the Western model, or because of requests from patients for more Ònatural or holisticÓ approaches. A Qigong practitioner should be used as any other consultant when a physician needs a fresh look from a different theoretical healing model, and his/her patient is open to it. Drug-Like Information Qigong works very well with Western medicine and does not interfere with medications. Numerous studies in China show patients on chemotherapy and radiation recover faster and survive longer when qigong is practiced. Self-Help vs. Professional Basic Qigong meditation or movement exercises can be learned through books or videos, but it is preferrable to learn from a trained instructor. External Qi healing requires a therapist with experience. Visiting a Professiona l If a patient is passively receiving “qi” from the therapist, the key requirement is that they simply relax, keep an open receptive attitude, and do not interfere with the process. Qigong therapists will ask the client some questions to determine what is going on and then go on to their form of assessment and treatment. This varies significantly from tradition to tradition. Clients remain clothed during the session, and may be sitting or lying down. The healer may read the pulses on the wrist or neck, to diagnose the condition of all the meridians and internal organs. They will look at the appearance and demeanor of the patient. The healer may be able to feel inside their own body the exact problem in the patient’s body. The healer can do this by resonating the qi in his body like a tuning fork that is ringing at the same frequency as the patient. The healer often scans for Qi imbalances by passing their hands over different meridians, points, or vital organs at a distance of 3 to 12 inches from the body. They may or may not touch the body during treatment. Some healers may utter certain sounds to vibrate the internal organs or expel the “sick” or “perverse” qi that is causing the illness or psychosomatic symptoms. Some may stamp their foot to activate earth chi or move their hands over the client’s body to stimulate or sedate the flow of qi. Other healers utilize “spontaneous” qigong. They emit a certain frequency of qi that helps activate the qi of the patient to begin moving. The patient’s body, usually in a relaxed standing position with eyes closed, may begin to undulate or begin to dance or sing, rhythmically releasing physical, mental, or emotional tension that has been locked in the body for years. This is not hypnotic suggestion, as the client may choose to stop the releasing movement at any time. Group lessons may be given in an office, school, home, or e park, or customized for a specific condition privately. Some Qigong movements use the walking, sitting, or lying positions, but most are performed standing. All share the same underlying principles. The visible physical movements of the arms and waist are usually very gentle and circular in nature, and are often accompanied by rhythmic breathing methods and subtle shifts in body weight between the left and right foot or between the toe and heel. Most clients report a wonderful sense of relaxation, warmth, and lightness after a session. Chronic onditions, severe or life threatening illness require more work. The interval between visits is usually lengthened as Qi imbalances improve and the system remains balanced. Many people experience significant changes after one session. Clients with significant challenges may feel some kind of shift in their symptoms or improvement in their quality of life within 10 visits. Others may take months or years to heal. It may depend on whether they practice at home or make lifestyle changes to support their Qi cultivation process. As with any other healing modality, Qigong may not work all the time. It is not meant as a Òquick fixÓ. However, it can lead to longterm healing, greater insight, self-discovery, and improvement in quality of life.

Credentialing and Training Currently there is no official credentialing or licensing of Qigong instructors in the USA, or guideline for what is required to be called a Master or Qigong therapist. There is a National Qigong (Chi Kung) Association ¥ USA working to establish reccommended minimum curriculum, hours of training and ethical guidelines for both general qigong and medical qigong therapy. Curriculum is difficult because schools have different roots and the mastery of Qigong is a lifetime process. Currently each school has its own internal regulations and credentials. Some people train in Qigong schools in China and receive official credentials. So it’s not always easy to determine the quality, level, and experience of a Qigong practitioner. Many qigong teachers in the west are only skilled in martial arts and not as Qi therapists. They often use Qigong as warmups for Tai Chi, and many of the same health benefits will accrue. But if Qi training is done mostly with the intention to fight, the health results may not be the same if the Qi is tied up in anger or defensive boundary setting. One difficulty of credentialing Qigong is that in many schools there is a spiritual aspect to learning Qigong. Many practitioners go through long apprenticeship periods with masters to learn advanced techniques and well-guarded secrets. The degree of spiritual development of a student or practitioner is difficult to measure using written and laboratory-like practical tests. To study only the intellectual theory of Qigong would be to separate mind, body, and spirit, and miss the essence of this art. What to Look For in a Provider Look for someone who practices and teaches full-time, and who has many years of experience. Ask for references, the names and phone numbers of their teacher(s), or check their school to confirm their training. How good is their personal health? Beware of those who make exaggerated claims of vast experience, incredible ability to cure everything, being the only lineage holder, or tries to impress you with circus tricks, etc. Look for someone with a strong, moral character who appears calm, caring, warm, and compassionate. Healing Qigong is practiced from the heart for the benefit of all beings. Barriers and Key Issues There is a wide theoretical gap between the healing models of Qigong and Western medicine. The apparently contradictory paradigms may be reaon for integrating them. Some problems are best addressed with Western medicine, some with Chinese medicine, and others with both. In China, many hospitals have qigong departments working along side western trained doctors. The concept of Qi, vital energy, appears to be a large stumbling block. Energy medicine incorporates the concepts of mind, body and spirit into a whole inseparable from the Universe we live in. It incorporates the meaning of life and death, and champions quality of life through natural connectedness. Its healing power is experiential rather than purely intellectual or mechanical. To overcome this barrier, we need to accept the importance of personal experience in our daily lives. This requires openness, suspension of judgment, and expansion of our field of vision to include different systems of science. Qigong must be experienced first before it can be understood. To further scientific and mainstream acceptance, the meticulousness of the experimental designs and statistical analyses must increase. Future research will have to be clearer about which Qigong techniques and styles are used in studies, and the level of experience/training of the Master or practitioner. It is easy to discount the results of experiments that defy conventional theories, especially when we do not understand or believe a phenomenon. Science must remain objective and examine all phenomena, believable or not. Associations Healing Tao University


Healing. Kenneth S. Cohen. Ballantine Books, NY. 1997. Page 7. POB 20028, NYC, 10014 888-432-5826 www.HealingTaoUSA.com A large western Qigong organization with focus on healing. Largest Qigong & neigong training program in west up to 36 week long events or training trips to China. 750 instructors worldwide, over 100 in USA, qigong retreats with academic credits, how-to books/videos. National Qigong (Chi Kung) Association ¥ USA POB 20218, Boulder, CO 80308 Fax: (415) 389-9465 (888) 218-7788 www.nqa.org 10. Pan W, Zhang L, Xia Y.The difference in EEG theta waves between concentrative and non-concentrative qigong states - a power spectrum and topographic mapping study. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 14 (3) : 212-8, 1994, Sep. 11. Zhang W, Zheng R, Zhang B, et al. An observation on flash evoked cortical potentials and Qigong meditation. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 21(3-4): 243-249, 1993. 12. Zhang JZ, Li JZ, He QN. Statistical brain topographic mapping analysis for EEGs recorded during qigong state.Int. J. Neurosci. 38: 415-425, 1988. 13. Ryu H, Lee HS, Shin YS, et al. Acute effect of Qigong training on stress hormonal levels in man. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 24(2): 193- 198, 1996. 14. Kuang A, Wang C, Li G, et al. Effect of Qigong therapy on plasma 18-OH-DOC level in hypertensives. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 7(3): 169- 170, 1987. 15. Ryu H., Jun CD, Lee BS. et al. Effect of Qi Gong training on proportions of T lymphocyte subsets in human peripheral blood. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 23 (1) : 27-36, 1995. 16. Ryu H, Mo HY, Mo GD, et al. Delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions in Qigong (Chun Do Sun Bup) trainees by multitest cell mediated immunity. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 23(2): 139-144, 1995. 17. Chien CH, Tsuei JJ, Lee SC, et al. Effects of emitted bioenergy on biochemical functions of cells. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 19(3-4): 285-292, 1991. 18. Y X, Zheng C, Zhou G, Lu Z. Observations of the effects of an external Qi of Qigong on the ultraviolet absorption of nucleic acids [translated]. Http://www.interlog.com/~yuan/yanuv.html originally published in Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal) [Chinese]. Vol.11, 647- 649, 1988. 19. Y X, Zhao N, Ying C, Lu Z. The effect of external Qi of Qigong an on the liposome phase behavior. [translated] http://www.interlog.com/ ~yuan/yanlip.html originally published in Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal) [Chinese]. Vol.11, 572- 573, 1988. 20. Y X, Li S, Y Z, Lu Z. Observations of the bromination an ang reaction in n- hexane and bromine system under the influence of the external Qi of Qigong. [translated] http://www.interlog.com/~yuan/ yanbro.html originally published in Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal) [Chinese]. Vol.11, 653- 655, 1988. 5. Kuang A, Wang C, Xu D, Qian Y. Research on “anti-aging” effect of Qigong. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 11(2): 153-158, 1991. 6. Lim YA, Boone T, Flarity JR, Thompson WR. Effects of Qigong on cardiorespiratory changes: a preliminary study. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 21(1): 1-6, 1993. 8. Liu GL, Cui RQ, Li GZ. Neural mechanisms of Qigong state: an experimental study by the method of auditory evoked responses. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 7(2): 123-126, 1987. 9. Liu GL, Cui RQ, LI GZ, Huang CM. Changes in brainstem and cortical auditory potentials during Qi-Gong meditation. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 18(3-4): 95-103, 1990. 4. Kuang A, Wang C, Zhao G, et al. Long-term observation on Qigong in prevention of stroke -follow-up of 244 hypertensive patients for 18-22 years. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 6(4): 235-238, 1986.

Annual National Qigong Conference, maintains National Qigong Directory of teachers, healers, organizations and practitioners, setting national standards. Qigong Institute 561 Berkeley Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025 www.healthy.net/qigonginstitute Maintains Computerized Qigong Database with over 1300 studies, supports & monitors qigong research. World Academic Society of Medical Qigong No. 11, Bei San Huan Dong Lu, Beijing, 100029, China. Fax: 0086 10 6421 1591. Qigong training courses, international conferences. Suggested Reading The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing. Kenneth S. Cohen. Ballantine Books, NY. 1997. Scholarly, yet readable book on Qigong. Great overview of the subject and introduces basic theories, meditations, and exercises. References 1. Acupuncture, Meridian Theory and Acupuncture Points. Li Ding. China Books & Periodicals, Inc. 1992. 2. Qi Gong Therapy: The Chinese Art of Healing with Energy. Tzu Kuo Shih. Station Hill Press, Barrytown , NY. 1994. 3. The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy


21. Y X, Lu Z, Zhang T, et al. The influence of the external Qi of an Qigong on the radioactive decay rate of 241 Am.[translated] http:// www.interlog.com/~yuan/yan241.html originally published in Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal) [Chinese]. Vol.11, 809- 812, 1988. 22. Y X, Li S, Liu C, et al. The observation of effect of the external an Qi of Qigong on synthetic gas system. [translated] http:// www.interlog.com/~yuan/yanbro.html originally published in Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal) [Chinese]. Vol.11, 650- 652, 1988. 23. Y X, Lu Z, Y S, Li S. Measurement of the effects of the external an an Qi on the polarization plane of a linearly polarized laser beam. [translated] http://www.interlog.com/~yuan/yanbro.html originally published in Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal) [Chinese]. Vol.11, 653- 655, 1988. 24. Li S, Meng G, Sun MY, et al. An experimental study on ultra-long distance (2,000 km) effects of the external Qi of Qigong on the molecular structure of matter. [translated] http://www.interlog.com/ ~yuan/yanmol.html originally published in Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal) [Chinese]. Vol.11, 770- 775, 1988. 25. Lu Z, Zhu R, Ren G, Hu J. The external Qi experiments from the United States to Beijing, China. [translated]. http://www.interlog.com/ ~yuan/yanus.html originally published in Zhongguo Qigong (China Qigong) [Chinese]. Vol.1, 4- 6, 1993. 26. Pearl WS, Leo P Tsang WO. Use of Chinese therapies among , Chinese Patients seeking emergency department care. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 26:6, 735-738, 1995. 27. Sancier KM. Medical applications of Qigong. Alternative Therapies. 2(1): 40- 46, 1996. 28. Tsai TJ, Lai JS, Lee SH, et al. Breathing-coordinated exercise improves the quality of life in hemodialysis patients. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 6(5): 1392-1400, 1995. 29. Seto A, Kusaka C, Nakazato S, et al. Detection of extraordinary large bio- magnetic field strength from human hand during external Qi emission. Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res. Int. J. Vol. 17: 75-94, 1992. 30. Y X, Li S, Yu J, LI B, Lu Z. Laser Raman observation on tap an water, saline, glucose and medemycine solutions under the influence of the external Qi of Qigong. [translated] http://www.interlog.com/~yuan/ yanwat.html originally published in Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal) [Chinese]. Vol.11, 567- 571, 1988. 31. Takeshige C, Sato M. Comparison of pain relief mechanisms between needling to the muscle, static magnetic field, external Qigong and needling to the acupuncture point. Acupuncture & ElectroTherapeutics Res. Int. J.Vol21, 119-131, 1996. 32. 300 Questions on Qigong Exercises. Lin Housheng, Luo Peiyu. Guangdong Science and technology Press, Guangzhou, China. P .392. 33. Lim R, Lin KM. Cultural formulation of psychiatric diagnosis- Case No.3, Psychosis following Qi-Gong in a Chinese Immigrant. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. 20: 369-378, 1996. 34. Shan HH, Y HQ, Xu SH, et al. Clinical phenomenology of an mental disorders caused by Qi Gong exercise. Chinese Medical Journal. 102(6): 445-8, 1989 Jun. 35. Xu SH. Psychophysiological reactions associated with Qigong therapy. Chinese Medical Journal. 107(3): 230-233, 1994. Qigong Therapy and TCM Oriental Medicine of the 21st Century Michael Winn, Past President, NQA Medicine in the west is undergoing a sea change, as millions of people begin to explore energetic based approaches to

healing. Acupuncture has been in the vanguard of this revolution, but acupuncture itself is about to undergo “a second revolution” of its own as it begins to integrate the wave of powerful qigong healing technologies that are rapidly becoming understood and used in the west. The practice of qigong is essentially oriental medicine without needles. The qigong craze is spreading like wildfire in the west because it is easy to learn, easy to do, and produces fast results, whether you need healing or are just a bliss junkie. It may be the greatest blessing ever for Oriental Medicine. If tens of millions of Americans graduate from jogging and muscle-building to the more subtle practice of qigong, they will become educated about qi flow. That means millions of more people who will feel comfortable seeing an acupuncturist / herbalist to diagnose and help balance their qi. This is the real grassroots foundation of the revolution in energy medicine occuring in the west today.

1. What is Qigong/Chi Kung therapy? Qigong, or “chi kung”, is the ancient Chinese art that means “mastering subtle energy”. When applied to healing, there are two basic modalities. One is called “qi emission”, in which a medical qigong therapist often employs TCM style diagnosis to assess the energetic patterns in the patient. Qigong diagnosis may use pulses or off the body methods of scanning the patient’s qi field. Then the qigong healer may tap into either his personal or a universal energy field, which is then focused and radiated into the patient’s body lying on a table or while sitting. This alters the energetic matrix of the patient’s meridians, and causes their physical body to be reorganized or regenerated to be free of the original injury or illness. The patient may feel a gentle warmth or tingling begin to flow in different parts of the body. Depending on the skill of the healer, it can be used with great success on anything from mild headache to broken bones to sexual dysfunction as well as chronic illnesses such as cancer and aids. Some healers can work at a distance, even hundreds of miles away. When combined with acupuncture, qi is sent thru the needles to regulate meridian flow, allowing for much faster and deeper healing than using needles without qi emission. This type of qigong therapy is already part of standard TCM curriculum in mainland China. Y simply have to choose: which 3 or 4 ou year program do you want, qigong, tui-na/moxa, or acupuncture? TCM theory overlaps neatly, the techniques and training are different for each. In China, you might be tested for your qi emission skill before getting a license. All the major hospitals in Beijing have separate Qigong departments that often take on and heal the most difficult cases that have not been cured by either drugs (western) or acupuncture/herbs (TCM) protocols. (For a description of a National Qigong Associagtion trip I helped lead o these hospitals, see Winter 2000 issue of Qi Journal, article by Damaris Jarboux). A second approach is called “qigong prescriptions” or “self-practice qigong”. The patient is taught how to do certain qigong movements that will benefit their particular condition. There are many hundreds of different qigong systems of movement. Some are specifically designed for different illnesses, i.e. a special anti-cancer walk or for joint disease, and others are meant for summer, winter, or the heart or lung meridian, etc. All are easily performed even by the elderly or by people in a weak condition. The patient usually feels improvement immediately and a general sense of well-being. The more powerful methods known as “nei kung” create “internal movements” of subtle energy by training the patient to use visualization of meridians (i.e. the “microcosmic orbit”), sub-vocal sound frequencies focused on the vital organs (the “six healing sounds”), or by evoking emotional states (the “inner smile”) or even by redirecting sexual energy from the genital area to stimulate the


endocrine gland system, kidneys and the production of blood in the bone marrow. This second approach using qigong prescriptions requires some self-discipline on the part of the patient, but because the patient is taught how to take responsibility for their own healing it generally produces the most effective and lasting results. Once the patient learns to generate “chi” or “qi” within themselves, the results are not limited to self-healing. Y may continue to practice the qigong to achieve ever ou higher levels of wellness and spiritual awareness. The Taoists are famous in China for their medical qigong. They claim to use neigong to tap into the universal pool of pre-natal jing. Medically, this means you can replace the “acquired jing’ from your parents that is gradually spent, the depletion of which causes one to age. A high level practitioner of neigong is considered an “immortal”, since death now becomes a voluntary event, not an unconscious process that forces us out of our body. There are many cases of people claiming to regrow hair, teeth, repair diseased organs, or recover from near death conditions. This focus on tapping into the universal pool of pre-natal jing defines one of the differences between “classical qigong” (largely suppressed by the Communists as being too spiritual) and “modern TCM qigong”. Classical qigong might also focus more heavily on the Eight Extra Meridians and the role of the five vital organ shen (zhang fu spirits, or intelligences) that regulate the flow of qi in the five elements cycle. In Taoist neigong,these practices include the famous “Microcosmic Orbit” and the more secret “Fusion of the Five Elements” . The five types of qi are fused into a “pearl” of concentrated or purified consciousness that has the power to dissolve deep physical or emotional trauma. This type of healing method is known as “nei dan”. Dr. Cai Jung, the head of the qigong dept. at Shi Yuan (western and TCM) Hospital in Beijing told me that “out of the 50 or so systems of qigong I have studied, Taoist nei dan is the best foundation for qigong healing I have yet found”. The higher steps in nei dan training are often referred to as “Kan and Li” (Water and Fire) practices, a kind of internal sexual coupling of the body’s yin-yang elements. This alchemical process, formerly kept very secret, was described allegorically in many of he 1160 volumes of the Tao Canon, the bible of collected writings on qigong and neigong. The Kan and Li practices open the Sea of Qi in the dan tien to a deeper dimension of pre-natal qi and jing and thus vastly speed up healing. On a more basic level, all qigong is so simple yet powerful that many energy healers use qigong to repair themselves from “healer burnout”. 2. What a typical qigong healing session is like. If a patient is passively receiving “qi” from the healer, the key requirement is that they simply sit or lie down and relax , keep an open receptive attitude, and do not interfere with the process. Often the healer will first read the pulses on the wrist or neck, which reveal the condition of all the meridians and internal organs, not just the heart. Some healers may utter certain sounds to vibrate the internal organs or expel the “sick” or “perverse” qi that is causing the illness or psychosomatic symptoms. The healer will typically be able to feel inside their own body the exact problem in the patient’s body. The healer can do this by resonating the qi in his body like a tuning fork that is ringing at the same frequency as the patient. The healer usually passes their hands over different meridians, points, or vital organs and may or may not touch the body. Some may stamp their foot to activate earth chi or move their hands over the client’s body to stimulate or sedate the flow of qi. Some healers utilize “wu si gong”, or spontaneous qigong. They emit a certain frequency of qi that activates the qi of the patient to begin moving. The patient’s body, usually in a relaxed standing position with eyes closed, may begin to undulate or seem to involuntarily dance or sing,

rhythmically releasing physical, mental, or emotional tension that has been locked in the body for years (or from past lives). This is not hypnotic suggestion, as the client may choose to stop the releasing movement at any time. If the client is learning to heal themselves with qigong exercises, they may learn the movements either in a class or have them customized for their specific condition privately. Some Qigong movements use the walking, sitting, or lying positions, but most are performed standing. All share the same underlying principles. The visible physical movements of the arms and waist are usually very gentle and circular in nature, and are often accompanied by rhythmic breathing methods and subtle shifts in body weight between the left and right foot or between the toe and heel. These rhythmical movements cause qi to flow thru different movements and in western terms, stimulate the lymphatic and immune system. Many qigong teachers in the west are only skilled in martial arts and are not trained in the therapeutic uses of qigong. They use them as a warm up or training for tai chi or other arts, and many of the some health benefits will accrue. But if your intention is to use the qi for fighting, it will not have the same benefits as doing the qigong for healing. Qigong private healing sessions range from $40 to $100., depending on a variety of factors. Classes may range from $7 to $15. per hour class. 3. History Drawings depicting qigong movements have been found in Chinese tombs at least 3500 years old, with other references going back 5000 years or more. This makes it the grandparent of many eastern energy-based healing modalities such as acupuncture and acupressure, tui-na (meridian) massage, chi nei tsang (deep organ massage). It probably guided the development of the internal martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan and Ba Gua Chuan, and the many derivative Japanese/Korean healing arts such as shiatsu, Do-in, as well as the numerous martial spinoffs of Aikido, Judo, etc. Some historians speculate that qigong even travelled into India where it became part of the repetoire of yoga and sacred temple dance training. There are hundreds of different styles of qigong, which can seem overwhelming to the beginner. 4. Qigong Theory The basic premise of qigong is that everything is made out of qi, or life force, and that we can influence the movement of this qi in ourselves or in others in a myriad of ways. Modern visualization techniques for healing (”I see white tigers eating up my diseased cancer cells”) only partially tap into the qi at the core of the mind-body interaction. Properly taught qigong gives the practitioner an internal map of the energy pathways inside the body. These are activated to aligns the physical, emotional, mental, sexual, and spiritual aspects of qi so that all levels move together to create an entirely new alignment of energy flow in the body that can alter even the genetic unfoldment of a person. “Nei Gong”, the more internal aspect of qigong, may be the original and most powerful method of internal visualization and energy manipulation ever invented to cure illness. It is closely linked with the development of internal alchemy methods in China for achieving longevity and immortality, which involve setting up an internal laboratory inside the body. The most advanced method uses the “fire” or heat and emotional energy of the heart and the “water” or sexual energy of the kidneys to interact and thereby “cook” the physical body into a blissful state of harmony. Nei Gong differs radically from most eastern systems of meditation, which are focusing on emptiness or transcendental states of awareness. Nei Gong brings the subtle qi of the universe down into the physical body to transform it into radiant health. There is no desire to escape the physical plane as a kind of hell realm of suffering; our body is seen as the “Later Heaven” physical manifestation of the Tao. This philosophy makes Earth (our physical body) as potentially equally


divine as Heaven (our formless spirit) within the all embracing Tao -once we allow our qi to circulate freely beteween the two. 5. Benefits & Limitations of Qigong In China, patients are often divided into two categories: acute and chronic diseases. The acute are sent for western treatment, the chronic for qigong therapy. There have been thousands of studies done in China that verify the efficacy of using qigong for virtually every type of chornic illness, from arthritis to cancer. 20 year studies in China show definitive reductions in mortality of 50% for hi blood pressure, stroke, and related coronary diseases that are epidemic in the west. Qigong can also be used for treatment of pain therapy, often with faster results than acupuncture. This suggests that there are certain types of acute conditions that can be treated with qigong, depending on the skill level of the practitioner. The main limitation of qigong is the skill of the healer or the willingness of the patient to practice. Acupuncturists are in the best position to introduce this healing modality into the west, and they can gradually increase their qi skills to complement their needle/herbal practice and TCM diagnostic knowledge. Learning to do so is both fun and rewarding for the acupuncturist. The current educational pattern in most acupuncture schools is much as it was in Tai Chi Schools 20 years ago: a little qigong warmup or elective course, and you’re covered. But now qigong/neigong is unfolding its wings as both the Mother/Father of the later branches of oriental medicine and as a pillar of TCM. Several acupuncture schools are offering Qigong degree training programs. We are just now waking up to the fact that qigong science is a vast network of arts and sciences that we’ve barely begun to understand and apply. Classical medical qigong therapy is neat, rigorous, elegant, has well defined terminology. If you blend Classical and modern TCM styles, you can have the experience of perfect mirroring between your inner spiritual practice and your outer healing practice. Michael Winn is President of the National Qigong (Chi Kung) Association, Professor of Tao Arts/Sciences and the founding Dean of Healing Tao University in Big Indian, N.Y., the largest qigong program in the USA with a faculty of 20 teachers and offering academic credits for B.A. completion or graduate degrees. Courses may be eligible for CEU’s. Winn has co-authored or written with Tao Master Mantak Chia seven books on neigong and qigong over the last 20 years. He lives in Asheville, NC. Email is winn.tao@att.net. He is leading a Medical Qigong Training in China trip that offers clinical experience in major Beijing hospitals, Sept. 23 - Oct. 7, 2000. DNA Tricked By Inactivity Causes Major Health Problems Obesity Sleuths find chronic diseases are linked to a breakdown response to what our human DNA is expecting Frank W. Booth and Espen E. Spangenburg Dear Lovers of Chi Flow: Scientists are finally waking up to the fact that physical movement affects the unfolding of the genetic code, and thus can prevent a wide range of chronic illness. More significant is the evidence on how INACTIVITY triggers a DNA reaction that causes the chronic diseases and obesity in the first place. The modern “drug” approach to manipulating the gene code and creating expensive gene therapies/ drugs is misguided and unnecessarily complex. The ancient Chinese figured this out thousands of years ago, and have been developing “yang sheng” (long life) exercises ever since, known as chi kung (qigong) in modern times. In my opinion they are far superior to aerobic and high impact western exercise systems like jogging. The science on this will eventually unfold --- but DON’T WAIT for the science, deepen your chi kung practice today and get the health and spiritual benefits immediately! These scientific findings are also consistent with the approach of Taoist mediation in the internal alchemy (neidan gong) tradition. This approach emphasizes internal circulation of

energy that is captured and focused in key energy centers (dan tien) or circulated through the entire meridian sysem (micro-cosmic orbit). I find that this internally dynamic style of meditation is better suited to westerners than some types of meditation that cultivate extreme passivity. My experience is that it is impacting on the genetic level as well, which is why these practices are considered “immortality” practices. Since most westerners have been brainwashed to believe their genes control their destiny, rather than your movements control your genes, reading this article may help you wake up to your own power hidden within! Michael Winn

“Obesity Sleuths” find chronic diseases are linked to a breakdown response to what our human DNA is expecting. The American Psychological Society July 10, 2002 http://www.the-aps.org/press_room/journal/release7-10-02.htm The need for physical activity is hotwired into the body’s expectations; When that activity does not occur, nutritional “thrifty genes” react, causing a steep rise in common chronic conditions. BETHESDA, MD ­ (July 10, 2002) ­ The results of the most extensive research investigation into the relationship between chronic health conditions and physical inactivity have been released by a team of “obesity sleuths.” They conclude that today’s skyrocketing levels of chronic diseases are due to the collision between the body’s total gene complement of a set of chromosomes -- programmed 10,000 years ago to anticipate physical exertion, and the inactivity endemic to 21st century sedentary societies. Nutritional “thrifty genes” may further exacerbate the deterioration of the human body, which takes the form of common, chronic disorders, once thought to be rare. The Study The study entitled “Waging War on Physical Inactivity: Using Modern Molecular Ammunition Against an Ancient Enemy,” is the latest report from the obesity research team of Frank W. Booth and Espen E. Spangenburg, both of the Departments of Biomedical Sciences and Physiology and the Dalton Cardiovascular Institute at the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; Manu V. Chakravarthy, of the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; and Scott E. Gordon, of the Departments of Exercise and Sports Sciences and of Physiology and the Human Performance Laboratory, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. Their study appears in the current edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, a publication of the American Physiological Society. The team set out to identify the underlying genetic and cellular/ biochemical bases of why a sedentary lifestyle produces chronic health disorders. They support the hypothesis that humans have inherited a genome programmed for physical activity by selective forces from the Late Paleolithic era (10,000 years ago), when physical activity was necessary for survival. Another associated hypothesis that was examined in this research effort is that a lack of physical activity leads to failure of the maintenance of normal signaling by cellular networks that activate that genome. Since the normal orchestration of protein expression in cells in humans was selected during evolution, when physical activity was higher than today, an altered protein expression of cells from sedentary individuals is associated with a higher incidence of chronic conditions. As part of their efforts, new conclusions have been reached on how physical inactivity affects at least 20 of the most chronic and deadly medical disorders. They suggest that all these conditions share common genetic inheritances that were supported by physical activity. When physical activity diminished, chronic health conditions occurred. Needs for the Paleolithic Age


Daily physical activity was an integral, obligatory aspect of our ancestor’s existence. The weekly activity pattern of hunter-gatherers of the Paleolithic Stone Age period (c. 8,000 B.C.) required several days of fairly intensive physical activity followed by days of rest and light activity. Men commonly hunted from one to four consecutive days each week while women gathered every two to three days. The physical labors involved in tool making, butchering, food preparation, carrying firewood and water, and moving to new campsites were supplemented by dances, often lasting hours, as a major recreational activity in many cultures. (Lack of) Needs for 21st Century Americans Twenty-first century Americans still possess late Paleolithic, preagricultural hunter-gatherer genes, and, perhaps nutritional “thrifty genes.” Since our food abundant society makes physical activity no longer obligatory for survival, the sedentary lifestyle has emerged, disrupting the normal homeostatic mechanisms that have been programmed for the proper metabolic fluctuations necessary to maintain health. Physical inactivity interferes with the genome thus becoming an initiating factor in the molecular mechanisms of disease. This assessment of chronic disorders addressed a wide range of maladies that affect a considerable number of Americans. Disorders were considered and conclusions were reached. Highlights include: Cancer

Breast cancer: Sedentary females, compared with physically active women, are less likely to have primary and secondary anenorrhea, delayed menarche, and irregular cycles, all associated with a reduced development of breast cancer.

Colon cancer: Physical inactivity was the risk factor most consistently shown to be associated with the increased risk of colon cancer. A 50 percent reduction in the incidence of this disease was found in those with the highest level of physical activity.

Pancreatic cancer: Walking or hiking less than 20 minutes a week was associated with twice the risk of pancreatic cancer when compared with those who performed the exercise for more than four hours a week.

Melanoma: Sedentary men and women had a 56 and 72 percent, respectively, higher incidence of melanoma than those exercising five to seven days a week. Cardiovascular Diseases

Heart disease, coronary artery disease, angina, and myocardial infarction: Undertaking a moderate-intensity physical activity would prevent 250,000 deaths each year, 12 percent attributed to these medical conditions.

Heart disease: congestive heart failure: Exercise may improve the condition of people afflicted with this disorder; physical inactivity may be a determinate factor to their time of death.

Hypertension: Tests found that inactivity led to blood pressures in sedentary individuals being substantially higher than in those who were active.

Stroke: Physical activity lowers blood pressure, facilitates weight loss, and decreases the chance for Type 2 diabetes, a major cause of strokes. Metabolic Diseases

Type 2 diabetes: Most of the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in the United States can be attributed to a change in lifestyle that involves a genome evolved from a Paleolithic lifestyle. Cultures that still have hunter-gatherers have low incidence of this disease.

Obesity: Sedentary individuals can lower their risk of many disorders by increasing their physical activity, regardless of whether they are normal or overweight. Musculoskeletal Disorders

Osteoarthritis: Appropriate exercise, both therapeutic and recreational, is an effective therapy in the successful management of this disorder. The benefits are flexibility, muscular conditioning, and cardiovascular and general health.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Exercise for patients with this disorder minimizes loss in muscle strength but not in bone loss. Conclusions This effort clearly points out that a sedentary lifestyle leads to a breakdown in the body’s biomedical system and a failure of genes leading to chronic disease. Now, the American public has a baseline of information of how to develop an optimum design for living that will contribute to a healthy lifestyle and to the avoidance of disorders caused by inactivity. This research also suggests that the publicized searches for genes causing chronic illnesses are too limited. In addition, scientists should explore how selected “activity” genes are misexpressed as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. These findings challenge those engaged in using the human genome sequence to fight disease to recognize the “activity genes” that produce diseases when inactivity occurs. They repeat their call for Americans to participate in more physical activity to prevent the advent of a wide range of chronic disorders. Source: Journal of Applied Physiology, July 2002. The American Physiological Society (APS) was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied science, much of it relating to human health. The Bethesda, MD-based Society has more than 10,000 members and publishes 3,800 articles in its 14 peer-reviewed journals every year. Medicine in Crisis Science, Politics and the Making of TCM Heiner Fruehauf, Ph.D., L.Ac This is a seminal piece that reveals shocking news to most Americans: that Traditional Chinese Medicine is NOT traditional, but a Maoist creation of the 1950’s. TCM is today distinguished from Classical Chinese Medicine, which would include the type of chi kung and alchemical healing taught by the Healing Tao community. TCM was carefully disemboweled of anything Taoist and spiritual, in order to put a modern scientific face on old China. This is a 1984 George Orwell scenario in which history books are suddenly re-written by the government. Most acupuncture schools don’t want this information disseminated, as it undercuts their raison d’etre. This is not to say that TCM has no value; it has simply lost its highest level of spiritual healing theory and practice. Not to worry, they are all still alive and well in the Healing Tao. Michael Winn This article is based on the conviction that the traditional art of Oriental medicine is dying--both in mainland China, home to the mother trunk of the field, and consequently overseas where branches of the tree are trying to grow. It may be an anachronistic piece, written at a time when TCM administrators around the world are celebrating major advances in the field, such as increasing numbers of students, practitioners, patients, colleges, universities, and hospitals, which all appear to reflect a booming state of Oriental medicine. But if we truly respect our tradition as a living organism and listen intently to the deeper layers of its pulse, it becomes evident that the original vitality of the system is expiring, although its true condition may be obscured by a steroidal glow on the surface.


The following is primarily an epitomized narrative of the development of TCM, the medical system that has monopolized the practice of Oriental medicine in mainland China, and that has come to serve as the main mold for the budding profession of Oriental medicine around the globe. It exposes a system that has been conditioned by a distinctly political agenda, and reveals its logo TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) as a grave misnomer--designating a medicine that is not at all aiming to preserve the traditional characteristics of Chinese medicine, but, on the contrary, to expurgate, reform, and control the classical and folkloric texture of the traditional record in the name of progress. Between the lines of this argument resides the warning that the progressive removal of the unique foundations of Chinese medicine is far more than just a philosophical issue. It affects the heart of our medicine itself, namely the nature of the clinical encounter and the quality and the results of therapy. It greatly diminishes, moreover, the unique edge that the traditional science of Chinese medicine has over allopathic medicine and its various offshoots. Mine is thus an urgent call for a reevaluation of the direction and the fundamental convictions that we set for ourselves as individual Oriental medicine practitioners. Otherwise we may become thoroughly entrapped in the spiritless mechanisms of state agencies, insurance companies, and most of all, our modern mind that has been conditioned to fancy the unambiguous, standardized, packaged approach. It is admittedly an opinionated warning, but a sincere and, I believe, reasonably informed one. From both my own perspective and that of my most respected teachers in China (including high ranking administrators within the TCM system), modern TCM in East and West is about to reach the fall height of the classical tragedy--featuring the vainglorious protagonist luxuriating at lofty heights (i.e. mainstream acceptance and doctoral level ratification), while blindly cutting into the life supply line without having a clue of the consequences. All of these concerns, however, are accompanied by the sincere hope that my findings on TCM politics in mainland China do not necessarily reflect the true state of Oriental medicine in the West, and that thus directed concerns are due to the limited quality of my own personal experience. First Impact: The Modernization of China During the Late 19th and Early 20th Century The end of dynastic China marked a peak season for Chinese medicine. Although nearly every other aspect of society was in a state of collapse and disarray by the middle of the 19th century, the culture of traditional medicine was alive with the multihued color and texture of a 2,500 year-old art. There was the stimulating discourse between the newly founded fever school and the school of the neo-classicists, there were numerous scholar physicians publishing influential discourses, and there was the arcane realm of esoteric discipleship, alchemical experimentation, and the kaleidoscopic facets of folk wisdom that have always characterized the sensuous heart of the profession. The advent of Western medicine presented the traditional healing tradition with its first major challenge from which it never completely recovered. It lost its rank as the one and only medicine (yixue) and became Chinese medicine (zhongyi), defined in contrast to Western medicine (xiyi). Immediately, however, there developed an early brand of progressive physicians who did not lament this situation, but attempted to integrate some of the paraphernalia of modern medicine into the traditional system. These pioneers are now collectively referred to as the Chinese-Western Integration School (zhong xi huitong pai). Main representatives are Wang Qingren (1768-1831), Tang Zonghai (1851-1908), Zhang Xichun (1860-1933), and Zhang Shouyi (1873-1934). It is important to note that these intial integrators, often cited by TCM administrators as early visionaries of their own system of integrated medicine, were not proponents of the hierarchical superiority of Western medicine, but rather tried to embody the traditional ideal of the broadly educated master physician.

It was their erudite skill level in the art, philosophy, and science of the traditional thought process that allowed them to break new ground by, for instance, categorizing Western drugs in energetic terms, or by relating the Triple Warmer to certain anatomical tissues described by Western medicine. Although it was their declared goal to incorporate some of the useful mechanics (yong) of Western medicine into the traditional mother body (ti) of Chinese medicine, their parameters remained clearly traditional at the core--as the programmatic title of Zhang Xichunís collected writings announces, Chinese at Heart But Western Where Appropriate: Essays Investigating An Integrated Form of Medicine (Yixue Zhong Zhong Can Xi Lu, 1933). This day in which curious Chinese physicians could explore the phenomenon of Western medicine from an equal footing was soon eclipsed by a period characterized by the through-and through hierarchically structured relationship which still defines the relationship between modern medicine and any traditional system of life science today. During the first half of the 20th century, a variety of events politicized Chinese medicine as the despicable symbol of everything old and backward. It became a pawn that reformers from all political camps sought to abolish. When this endeavor failed due to vehement public protest, the new stewards of state settled for banishing the unruly gargoyle of Chinese medicine into a controlled existence that was subject to not only a rigorous purge of diagnostic methods and therapeutic modalities, but--most damaging to its integrity as a system in its own right--the creeping replacement of its essential standards with the correct parameters of modern science. The political voice of Sun Y at-sen, the leader of the Republican revolution that toppled the dynastic system in 1911, had been shaped before the backdrop of his Western science education, and always rumbled with the deep suspicion that its master harbored against the old system of medicine. Sunís successor, Jiang Kai-shek, took this personal bias into the legislative arena and presented the radical proposal, A Case for the Abolishment of Old Medicine (feizhi jiuyi an). 1 Although Jiangís proposition was not implemented due to thousands of protesting doctors and patients who took their passionate disapproval to the streets, the production of anti-traditional sentiment in an official document had a tremendous impact on the general mood of Chinese medicine practice during the 1930s and 1940s. Around the same time, the outlawed communist bandit Mao Zedong promulgated thoughts that were very similar to those of his nationalist adversary. In his Y anían hideout, he wrote that old doctors, entertainers, snake oil salesmen, and street hawkers are all of the same sort.2 This brief line should have a truly devastating impact twenty-five years later when Maoís works became the one and only source for the country’s definition of political truth. It served as the Red Guardís main license for the uncompromising persecution of the rich culture of traditional medicine and its unique modes of practice, education, and theoretical discourse. In Servitude at Mao¹s Court: Chinese Communism and the Conception of TCM, 1953-1976 The years 1953-59 witnessed what appears like a remarkable reversal of Maoís earlier views on Chinese medicine. Having graduated from the task of creating national respect for the hinterland thug who now donned the emperorís robes, he began to gradually advance his private ambition of asserting leadership over the legion of budding communist countries around the world. This objective required the conception of a socialist model that distinguished itself from the Russian paradigm of Marxist-Leninism by incorporating the regional attributes of third world countries. Chinese medicine fit well into this general scheme, since it embodied a medicine that was self-reliant, among the people, native, and patriotic slogans that had been used to promote Mao’s unique brand of communism. Mao sensed, furthermore, that China was beginning to become overly dependent


on the influx of Soviet goods and expertise, especially in the areas of Western medicine equipment and pharmaceutics. The catastrophic famines and the far-reaching collapse of infrastructure that followed the Russian walkout in 1961 were to dramatically confirm his premonitions. It was for primarily political reasons, therefore, that Mao began to publicly embrace Chinese medicine during the mid-1950s. This was the time when he issued the famous calligraphy that graces the front pages of so many TCM publications: zhongguo yiyao xue shi yige weida baoku, yingdang nuli fajue jiayi tigao (Chinese medicine is a grand cache of knowledge that we should actively bring to light and further evolve). In the wake of this apparently new direction, two ministers of health, Wang Bing and He Cheng, had to resign due to their exclusive loyalty to the Western medical system that had made them trustworthy candidates for the position in the first place. In 1956, premier Zhou Enlai signed papers that authorized the immediate establishment of the first four colleges of Chinese medicine, namely Chengdu College of TCM, Beijing College of TCM, Shanghai College of TCM, and Guangzhou College of TCM, followed by Nanjing College of TCM the following year. At the same time, a group that was to become the influential voice of the first generation of institutional TCM teachers--all of them still trained under the pre-institutional model of discipleship education --formed in Beijing. They are generally referred to as the five elders (wu lao), including Qin Bowei from Shanghai, Cheng Shenwu from Beijing, and Ren Yingqiu, Li Chongren, and Yu Daoji from Sichuan. As if to set a good example for the new course that he had outlined, Mao publicly ingested the traditional remedy Yin Qiao San (Lonicera and Forsythia Powder) when he fell ill during the historic announcement of the Great Leap Forward at the Chengdu Conference in 1957. He restrained his onetime prejudice against snake oil salesmen and allowed Li Shizhi and Peng Luxiang, both first generation elders of Chengdu College of TCM, to be present at his bedside for an entire night. In 1959, the political motives of Maoís actions fully revealed themselves when he published his decreeing vision about the concept of Chinese-Western medicine integration (zhong xi yi jiehe). This edict, in essence, mandated the establishment of TCM--a medical system which restrains the wildness and the feudal elements of the traditional art by taking it out of the hands of its lineage holders and assigning it to the control of modern science, one of the most trusted tools of marxist-materialist ideology. Mao announced a nationwide search for 2,000 first rate Western medicine physicians who are to assist in the evolvement of Chinese medicine.3 Special Seminars for the Study of Chinese Medicine by Western Medicine Physicians On Leave (xiyi lizhi xuexi zhongyi ban) were established, administering bite-size pieces of a highly standardized extract of traditional knowledge over a period of 1-2 years. Qualifying participants were required to hold or exceed the physician in chief rank within the Western medical system. Of 2,000 doctors who initially entered into the program, only about 10% graduated. This low success rate may in part be due to the fact that the study of Chinese medicine, even in abridged form, involves the memorization of scientific detail which all participants, including the successful graduates, had previously been conditioned to condemn as the nefarious byproduct of a social system riddled with feudalist superstition. Nevertheless, these Western doctors who participated in the traditional medicine reform efforts of the years 1959-62 came to provide the main pool for TCM administrative positions in later years. Most top level TCM administrators of the 1980s and 1990s are, in fact, Western medicine graduates of the reform/integration seminars. This situation is the primary reason for the woeful plight of Chinese medicine under the TCM systemótraditional medicine in mainland China is managed by individuals who for the most part, and often openly, entertain deep-seated suspicions against the field that they are supposed to represent. In a radical sense, the history of TCM can be described as the history of implementing anti-traditional sentiments into the general atmosphere of Chinese medicine education and practice. I personally know of very few TCM administrators

who resort to traditional modalities when they become sick. TCM students and faculty, moreover, regularly take antibiotics when contracting a coldóbecause it is more convenient and works faster and better. One of the shocking personal memories that I associate with this topic is a conversation with the grandson of Li Shizhi (the founding elder of Chengdu College of TCM who once prescribed Yinqiao San to Mao Zedong)--himself a TCM doctor, scholar, and administrator at the College which is generally regarded as the most traditional among TCM institutions in China--in which he expressed concern about my enthusiasm for traditional herbology. He flatly admonished me to curb my faith in the efficacy of Chinese medicine. Many of my more classically oriented teachers, therefore, cautiously asserted that Mao may have had good intentions at the time, but that the integration project marked the beginning of a process that ruined the true nature of traditional medicine. On the surface, however, this course of events gave a boost to the status of Chinese medicine. The government had encouraged individuals with scientific expert status to immerse themselves in the subject of indigenous medicine and foster the betterment of the field. Furthermore, for the first time TCM departments were established in many city hospitals. The actual result, still and all, was the genesis of a situation in which the old, clinically experienced Chinese medicine practitioners were barred from participating in major league TCM. All of the doctors in charge were Western doctors with Chinese knowledge (xi xue zhong)óexperts who styled their diagnosis entirely in Western terms, but sporadically included some cookbook-style Chinese medicine modalities in their approach. Distinguished folk physicians, unable to practice privately under the communist system, were accessible only in outpatient departments, or occasionally summoned for a second opinion. Many observers of this practice bitterly remark that if a remedy prescribed by one of these elders resulted in a cure, it was most likely that all the credit was given to the Western modalitiesóeven though it was their ineffectiveness that had initiated the traditional consultation. Chinese medicine, after all, was not recognized anymore as a clinical science in its own right, and the traditional diagnostic approach of bianzheng (diagnosis by synthesis of pulse, tongue, and symptom profile) was progressively becoming eclipsed by the standardized procedure of bianbing (diagnosis by Western disease name). In the aftermath of these events, the status of Western medicine became dramatically elevated with regard to institutionalized TCM education. Planned in 1961 and executed in 1962, all TCM colleges adopted a curriculum according to which incoming students first studied Western medicine for 2 ý years, then Chinese medicine for 2 ý years, and finally entered into an integrated clinical internship for one year. The five elders immediately realized that this educational setup was responsible for an increasing loss of respect for the fundamental principles of Chinese medicine, and composed a letter to the central government that summarized their concerns. Although their protest led to an abolishment of the new curriculum and ushered in a brief revival of classical valuesóspawning a college program that started out with three years of exclusive Chinese medicine training, including the reading and memorization of all major classics in their entirety, as well as palpation of 10,000 pulses and inspection of 2,000 tonguesóthe exigencies of the political sphere were soon to interfere in a most severe manner again. In 1966, Mao found himself locked in an internal power struggle and unleashed the Great Cultural Revolution to neutralize his antagonists. For ten years, all forms of higher education came to a screeching halt. In the field of Chinese medicine, only the entering class of 1963 was able to complete a TCM curriculum that for the first time truly deserved the label traditional. Since it was the main rallying cry of the Cultural Revolution to eradicate every trace of feudalist influence, all of the old master practitioners of Chinese medicine, including the five elders, became subject to criticism, ridicule, and in some instances, public thrashing. As many physicians frantically burned their stitch-bound volumes and other old-fashioned belongings


to avoid persecution, and as others died from grief or physical abuse, much of the physical legacy of Chinese medicine perished irretrievably. In this vacuum, Western medicine reasserted its defining influence on TCM, while itself having to adapt to a political environment that despised erudite learning of any kind. Already during the previous year, in a speech given to health care professionals in Beijing on June 26, 1965, Mao had set the stage for the anti-intellectual direction of the new medicine to come. In paraphrased terms, he said that medicine needs to be changed, it is unnecessary for any doctor to read so many books. Hua Tuo, Li Shizhen, and other traditional doctors did not spend much time studying, but learned their trade in a clinical environment. Most of our hospitals are in the city, while the heart of China is in the countryside. The focal point of medicine practice and medicine education thus needs to be directed toward rural areas.4 During the years 1966-1971, therefore, no new students were admitted by any educational institution, including schools of Chinese medicine. In 1972, so called Colleges for Workers, Peasants, and Soldiers (gong nong bing xueyuan) were established, offering three year vocational programs under the maxime of open door schooling. This meant that there were no entry exams; the admission of students was entirely based on their political status as well as the social background of their parents. Textbooks were filled with quotes from Mao Zedongís Collected Works. The doctors produced by this system received a very rudimentary training in both Chinese and Western modalities, and provided the human resource for the well-known Barefoot Doctor Movement (chijiao yisheng yundong). The barefoot doctors, naturally, were never introduced to the essential concept of differential diagnostics. Meanwhile, the generation of Chinese medicine elders was either dead or locked up as bovine demons and snake-like goblins (niugui sheshen) in so called ox stalls (niupeng). Of the five elders, only Ren Yingqiu was still alive. He was banished to Qinghai Province, Chinaís equivalent to Siberia--allowed to bring only one cherished book, Li Shizhenís Outline of the Materia Medica (Bencao Gangmu). In the Name of Progress: The Introduction of Superior Methodology, Scientific Standards, and Research Axioms During the 1980s and 1990s Another blow to the integrity of the traditional system, or what was left of it, occurred during the period of 1980-85. At this time, the concept of Chinese medicine improvement by methodology research (zhongyi fangfa lun yanjiu) was introduced. The political leaders of TCM colleges, i.e. the communist party secretaries who are generally more influential than the president, selected several fashionable theories of Western science and applied them to the domain of Chinese medicineñonce again motivated by the habituated resolve to further evolve the field. These endeavors were generally characterized by the attempt to sanctify the scientific character of selected aspects of Chinese medicine, and consequently, by denying scientific validity (and the ensuing right to be preserved and transmitted) to others. During the period in question, the theories elected for this purpose were cybernetics (kongzhi lun), system science (xitong lun), and information theory (xinxi lun). The result of this assistance was the affirmation of the TCM system on theoretical grounds. The methodologists concluded that Chinese medicine classics such as the Y ellow Emperorís Classic of Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) already contain evidence of these progressive theories in embryonic form, apparently recommending an affirmative stance toward the tradition of Chinese medicine. On the other hand, this position always implied that the classics were like dinosaurs--interesting to look at in a museum, but, in terms of their pragmatic value in a contemporary environment, vastly inferior to the eloquent treatises of informatics, cybernetics, and other domains of modern science. As a result, many TCM colleges actually established museums, and many publishers dared again to issue reprint editions of classical texts. The original regard for the classics as the primary source of clinical information, however, dwindled as the

presence of original texts in the curriculum became minimized. Again, it was a situation where a group of individuals with no traditional medical background attempted to reform Chinese medicineómotivated by ideological rather than clinical considerations. The 1990s, in the opinion of many of my more classically oriented teachers and myself, have seen the most severe erosion of traditional core values. I will cite the following reasons for this assessment: Due to market driven priorities, none of the numerous TCM journals make an effort anymore to cover the philosophical foundations of Chinese medicine. The government, furthermore, provides no money for the traditional category of textual research (which had been a possible area of specialization for graduate students until 1988), and no graduate research projects are permissible that involve only Chinese medicine theory. The new market economy obliges TCM hospitals to be profitable. The subject of profitability is intimately tied to a standardized fee structure that is based on an official ranking system--which, in turn, is defined by Western medicine values, such as the quantity of modern diagnostic equipment and the amount of available beds. The hospitals thus devote a tremendous amount of effort to the acquisition and application of paraphernalia that will boost both their quality ranking and their diagnostic income. As one TCM physician put it, little money is to be made by just feeling the pulse. This tendency is echoed in private street clinics, where doctors are encouraged, even required, by the herbal pharmacies that employ them to prescribe large amounts of preferably expensive herbs to maximize profits. In 1994-95, the ministry of health published a host of official guidelines aimed at standardizing the mandatory process of researching the effect of new patent remedies.5 Along with the establishment of a Chinese FDA, it was decreed that the research of Chinese medicine patents must be conducted according to the standards of Western pharmaceutical research. Most consequentially, this meant that the traditional system of differential diagnosis (bianzheng) had to be completely replaced by allopathic diagnostics (bianbing). According to these guidelines, research on the constitutional multi-purpose remedy Four Frigid Extremities Powder (Sini San), for instance, must be conducted and marketed in the context of only one diagnostic category, i.e. cholecystitis. Theoretical background research into the traditional rationale of a remedy is confined to 10% of the proposal, while disease oriented research has to account for 70%. Another point that mirrors the research protocol of Western medicine is the obligatory focus on laboratory animal research. This development hasstarted to turn the broadly defined clinical science of Chinese medicine into a discipline that is dominated by the narrowly defined and, most importantly, completely disparate parameters of modern pharmacology. It finalizes the process of evolution by integration that Mao had originally prescribed for Chinese medicine 40 years agoóa process that involves gutting the indigenous art, spirit and all, and subsequently appropriating its material hull (i.e. herbs and techniques) into the realm of a medicine that declares itself scientifically superior. A new class of graduate students is developing who cannot diagnose in differential terms at all anymore, but are completely steeped in the allopathic system of medical terminology and diagnosis. Virtually all of the doctoral theses presently produced in China fall into the field of Chinese-Western integration research, or laboratory animal research related to the ratification of new patent remedies. Integrated standards for students of Chinese and Western medicine, moreover, have produced the grotesque situation where Chinese medicine researchers are required to utilize unwarranted equipment such as electron microscopes to achieve doctoral level approbation. In addition to the conceptual crisis outlined in this paper, the bastion of Chinese TCM is thus also facing a grave financial crisis. Most institutions simply cannot keep up with the steeply rising cost of the very narrowly defined type of research that the system prescribes.


Of an impressive sounding five years in the present bachelor curriculum, much is taken up by classes in foreign language, physical education, political studies, and computer training. By far the most extensive classes are dedicated to Western medicine contents such as anatomy, physiology, immunology, parasitology, and other topics that are unrelated to the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures of classical Chinese medicine. From both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective, therefore, it would not be entirely inappropriate to state in slightly dramatized terms that the Chinese medicine portion in the contemporary TCM curriculum has been reduced to the status of a peripheral supplementóapproximately 40% or less of the total amount of hours. This issue is compounded by the ongoing division of students into Western-style areas of specialization, such as acupuncture or bone disorders. None of the specialty students, including acupuncture department graduates, are required anymore to familiarize themselves with the realm of original teachings, not even in the radically abridged form of classical quotations that still serve to bestow an air of legitimacy on most official TCM textbooks. Is “Chi” Real? Y Beyond Any Doubt es, Michael Winn Everyone discovers qigong in their own way. When I first began experimenting with it twenty years ago, there wasn’t a lot of support or explanation for the idea of “chi” (the pinyin “qi” had not yet become popular). Chi kung was mostly taught by martial artists, who often had a rather limited idea of chi as being something precious and hard to get, and once you got it you had to defend yours to keep it. There was an assumption that if you couldn’t kick somebody’s butt with your chi, then it wasn’t really there. I later discovered chi is the most abundant “substance” in the universe, that you literally can’t escape it no matter where you go. Wherever you run and hide, the lifeforce is already here! We’re literally swimming in it all the time, it’s the very “stuff” of nature, but we simply fail to recogize its rhythmic pulsation or its pathways. My biggest problem as a beginner was that I had been well brainwashed by western scientific ideas (empirical materialism), a victim of my own ivy league education. I wanted desperately to believe this “chi” was real, more real than my physical body, but my overtrained intellect was constantly doubting my own experience. It wasn’t enough to stop me from practicing every day, but it blocked me from surrendering to a deeper level of chi flow. Even when I had an exceptionally “high” chi experience following my practice of chi kung, part of me would ask, “was that my imagination, or was it real?”. It took me a while to figure out that every experience we have, even in our ordinary reality, is filtered through our imagination, whether it be our conscious or unconscious imagination. I realized that it is not so much that we “create” our subjective reality, but rather that we “shape” the current of life force moving through us. it is silly and presumptious to think that we create the life force itself. Qigong is just a methodology focused on consciously shaping the chi flow for specific benefits, either physical or spiritual. Sometimes the effects are quite subtle, and so it takes us a while to tune into what is actually happening. inside us. I remember after I first learned to circulate qi in the microcosmic orbit, I noticed a strange thing. I used to eat ice cream every day, my major vice, to counter all the other healthy habits I had acquired. But after I opened the orbit, I suddenly lost my appetite for my daily ice cream. What was going on? It took me a while to figure out that the kundalini yoga I had been doing previously had overheated my body, driving a lot of fire chi up my spine into my head. The ice cream was my coolant. As soon as i began circulating chi down the water channel in the front of my body, I did’t need the outer coolant, I now had an inner coolant. I thought to myself, How Cool this chi stuff is. Now I realize my experience of the microcosmic orbit twenty years ago was in kindergarden, and the depth of its flow today within my being is multi-dimensional, dissolving levels of my jing

(body essence that becomes blood and sexual energy) that I didn’t even know existed. Then later I found myself connecting it this chi flow in my body with levels of shen (spirit/awareness) that I never dreamed were possible. Perhaps the greatest thrill was discovering how yin and yang chi can orbit deep inside the core channel of my body, and generate non-polarized chi (yuan chi, or Original Energy). Now I see and even feel the chi orbiting in nature everywhere -electrons orbiting around the nucleus of my atoms, planets orbiting around the sun, magma orbiting from the hot depths of the earth to the cool surface and back, students orbiting around the energy field of their teachers, men and women orbiting endlessly around the quest for love and completion of themselves. It is the same stuff that artists, psychologists, theologians and scientists are all trying to play with and figure out what makes it tick. But the main difference for me, after 20 years of chi kung practice, is that now I experience this fantastic flow of chi and enjoy it, without a doubt. Acupuncture, Liquid Crystallinity, and Coherent Energy Institute of Science in Society: Science, Society, Sustainability Talk presented to British Acupuncture Society, 2 October, 1999 Mae-Wan Ho A medical physicist in the United States, Cho Zang-Hee, who pioneered the proton emission tomography (pet) scanner, had his curiosity aroused 6 years ago, when he injured his back and found almost instant relief with acupuncture treatment. So he started carrying out experiments with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fmri) on the usual human guinea-pigs - volunteer medical students. He flashed a light in front of them and, as expected, the visual cortex of the brain lit up on the fmri. Then, Cho had an acupuncturist stick a needle into one of the acupoints at the side of the little toe, which are supposed to be connected with the eye. In one person after another, the visual cortex lit up, just as if they had been stimulated with a flash of light. Inserting the needle into a non-acupoint in the big toe had no effect (see Dold, 1998). Cho also found that on repeated stimulation of the same acupoints, some subjects gave increasing response in the visual cortex, while others gave decreasing response. One of the acupuncturist said it was due to yin and yang, and without seeing the data, correctly identified which subjects had an increase (yang) and which had a decrease (yin) in 11 out of 12 cases. The only explanation for acupuncture in the west is that the nerves underlying the muscles are stimulated by the needle, which then sends impulses to the limbic system of the brain, the mid-brain and the pituitary, leading to the release of endorphins and monamines, chemicals which block pain perception. This is the accepted basis for anaethesia induced by acupuncture. But it does not explain other effects. It certainly does not explain what connects the acupoints in the foot directly to the visual cortex of the brain. The meridian theory of traditional Chinese medicine recognizes a vital energy, qi, circulating in nature and in our body. Within the body, qi is said to circulate through channels known as meridians. The meridians interconnecting the viscera and limbs, the deeper and superficial layer of the body in a branching network of increasingly fine mesh. The meridians and their acupoints have no known relationship with anatomical systems in western medicine, despite many attempts to search for correlations (see Ho and Knight, 1998). Until quite recently, I have thought little about acupuncture. Instead, I have been involved, since 1985, in trying to understand living organisation from the perspective of contemporary physics, especially of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and quantum theory. At the same time, I was developing and using new experimental approaches to investigate organisms non-destructively, as they are living and developing. As a result, I have now come to an understanding of the organism that is beginning to connect with the meridian theory, and, I hope, in due course, with holistic health systems of all other cultures. I have outlined a tentative theory of the organism in the second edition


of my book, The Rainbow and The Worm, The Physics of Organisms (Ho, 1998). Let me briefly describe it and then show how it may link up with the meridian theory. Many physicists have puzzled over how organisms seem able to resist the second law of thermodynamics which says all systems tend to evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium - a state of maximum disorder in which all useful energy has degraded into a random, useless form referred to as entropy. Instead, organisms can summon energy at will in a perfectly coordinated way, and to maintain and reproduce its exquisite organisation. Everyone knows that because the organism is an open system, it does not actually violate the second law, because the environment provides raw materials and useful energy and becomes more disordered as organisation is built up and maintained in the system, and entropy exported out of it. But how does the organism actually do it? It turns out that the key to living organisation is not so much energy flow as energy storage under energy flow. Furthermore, the organism has somehow managed to close the loop of energy storage to become a self-maintaining, self-reproducing life-cycle (see Figure 1). The organism is thus a system in which energy is stored in a coherent form, the energy remaining coherent as it is mobilized throughout the system. Notice that I have substituted Œcoherent energy¹ for the usual concept of Œfree energy¹. Coherent energy, as I shall explain presently, is stored in a range of space-times in which it remains coherent, and is tied to the characteristic space-times of natural processes. I say Œcharacteristic space-time¹ instead of the usual Œcharacteristic time¹ because in the new physics since Einstein’s relativity theory, space and time are no longer separable. (Indeed, organic space-time is very different from the linear, homogeneous, space and time of Newtonian physics (see Ho, 1998).) ŒFree energy¹, on the other hand, has no relationship to space or time, and is a notoriously vague concept. Coherent energy is energy that comes and goes together so it can do work, as opposed to incoherent energy which cancels itself out. Anyone ever hit by a wave on the seashore will know what coherent energy is as opposed to the random motion of say, molecules of air in this room. Coherent energy is mobilised within the organism with minimum dissipation, which means it generates minimum entropy. This depends on a symmetrical coupling of energy yielding and energy requiring processes within the living system. Symmetrical coupling involves a complete reciprocity, so that the effects of one process on the other are the same, and furthermore, they can reverse roles so the giver of energy becomes the receiver and vice versa. How is that achieved? Practically all living processes are organised in cycles. The organism is thick with biological rhythms ranging from periods of split seconds for electrical activities of brain cells to seconds such as the heart-beat and respiration, to periods which are circadian and circannual. But no one has ever been able to explain why that should be. The answer is provided by thermodynamics. It turns out that symmetrically coupled cycles are the key to both the conservation of coherent energy and compensation (or cancelling out) of entropy within the system so that living organisation is maintained. I have represented a miniscule fraction of all the coupled cycles in the living system intuitively in Figure 2, the sum total of which make up the life-cycle. The way to think about it is that as one cycle of activity is running down, it is charging up a second cycle, so that the role can be reversed later. Similarly, as disorder is created in some part of the system, a kind of superorder appears in elsewhere, which can restore order to the first part. Each cycle of activity has a characteristic space-time and together, they span all space-times from the very fast to the very slow, the global to the local. Each cycle is hence a domain in which coherent energy is stored, as said earlier. Of course, neither the conservation of coherent energy nor the compensation of entropy is perfect, otherwise, no one would ever need to eat, nor would ever age. But such a dynamic structure of the system is the key to maximising the storage of

coherent energy and the speed and efficiency with which coherent energy can be mobilised (see Ho, 1995). Thermodynamically, then, the organism is a dynamically closed system of minimally dissipative coupled cycles feeding off the one-way energy flow, so that the unavoidable dissipation is exported to the environment (Figure 3). The special energy relationship in the organism, therefore, is what enables it to mobilize energy at will, whenever and wherever required and in a perfectly coordinated way. In the ideal, the organism can be conceived as a quantum superposition of coherent activities, with instantaneous (nonlocal) noiseless intercommunication throughout the system. The flow of qi in meridian theory corresponds rather well to the mobilisation of coherent energy. Coherent energy is vital energy, and it is arises because the organism is especially good at capturing energy, storing and mobilising it in a coherent form. Let us look more closely at the mobilisation of coherent energy. Coherent energy is stored everywhere within the system over the entire range of space-times. Consequently any subtle influence arising anywhere within the system will propagate over the entire system and get amplified to global effects. In other words, the system, by virtue of being full of coherent energy everywhere, will be ultrasensitive to very weak signals. This may be the basis of all forms of subtle energy medicine. Quantum coherence in living organisms was still firmly rejected by mainstream biologists when I proposed it in 1993 (Ho, 1993). I was in turn inspired by the idea that organisms may store energy as ‘coherent excitations’, which originated with solid-state physicist Herbert Fröhlich in the 1960s (see Frohlich, 1980). Later on, quantum physicist turned biophysicist, Fritz Popp, suggested that organisms are quantum coherent photon fields (see Popp et al, 1970; 1992). Today, mainstream scientists including physicist Roger Penrose (1995) have begun to invoke quantum coherence to account for the macroscopic, phasecorrelated electrical activities observed by neurophysiologists in widely separated parts of the brain (see Freeman, 1995; Ho, 1997). I must emphasise that the theory of the organism just presented is firmly based on empirical experimental findings from our own laboratory as well as from established laboratories around the world. Many of the findings are published in scientific journals, but there is little or no satisfactory explanation for them within conventional mainstream biology. I won’t have time to describe all the experimental results which have built up a picture of coherence in the organism (see Ho, 1998). Perhaps the most suggestive evidence is our discovery in 1992 that all organisms are liquid crystalline. What we actually discovered was a novel noninvasive optical imaging technique based on the polarised light microscopy (Ho and Lawrence, 1993; Newton et al, 1995; Ross et al, 1997). It is a technique that earth scientists and other have used for studying mineral crystals, and more recently liquid crystals; in other words, any material with molecular order. But crystals have static order, so how can living, mobile organisms be crystals? Indeed, the imaging technique demonstrates that organisms are so dynamically coherent at the molecular level that they appear to be crystalline (Ho and Saunders, 1994; Ho et al, 1996). That is because light vibrates at 1014Hz, much faster than the molecules can move coherently together, which is at most 1010 Hz. So long as the motions among the molecules in the cells and tissues are sufficiently coherent, they will appear to be statically ordered, or crystalline, to the light passing through. This is analogous to the ability of a very fast film to capture the image of a moving object as a sharply focussed Œstill¹ picture. This imaging technique is telling us that the living organism is coherent beyond our wildest dreams, with dynamic order that extends from the molecular to the macroscopic. There is a dynamic, liquid crystalline continuum of connective tissues and extracellular matrix linking directly into the equally liquid crystalline cytoplasm in the interior of every single cell in the body (see Ho, 1997; Ho, 1998; Ho and Knight, 1998, and references therein). Liquid crystallinity gives organisms their characteristic flexibility,


exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness, thus optimizing the rapid, noiseless intercommunication that enables the organism to function as a coherent, coordinated whole. In addition, the liquid crystalline continuum provides subtle electrical interconnections which are sensitive to changes in pressure, pH and other physicochemical conditions; in other words, it is also able to register Œtissue memory¹. Thus, the liquid crystalline continuum possesses all the qualities of a Œbody consciousness¹ that may indeed be sensitive to all forms of subtle energy medicines including acupuncture. The connective tissues of our body include the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilege, various membranes covering major organs and linings of internal spaces. We tend to see them as serving purely mechanical functions to keep the body in shape, or to act as packing material. Actually, connective tissues may also be largely responsible for the rapid intercommunication that enables our body to function effectively as a coherent whole, and are therefore central to our health and well-being. The clue to the intercommunication function of connective tissues lies in the properties of collagen, which makes up 70% or more of all the proteins of the connective tissues. Connective tissues, in turn form the bulk of the body of most multicellular animals. Collagen is therefore the most abundant protein in the animal kingdom. There are many kinds of collagens - all sharing a general repeating sequence of the tripeptide, (X-Y-glycine), where X and Y are usually proline or hydroxyproline (reviewed in Ho and Knight, 1998; Haffegee, 1999; Zhou, 1999). They also share a molecular structure in which three polypeptide chains are wound around one another in a triplehelix (rather like an electric flex) with the compact amino acid glycine in the central axis of the helix, while the bulky amino-acids proline and hydroxyproline are near the surface. In the fibrous forms, the triplehelical molecules aggregate head to tail and side-by side into long fibrils, and bundles of fibrils in turn assemble into thicker fibres, and other more complex three-dimensional liquid crystalline structures. Some collagens assemble into sheets constructed from an open, liquid crystalline meshwork of molecules. All these structures are formed by self-assembly, in the sense that they need no specific ‘instructions’ other than certain conditions of pH, ionic strength, temperature and hydration (Zhou et al, 1996; Haffegee, 1999). The process is predominantly driven by hydrophilic interactions due to hydrogen-bonding between water molecules and charged amino-acid side-chains of the protein. Hydrogen bonds is a special kind of chemical bond in which a hydrogen atom is shared between atoms such as oxygen and nitrogen. It is the most important and ubiquitous chemical bond in living systems. If you don’t know anything else, you must know the hydrogen bond. A water molecule is made of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms and each of the two hydrogen atoms can make a hydrogen bond with another the oxygen belonging to another water molecule or a protein molecule. And the oxygen atom of the water molecule can accept two other hydrogen atoms in hydrogen-bonds. But collagens are not just mechanical fibres and composites. Instead, they have dielectric and electrical conductive properties that make them very sensitive to mechanical pressures, pH, and ionic composition and to electromagnetic fields (reviewed in Ho, 1998; Ho and Knight, 1998; in particular, Zhou, 1999). The electrical properties depend, to a large extent, on the bound water molecules in and around the collagen triple-helix. X-ray diffraction studies reveal a cylinder of water surrounding the triple-helix which is hydrogen-bonded to the hydroxyproline side-chains. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies and Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectroscopy have both provided evidence of three populations of water molecules associated with collagen. These are interstitial water, very tightly bound within the triplehelix of the collagen molecule, and strongly interacting with the peptide bonds of the polypeptide chains; bound water, corresponding to the more loosely structured water-cylinder on

the surface of the triple helix; and so called free water filling the spaces between the fibrils and between fibres. Typically, there is a layer of water some 4 to 5 molecules deep separating neighbouring triplehelices. This biological water is integral to the liquid crystallinity of collagens (Zhou et al, 1999) and other composites such as the extracellular matrix, the cell membrane and the ‘cytoplasm’. The existence of the ordered network of water molecules, connected by hydrogen bonds, and interspersed within the protein fibrillar matrix of the collagens is especially signicant, as it is expected to support rapid jump conduction of protons, ie, hydrogen atoms without its electron, which constitute positive electric charges. This jump conduction is a kind of semi-conduction and is much faster than ordinary electrical conduction or conduction through nerve fibres. That is because it does not actually require any net movement of the charged particle itself. It is passed rapidly down a line of relatively static, hydrogen-bonded water molecules. Jump conduction of protons in collagen has been confirmed by dielectric measurements. The conductivity of collagen increases strongly with the amount of water absorbed (from 0.1 to 0.3g/g collagen), in accordance with the power-law relation, s(f) = XfY where f is the water content, andX and Y are constants. The value of Y is found to be 5.1 to 5.4, and is a function of the collagen fibrillar structure. These results suggest that continuous chains of ordered water molecules join neighbouring ion-generating sites enabling proton jumps to occur. The high value of the exponential suggests that up to 5 or 6 neighbours may be involved in the jump conduction. Based on these findings, it is estimated that conductivity along the collagen fibres is at least one-hundred time that across the fibre. A major factor contributing to the efficiency of intercommunication is the structured, oriented nature of collagen liquid crystalline fibres. Each connective tissue has its characteristic orientation of fibrous structures which are clearly related to the mechanical stresses and strains to which the tissue is subject. This same orientation may also be crucial for intercommunication. Aligned collagen fibres in connective tissues provide oriented channels for electrical intercommunication, and are strongly reminiscent of acupuncture meridians in traditional Chinese medicine. As collagen fibres are expected to conduct (positive) electricity preferentially along the fibres due to the bound water, which are predominantly oriented along the fibre axis, it follows that these conduction paths may correspond to acupuncture meridians. By contrast, acupoints typically exhibit 10 to 100-fold lower electrical resistances compared with the surrounding skin, and may therefore correspond to singularities or gaps between collagen fibres, or, where collagen fibres are oriented at right angles to the dermal layer. The actual conducting channels may bear a more subtle relationship to the orientation of the collagen fibres, as conductivity depends predominantly on the layer(s) of bound water on the surface of the collagen molecules rather than the collagens themselves. So-called free water may also take part in proton conduction as the result of induced polarization, particularly as water molecules naturally form hydrogenbonded networks. This would be consistent with the observed increase in conductivity of collagen as hydration increases to a level well beyond the bound water fraction, around 0.15g/g; and with the fact that the normal hydration level of tendon is about 65%. The hydrogen-bonded water network of the connective tissues is actually linked to ordered hydrogen-bonded water in the ion-channels of the cell membrane that allow inorganic ions to pass in and out of the cell. There is thus a direct electrical link between distant signals and the intracellular matrix of every single cell in the body, leading to physiological changes inside the cells, including all nerve cells. This electrical channel of intercommunication is in addition to and coupled with the mechanical tensegrity interactionsbetween the connective tissues and the intracellular matrix of every single cell, a continuum that always changes as a whole. Any mechanical deformations of the protein-bound water network will automatically result in electrical


disturbances and conversely, electrical disturbances will result in mechanical effects. As mentioned earlier, proton jump-conduction is a form of semiconduction in condensed matter and much faster than conduction of electrical signals by the nerves. Thus the Œground substance¹ of the entire body may provide a much better intercommunication system than the nervous system. Indeed, it is possible that one of the functions of the nervous system is to slow down intercommunication through the ground substance. Lower animals which do not have a nervous system are nonetheless sensitive. At the other end of the evolutionary scale, note the alarming speed with which a hypersensitive response occurs in human beings, or how rapidly they can respond to an emergency. There is no doubt that a body consciousness exists prior to the Œbrain¹ consciousness associated with the nervous system. I have argued that a body consciousness possessing all the hallmarks of consciousness - sentience, intercommunication and memory - is distributed throughout the entire body. Brain consciousness associated with the nervous system is embedded in body consciousness and is coupled to it (Ho, 1997; 1998). Under normal, healthy conditions, body and brain consciousness mutually inform and condition each other. The unity of our conscious experience and our state of health depends on the complete coherence of brain and body. Traditional Chinese medicine based on the acupuncture meridian system places the emphasis of health on the coherence of body functions which harmonizes brain to body. This makes perfect sense if one recognizes the brain as part of the body. Western medicine, by contrast, has yet no concept of the whole, and is based, at the very outset, on a Cartesian divide between mind and brain, and brain and body. Because there is no concept of the organism as a whole, there is, in effect, no theory of health, only an infinite number of disease models, each based on the supposed defect of a single molecular species. There is an urgent need to develop a theory of health for proper delivery of healthcare in the next millenium. Acknowledgment Peter Saunders, Fritz Popp, Franco Musumeci, Kenneth Denbigh, Geoffrey Sewell, John Bolton, David Knight and Stephen Swithenby have taught me a lot of what I did not know about mathematics, physics and chemistry, and shared their insights with me, some of them over many years. Stephen Ross, Julian Haffegee, Zhou Yu-Ming and Richard Newton were my collaborators on many of the experimental projects. Without their enthusiasm, ingenuity and support, the work described in this paper would never have been done. References Dold, C. (1998). Needles & Nerves. Discover September, 58-62. Freeman, W.J. (1995). Societies of Brains. A Study in the Neuroscience of Love and Hate, lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hove. Fröhlich, H. (1968). Long range coherence and energy storage in biological systems. Int. J. Quantum Chemistry 2, 641-649. Haffegee, J. (1999). Collagen self-assembly and alignment in vitro. M. Sc. Thesis, Bioelectrodynamics Laboratory, Open University. Ho, M.W. (1993). The Rainbow and The Worm. The Physics of Organisms, World Scientific, Singapore. Ho, M.W. ed. (1995b). Bioenergetics, S327 Living Processes, Open University Press, Milton Keynes, especially Chapters 3, 5, 7, 8. Ho, M.W. (1997a). Quantum coherence and conscious experience. Kybernetes 26, 265-276. Ho, M.W. (1998). The Rainbow and The Worm. The Physics of Organisms, 2nd. Ed. World Scientific, Singapore. Ho, M.W. and Knight, D.P (1998). The acupuncture system and . the liquid crystalline collagen fibers of the connective tissues. Am. J. Chinese Medicine 26, 251-263. Ho, M.W. and Lawrence, M. (1993). Interference colour vital imaging: A novel noninvasive microscopic technique.

Microscopy and Analysis September, 26. Ho, M.W. and Saunders, P (1994). Liquid crystalline mesophase .T. in living organisms. In Bioelectrodynamics and Biocommunication (M.W. Ho, F.A. Popp and U. Warnke, eds.)World Scientific, Singapore. Ho, M.W., Haffegee, J., Newton,R.H. Ross, S., Zhou, Y.M. and Bolton. J.P (1996). Organisms as polyphasic liquid crystals. . Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics 41, 81-91, 1996. Newton, R.H., Haffegee, J. and Ho, M.W. (1995). Colour-contrast in polarized light microscopy of weakly birefringent biological specimens. J. Microscopy 180, 127-130. Penrose, R. (1994). Shadows of Mind, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Popp, F.A., Li, K.H. and Gu, Q. eds. (1992). Advances in Biophotons Research, World Scientific, Singapore. Popp, F.A., Ruth, B., Bahr, W., Bohm. J., Grass, P Grohlig, G., ., Rattemeyer, M., Schmidt, H.G. and Wulle, P (1981). Emission of visible . and ultraviolet radiation by active biological systems. Collective Phenomena 3, 187-214. Ross, S., Newton, R.H., Zhou, Y.M., Haffegee, J., Ho, M.W., Bolton, J. and Knight, D. (1997). Quantitative image analysis of birefringent biological materials. J. Microscopy 187, 62-67. Zhou, Y.-M. (1999). The optical properties of living organisms, Ph.D. Thesis, Open University, Bioelectrodynamics Laboratory. Zhou, Y.M., Newton, R.H., Haffegee, J., Brown, J.Y., Ross, S., Bolton, J.P Ho, M.W.: Imaging Liquid Crystalline Mesophases in vivo ., and in vitro: Measuring Molecular Birefringence and Order Parameter of Liquid Crystals. Bios Journal, 1996. Zhou, Y,-M., Newton, R.H., Haffegee, J.P Meek, K. and Ho, . M.W. (1999). Effects of different solvents on collagen birefringence and structure. (in preparation). The Institute of Science in Society PO Box 32097, London NW1 OXR Tel: 44 -020-7380 0908 Why “Hard Science” is Based on Faith Paul Davies note: I’m posting this piece, as it highlights what I perceive as the need for a spiritual science to bridge the gap between religion and hard science. I accept Davies premise that physics is based on faith when you examine its bedrock beliefs. I believe eventually Taoist practices will play an important part in developing that spiritual science, mostly because it has a clean set of unity, yin-yang and five phase principles that are personally testable thorugh qigong and meditation practice. Michael TAKING SCIENCE ON FAITH by Paul Davies SCIENCE, we are repeatedly told, is the most reliable form of knowledge about the world because it is based on testable hypotheses. Religion, by contrast, is based on faith. The term “doubting Thomas” well illustrates the difference. In science, a healthy skepticism is a professional necessity, whereas in religion, having belief without evidence is regarded as a virtue. The problem with this neat separation into “non-overlapping magisteria,” as Stephen Jay Gould described science and religion, is that science has its own faith-based belief system. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. Y couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a ou meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. When physicists probe to a deeper level of subatomic structure, or astronomers extend the reach of their instruments, they expect to encounter additional elegant mathematical order. And so far this faith has been justified. The most refined expression of the rational intelligibility of the cosmos is found in the laws of physics, the fundamental rules on which nature runs. The laws of gravitation and electromagnetism, the laws that regulate the world within the atom, the laws of motion — all are


expressed as tidy mathematical relationships. But where do these laws come from? And why do they have the form that they do? When I was a student, the laws of physics were regarded as completely off limits. The job of the scientist, we were told, is to discover the laws and apply them, not inquire into their provenance. The laws were treated as “given” — imprinted on the universe like a maker’s mark at the moment of cosmic birth — and fixed forevermore. Therefore, to be a scientist, you had to have faith that the universe is governed by dependable, immutable, absolute, universal, mathematical laws of an unspecified origin. Y ou’ve got to believe that these laws won’t fail, that we won’t wake up tomorrow to find heat flowing from cold to hot, or the speed of light changing by the hour. Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are. The answers vary from “that’s not a scientific question” to “nobody knows.” The favorite reply is, “There is no reason they are what they are — they just are.” The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti-rational. After all, the very essence of a scientific explanation of some phenomenon is that the world is ordered logically and that there are reasons things are as they are. If one traces these reasons all the way down to the bedrock of reality — the laws of physics — only to find that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science. Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity? If so, then nature is a fiendishly clever bit of trickery: meaninglessness and absurdity somehow masquerading as ingenious order and rationality. Although scientists have long had an inclination to shrug aside such questions concerning the source of the laws of physics, the mood has now shifted considerably. Part of the reason is the growing acceptance that the emergence of life in the universe, and hence the existence of observers like ourselves, depends rather sensitively on the form of the laws. If the laws of physics were just any old ragbag of rules, life would almost certainly not exist. A second reason that the laws of physics have now been brought within the scope of scientific inquiry is the realization that what we long regarded as absolute and universal laws might not be truly fundamental at all, but more like local bylaws. They could vary from place to place on a mega-cosmic scale. A God’s-eye view might reveal a vast patchwork quilt of universes, each with its own distinctive set of bylaws. In this “multiverse,” life will arise only in those patches with bio-friendly bylaws, so it is no surprise that we find ourselves in a Goldilocks universe — one that is just right for life. We have selected it by our very existence. The multiverse theory is increasingly popular, but it doesn’t so much explain the laws of physics as dodge the whole issue. There has to be a physical mechanism to make all those universes and bestow bylaws on them. This process will require its own laws, or meta-laws. Where do they come from? The problem has simply been shifted up a level from the laws of the universe to the meta-laws of the multiverse. Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence. This shared failing is no surprise, because the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.

And just as Christians claim that the world depends utterly on God for its existence, while the converse is not the case, so physicists declare a similar asymmetry: the universe is governed by eternal laws (or meta-laws), but the laws are completely impervious to what happens in the universe. It seems to me there is no hope of ever explaining why the physical universe is as it is so long as we are fixated on immutable laws or metalaws that exist reasonlessly or are imposed by divine providence. The alternative is to regard the laws of physics and the universe they govern as part and parcel of a unitary system, and to be incorporated together within a common explanatory scheme. In other words, the laws should have an explanation from within the universe and not involve appealing to an external agency. The specifics of that explanation are a matter for future research. But until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus. [First published as an OpEd piece by The New Y Times, ork November 24, 2007] PAUL C. DAVIES is the director of Beyond, a research center at Arizona State University, and the author of “Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life.” Evolution Depends on Memory Held in Fields of Morphic Resonance Rupert Sheldrake Note: The idea of a “field” is at the root of Taoist energetic science - the yin,yang, and yuan principles of the Life Force being the governing field that guides all manifestation and holds all memory. I find Sheldrake’s attempt to integrate field theory with modern genetic discoveries and Darwinian ideas on evolution to be most convincing, and in resonance with ancient Taoist ideas, presented in a modern complex that stresses verifiable detail. - Michael

Evolution Depends on Memory Held in Fields of Morphic Resonance by Rupert Sheldrake Biologist, London; Author of The Presence of the Past I believe, but cannot prove, that memory is inherent in nature. Most of the so-called laws of nature are more like habits. There is no need to suppose that all the laws of nature sprang into being fully formed at the moment of the Big Bang, like a kind of cosmic Napoleonic code, or that they exist in a metaphysical realm beyond time and space. Before the general acceptance of the Big Bang theory in the 1960s, eternal laws seemed to make sense. The universe itself was thought to be eternal and evolution was confined to the biological realm. But we now live in a radically evolutionary universe. If we want to stick to the idea of natural laws, we could say that as nature itself evolves, the laws of nature also evolve, just as human laws evolve over time. But then how would natural laws be remembered or enforced? The law metaphor is embarrassingly anthropomorphic. Habits are less human-centred. Many kinds of organisms have habits, but only humans have laws. Habits are subject to natural selection; and the more often they are repeated, the more probable they become, other things being equal. Animals inherit the successful habits of their species as instincts. We


inherit bodily, emotional, mental and cultural habits, including the habits of our languages. The habits of nature depend on non-local similarity reinforcement. Through a kind of resonance, the patterns of activity in self-organizing systems are influenced by similar patterns in the past, giving each species and each kind of self-organizing system a collective memory. Is this just a vague philosophical idea? I believe it can be formulated as a testable scientific hypothesis. My interest in evolutionary habits arose when I was engaged in research in developmental biology, and was reinforced by reading Charles Darwin, for whom the habits of organisms were of central importance. As Francis Huxley has pointed out, Darwin’s most famous book could more appropriately have been entitled The Origin of Habits. Over the course of fifteen years of research on plant development, I came to the conclusion that for understanding the development of plants, their morphogenesis, genes and gene products are not enough. Morphogenesis also depends on organizing fields. The same arguments apply to the development of animals. Since the 1920s many developmental biologists have proposed that biological organization depends on fields, variously called biological fields, or developmental fields, or positional fields, or morphogenetic fields. All cells come from other cells, and all cells inherit fields of organization. Genes are part of this organization. They play an essential role. But they do not explain the organization itself. Why not? Thanks to molecular biology, we know what genes do. They enable organisms to make particular proteins. Other genes are involved in the control of protein synthesis. Identifiable genes are switched on and particular proteins made at the beginning of new developmental processes. Some of these developmental switch genes, like the Hox genes in fruit flies, worms, fish and mammals, are very similar. In evolutionary terms, they are highly conserved. But switching on genes such as these cannot in itself determine form, otherwise fruit flies would not look different from us. Many organisms live as free cells, including many yeasts, bacteria and amoebas. Some form complex mineral skeletons, as in diatoms and radiolarians, spectacularly pictured in the nineteenth century by Ernst Haeckel. Just making the right proteins at the right times cannot explain such structures without many other forces coming into play, including the organizing activity of cell membranes and microtubules. Most developmental biologists accept the need for a holistic or integrative conception of living organization. Otherwise biology will go on floundering, even drowning, in oceans of data, as yet more genomes are sequenced, genes are cloned and proteins are characterized. I suspect that morphogenetic fields work by imposing patterns on the otherwise random or indeterminate patterns of activity. For example they cause microtubules to crystallize in one part of the cell rather than another, even though the subunits from which they are made are present throughout the cell. Morphogenetic fields are not fixed forever, but evolve. The fields of Afghan hounds and poodles have become different from those of their common ancestors, wolves. How are these fields inherited? I believe, but cannot prove, that they are transmitted by a kind of nonlocal resonance, and I have suggested the term morphic resonance for this process. The fields organizing the activity of the nervous system are likewise inherited through morphic resonance, conveying a collective, instinctive memory. The resonance of a brain with its own past states also helps to explain the memories of individual animals and humans. Social groups are likewise organized by fields, as in schools

of fish and flocks of birds. Human societies have memories that are transmitted through the culture of the group, and are most explicitly communicated through the ritual re-enactment of a founding story or myth, as in the Jewish Passover celebration, the Christian Holy Communion and the American thanksgiving dinner, through which the past become present through a kind of resonance with those who have performed the same rituals before. Others may prefer to dispense with the idea of fields and explain the evolution of organization in some other way, perhaps using more general terms like “emergent systems properties”. But whatever the details of the models, I believe that the natural selection of habits will play an essential part in any integrated theory of evolution, including not just biological evolution, but also physical, chemical, cosmic, social, mental and cultural evolution. The Biology of Free Will Journal of Consciousness Studies 3, 231-244, 1996 Mae-Wan Ho Bioelectrodynamics Laboratory, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, U.K. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3, 231-244, 1996. Abstract I. Introduction * The new organicism II. The organism frees itself from the `laws’ of physics III. The organism is free from mechanical determinism * The polychromatic organism * The organism is a free sentient being and hence able to decide its own fate IV. The organism frees itself from mechanistic control as an interconnected, intercommunicating whole * Long-range energy continua in cells and tissues * Organism and environment -- a mutual partnership V. The organism as an autonomous coherent whole * Organisms are polyphasic liquid crystals * Quantum coherence in living organisms * The freedom of organisms Acknowledgments Notes References Abstract: According to Bergson (1916), the traditional problem of free will is misconceived and arises from a mismatch between the quality of authentic, subjective experience and its description in language, in particular, the language of the mechanistic science of psychology. Contemporary western scientific concepts of the organism, on the other hand, are leading us beyond conventional thermodynamics as well as quantum theory and offering rigorous insights which reaffirm and extend our intuitive, poetic, and even romantic notions of spontaneity and free will. I shall describe some new views of the organism arising from new findings in biology, in order to show how, in freeing itself from the `laws’ of physics, from mechanical determinism and mechanistic control, the organism becomes a sentient, coherent being that is free, from moment to moment, to explore and create its possible futures. * Based on a lecture delievered at the 6th Mind & Brain Symposium, The Science of Consciousness -- The Nature of Free Will, November 4, 1995, Institute of Psychiatry, London. I. Introduction Distinguished neurophysiologist Walter Freeman (1995) begins his latest book by declaring brain science “in crisis”: his personal quest to define constant psychological states arising from given stimuli has ended in failure after 33 years. Patterns of brain activity are simply unrepeatable, every perception is influenced by all that has gone before. The impasse, he adds, is conceptual, not experimental or logical. This acknowledged breakdown of mechanical determinism in


brain science is really long overdue, but it should not be miscontrued as the triumph of vitalism. As Freeman goes on to show, recent developments in nonlinear mathematics can contribute to some understanding of these non-repeatable brain activities. The traditional opposition between mechanists and vitalists already began to dissolve at the turn of the present century, when Newtonian physics gave way to quantum theory at the very small scales of elementary particles and to general relativity at the large scales of planetary motion. The static, deterministic universe of absolute space and time is replaced by a multitude of contingent, observer-dependent space-time frames. Instead of mechanical objects with simple locations in space and time, one finds delocalized, mutually entangled quantum entities that carry their histories with them, like evolving organisms. These developments in contemporary western science gave birth to organicist philosophy. A key figure in organicist philosophy was the French philosopher, Henri Bergson (1916), who showed how Newtonian concepts -- which dominate biological sciences then and now -- negate psychology’s claims to understand our inner experience at the very outset. In particular, he drew attention to the inseparability of space and time, both tied to real processes that have characteristic durations. The other major figure in organicist philosophy was the English mathematician-philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead (1925) who saw physics itself and all of nature, as unintelligible without a thoroughgoing theory of the organism that participates in knowing. Organicist philosophy was taken very seriously by a remarkable group of people who formed the multidisciplinary Theoretical Biology Club.[1] Its membership included Joseph Needham, eminent embryologist/ biochemist later to be renowned for his work on the history of Chinese science, Dorothy Needham, muscle physiologist and biochemist, geneticist C.H. Waddington, crystallographer J.D. Bernal, mathematician Dorothy Wrinch, philosopher, J.H. Woodger and physicist, Neville Mott. They acknowledged the full complexity of living organization, not as axiomatic, but as something to be explained and understood with the help of philosophy as well as physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics, as those sciences advance, and in the spirit of free enquiry, leaving open whether new concepts or laws may be discovered in the process. A lot has happened since the project of the Theoretical Biology Club was brought to a premature end when they failed to obtain funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. Organicism has not survived as such, but its invisible ripples have spread and touched the hearts and minds, and the imagination of many who remain drawn to the central enigma that Erwin Schrödinger (1944) later posed: What is Life? In the intervening years, the transistor radio, the computer and lasers have been invented. Whole new disciplines have been created, nonequilibrium thermodynamics, solid state physics and quantum optics to name but a few. In mathematics, nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory took off in a big way during the 1960s and 70s. Perhaps partly on account of that, many nonlinear physical and physicochemical phenomena are being actively investigated only within the past ten years, as physics become more and more organic in its outlook. In a way, the whole of science is now tinged with organicist philosophy, as even “consciousness” and “free will” are on the scientific agenda. Bergson ( 1916) has made a persuasive case that the traditional problem of free will is simply misconceived and arises from a mismatch between the quality of authentic, subjective experience and its description in language, in particular, the language of the mechanistic science of psychology. In a recent book, I have shown how contemporary western scientific concepts of the organism are leading us beyond conventional thermodynamics as well as quantum theory (Ho, 1993), and offering rigorous insights which reaffirm and extend our intuitive, poetic, and even romantic notions of spontaneity and free will. The new organicism I am making a case for organicist science. It is not yet a conscious movement but a Zeitgeist I personally embrace, so I really mean to persuade you to do likewise by giving it a more tangible shape.

The new organicism, like the old, is dedicated to the knowledge of the organic whole, hence, it does not recognize any discipline boundaries. It is to be found between all disciplines. Ultimately, it is an unfragmented knowledge system by which one lives. There is no escape clause allowing one to plead knowledge `pure’ or `objective’, and hence having nothing to do with life. As with the old organicism, the knowing being participates in knowing as much as in living. Participation implies responsibility, which is consistent with the truism that there can be no freedom without responsibility, and conversely, no responsiblity without freedom. There is no placing mind outside nature as Descartes has done, the knowing being is wholeheartedly within nature: heart and mind, intellect and feeling (Ho, 1994a). It is non-dualist and holistic. In all those respects, its affinities are with the participatory knowledge systems of traditional indigenous cultures all over the world. From a thorough-going organicist perspective, one does not ask, “What is life?” but, “What is it to be alive?”. Indeed, the best way to know life is to live it fully. It must be said that we do not yet have a fully fledged organicist science. But I shall describe some new images of the organism, starting from the more familiar and working up, perhaps to the most sublime, from which a picture of the organism as a free, spontaneous being will begin to emerge. I shall show how the organism succeeds in freeing itself from the `laws’ of physics, from mechanical determinism and mechanistic control, thereby becoming a sentient, coherent being that, from moment to moment, freely explores and creates its possible futures. II. The organism frees itself from the `laws’ of physics I put `laws’ in quotation marks in order to emphasize that they are not laid down once and for all, and especially not to dictate what we can or cannot think. They are tools for helping us think; and most of all, to be transcended if necessary. Many physicists have marvelled at how organisms seem able to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics, starting from Lord Kelvin, co-inventor of the Second Law, who nevertheless excluded organisms from its dominion: “The animal body does not act as a thermodynamic engine . . . consciousness teaches every individual that they are, to some extent, subject to the direction of his will. It appears therefore that animated creatures have the power of immediately applying to certain moving particles of matter within their bodies, forces by which the motions of these particles are directed to produce derived mechanical effects.”[2] What impresses Lord Kelvin is how organisms seem to have energy at will, whenever and wherever required, and in a perfectly coordinated way. Another equally puzzling feature is that, contrary to the Second Law, which says all systems should decay into equilibrium and disorder, organisms develop and evolve towards ever increasing organization. Of course, there is no contradiction, as the Second Law applies to isolated systems, whereas organisms are open systems. But how do organisms manage to maintain themselves far away from thermodynamic equilibrium and to produce increasing organization? Schrödinger writes: “It is by avoiding the rapid decay into the inert state of `equilibrium’ that an organism appears so enigmatic. . . . What an organism feeds upon is negative entropy, or, to put it less paradoxically, the essential thing in metabolism is that the organism succeeds in freeing itself from all the entropy it cannot help producing while alive.”[3] Schrödinger was severely reprimanded,[4] by Linus Pauling and others, for using the term `negative entropy’, for it really does not correspond to any rigorous thermodynamic entity. However, the idea that open systems can “self-organize” under energy flow became more concrete in the discovery of “dissipative structures” (Prigogine, 1967). An example is the Bénard convection cells that arise in a pan of water heated uniformly from below. At a critical temperature difference between the top and the bottom, a phase transition occurs: bulk flow begins as the lighter, warm water rises from the bottom and the denser,


cool water sinks. The whole pan eventually settles down to a regular honeycomb array of flow cells. Before phase transition, all the molecules move randomly with respect to one another. However, at a critical rate of energy supply, the system self-organizes into global dynamic order in which all the astronomical numbers of molecules are moving in formation as though choreographed to do so. A still more illuminating physical metaphor for the living system is the laser (Haken, 1977), in which energy is pumped into a cavity containing atoms capable of emitting light. At low levels of pumping, the atoms emit randomly as in an ordinary lamp. As the pumping rate is increased, a threshold is reached when all the atoms oscillate together in phase, and send out a giant light track that is a million times as long as that emitted by individual atoms. Both examples illustrate how energy input or energy pumping and dynamic order are intimately linked. These and other considerations led me to identify Schrödinger’s “negative entropy” as “stored mobilizable energy in a space-time structured system” ( Ho, 1994b, 1995a). The key to understanding the thermodynamics of living systems turns out not so much to be energy flow but energy storage under energy flow (Fig. 1). Energy flow is of no consequence unless the energy can be trapped and stored within the system where it circulates to do work before dissipating. A reproducing life cycle, i.e., an organism, arises when the loop of circulating energy is closed. At that point, we have a life cycle, within which stored energy is mobilized, remaining largely stored as it is mobilized. The life cycle is a highly differentiated space-time structure, the predominant modes of activity are themselves cycles spanning an entire gamut of space-times from the local and fast (or slow) to the global and slow (or fast), all of which are coupled together. These cycles are most familiar to us in the form of biological rhythms extending over 20 orders of magnitude of time, from electrical activities of neurons and other cells to circadian and circa-annual rhythms and beyond. An intuitive picture is given in Figure 2, where coupled cycles of different sizes are fed by the one-way energy flow. This complex, entangled space-time structure is strongly reminiscent of Bergson’s “durations” of organic processes, which necessitates a different way of conceptualizing space-time as heterogeneous, nonlinear, multidimensional and nonlocal (see Ho, 1993).[5] On account of the complete spectrum of coupled cycles, energy is stored and mobilized over all space-times according to the relaxation times (and volumes) of the processes involved. So, organisms can take advantage of two different ways of mobilizing energy with maximum efficiency -- nonequilbrium transfer in which stored energy is transferred before it is thermalized, and quasi-equilibrium transfer, for which the free energy change approaches zero according to conventional thermodynamic considerations (McClare, 1971). Energy input into any mode can be readily delocalized over all modes, and conversely, energy from all modes can become concentrated into any mode. In other words, energy coupling in the living system is symmetrical, which is why we can have energy at will, whenever and wherever required (see Ho, 1993, 1994b, 1995a,b). The organism is, in effect, a closed, self-sufficient energetic domain of cyclic nondissipative processes coupled to the dissipative processes. In the formalism of conventional thermodynamics, the life cycle can be considered, to first approximation, to consist of all those cyclic processes -- for which the net entropy change balances out to zero -coupled to those dissipative processes necessary for keeping it going, for which the net entropy change is greater than zero (see Figure 3). This representation, justified in detail elsewhere (Ho, 1996a), is derived from the thermodynamics of the steady state (see Denbigh, 1951). Consequently, the organism has freed itself from the immediate constraints of energy conservation -- the First Law -- as well as the Second Law of thermodynamics. There is always energy available within the system, which is mobilized at close to maximum efficiency and over all space-time modes. [6] III. The organism is free from mechanical determinism

It was geneticist/embryologist C.H. Waddington (1957) who first introduced nonlinear dynamical ideas into developmental biology in the form of the `epigenetic landscape’ -- a general metaphor for the dynamics of the developmental process. The developmental paths of tissues and cells are seen to be constrained or canalized to `flow’ along certain valleys and not others due to the `force’ exerted on the landscape by the various gene products which define the fluid topography of the landscape.[7] This fluid topography contains multiple potential developmental pathways that may be realized as the result of “fluctuations”, or if the environmental conditions, the genes or gene products change. This metaphor has been made much more explicit recently by mathematician Peter Saunders (1992) who shows that the properties of the epigenetic landscape are “common not just to developing organisms but to most nonlinear dynamical systems.” The polychromatic organism A particular kind of nonlinearity which has made headlines recently is `deterministic chaos’: a complex dynamical behaviour that is locally unpredictable and irregular, which has been used to describe many living functions including the collective behaviour of ant colonies (see Goodwin, 1994). The unrepeatable patterns of brain activities that persuaded Freeman ( 1995) to declare brain science in crisis are typical of systems exhibiting deterministic chaos. Another putative example is the heart beat, which is found to be much more irregular in healthy people than in cardiac patients.[8] Physiologist Goldberger (1991) came to the conclusion that healthy heartbeat has “a type of variability called chaos”, and that loss of this “complex variability” is associated with pathology and with aging. Similarly, the electrical activities of the functioning brain, apart from being unrepeatable from moment to moment, also contain many frequencies. But during epileptic fits, the spectrum is greatly impoverished (Kandel, Schwartz and Jessell, 1991 ). There is much current debate as to whether these complex variabilities associated with the healthy, functional state constitute chaos in the technical sense, so the question is by no means settled (Glass and Mackey, 1988). A different understanding of the complex activity spectrum of the healthy state is that it is polychromatic (Ho, 1996c), approaching `white’ in the ideal, in which all the modes of energy storage are equally represented. It corresponds to the so-called f(l) = const. rule that Popp (1986) has generalized from the spectrum of light or “biophotons” found to be emitted from all living systems. I have proposed that this polychromatic ideal distribution of stored energy is the state towards which all open systems capable of energy storage naturally evolve (Ho, 1994b). It is a state of both maximum and minimum in entropy content: maximum because energy becomes equally distributed over all the space-time modes (hence the `white’ ideal), and minimum because the modes are all coupled or linked together to give a coherent whole, in other words, to a single degree of freedom (Popp, 1986; Ho, 1993). In a system where there is no impedance to energy mobilization, all the modes are intercommunicating and hence all the frequencies will be represented. Instead, when coupling is imperfect, or when the subsystem, say, the heart, or the brain, is not communicating properly, it falls back on its own modes, leading to impoverishment of its activity spectrum. Living systems are necessarily a polychromatic whole, they are full of colour and variegated complexity that nevertheless cohere into a singular being. The organism is a free sentient being and hence able to decide its own fate One distinguishing feature of the living system is its exquisite sensitivity to weak signals. For example, the eye can detect single photons falling on the retina, and the presence of several molecules of pheromones in the air is sufficient to attract male insects to their appropriate mates. That extreme sensitivity of the organism applies to all levels and is the direct consequence of its energy self-sufficiency. No part of the system has to be pushed or pulled into action, nor be subjected to mechanical regulation and control. Instead, coordinated action of all the parts depends on rapid intercommunication


throughout the system. The organism is a system of “excitable media” (see Goodwin, 1994, 1995), or excitable cells and tissues poised to respond specifically and disproportionately (i.e., nonlinearly) to weak signals because of the large amount of energy stored, which can thus amplify the weak signal into macroscopic action. It is by virtue of its energy self-sufficiency, therefore, that an organism is a sentient being -- a system of sensitive parts all set to intercommunicate, to respond and to act appropriately as a whole to any contingency. The organism is indeed free from mechanical determinism, but it does not thereby fall prey to indeterminacy. Far from surrendering its fate to the indeterminacy of nonlinear dynamics (or quantum theory, for that matter), the organism maximizes its opportunities inherent in the multiplicity of futures available to it. I have argued elsewhere that indeterminacy is really the problem of the ignorance of the external observer, and not experienced by the being itself, who has full knowledge of its own state, and can readily adjust, respond and act in the most appropriate manner (Ho, 1993). In a very real sense, the organism is free to decide its own fate because it is a sentient being who has moment to moment, up-to-date knowledge of its own internal milieu as well as the external environment. IV. The organism frees itself from mechanistic control as an interconnected, intercommunicating whole This idea has become very concrete as the result of recent advances in biochemistry, cell biology and genetics. A molecular democracy of distributed control There are thousands of enzymes catalyzing thousands of energy transactions and metabolic transformations in our body. The product of one enzyme is acted on by one or more other enzymes, resulting in a highly interconnected metabolic network. Henrik Kacser (1987) was among the first to realize that once we have a network, especially one as complicated as the metabolic network, it is unrealistic to think that there could be special enzymes controlling the flow of metabolites under all circumstances. He and a colleague pioneered metabolic control analysis, to discover how the network is actually regulated under different conditions. After more than 20 years of investigation by many biochemists and cell biologists, it is now generally recognized that so-called `control’ is invariably distributed over many enzymes (and metabolites) in the network, and moreover, the distribution of control differs under different conditions. The metabolic network turns out to be a “molecular democracy” of distributed control. Long-range energy continua in cells and tissues Recent studies have also revealed that energy mobilization in living systems is achieved by protein or enzyme molecules acting as “flexible molecular energy machines” (see Ho, 1995a), which transfer energy directly from the point of release to the point of utilization, without thermalization or dissipation. These direct energy transfers are carried out in collective modes extending from the molecular to the macroscopic domain. The flow of metabolites is channeled coherently at the molecular level, from one enzyme to the next in sequence, in multi-enzyme complexes (see Welch and Clegg, 1987 ). At the same time, high voltage electron microscopy and other physical measurement techniques reveal that the cell is more like a `solid state’ than the `bag of dissolved enzymes’ that generations of biochemists had previously supposed (Clegg, 1984). Not only are almost all enzymes bound to an intricate “microtrabecular lattice”, but a large proportion of metabolites as well as water molecules are also structured on the enormous surfaces available. Aqueous channels are now thought to be involved in the active transport of solutes within the cell in the same way that the blood stream transport metabolites and chemical messengers within the organism (Wheatley and Clegg, 1991). Joseph Needham (1936) and his colleagues were already aware of all that some sixty years ago. As Welch and Berry (1985) propose, the whole cell is linked up by “long-range energy continua” of mechanical interactions, electric and eletrochemical fluxes and in particular, proton currents that form a “protoneural network”, whereby metabolism is regulated instantly and down to minute detail. In addition, the possibility that cells

and tissues are also linked by electromagnetic phonons and photons is increasingly entertained (see Popp, Li and Gu, 1992; Ho, 1993; Ho, Popp and Warnke, 1994). As I shall show later, the cell (as well as organism) is not so much a “solid state” as liquid crystalline. Living systems, therefore, possess just the conditions that favour the rapid propagation of influences in all directions, so that local and global can no longer be easily distinguished. Global phase transitions may often take place, which can be initiated at any point within the system or subsystem. Freeman and Barrie (1994) have described abrupt, phasetransition like changes that typically occur in the eeg of whole areas of the brain, recorded simultaneously with a large array of electrodes, for which no definite centre(s) of origin can be identified.[9] Organism and environment -- a mutual partnership Biology today remains dominated by the genetic paradigm. Genes are seen to be the repository of information that controls the development of the organism, but are otherwise insulated from the environment, and passed on unchanged to the next generation except for rare random mutations. The much publicized Human Genome Project is being promoted on that very basis.[10] Y the genetic et, paradigm has already been fatally undermined at least ten years ago, when a plethora of `fluid genome’ processes were first discovered, and many more have come to light since. These processes destabilize and alter genes and genomes in the course of development, some of the genetic changes are so well correlated with the environment that they are referred to as “directed mutations”. Many of the genetic changes are then passed on to the next generation. I pointed out at the time that heredity can no longer be seen to reside solely in the DNA passed on from one generation to the next. Instead, the stability and repeatability of development -- which we recognize as heredity -- is distributed in the whole gamut of dynamic feedback interrelationships between organism and environment, from the socioecological to the genetic. All these may leave imprints that are passed on to subsequent generations, in the form of cultural traditions or artefacts, maternal or cytoplasmic effects, gene expression states, as well as genetic (DNA sequence) changes. The organism is highly interconnected and intercommunicating at all levels extending from within the cell to the socioecological environment. It is on that account that the organism has freed itself from mechanistic controls of any kind. It is not a passive object at the mercy of random variation and natural selection, but an active participants in the evolutionary drama.[11] In constantly responding to and transforming its environment, it partakes in creating the possible futures of generations to come. V. The organism as an autonomous coherent whole The concept of coherence has emerged within the past 20 years to describe the wholeness of the organism. The first detailed theory of coherence of the organism was presented by Herbert Fröhlich (1968; 1980) who argued that as organisms are made up of strongly dipolar molecules packed rather densely together (c.f. the `solid state’ cell), electric and elastic forces will constantly interact. Metabolic pumping will excite macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids as well as cellular membranes (which typically have an enormous electric field of some 107V/m across them). These will start to vibrate and eventually build up into collective modes, or coherent excitations, of both phonons and photons (sound and light) that extend over macroscopic distances within the organism and perhaps also outside the organism. The emission of electromagnetic radiation from coherent lattice vibrations in a solid-state semi-conductor has recently been experimentally demonstrated for the first time (Dekorsy et al, 1995). The possibility that organisms may use electromagnetic radiations to communicate between cells was already entertained by Soviet biologist Gurwitsch (1925) early this century.This hypothesis was revived by Popp and his coworkers in the late 1970s, and there is now a large and rapidly growing literature on “biophotons” that are believed to be emitted from a coherent photon field (or energy storage field) within the living system (see Popp, Li and Gu, 1992). We have indeed found that a single, one minute, exposure of synchronously developing early


fruitfly embryos to white light results in the re-emission of relatively intense and prolonged flashes of light, some tens of minutes and even hours after the light exposure (Ho et al, 1992b). This is reminiscent of phase-correlated collective emission, or superradiance, in physical systems, although the timescale is orders of magnitude longer. For phase-correlation to build up over the entire population, one must assume that each embryo has a collective phase of all its activities, in other words, each embryo must be considered a highly coherent domain, despite its multiplicity of activities (Ho, Zhou and Haffegee, 1995). Actually, this is no different from the macroscopic phase correlations that are involved in the synchronous flashing of huge populations of fireflies (Strogatz and Mirollo, 1988), and in many physiological functions, such as limb coordination during locomotion (Collin and Stewart, 1992; Kelso, 1991) and coupling between heart rate and respiratory rate (Breithaupt, 1989). Under those conditions, whole limbs or entire circulatory and respiratory systems must be considered coherent domains which can maintain definite phase relationships with respect to one another. During the same early period of development in Drosophila, exposure of the embryos to weak static magnetic fields also cause characteristic global transformation of the normal segmental body pattern to helical configurations in the larvae emerging 24 hours later (Ho et al, 1992a). As the energies involved are well below the thermal threshold, we conclude that there can be no effect unless the external field is acting on a coherent field where charges are moving in phase, or where magnetically sensitive liquid crystals are undergoing phase alignment globally (Ho, et al, 1994). Liquid crystals may indeed be the material basis of many, if not all aspects of biological organization (Ho et al, 1996). Organisms are polyphasic liquid crystals Liquid crystals are phases of matter between the solid and the liquid states, hence the term, mesophases (DeGennes, 1974). Liquid crystalline mesophases possess long range orientational order (all the molecules pointing in the same direction), and often also varying degrees of translational order (the individual molecules keep to their positions to varying extents). In contrast to solid crystals, liquid crystals are mobile and flexible, and above all, highly responsive. They undergo rapid changes in orientation or phase transitions when exposed to electric or magnetic fields (Blinov, 1983) or to changes in temperature, pressure, pH, hydration, and concentrations of inorganic ions (Collings, 1990; Knight, 1993). These properties are ideal for organisms (Gray, 1993; Knight, 1993). Liquid crystals in organisms include all its major constituents; the lipids of cellular membranes, the DNA in chromosomes, all proteins, especially cytoskeletal proteins, muscle proteins, collagens and other macromolecules of connective tissues. These adopt a multiplicity of different mesophases that may be crucial for biological structure and function at all levels of organization (Ho et al, 1996) from channeling metabolites in the cell to pattern determination and the coordinated locomotion of whole organisms. The importance of liquid crystals for living organization was recognized by Joseph Needham (1936) among others. He suggested that living systems actually are liquid crystals, and that many liquid crystalline mesophases may exist in the cell although they cannot then be detected. Indeed, there has been no direct evidence that extensive liquid crystalline mesophases exist in living organisms or in the cytoplasm until our recent discovery of a noninvasive optical technique (Ho and Lawrence, 1993; Ho and Saunders, 1994; Newton, Haffegee and Ho, 1995). This enables us to obtain high resolution and high contrast coloured images of live organisms based on visualizing just the kind of coherent liquid crystalline mesophases which Needham and others had predicted. The technique effectively allows us to see the whole of the living organism at once from its macroscopic activities down to the phase alignment of the molecules that make up its tissues. Brilliant optical colours are generated which are specific for each tissue, dependent on the molecular structure and the degree of coherent alignment of all the molecules, even as the molecules are moving about

busily transforming energy. This is possible because visible light vibrates much faster than the molecules can move, so the tissues will appear indistinguishable from static crystals to the light passing through so long as the movements of the constituent molecules are sufficiently coherent. With this imaging technique, one can see that the organism is thick with activities at all levels, which are coordinated in a continuum from the macroscopic to the molecular. And that is what the coherence of the organism entails. These images also bring out another aspect of the wholeness of the organism: all organisms, from protozoa to vertebrates without exception, are polarized along the anteroposterior axis, so that all the colours in the different tissues of the body are at a maximum when the anteroposterior axis is appropriately aligned, and they change in concert as the organism is rotated from that position. The anteroposterior axis acts as the optical axis for the whole organism, which behaves in effect, as a single crystal. This leaves us in little doubt that the organism is a singular whole, despite the diverse multiplicity and polychromatic nature of its constituent parts. The tissues not only maintain their crystalline order when they are actively transforming energy, the degree of order seems to depend on energy transformation, in that the more active and energetic the organism, the more intensely colorful it is, implying that the molecular motions are all the more coherent (Ho and Saunders, 1994; Ho et al, 1996). The coherence of the organism is therefore closely tied up with its energetic status, as argued in the beginning of this essay: the coherent whole is full of energy -- it is a vibrant coherent whole. Quantum coherence in living organisms The above considerations and observations show that the essence of organic wholeness is that it is distributed throughout its constituent parts so that local and global, part and whole are completely indistinguishable -- the organism’s activities being always fully coordinated in a continuum from the molecular to the macroscopic. That convinces me (as argued in detail in Ho, 1993, also Ho, 1996a) that there is something very special about the wholeness of organisms that is only fully captured by quantum coherence.[12] An intuitive appreciation of quantum coherence is to think of the `I’ that each and every one of us experience of our own being. We know that our body is a multiplicity of organs and tissues, composed of many billions of cells and astronomical numbers of molecules of many different kinds, all capable of working autonomously, and yet somehow cohering into the singular being of our private experience. That is just the stuff of quantum coherence. Quantum coherence does not mean that everybody or every element of the system must be doing the same thing all the time, it is more akin to a grand ballet, or better yet, a very large jazz band where everyone is doing his or her own thing while being perfectly in step and in tune with the whole. A quantum coherent system maximizes both global cohesion and local freedom ( Ho, 1993). This property is technically referred to as factorizability, the correlations between subsystems resolving neatly into selfcorrelations so that the subsystems behave as though they are independent of one another. It enables the body to be performing all sorts of different but coordinated functions simultaneously (Ho, 1995b). It also enables instantaneous, as well as noiseless intercommunication to take place throughout the system.[13] As I am writing, my digestive system is working independently, my metabolism busily transforming chemical energy in all my cells, putting some away in the longer term stores of fat and glycogen, while converting most of it into readily utilizable forms such as ATP Similarly, my muscles are . keeping in tone and allowing me to work the keyboard, while, hopefully, my neurons are firing in wonderfully coherent patterns in my brain. Nevertheless, if the telephone should ring in the middle of all this, I would turn to pick it up without hesitation. The importance of factorizability is evoked by the movie character, Dr. Strangelove, portrayed by Peter Sellers as a megalomaniac scientist who wanted to rule the world. He was a wheelchair-bound paraplegiac, who could not speak without raising his arm in the manner of a Nazi salute. That is just the symptom of the loss of factorizability which is the hallmark of quantum coherence.


The coherent organism is, in the ideal, a quantum superposition of activities -- organized according to their characteristic space-times -each itself coherent, so that it can couple coherently to the rest (Ho, 1995b; 1996a). This picture is fully consistent with the earlier proposal that the organism stores energy over all space-time domains each intercommunicating (or coupled) with the rest. Quantum superposition also enables the system to maximize its potential degrees of freedom so that the single degree of freedom required for coherent action can be instantaneously accessed. The freedom of organisms The organism maximizes both local freedom and global intercommunication. One comes to the startling discovery that the coherent organism is in a very real sense completely free. Nothing is in control, and yet everything is in control. Thus, it is the failure to transcend the mechanistic framework that makes people persist in enquiring which parts are in control, or issuing instructions; or whether free will exists, and who choreographs the dance of molecules. Does “consciousness” control matter or vice versa? These questions are meaningless when one understands what it is to be a coherent, organic whole. An organic whole is an entangled whole, where part and whole, global and local are so thoroughly implicated as to be indistinguishable, and each part is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. Choreographer and dancer are one and the same. The `self’ is a domain of coherent activities, in the ideal, a pure state that permeates the whole of our being with no definite localizations or boundaries, as Bergson has described. The positing of `self’ as a domain of coherent activities implies the existence of an active whole agent who is free. I must stress that freedom does not entail the breakdown of causality as many commentators have mistakenly supposed. On the contrary, an acausal world would be one where it is impossible to be free, as nothing would be intelligible. Nevertheless, freedom does entail a new kind of organic causality that is nonlocal, and posited with the organism itself. It is the experience of perceptual feedback consequent on one’s actions that is responsible for the intuition of causality (Freeman, 1990). However, it must not be supposed that the cause or consciousness is secreted from some definite location in the brain, it is distributed and delocalized throughout the system (c.f. Freeman, 1990). Freedom in the present context means being true to `self’, in other words, being coherent. A free act is a coherent act. Of course not all acts are free, as one is seldom fully coherent. Y the mere possiblity of et being unfree affirms the opposite, that freedom is real, “. . . we are free when our acts spring from our whole personality, when they express it, when they have that indefinable resemblance to it which one sometimes finds between the artist and his work.”[14] The coherent `self’ is distributed and nonlocal -- being implicated in a community of other entities with which one is entangled (Whitehead, 1925; see also Ho, 1993). Thus, being true to self does not imply acting against others. On the contrary, sustaining others sustains the self, so being true to others is also being true to self. It is only within a mechanistic Darwinian perspective that freedom becomes perverted into acts against others (see Ho, 1996e). The coherent `self’ can also couple coherently to the environment so that one becomes as much in control of the environment as one is responsive. The organism thereby participates in creating its own possible futures as well as those of the entire community of organisms in the universe, much as Whitehead (1925) has envisaged. I venture to suggest, therefore, that a truly free individual is a coherent being that lives life fully and spontaneously, without fragmentation or hesitation, who is at peace with herself and at ease with the universe as she participates in creating, from moment to moment, its possible futures. Acknowledgments An earlier draft of this paper was written for the occasion of the 6th Mind & Brain Conference, and I am grateful to Brian Goodwin and Peter Fenwick for making it happen. Afterwards, I felt so inspired by the discussions with the participants that I decided to write it up for publication. Thanks are also due to Geoffrey Sewell for

stimulating discussions on coherence and bioenergetics and for keeping track of my physics; to Peter Saunders, Brian Goodwin, Michael Brown and Michael Clarke for their encouragement and support, and for drawing my attention to crucial publications and preprints. Invaluable suggestions for improving the manuscript came from the reviewers, Walter Freeman and Joseph Goguen. Notes 1. The Theoretical Biology Club was an informal association of academics based in Cambridge University in the 1930s. Its membership was probably more extensive than I have indicated (see Mackay, 1994). Their project continued, to some extent, in a series of meetings organized by C.H. Waddington in the 1960s and 70s. The proceedings, published under the title,Towards a Theoretical Biology (Edinburgh University Press) were very influential among critics of mainstream neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, including myself. Four recent Waddington Memorial Conferences have been organized by Waddington’s student, Brian Goodwin, and published as collected volumes (see Goodwin and Saunders, 1989; Stein and Varela, 1992). These helped to keep the project of the Theoretical Biology Club alive, and I count myself among the intellectual beneficiaries. 2. Cited in Ehrenber, 1967, p103. 3. Schrödinger, 1944, pp.70-71. 4. Schrödinger was criticized by both Pauling and Perutz over his non-rigorous use of “negative entropy”. The exchanges are described by Gnaiger, 1994. 5. I explore the consequences of organic space-time for understanding some of the more paradoxical “states of consciousness” in my book (Ho, 1993) and also in a forth-coming paper (Ho and Marcer, 1996). 6. The present conceptualization, based on thermodynamics, converges with the notion of autopoesis describing the living system as a unitary, self-producing entity, which Maturana and Varela (1987) derived from purely formal considerations. 7. Waddington’s ideas in evolutionary theory is reviewed recently by Ho, 1996b. 8. This is comprehensively described by Goodwin (1995) in our Open University Third Level Course and accompanying video. 9. Elsewhere, it is argued that nonlocal intercommunication based on quantum coherence is involved in these simultaneous changes in brain activities (Ho and Marcer, 1996). 10. I have dealt with the socioeconomic implications as well as scientific issues of gene biotechnology and the Human Genome Project elsewhere Ho (1995c). 11. My colleagues and I have written against the reductionist tendencies of mainstream evolutionary theory since 1976, but see in particular, Ho and Saunders (1984); Pollard, J.W. (1984); Ho, M.W. (1986); Ho and Fox (1988). The issue of epigenetic, or Lamarckian inheritance has been thoroughly reviewed and documented recently by Jablonka and Lamb (1995). See also, Ho, M.W. (1996d). 12. Some aspects of brain activity can best be understood in terms of quantum coherence, independently of arguments given by Hameroff and Penrose (1995) who offer a specific mechanism for mediating coherence. The quantum coherence described in the present paper involves the whole system. When the system is coherent, nonlocal correlations can be established instantaneously, i.e., without delay. The large-scale spatial coherence of brain activities observed by Freeman and Barrie (1994) may be indicative of such instantaneous intercommunication. The relationship between quantum coherence, organic space-time and conscious experience is the subject of another paper (Ho and Marcer, 1996). 13. The coherent pure state (which is factorizable) is the prerequisite for instantaneous, lossless intercommunication, because the slightest change will give rise to a `signal’ passing between the uncorrelated factorizable parts. However, during intercommunication, factorizability is temporarily lost. 14. Bergson, 1916, p. 172. References


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* Ho, M.W. (1995b). Bioenergetics and the Coherence of Organisms. Neural Network World 5, 733-750. * Ho, M.W. (1995c). Unravelling gene biotechnology. Soundings 1, 77-98. [See also: Human Genome--The Biggest Sellout in Human History, 18 Oct 2000, The Human Genome Map, the Death of Genetic Determinism and Beyond, 14 Feb 2001, and The Human Genome--A Big White Elephant, 9 Jun 2001.] * Ho, M.W. (1996a). Bioenergetics and Biocommunication. IPCAT 95 Proceedings (R. Paton, ed.), World Scientific (in press). * Ho, M.W. (1996b). Evolution. In Encyclopedia of Comparative Psychology (G. Greenber and M. Haraway, eds.), Garland Publishing, New Y ork. * Ho, M.W. (1996c). Holistic Health: how to be a vibrant coherent whole (submitted). * Ho, M.W. (1996d). Why Lamarck won’t go away. Annal. Human Genetics 60, 81-84. * Ho, M.W. (1996e). Natural being and coherent society. InGaia in Action. Science of the Living Earth (P Bunyard, ed.) pp.286-307, Floris . Books, 1995. * Ho, M.W., French, A., Haffegee, J. and Saunders, P (1994). Can .T. weak magnetic fields (or potentials) affect pattern formation? In Bioelectrodynamics and Biocommunication (M.W. Ho, F.A. Popp, and U. Warnke, eds.) , World Scientific, Singapore. * Ho, M.W. and Fox, eds. (1988). Evolutionary Processes and Metaphors, Wiley, London. * Ho, M.W., Haffegee, J., Newton, R. Zhou, Y.M., Bolton, J.S. and Ross, S. (1996). Organisms are polyphasic liquid crystals. Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics (in press). * Ho, M.W. and Lawrence, M. (1993). Interference colour vital imaging -- a novel noninvasive technique. Microscopy and Analysis, September, 26. * Ho, M.W. and Marcer, P (1996). How organisms can have . conscious experience (in preparation). * Ho, M.W., Popp, F.A. and Warnke, eds. (1994). Bioelectrodynamics and Biocommunications, World Scientific, Singapore. * Ho, M.W. and Saunders, P eds. (1984). Beyond neoDarwinism: .T. An Introduction to the New Evolutionay Paradigm. Academic Press, 1984. * Ho, M.W. and Saunders, P (1994). Liquid crystalline .T. mesophases in living organisms. In Bioelectromagnetism and Biocommunication (M.W. Ho, F.A. Popp and U. Warnke, eds.). World Scientific, Singapore. * Ho, M.W., Stone, T.A., Jerman, I., Bolton, J., Bolton, H., Goodwin, B.C. , Saunders, P and Robertson, F. (1992a). Brief .T. exposure to weak static magnetic fields during early embryogenesis cause cuticular pattern abnormalities in Drosophila larvae. Physics in Medicine and Biology 37, 1171-1179. * Ho, M.W. Xu, X., Ross, S. and Saunders, P (1992b). Light .T. emission and re-scattering in synchronously developing populations of early embryos -- evidence for coherence fo the embryonic field and long range cooperativity. In Advances in Biophotons Research (F.A. Popp, K.H. Li and Q.Gu, eds.), pp.287-306, World Scientific, Singapore. * Ho, M.W., Zhou, Y.M. and Haffegee, J. (1995). Biological organization, coherence and the morphogenetic field In Physics in Biology (L. Trainor and C. Lumsden, eds.), Academic Press (in press). * Jablonka, E. and Lamb, M. (1995). Epigenetic Inheritance -- The Lamarkian Dimension, Oxford University Press, Oxford. * Kacser, H. (1987). On parts and wholes in metabolism. In The Organization of Cell Metabolism (G.R. Welch and J.S. Clegg, eds.), Plenum Publishing Corporation, New Y ork. * Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J.H. and Jessell, T.M. (1991). Principles of Neural Science 3rd ed. Elsevier, New Y ork. * Kelso, J.A.S. (1991). Behavioral and neural pattern generation: The concept of neurobehavioral dynamical systems. In Cardiorespiratory and Motor Coordination (H.P Koepchen and T. Huopaniemi, eds.), pp. . 224-234, Springer-Verlag, Berlin. * Knight, D. (1993). Collagens as liquid crystals, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Chemistry Session: Molecular SelfAssembly in Science and Life, Sept. 1, Keele.


* Mackay, A.L. (1994). Growth and Form. Introduction to Conference on Form, Tsukuba University, Nov. 1994, preprint kindly provided by the author. * Maturana, H.R. and Varela, F.J. (1987). The Tree of Knowledge, Shambala, Boston. * McClare, C.W.F. (1971). Chemical machines, Maxwell’s demon and living organisms. J. Theor. Biol. 30, 1-34. * Needham, J. (1936). Order and Life, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. * Newton, R., Haffegee, J. and Ho, M.W. (1995). Colour-contrast in polarized light microscopy of weakly birefringent biological specimens. J. Microscopy (in press). * Pollard, J.W. ed. (1984). Evolutionary Paths Into the Future, Wiley, London. * Popp, F.A. (1986). On the coherence of ultraweak photoemission from living tissues. In Disequilibrium and Self-Organization (C.W. Kilmister, ed.), p.207, Reidel, Dordrecht. * Popp, F.A., Li, K.H. and Q. Gu, eds. (1992). Recent Advances in Biophoton Research and its Applications, World Scientific, Singapore. * Prigogine, I. (1967). Introduction to Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes, John Wiley & Sons, New Y ork. * Saunders, P (1992). The organism as a dynamical system. In .T. Thinking About Biology (W. Stein and F.J. Varela, eds.), pp.41-63, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass. * Schrödinger, E. (1944). What is Life? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. * Stein, W. and Varela, F.J. eds. (1992). Thinking About Biology, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass. * Strogatz, S.H. and Mirollo, R.E. (1988). Collective synchronisation in lattices of non-linear oscillators with randomness. J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 21 , L699-L705. * Waddington, C.H. (1957). The Strategy of the Genes, Allen and Unwin, London. * Welch, G.R. and Berry, M.N. (1985). Long-range energy continua and the coordination of multienzyme sequences in vivo. In Organized Multienzyme Systems (G.R. Welch, ed.), Academic Press, New Y ork. * Welch, G.R. and Clegg, J.S. eds. (1987). The Organization of Cell Metabolism, Plenum Publishing Corp., New Y ork. * Wheatley, D. and Clegg, J.S. (1991). Intracellular organization: evolutionary origins and possible consequences of metabolic rate control in vertebrates. Am. Zool. 31, 504-513. * Whitehead, A.N. (1925) Science and the Modern World, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth. Legends Figure 1. Energy flow, energy storage and the reproducing life-cycle. Figure 2. The many-fold cycles of life coupled to energy flow. Figure 3. The organism frees itself from the contraints of energy conservation and the second law of thermodynamics. Are Science and Religion Compatible? Einstein, Bohr, Pauli, Heisenberg Debate the God Factor in Science Werner Heisenberg Note: This is a marvelous conversation amongst seminal physicists of the 20th century, when religion was still a discussable topic. Objective vs. subjective, free will, ethics vs. science are all debated in a lively and readable manner. I post this because it gives an excellent framework for viewing the underlying values of Harmony and Balance in Taoism, and the importance laid on evolving change and virtue embedded in its “religious natural science”. - Michael Winn SCIENCE AND RELIGION By Werner Heisenberg From Physics and Beyond, By Werner Heisenberg, (Harper & Row, 1971). Republished in Physics And Philosophy: The Evolution Of Modern Science by Werner Heisenberg, (Harper Perrennial, 2007). WERNER HEISENBERG (1901–1976) was born in Würzberg, Germany, and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Munich. He became famous for his groundbreaking Uncertainty (or Indeterminacy) Principle and was the recipient of The Nobel Prize in Physics 1932. After World War II he was named director of the Max Planck Institute for Physics and

Astrophysics. SCIENCE AND RELIGION One evening during the Solvay Conference, some of the younger members stayed behind in the lounge of the hotel. This group included Wolfgang Pauli and myself, and was soon afterward joined by Paul Dirac. One of us said: “Einstein keeps talking about God: what are we to make of that? It is extremely difficult to imagine that a scientist like Einstein should have such strong ties with a religious tradition.” “Not so much Einstein as Max Planck,” someone objected. “From some of Planck’s utterances it would seem that he sees no contradiction between religion and science, indeed that he believes the two are perfectly compatible.” I was asked what I knew of Planck’s views on the subject, and what I thought myself. I had spoken to Planck on only a few occasions, mostly about physics and not about general questions, but I was acquainted with some of Planck’s close friends, who had told me a great deal about his attitude. “I assume,” I must have replied, “that Planck considers religion and science compatible because, in his view, they refer to quite distinct facets of reality. Science deals with the objective, material world. It invites us to make accurate statements about objective reality and to grasp its interconnections. Religion, on the other hand, deals with the world of values. It considers what ought to be or what we ought to do, not what is. In science we are concerned to discover what is true or false; in religion with what is good or evil, noble or base. Science is the basis of technology, religion the basis of ethics. In short, the conflict between the two, which has been raging since the eighteenth century, seems founded on a misunderstanding, or, more precisely, on a confusion of the images and parables of religion with scientific statements. Needless to say, the result makes no sense at all. This view, which I know so well from my parents, associates the two realms with the objective and subjective aspects of the world respectively. Science is, so to speak, the manner in which we confront, in which we argue about, the objective side of reality. Religious faith, on the other hand, is the expression of the subjective decisions that help us choose the standards by which we propose to act and live. Admittedly, we generally make these decisions in accordance with the attitudes of the group to which we belong, be it our family, nation, or culture. Our decisions are strongly influenced by educational and environmental factors, but in the final analysis they are subjective and hence not governed by the ‘true or false’ criterion. Max Planck, if I understand him rightly, has used this freedom and come down squarely on the side of the Christian tradition. His thoughts and actions, particularly as they affect his personal relationships, fit perfectly into the framework of this tradition, and no one will respect him the less for it. As far as he is concerned, therefore, the two realms—the objective and the subjective facets of the world— are quite separate, but I must confess that I myself do not feel altogether happy about this separation. I doubt whether human societies can live with so sharp a distinction between knowledge and faith.” Wolfgang shared my concern. “It’s all bound to end in tears,” he said. “ the dawn of religion, all the knowledge of a particular At community fitted into a spiritual framework, based largely on religious values and ideas. The spiritual framework itself had to be within the grasp of the simplest member of the community, even if its parables and images conveyed no more than the vaguest hint as to their underlying values and ideas. But if he himself is to live by these values, the average man has to be convinced that the spiritual framework embraces the entire wisdom of his society. For ‘believing’ does not to him mean ‘taking for granted,’ but rather ‘trusting in the guidance’ of


accepted values. That is why society is in such danger whenever fresh knowledge threatens to explode the old spiritual forms. The complete separation of knowledge and faith can at best be an emergency measure, afford some temporary relief. In western culture, for instance, we may well reach the point in the not too distant future where the parables and images of the old religions will have lost their persuasive force even for the average person; when that happens, I am afraid that all the old ethics will collapse like a house of cards and that unimaginable horrors will be perpetrated. In brief, I cannot really endorse Planck’s philosophy, even if it is logically valid and even though I respect the human attitudes to which it gives rise. “Einstein’s conception is closer to mine. His God is somehow involved in the immutable laws of nature. Einstein has a feeling for the central order of things. He can detect it in the simplicity of natural laws. We may take it that he felt this simplicity very strongly and directly during his discovery of the theory of relativity. Admittedly, this is a far cry from the contents of religion. I don’t believe Einstein is tied to any religious tradition, and I rather think the idea of a personal God is entirely foreign to him. But as far as [Einstein] he is concerned there is no split between science and religion: the central order is part of the subjective as well as the objective realm, and this strikes me as being a far better starting point. “ starting point for what?” I asked. “If you consider man’s attitude A to the central order a purely personal matter, then you may agree with Einstein’s view, but then you must also concede that nothing at all follows from this view.” “Perhaps it does,” Wolfgang replied. “The development of science during the past two centuries has certainly changed man’s thinking, even outside the Christian West. Hence it matters quite a bit what physicists think. And it was precisely the idea of an objective world running its course in time and space according to strict causal laws that produced a sharp clash between science and the spiritual formulations of the various religions. If science goes beyond this strict view—and it has done just that with relativity theory and is likely to go even further with quantum theory—then the relationship between science and the contents religions try to express must change once again. Perhaps science, by revealing the existence of new relationships during the past thirty years, may have lent our thought much greater depth. The concept of complementarity, for instance, which Niels Bohr considers so crucial to the interpretation of quantum theory, was by no means unknown to philosophers, even if they did not express it so succinctly. However, its very appearance in the exact sciences has constituted a decisive change: the idea of material objects that are completely independent of the manner in which we observe them proved to be nothing but an abstract extrapolation, something that has no counterpart in nature. In Asiatic philosophy and Eastern religions we fined the complementary idea of a pure subject of knowledge, one that confronts no object. This idea, too, will prove an abstract extrapolation, corresponding to no spiritual or mental reality. If we think about the wider context, we may in the future be forced to keep a middle course between these extremes, perhaps the one charted by Bohr’s complementarity concept. Any science that adapts itself to this form of thinking will not only be more tolerant of the different forms of religion, but, having a wider overall view, may also contribute to the world of values.” Paul Dirac had joined us in the meantime. He [Paul Dirac] had only just turned twenty-five, and had little time for tolerance. “I don’t know why we are talking about religion,” he objected. “If we are honest —and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no

need for such solutions. I can’t for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. “If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards —in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.” “Y are simply judging religion by its political abuses,” I objected, ou “and since most things in this world can be abused—even the Communist ideology which you recently propounded—all such judgments are inadmissible. After all, there will always be human societies, and these must find a common language in which they can speak about life and death, and about the wider context in which their lives are set. The spiritual forms that have developed historically out of this search for a common language must have had a great persuasive force—how else could so many people have lived by them for so many centuries? Religion can’t be dismissed as simply all that. But perhaps you are drawn to another religion, such as the old Chinese, in which the idea of a personal God does not occur?” “I dislike religious myths on principle,” Dirac replied, “if only because the myths of the different religions contradict one another. After all, it was purely by chance that I was born in Europe and not in Asia, and that is surely no criterion for judging what is true or what I ought to believe. And I can only believe what is true. As for right action, I can deduce it by reason alone from the situation in which I find myself: I live in society with others, to whom, in principle, I must grant the same rights I claim for myself. I must simply try to strike a fair balance; no more can be asked of me. All this talk about God’s will, about sin and repentance, about a world beyond by which we must direct our lives, only serves to disguise the sober truth. Belief in God merely encourages us to think that God wills us to submit to a higher force, and it is this idea which helps to preserve social structures that may have been perfectly good in their day but no longer fit the modern world. All your talk of a wider context and the like strikes me as quite unacceptable. Life, when all is said and done, is just like science: we come up against difficulties and have to solve them. And we can never solve more than one difficulty at a time; your wider context is nothing but a mental superstructure added a posteriori.” And so the discussion continued, and we were all of us surprised to notice that Wolfgang was keeping so silent. He would pull a long face or smile rather maliciously from time to time, but he said nothing. In the end, we had to ask him to tell us what he thought. He seemed a little surprised and then said: “Well, our friend Dirac, too, has a religion, and its guiding principle is: ‘There is no God and Dirac is His prophet.’” We all laughed, including Dirac, and this brought our evening in the hotel lounge to a close. Some time later, probably in Copenhagen, I told Niels about our conversation. He immediately jumped to the defense of the youngest member of our circle. “I consider it marvelous,” he said, “that Paul should be so uncompromising in his defense of all that can be expressed in clear and logical language. He believes that what can be said at all can be said clearly—or, as Wittgenstein put it, that ‘whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent.’ Whenever Dirac sends me a manuscript, the writing is so neat and free of corrections that merely looking at it is an aesthetic pleasure. If I suggest even minor changes, Paul becomes terribly unhappy and generally changes nothing at all. His work is, in any case, quite brilliant. Recently the two of us


went to an exhibition which included a glorious gray-blue seascape by Manet. In the foreground was a boat, and beside it, in the water, a dark gray spot, whose meaning was not quite clear. Dirac said, ‘This spot is not admissible.’ A strange way of looking at art, but he was probably quite right. In a good work of art, just as in a good piece of scientific work, every detail must be laid down quite unequivocally; there can be no room for mere accident. “Still, religion is rather a different matter. I feel very much like Dirac: the idea of a personal God is foreign to me. But we ought to remember that religion uses language in quite a different way from science. The language of religion is more closely related to the language of poetry than to the language of science. True, we are inclined to think that science deals with information about objective facts, and poetry with subjective feelings. Hence we conclude that if religion does indeed deal with objective truths, it ought to adopt the same criteria of truth as science. But I myself find the division of the world into an objective and a subjective side much too arbitrary. The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won’t get us very far. “That is why I consider those developments in physics during the last decades which have shown how problematical such concepts as ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ are, a great liberation of thought. The whole thing started with the theory of relativity. In the past, the statement that two events are simultaneous was considered an objective assertion, one that could be communicated quite simply and that was open to verification by any observer. Today we know that ‘simultaneity’ contains a subjective element, inasmuch as two events that appear simultaneous to an observer at rest are not necessarily simultaneous to an observer in motion. However, the relativistic description is also objective inasmuch as every observer can deduce by calculation what the other observer will perceive or has perceived. For all that, we have come a long way from the classical ideal of objective descriptions. “In quantum mechanics the departure from this ideal has been even more radical. We can still use the objectifying language of classical physics to make statements about observable facts. For instance, we can say that a photographic plate has been blackened, or that cloud droplets have formed. But we can say nothing about the atoms themselves. And what predictions we base on such findings depend on the way we pose our experimental question, and here the observer has freedom of choice. Naturally, it still makes no difference whether the observer is a man, an animal, or a piece of apparatus, but it is no longer possible to make predictions without reference to the observer or the means of observation. To that extent, every physical process may be said to have objective and subjective features. The objective world of nineteenth-century science was, as we know today, an ideal, limiting case, but not the whole reality. Admittedly, even in our future encounters with reality we shall have to distinguish between the objective and the subjective side, to make a division between the two. But the location of the separation may depend on the way things are looked at; to a certain extent it can be chosen at will. Hence I can quite understand why we cannot speak about the content of religion in an objectifying language. The fact that different religions try to express this content in quite distinct spiritual forms is no real objection. Perhaps we ought to look upon these different forms as complementary descriptions which, though they exclude one another, are needed to convey the rich possibilities flowing from man’s relationship with the central order.” “If you distinguish so sharply between the languages of religion, science, and art,” I asked, “what meaning do you attach to such apodictic statements as ‘There is a living God’ or ‘There is an immortal soul’? What is the meaning of ‘there is’ in this type of language? Science, like Dirac, objects to such formulations. Let me illustrate the epistemological side of the problem by means of the following analogy:

“Mathematicians, as everyone knows, work with an imaginary unit, the square root of –1, called i. We know that i does not figure among the natural numbers. Nevertheless, important branches of mathematics, for instance the theory of analytical functions, are based on this imaginary unit, that is, on the fact that -1 exists after all. Would you agree that the statement ‘There is a -1’ means nothing else than ‘There are important mathematical relations that are most simply represented by the introduction of the -1 concept’? And yet these relations would exist even without it. That is precisely why this type of mathematics is so useful even in science and technology. What is decisive, for instance, in the theory of functions, is the existence of important mathematical laws governing the behavior of pairs of continuous variables. These relations are rendered more comprehensible by the introduction of the abstract concept of -1, although that concept is not basically needed for our understanding, and although it has no counterpart among the natural numbers. An equally abstract concept is that of infinity, which also plays a very important role in modern mathematics. It, too, has no correlate, and moreover raises grave problems. In short, mathematics introduces ever higher stages of abstraction that help us attain a coherent grasp of ever wider realms. To get back to our original question, is it correct to look upon the religious ‘there is’ as just another, though different, attempt to reach ever higher levels of abstraction? An attempt to facilitate our understanding of universal connections? After all, the connections themselves are real enough, no matter into what spiritual forms we try to fit them.” “With respect to the epistemological side of the problem, your comparison may pass,” Bohr replied. “But in other respects it is quite inadequate. In mathematics we can take our inner distance from the content of our statements. In the final analysis mathematics is a mental game that we can play or not play as we choose. Religion, on the other hand, deals with ourselves, with our life and death; its promises are meant to govern our actions and thus, at least indirectly, our very existence. We cannot just look at them impassively from the outside. Moreover, our attitude to religious questions cannot be separated from our attitude to society. Even if religion arose as the spiritual structure of a particular human society, it is arguable whether it has remained the strongest social molding force through history, or whether society, once formed, develops new spiritual structures and adapts them to its particular level of knowledge. Nowadays, the individual seems to be able to choose the spiritual framework of his thoughts and actions quite freely, and this freedom reflects the fact that the boundaries between the various cultures and societies are beginning to become more fluid. But even when an individual tries to attain the greatest possible degree of independence, he will still be swayed by the existing spiritual structures—consciously or unconsciously. For he, too, must be able to speak of life and death and the human condition to other members of the society in which he’s chosen to live; he must educate his children according to the norms of that society, fit into its life. Epistemological sophistries cannot possibly help him attain these ends. Here, too, the relationship between critical thought about the spiritual content of a given religion and action based on the deliberate acceptance of that content is complementary. And such acceptance, if consciously arrived at, fills the individual with strength of purpose, helps him to overcome doubts and, if he has to suffer, provides him with the kind of solace that only a sense of being sheltered under an allembracing roof can grant. In that sense, religion helps to make social life more harmonious; its most important task is to remind us, in the language of pictures and parables, of the wider framework within which our life is set.” “Y keep referring to the individual’s free choice,” I said, “and you ou compare it with the freedom with which the atomic physicist can


arrange his experiments in this way or that. Now the classical physicist had no such freedom. Does that mean that the special features of modern physics have a more direct bearing on the problem of the freedom of the will? As you know, the fact that atomic processes cannot be fully determined is often used as an argument in favor of free will and divine intervention.” “I am convinced that this whole attitude is based on a simple misunderstanding, or rather on the confusion of questions, which, as far as I can see, impinge on distinct though complementary ways of looking at things. If we speak of free will, we refer to a situation in which we have to make decisions. This situation and the one in which we analyze the motives of our actions or even the one in which we study physiological processes, for instance the electrochemical processes in our brain, are mutually exclusive. In other words, they are complementary, so that the question whether natural laws determine events completely or only statistically has no direct bearing on the question of free will. Naturally, our different ways of looking at things must fit together in the long run, i.e., we must be able to recognize them as noncontradictory parts of the same reality, though we cannot yet tell precisely how. When we speak of divine intervention, we quite obviously do not refer to the scientific determination of an event, but to the meaningful connection between this event and others or human thought. Now this intellectual connection is as much a part of reality as scientific causality; it would be much too crude a simplification if we ascribed it exclusively to the subjective side of reality. Once again we can learn from the analogous situation in natural science. There are well-known biological relations that we do not describe causally, but rather finalistically, that is, with respect of their ends. We have only to think of the healing process in an injured organism. The finalistic interpretation has a characteristically complementary relationship to the one based on physico-chemical or atomic laws; that is, in the one case we ask whether the process leads to the desired end, the restoration of normal conditions in the organism; in the other case we ask about the causal chain determining the molecular processes. The two descriptions are mutually exclusive, but not necessarily contradictory. We have good reason to assume that quantummechanical laws can be proved valid in a living organism just as they can in dead matter. For all that, a finalistic description is just as valid. I believe that if the development of atomic physics has taught us anything, it is that we must learn to think more subtly than in the past.” “We always come back to the epistemological side of religion,” I objected. “But Dirac’s attack on religion was aimed chiefly at its ethical side. Dirac disapproves quite particularly of the dishonesty and selfdeception that are far too often coupled to religious thought. But in his abhorrence he has become a fanatic defender of rationalism, and I have the feeling that rationalism is not enough.” “I think Dirac did well,” Niels said, “to warn you so forcefully against the dangers of self-deception and inner contradictions; but Wolfgang was equally right when he jokingly drew Dirac’s attention to the extraordinary difficulty of escaping this danger entirely.” Niels closed the conversation with one of those stories he liked to tell on such occasions: “One of our neighbors in Tisvilde once fixed a horseshoe over the door to his house. When a mutual acquaintance asked him, ‘But are you really superstitious? Do you honestly believe that this horseshoe will bring you luck?’ he replied, ‘Of course not; but they say it helps even if you don’t believe it.’” Researchers find sense of “Self” in the Right Brain Discovery News This study on the right brain frontal lobe as dominant in forming our personality is curiously matched by ancient Chinese theory that the right half of the body is the yin side, i.e. the more contracted personal side. It also underscores that the traditional strength of western

ego, in the left brain language center, is a false center of self. Taoist practice is to cultivate the meeting point between left and right brain to activate the universal brain, the chi field. Michael Winn Discovery News Wednesday, May 9, 2001 dsc.discovery.com/news/reu/20010507/brain.html Researchers studying patients with a rare degenerative brain malady that can trigger dramatic changes in personality said today they have pinpointed a part of the brain that controls a person’s sense of “self.” An area in the front portion of the brain’s right frontal lobe appears to harbor the sense of self -- in other words, personality, beliefs, likes and dislikes, said Dr. Bruce Miller, a neurologist at the University of California-San Francisco. Miller said he began looking into the anatomy of the self after noticing that several of his patients with frontotemporal dementia, commonly known as Pick’s disease, underwent a stark transformation, changing their religious and political beliefs, and altering their preferences in food and clothing. Miller and several colleagues examined 72 people with Pick’s disease, which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers used advanced brain imaging techniques to determine which areas of the brain had the most severe degeneration. They also evaluated the patients for major changes in personality, values and tastes. Seven patients had undergone a dramatic change of self, the study found. Six of those had their most severe abnormalities in the brain’s right frontal lobe. Of the 65 patients whose sense of self had been preserved, only one had the most severe damage in the right frontal lobe. Miller said the findings indicate that normal functioning of the right frontal lobe is needed for people to maintain their sense of self. He also said the findings demonstrate that a biological disorder can break down wellestablished patterns of awareness and self-reflection. “This is kind of a mysterious area in the brain,” Miller said in an interview. “The question is why in this non-language area do we see a loss of self concepts. And the answer is: We don’t know.”The study was presented during a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Philadelphia. One patient involved in the study was a 54-year-old woman described as a charming, dynamic real estate agent who went from wearing expensive designer apparel to choosing cheap clothing and gaudy beads and asking strangers the cost of their clothing. Once a lover of French cuisine, she adopted a love of fast food, particularly Taco Bell. The concept of self has intrigued philosophers, writers and scientists for centuries, but only recently has the technology been available to study its anatomical basis, the study noted. The Tao of Free Energy Devices Peter Lindemann Note: The main message of Taoist alchemy is that there is infinite and virtuous free energy (”chi field”) available to all of creation to assist in the unfolding of our personal essence and destiny. It is inevitable that this free energy inherent in our own nature should be reflected in modern technological society as free energy devices. Many people today will not believe they have infinite energy flowing in through the core channel of their body and manifesting first in their dantien until it is proven to them by external science through free energy devices. In effect, the scientists who create these free energy devices will become their spiritual teachers. The following is an important essay by Peter Lindemann about the dark forces -- in society and especially within ourselves -- that have


prevented the dissemination of existing free energy devices. If you are skeptical of the scientific validity of these claims, in a similar vein the Disclosure Project has over 400 government officials and scientists testifying on the same subject -- that free energy has been suppressed in order to maintain the political power and stability of the current system (www.disclosureproject.com). The people in government, industry, and academia who have developed and kept these free energy devices secret certainly don’t consider themselves evil conspirators -they are just cooperating with forces more powerful than themselves. But as this article suggests, those forces (helped by the internet) are changing rapidly as global consciousness expands. At the end are a list of web sites to help you build your own free energy device. If you get one running, send me an email to let me know. I’m looking forward to soon put a fuel cell unit in my house to help its elementals shift from the power company grid back onto the natural chi grid. But meanwhile, I am busy having fun learning to operate the most sophisticated small-scale free energy device ever created -- the human body. That is what the science of Taoist energy body cultivation - chi kung and internal alchemy -- is about. No government conspiracy can stop you from getting that free chi! We are the main conspirators in preventing its flow. The title “The Tao of Free Energy Devices” was added by me. -Michael Winn

the beginning of the last century, all just wishful thinking that “real science” eventually disproved? Current State of Technology Actually, the answer to that question is NO. In fact, the opposite is true. Spectacular energy technologies were developed right along with the other breakthroughs. Since that time, multiple methods for producing vast amounts of energy at extremely low cost have been developed. None of these technologies have made it to the “open” consumer market as an article of commerce, however. Exactly why this is true will be discussed shortly. But first, I would like to describe to you a short list of “free energy” technologies that I am currently aware of, and that are proven beyond all reasonable doubt. The common feature connecting all of these discoveries, is that they use a small amount of one form of energy to control or release a large amount of a different kind of energy. Many of them tap the underlying Ether field in some way; a source of energy conveniently ignored by “modern” science. 1) Radiant Energy. Nikola Tesla’s Magnifying Transmitter, T. Henry Moray’s Radiant Energy Device, Edwin Gray’s EMA Motor, and Paul Baumann’s Testatika Machine all run on Radiant Energy. This natural energy form can be gathered directly from the environment (mistakenly called “static” electricity) or extracted from ordinary electricity by the method called “fractionation.” Radiant Energy can perform the same wonders as ordinary electricity, at less than 1% of the cost. It does not behave exactly like electricity, however, which has contributed to the scientific community’s misunderstanding of it. The Methernitha Community in Switzerland currently has 5 or 6 working models of fuel less, self running devices that tap this energy. 2) Permanent Magnets. Dr. Robert Adams (NZ) has developed astounding designs of electric motors, generators and heaters that run on permanent magnets. One such device draws 100 watts of electricity from the source, generates 100 watts to recharge the source, and produces over 140 BTU’s of heat in two minutes! Dr. Tom Bearden (USA) has two working models of a permanent magnet powered electrical transformer. It uses a 6-watt electrical input to control the path of a magnetic field coming out of a permanent magnet. By channeling the magnetic field, first to one output coil and then a second output coil, and by doing this repeatedly and rapidly in a “PingPong” fashion, the device can produce a 96-watt electrical output with no moving parts. Bearden calls his device a Motionless Electromagnetic Generator, or MEG. Jean-Louis Naudin has duplicated Bearden’s device in France. The principles for this type of device were first disclosed by Frank Richardson (USA) in 1978. Troy Reed (USA) has working models of a special magnetized fan that heats up as it spins. It takes exactly the same amount of energy to spin the fan whether it is generating heat or not. Beyond these developments, multiple inventors have identified working mechanisms that produce motor torque from permanent magnets alone. 3) Mechanical Heaters. There are two classes of machines that transform a small amount of mechanical energy into a large amount of heat. The best of these purely mechanical designs are the rotating cylinder systems designed by Frenette (USA) and Perkins (USA). In these machines, one cylinder is rotated within another cylinder with about an eighth of an inch of clearance between them. The space between the cylinders is filled with a liquid such as water or oil, and it is this “working fluid” that heats up as the inner cylinder spins. Another method uses magnets mounted on a wheel to produce large eddy currents in a plate of aluminum, causing the aluminum to heat up rapidly. These magnetic heaters have been demonstrated by Muller (Canada), Adams (NZ) and Reed (USA). All of these systems can produce ten times more heat than standard methods using the same energy input. 4) Super Efficient Electrolysis. Water can be broken into Hydrogen and Oxygen using electricity. Standard chemistry books claim that this

from: educate-yourself.org/worldoffreeenergy1mar01.html [Editor’s Note: I played a role in helping to arrange for an important lecture on September 12, 2000 in Irvine, California by Peter Lindemann titled “The Cold Electricity Secrets of Edwin Gray” . Prior to that, we had often talked on the phone about free energy topics and had both agreed that the only way to get free energy “secrets” out to the public is to simply give it away and forget about making money. Any attempt at going the conventional route by applying for patents and lining up money with venture capitalists, etc., was doomed to fail (as history has repeatedly demonstrated) at the hands of the controlling corporate elites and their pals in the military and government. This well written essay by Peter Lindemann is a fair accounting of the reality of free energy today and of the forces that have conspired to keep these marvelous technologies from benefiting the common man-for nearly a century. That time of suppression has now passed. Thanks to the Internet, the cat is definitely out of the bag and in more ways than one (unfortunately and fortunately) it’s a Brave New World... Ken Adachi By Peter Lindemann, D.Sc. March 1, 2001 In the late 1880’s, trade journals in the electrical sciences were predicting “free electricity” in the near future. Incredible discoveries about the nature of electricity were becoming common place. Nikola Tesla was demonstrating “wireless lighting” and other wonders associated with high frequency currents. There was an excitement about the future like never before. Within 20 years, there would be automobiles, airplanes, movies, recorded music, telephones, radio, and practical cameras. The Victorian Age was giving way to something totally new. For the first time in history, common people were encouraged to envision a utopian future, filled with abundant modern transportation and communication, as well as jobs, housing and food for everyone. Disease would be conquered, and so would poverty. Life was getting better, and this time, everyone was going to get “a piece of the pie.” So, what happened? In the midst of this technological explosion, where did the energy breakthroughs go? Was all of this excitement about “free electricity”, which happened just before


process requires more energy than can be recovered when the gases are recombined. This is true only under the worst case scenario. When water is hit with its own molecular resonant frequency, using a system developed by Stan Meyers (USA) and again recently by Xogen Power, Inc., it collapses into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas with very little electrical input. Also, using different electrolytes (additives that make the water conduct electricity better) changes the efficiency of the process dramatically. It is also known that certain geometric structures and surface textures work better than others do. The implication is that unlimited amounts of Hydrogen fuel can be made to drive engines (like in your car) for the cost of water. Even more amazing is the fact that a special metal alloy was patented by Freedman (USA) in 1957 that spontaneously breaks water into Hydrogen and Oxygen with no outside electrical input and without causing any chemical changes in the metal itself. This means that this special metal alloy can make Hydrogen from water for free, forever. 5) Implosion/Vortex. All major industrial engines use the release of heat to cause expansion and pressure to reduce work, like in your car engine. Nature uses the opposite process of cooling to cause suction and vacuum to produce work, like in a tornado. Viktor Schauberger (Austria) was the first to build working models of Implosion Engines in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Since that time, Callum Coats has published extensively on Schauberger’s work in his book Living Energies and subsequently, a number of researchers have built working models of Implosion Turbine Engines. These are fuel less engines that produce mechanical work from energy accessed from a vacuum. There are also much simpler designs that use vortex motions to tap a combination of gravity and centrifugal force to produce a continuous motion in fluids. 6) Cold Fusion. In March 1989, two Chemists from Brigham Y oung University in Utah (USA) announced that they had produced atomic fusion reactions in a simple tabletop device. The claims were “debunked” within 6 months and the public lost interest. Nevertheless, Cold Fusion is very real. Not only has excess heat production been repeatedly documented, but also low energy atomic element transmutation has been catalogued, involving dozens of different reactions! This technology definitely can produce low cost energy and scores of other important industrial processes. 7) Solar Assisted Heat Pumps. The refrigerator in your kitchen is the only “free energy machine” you currently own. It’s an electrically operated heat pump. It uses one amount of energy (electricity) to move three amounts of energy (heat). This gives it a “co-efficient of performance” (COP) of about 3. Y refrigerator uses one amount of our electricity to pump three amounts of heat from the inside of the refrigerator to the outside of the refrigerator. This is its typical use, but it is the worst possible way to use the technology. Here’s why. A heat pump pumps heat from the “source” of heat to the “sink” or place that absorbs the heat. The “source” of heat should obviously be HOT and the “sink” for heat should obviously be COLD for this process to work the best. In your refrigerator, it’s exactly the opposite. The “source” of heat is inside the box, which is COLD, and the “sink” for heat is the room temperature air of your kitchen, which is warmer than the source. This is why the COP remains low for your kitchen refrigerator. But this is not true for all heat pumps. COP’s of 8 to 10 are easily attained with solar assisted heat pumps. In such a device, a heat pump draws heat from a solar collector and dumps the heat into a large underground absorber, which remains at 550 F, and mechanical energy is extracted in the transfer. This process is equivalent to a steam engine that extracts mechanical energy between the boiler and the condenser, except that it uses a fluid that “boils” at a much lower temperature than water. One such system that was tested in the 1970’s produced 350 hp, measured on a Dynamometer, in a specially designed engine from just 100-sq. ft. of solar collector. (This is NOT the system promoted by Dennis Lee.) The hp, so this system produced more than 17 times more energy than it took to keep it going! It could power a small neighborhood from the roof of a hot tub gazebo, using exactly the same technology that keeps the food cold in your kitchen. Currently, there is an industrial scale heat pump system just north of Kona, Hawaii that generates electricity from

temperature differences in ocean water. There are dozens of other systems that I have not mentioned, many of them are as viable and well tested as the ones I have just recounted. But this short list is sufficient to make my point: free energy technology is here, now. It offers the world pollution-free, energy abundance for everyone, everywhere. It is now possible to stop the production of “greenhouse gases” and shut down all of the nuclear power plants. We can now desalinate unlimited amounts of sea water at an affordable price, and bring adequate fresh water to even the most remote habitats. Transportation costs and the production costs for just about everything can drop dramatically. Food can even be grown in heated greenhouses in the winter, anywhere. All of these wonderful benefits that can make life on this planet so much easier and better for everyone have been postponed for decades. Why? Whose purposes are served by this postponement? The Invisible Enemy There are four powerful forces that have worked together to create this situation. To say that there is and has been a “conspiracy” to suppress this technology only leads to a superficial understanding of the world, and it places the blame for this completely outside of ourselves. The First Obstruction The First Force that impedes the availability of free energy technology is our willingness to remain ignorant and action less in the face of this situation has always been interpreted by two of these forces as “implied consent.” So, besides a “non demanding public,” what are the other three forces that are impeding the availability of free energy technology? In standard economic theory, there are three classes of Industry. These are Capital, Goods, and Services. Within the first class, Capital, there are also three sub-classes. These are: 1) Natural Capital. This relates to raw materials (such as a gold mine) and sources of energy (such as a hydroelectric dam or an oil well). 2) Currency. This relates to the printing of paper “money” and the minting of coins. These functions are usually the job of Government. And 3) Credit. This relates to the loaning of money for interest and its extension of economic value through deposit loan accounts. From this, it is easy to see, that energy functions in the economy in the same way as gold, the printing of money by the Government, or the issuing of credit by a bank. In the United States, and in most other countries around the world, there is a “money monopoly” in place. I am “free” to earn as much “money” as I want, but I will only be paid in Federal Reserve Notes. There is nothing I can do to be paid in Gold Certificates, or some other form of “money.” This money monopoly is solely in the hands of a small number of private stock banks, and these banks are owned by the Wealthiest Families in the world. Their plan is to eventually control 100% of all of the Capital resources of the world, and thereby control everyone’s life through the availability (or non availability) of all goods and services. An independent source of wealth (free energy device) in the hands of each and every person in the world, ruins their plans for world domination, permanently. Why this is true is easy to see. Currently, a nation’s economy can be either slowed down or sped up by the raising or lowering of interest rates. But if an independent source of capital (energy) were present in the economy, and any business or person could raise more capital without borrowing it from a bank, this centralized throttling action on interest rates would simply not have the same effect.


Free energy technology changes the value of money. The Wealthiest Families and the Issuers of Credit do not want any competition. It’s that simple. They want to maintain their current monopoly control of the money supply. For them, free energy technology is not just something to suppress, it must be PERMANENTLY FORBIDDEN! So, the Wealthiest Families and their Central Banking institutions are the First Force operating to postpone the public availability of free energy technology. Their motivations are the imagined “divine right to rule”, greed, and their insatiable need to control everything except themselves. The weapons they have used to enforce this postponement include intimidation, “expert” debunkers, buying and shelving of technology, murder and attempted murder of the inventors, character assassination, arson, and a wide variety of financial incentives and disincentives to manipulate possible supporters. They have also promoted the general acceptance of a scientific theory that states that free energy is impossible (Laws of Thermodynamics). The Second Obstruction The Second Force operating to postpone the public availability of free energy technology is National Governments. The problem here is not so much related to competition in the printing of currency, but in the maintenance of National Security. The fact is, the world out there is a jungle, and humans can be counted upon to be very cruel, dishonest, and sneaky. It is Government’s job to “provide for the common defense.” For this, “police powers” are delegated by the Executive Branch of Government to enforce “the rule of law.” Most of us who consent to the rule of law do so because we believe it is the right thing to do, for our own benefit. There are always a few individuals, however, that believe that their own benefit is best served by behavior that does not voluntarily conform to the generally agreed upon social order. These people choose to operate outside of “the rule of law” and are considered outlaws, criminals, subversives, traitors, revolutionaries, or terrorists. Most National Governments have discovered, by trial and error, that the only Foreign Policy that really works, over time, is a policy called “Tit for Tat.” What this means to you and me is, that governments treat each other the way they are being treated. There is a constant “jockeying” for position and influence in world affairs, and the STRONGEST party wins! In economics, it’s the Golden Rule, which states: “The one with the Gold makes the Rules.” So it is with politics also, but its appearance is more Darwinian. It’s simply “survival of the fittest.” In politics, however, the “fittest” has come to mean the strongest party who is also willing to fight the dirtiest. Absolutely every means available is used to maintain an advantage over the “adversary”, and everyone else is the “adversary” regardless of whether they are considered friend or foe. This includes outrageous psychological posturing, lying, cheating, spying, stealing, assassination of world leaders, proxy wars, alliances and shifting alliances, treaties, foreign aid, and the presence of military forces wherever possible. Like it or not, this IS the psychological and actual arena National Governments operate in. No National Government will ever do anything that simply gives an adversary an advantage for free. NEVER! It’s national suicide. Any activity by any individual, inside or outside the country, that is interpreted as giving an adversary an edge or advantage, in any way, will be deemed a threat to “National Security.” ALWAYS! Free energy technology is a National Government’s worst

nightmare! Openly acknowledged, free energy technology sparks an unlimited arms race by all governments in a final attempt to gain absolute advantage and domination. Think about it. Do you think Japan will not feel intimidated if China gets free energy? Do you think Israel will sit by quietly as Iraq acquires free energy? Do you think India will allow Pakistan to develop free energy? Do you think the USA would not try to stop Osama bin Laden from getting free energy? Unlimited energy available to the current state of affairs on this planet leads to an inevitable reshuffling of the “balance of power.” This could become an all-out war to prevent “the other” from having the advantage of unlimited wealth and power. Everybody will want it, and at the same time, want to prevent everyone else from getting it. So, National Governments are the Second Force operating to postpone the public availability of free energy technology. Their motivations are “self-preservation.” This self-preservation operates on three levels. First, by not giving undue advantage to an external enemy. Second, by preventing individualized action capable of effectively challenging official police powers (anarchy) within the country. And third, by preserving income streams derived from taxing energy sources currently in use. Their weapons include the preventing of the issuance of patents based on National Security grounds, the legal and illegal harassment of inventors with criminal charges, tax audits, threats, phone taps, arrest, arson, theft of property during shipment, and a host of other intimidations which make the business of building and marketing a free energy machine impossible. The Third Obstruction The Third Force operating to postpone the public availability of free energy technology consists of the group of deluded inventors and out right charlatans and con men. On the periphery of the extraordinary scientific breakthroughs that constitute the real free energy technologies, lies a shadow world of unexplained anomalies, marginal inventions and unscrupulous promoters. The second and third Forces have constantly used the media to promote the worst examples of this group, to distract the public’s attention and to discredit the real breakthroughs by associating them with the obvious frauds. Over the last hundred years, dozens of stories have surfaced about unusual inventions. Some of these ideas have so captivated the public’s imagination that a mythology about these systems continues to this day. Names like Kelley, Hubbard, Coler, and Henderschott immediately come to mind. There may be real technologies behind these names, but there simply isn’t enough technical data available in the public domain to make a determination. These names remain associated with a free energy mythology, however, and are sited by debunkers as examples of fraud. The idea of free energy taps very deeply into the human subconscious mind. A few inventors with marginal technologies that demonstrate useful anomalies have mistakenly exaggerated the importance of their inventions. Some of these inventors also have mistakenly exaggerated the importance of THEMSELVES for having invented it. A combination of “gold fever” and/or a “messiah complex” appears, wholly distorting any future contribution they may make. While the research thread they are following may hold great promise, they begin to trade enthusiasm for facts, and the value of the scientific work from that point on suffers greatly. There is a powerful,


yet subtle seduction that can warp a personality if they believe that “the world restson their shoulders” or that they are the world’s “savior.” Strange things also happen to people when they think they are about to become extremely rich. It takes a tremendous spiritual discipline to remain objective and humble in the presence of a working free energy machine. Many inventors’ psyches become unstable just BELIEVING they have a free energy machine. As the quality of the science deteriorates, some inventors also develop a “persecution complex” that makes them very defensive and unapproachable. This process precludes them from ever really developing a free energy machine, and fuels the fraud mythologies tremendously. Then there are the out right con men. In the last 15 years, there is one person in the USA who has raised the free energy con to a professional art. He has raised more than $100,000,000, has been barred from doing business in the State of Washington, has been jailed in California, and he’s still at it. He always talks about a variation of one of the real free energy systems, sells people on the idea that they will get one of these systems soon, but ultimately sells them only promotional information which gives no real data about the energy system itself. He has mercilessly preyed upon the Christian Community and the Patriot Community in the USA, and is still going strong. His current scam involves signing up hundreds of thousands of people at locations where he will install a free energy machine. In exchange for letting him put the FE generator in their home, they will get free electricity for life, and his company will sell the excess energy back to the local utility company. After becoming convinced that they will receive free electricity for life, with no out front expenses, they gladly buy a video that helps draw their friends into the scam as well. Once you understand the power and motivations of the first two Forces I have discussed, its obvious that this person’s current “business plan” cannot be implemented. This one person has probably done more harm to the free energy movement in the USA than any other Force, by destroying people’s trust in the technology. So, the Third Force postponing the public availability of free energy technology is delusion and dishonesty within the movement itself. The motivations are self aggrandizement, greed, want of power over others, and a false sense of self importance. The weapons used are lying, cheating, the “bait and switch” con, self-delusion and arrogance combined with lousy science. The Fourth Obstruction The Fourth Force operating to postpone the public availability of free energy technology is all of the rest of us. It may be easy to see how narrow and despicable the motivations of the other Forces are, but actually, these motivations are still very much alive in each of us as well. Like the Wealthiest Families, don’t we each secretly harbor illusions of false superiority, and the want to control others instead of ourselves? Also, wouldn’t you “sell out” if the price were high enough, say, take $1 million dollars, cash, today? Or like the Governments, don’t we each want to ensure our own survival? If caught in the middle of a full, burning theater, do you panic and push all of the weaker people out of the way in a mad, scramble for the door? Or like the deluded inventor, don’t we trade a comfortable illusion once in a while for an uncomfortable fact? And don’t we like to think more of ourselves than others give us credit for? Or don’t we still fear the unknown, even if it promises a great reward?

Y see, really, all Four Forces are just different aspects of the same ou process, operating at different levels in the society. There is really only ONE FORCE preventing the public availability of free energy technology, and that is the unspiritual motivated behavior of the human animals. In the last analysis, free energy technology is an outward manifestation of Divine Abundance. It is the engine of the economy of an enlightened society, where people voluntarily behave in a respectful and civil manner toward each other. Where each member of the society has everything they need, and do not covet what their neighbor has. here war and physical violence has become socially unacceptable behavior and people’s differences are at least tolerated, if not enjoyed. The appearance of free energy technology in the public domain is the dawning of a truly civilized age. It is an epochal event in human history. Nobody can “take credit” for it. Nobody can “get rich” on it. Nobody can “rule the world” with it. It is simply, a Gift from God. It forces us all to take responsibility for our own actions and for our own self disciplined self-restraint when needed. The world as it is currently ordered, cannot have free energy technology without being totally transformed by it into something else. This “civilization” has reached the pinnacle of its development, because it has birthed the seeds of its own transformation. The unspiritual human animals cannot be trusted with free energy. They will only do what they have always done, which is take merciless advantage of each other, or kill each other and themselves in the process. If you go back and read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged or the Club of Rome Report, it becomes obvious that the Wealthiest Families have understood this for decades. Their plan is to live in The World of Free Energy, but permanently freeze the rest of us out. But this is not new. Royalty has always considered the general population (us) to be their subjects. What is new, is that you and I can communicate with each other now better than at anytime in the past. The Internet offers us, the Fourth Force, an opportunity to overcome the combined efforts of the other Forces preventing free energy technology from spreading. The Opportunity What is starting to happen is that inventors are publishing their work, instead of patenting it and keeping it secret. More and more, people are “giving away” information on these technologies in books, videos and web sites. While there is still a great deal of useless information about free energy on the Internet, the availability of good information is rising rapidly. Check out the list of web sites and other resources at the end of this article. It is imperative that you begin to gather all of the information you can on real free energy systems. The reason for this is simple. The first two Forces will never allow an inventor or a company to build and sell a free energy machine to you! The only way you will ever get one is if you, or a friend, build it yourself. This is exactly what thousands of people are already quietly starting to do. Y may feel wholly ou inadequate to the task, but start gathering information now. Y may be just a link in the chain of events for the benefit of ou others. Focus on what you can do now, not on how much there still is to be done. Small, private research groups are working out the details as you read this. Many are committed to publishing their results on the Internet.


on the net! All of us constitute the Fourth Force. If we stand up and refuse to remain ignorant and action less, we can change the course of history. It is the aggregate of our combined action that can make a difference. Only the mass action that represents our consensus can create the world we want. The other three Forces WILL NOT help us put a fuel less power plant in our basements. They will not help us be free from their manipulations. Nevertheless, free energy technology is here. It is real, and it will change everything about the way we live, work and relate to each other. In the last analysis, free energy technology obsoletes greed and the fear for survival. But like all exercises of Spiritual Faith, we must first manifest the generosity and trust in our own lives. The Source of Free Energy is INSIDE of us. It is that excitement of expressing ourselves freely. It is our Spiritually guided intuition expressing itself without distraction, intimidation or manipulation. Itis our open-heartedness. Ideally, the free energy technologies underpin a just society where everyone has enough food, clothing, shelter, self worth, and the leisure time to contemplate the higher Spiritual meanings of Life. Do we not owe it to each other, to face down our fears, and take action to create this future for our children’s children? Perhaps I am not the only one waiting for me to act on a greater Truth. Free energy technology is here. It has been here for decades. Communications technology and the Internet have torn the veil of secrecy off of this remarkable fact. People all over the world are starting to build free energy devices for their own use. The Bankers and the Governments do not want this to happen, but cannot stop it. Tremendous economic instabilities and wars will be used in the near future to distract people from joining the free energy movement. There will be essentially no major media coverage of this aspect of what is going on. It will simply be reported as wars and civil wars erupting everywhere, leading to UN “Peace Keeper” occupation in more and more countries. Western Society is spiraling down toward self-destruction, due to the accumulated effects of long-term greed and corruption. The general availability of free energy technology cannot stop this trend. It can only reinforce it. If, however, you have a free energy device, you may be better positioned to survive the political/social/economic transition that is underway. No National Government will survive this process. The question is, who will ultimately control the emerging World Government, the First Force, or the Fourth Force? The last Great War is almost upon us. The seeds are planted. After this will come the beginning of a real Civilization. Some of us who refuse to fight will survive to see the dawn of the World of Free Energy. I challenge you to be among the ones who try. LIST OF RESOURCES: Books: Living Energies by Callum Coats The Free Energy Secrets of Cold Electricity by Peter Lindemann, D.Sc. Applied Modern 20th Century Aether Science by Dr. Robert Adams Physics Without Einstein by Dr. Harold Aspden Secrets of Cold War Technology by Gerry Vassilatos The Coming Energy Revolution by Jeane Manning Websites: www2.murray.net.au/users/egel/content1.htm developed by Geoff Egel in Australia. Best free-energy site www.free-energy.cc developed by Clear Tech, Inc. and Dr. Peter Lindemann jnaudin.free.fr developed by JLN Labs in France www.1dove.com/fe/index.html Jim’s Free Energy Page in the USA www.keelynet.com/ developed by Jerry Decker in the USA www.xogen.com site for super electrolysis technology www.rumormillnews.com excellent site for all kinds of alternative news, with many links Patents: (most can be viewed at www.delphion.com ) This list is nothing more than a sample of inventions that produce free energy. Tesla USP #685,957 Freedman USP #2,796,345 Richardson USP #4,077,001 Frenette USP #4,143,639 Perkins USP #4,424,797 Gray USP #4,595,975 Meyer USP #4,936,961 Chambers USP #6,126,794 Clear Tech, Inc. Box 37 Metaline Falls, WA 99153 ph: (509) 446-2353 fax: (509) 446-2354 Jerry W. Decker - KeelyNet discussion list archive www.escribe.com/science/keelynet Order Out of Chaos - main site www.keelynet.com Reality is a Novel Physics vs. Metaphysics in a Sequences of Possible Universes Rudy Rucker Note: Taoists have traditionally written about alternate realities or “islands” that can only be visited by Immortals who know the secret of traversing space & time. Their underlying principle of causation, the chi field/Life Force, is both physical and metaphysical. This essay gives us a modern metaphor for for understanding the possibility of multiple realities generated by the Life Force. - Michael Winn

by RUDY RUCKER Mathematician, Computer Scientist; CyberPunk Pioneer; Novelist; Author, Infinity and the Mind from an essay in www.edge.org ---------Reality Is A Novel. I’d like to propose a modified Many Universes theory. Rather than saying every possible universe exists, I’d say, rather, that there is a sequence of possible universes, akin to the drafts of a novel. We’re living in a draft version of the universe—and there is no final version. The revisions never stop. From time to time it’s possible to be aware of this. In particular, when you relax and stop naming things and forming opinions, your consciousness spreads out across several drafts of the universe. Things don’t need to be particularly one way or the other until you pin them down.


Each draft, each spacetime, each sheet of reality is itself rigorously deterministic; there really is no underlying randomness in the world. Instead we have a great web of synchronistic entanglements, with causes and effects flowing forward and backwards through time. The start of a novel matches its ending; the past matches the future. Changing one thing changes everything. If we fully know everything about the Now moment, we know the entire past and future. With this in mind, explaining an given draft of the universe becomes a matter of explaining the contents of a single Now moment of that draft. This in turn means that we can view the evolution of the successive drafts as an evolution of different versions of a particular Now moment. As Scarlett’s climactic scene with Rhett is repeatedly rewritten, all the rest of Gone With The Wind changes to match. And this evolution, too, can be deterministic. We can figure we think of there as being two distinct deterministic rules, a Physics Rule and a Metaphysics Rule. The Physics Rule consists of time-reversible laws that grow the Now moment upwards and downwards to fill out the entire past and future of spacetime. And we invoke the Metaphysics Rule to account for the contents of the Now moment. The Metaphysics Rule is deterministic but not reversible; it grows sideways across a dimension that we might call paratime, turning some simple seed into the space-filling pattern found in the Now. The Metaphysics rule is...what? One possibility is that it’s something quite simple, perhaps as simple as an eight-bit cellular automaton rule generating complex-looking patterns out of pure computation. Or perhaps the Metaphysics rule is like the mind of an author creating a novel, searching out the best word to write next, somehow peering into alternate realities. Or, yet again, the big Metaphysics rule in the sky could be the One cosmic mind, the Big Aha, the eternal secret, living in the spaces between your thoughts. The Biology of Globalization Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D. Note: Elisabet Sahtouris, like Mae Wan Ho, fits my ideal of the spiritually awakened and politically involved scientist. Sahtouris is a biologist who spent 13 years on a small Greek Island contemplating the connections between small cell systems to human organisms to planetary ecosystems to human economic systems as a map of evolution. This mirrors perfectly the Taoist alchemy approach to energetically harmonizing the Human (vital organ system) with the Earth’s seasons & directional energy matrix with the harmonics of Heaven (planets, stars, black holes). Her article could be titled “The Tao of Globalization”, as it is about the nesting of all these different systems into a harmonious whole and the impact of economic systems on the whole. She doesn’t talk about the Life Force per se, but has mapped out its omnipresent signature in creating yin (cooperative) and yang (competitive) biological systems to maintain healthy growth and balance. A long piece, but fast reading and well worth it. Her entire book, Earth Dance, and other brilliant articles can be downloaded from www.ratical.org/Lifeweb. -Michael Winn The Globalization of humanity is a natural, biological, evolutionary process. Y we face an enormous crisis because the most central and et important aspect of globalization -- its economy -- is currently being organized in a manner that so gravely violates the fundamental principles by which healthy living systems are organized that it threatens the demise of our whole civilization. Contents: * The Wake-up Call * Global Community * Lessons of Nature * Introducing Holarchy * Body economics * The evolution of cooperation * Holarchic negotiations evolve

* The Principles of Living Systems * The “either/or” syndrome * A balance of all levels * Dynamics of Natural Democracy * What’s to be done?

Lessons of Nature: * All living systems self-organize and maintain themselves by the same biological principles, which we can identify and abstract. * Among the principles essential to the health of living systems are empowered participation of all parts and continual negotiation of selfinterest at all levels of organization. * Humanity constitutes a living system within the larger living system of our Earth. * Essential to the health of humanity is empowered participation of all humans and negotiated self-interest among individual, local and global economies as well as the Earth itself.

The problem is we have tried to tell the human story without telling the Earth’s story. --Thomas Berry

The Wake-up Call What an astonishing thing it is to watch a civilization destroy itself because it is unable to re-examine the validity, under totally new circumstances, of an economic ideology. --Sir James Goldsmith, London Times, Feb 1994 Although I have made a fortune in the financial markets, I now fear that the untrammeled intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life is endangering our open and democratic society. The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat. --George Soros, Atlantic Monthly, Feb 1997 When globalized capitalism’s leading players themselves warn us of the dangers of the system in which they have gained their enormous wealth, we had better pay attention. They are telling us clearly that the current course of economic globalization cannot continue without threatening the very survival of humanity. Will our seriously imbalanced civilization survive? Historian Arnold Toynbee studied twenty-three past civilizations, looking for common factors in their demise. The two most important ones, it seems, were the extreme concentration of wealth (George Soros’ warning) and inflexibility in the face of changing conditions within and around them (Sir James Goldsmith’s warning). We cannot go on playing global Monopoly when a cooperative game is called for by our obvious global problems. In 1994, Robert Kaplan warned that anyone who thought things were still going well was ignoring three-fourths of the world. His cover article (”The Coming Anarchy,” Atlantic Monthly, February 1994) was illustrated by a burning globe. This year, same month, same weathervane magazine, the cover featured George Soros’ article telling us that global corporate and financial capitalism is at fault. The central problem at present is that the “democratic” congresses of some seventy nations including the United States, have voted away the sovereignty of their nations by agreeing to uphold the provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which can meet in secret and challenge any laws made at any level in member nations (including


their provinces, states, counties or cities) if they are deemed to conflict with its interests. How could this happen? In the United States, the story goes back at least as far as the first few decades following World War II, a heady time in which we still believed in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” while gradually our Congresses were bought off by corporate interests. As Paul Hawken pointed out, “Washington D.C. has become a town of appearances and images, where sleight of (political) hand has largely replaced the clumsy system of payoffs, outright bribes and backroom deals of old....One per-cent of American society owns nearly 60 percent of corporate equities and about 40 percent of the total wealth of this nation. These are the plutocrats who wield the power and control this pre-eminent “company town” while trying to convince the other 99 percent of the citizenry that the system works in our best interests, too.” (The Ecology of Commerce, Harper Collins, NY 1993, p. 111) In the course of the Cold War, had we been paying adequate attention, we would have seen that both communist and capitalist systems were subjugating local interests (individual and community) to national and global interests, however much we in the West were ideologically taught that our individual wellbeing was primary and our democracy good for our communities. Practice did not bear out theory; to wit: unemployment, poverty, crime, unsafe streets, drugs, unsafe foods, polluted air and water, ill health, spiritual crisis, despair and even rapidly increasing child suicide and murder. Similarly, megacorporations, now globally legitimized by the WTO, the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and the pending MAI (Multilateral t Agreement on Investment), are overriding the interests of nations, local communities and individuals. (See Appendix B for more details.) As Ralph Nader points out, “Under WTO rules, for example, certain *objectives* are forbidden to all domestic legislatures... including [objectives such as] providing any significant subsidies to promote energy conservation, sustainable farming practices, or environment-ally sensitive technologies.” To understand this situation and to see what we can do to alter the course of events toward a healthy future for all humanity, we need to look at the inherent contradictions between these current economic developments and the democratic, ecologically sound economic system we could develop. As a biologist, I find that the easiest way to comprehend this contradiction is by looking at humanity as a whole in its natural context, thus recognizing ourselves as a living system and comparing our current unhealthy economic situation with the economics of healthy living systems. In doing so we will see clearly why the “Wakeup” call is being sounded and how to respond with the biological resilience that is our evolutionary heritage, privilege and responsibility. Therefore, I will discuss in some detail the natural organization of living systems, with their endlessly negotiated “political economies” as we are only now coming to under-stand them. If you bear with me in this discussion, a new and coherent understanding of our global crisis and its solutions will emerge very clearly. The challenge of crisis confronts us; our opportunity lies in responding positively and actively. Global Community The human being of the West has abandoned being human and has turned himself into an individual... community has died in them. --Nicolas Aguilar Sayritupac, Aymara Indian, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia To think of ourselves as a living system, we must see ourselves in community with all other people at local, national and global levels. While this may seem superficially easy, it is actually not. Western culture, now globally dominant, has systematically trained us, as Sayritupac accurately observed, to think and act as though we are separate individuals, often in competition with each other for scarce resources of one sort or another, primarily money, which has be-come the perceived means to all we want and need in life. From the vantage point of an evolution biologist watching the human species, it’s encouraging to see that community and community values are at last coming back to life in Western culture. Not as an alternative

to individualism, which was an important human development, but to complement it in a healthy balance. The new swell of interest in, even fervor for, a global human community with equitable and ecologically sustainable economics is vitally important for our species survival. Words such as “community” and “communal values” were consciously or unconsciously suppressed in our culture during the Cold War because of their linguistic similarity to “communism.” Happily they are back in our vocabulary now that the Soviet stigma has been removed from them. We have, in fact, suffered greatly from their absence. The big question is whether we can restore community and communal values to our globalization process before all is lost. The globalization of our species is not a choice; it is a natural, inevitable evolutionary process that began when humans settled on all continents. Human empire building over the past few thousand years continued the process by merging cultures over ever larger areas. In modern times, this empire-building process has been shifting from imperial nations with colonial empires to corporate cartels and other global corporate entities with economic empires which, in some cases, now dominate or overrule national political structures. Y simultaneously, nations have joined in a United Nations effort et, with remarkable success in negotiating cooperative global systems such as telephone, postal and air travel networks, as well as the initiation of other global agreements on electronic/ satellite communications, oceans, etc. that are less democratic and of programs that seriously attempt to implement global health, education and peace. Because these efforts at the democratization of humanity conflict with the concentration of wealth and power, the United Nations is continually under intense pressure. Thus we see that it is not globalization per se that is undesirable. The cause of the enormous crisis we face is the manner in which the most central and important aspect of globalization, its economics, is currently organized. For this reason, we must become more conscious participants in the process of globalization, to avoid letting a handful of powerful players lead us all to doom. First and foremost, we must recognize globalization as a biological process -- something that is happening to a natural living system we call humanity. Then we can see how an economics that violates the fundamental principles by which living systems are organized currently threatens the demise of human civilization. Fortunately life is resilient, and we are witnessing a growing storm of protest rising from calmer discussions of economic globalization. These are healthy reactions that can help lead us to survival, for they indicate increasing recognition and concern that communal values have been overridden in a dangerous process that sets vast profits for a tiny human minority above all other human interests. Most people looking at problems of “market-driven capitalism” are becoming aware on some level that the measure of human success must shift from money to wellbeing for all. To do this, communal values must be reclaimed and acted upon in a way that ensures a balance of global interests with local interests and with the interests of all other species. The evolutionary process is an awesome improvisational dance that weaves individual, communal, ecosystemic and planetary interests into a harmonious whole. Biological research of the past few decades, on the evolution of nucleated cells, multicellular organisms and mature ecosystems as cooperative enterprises, is updating our ingrained view of antagonistic competition as the sole driving force of evolution--a Darwinian view that was adopted as the rationale for an unjust dog-eat-dog world of antagonistic capitalist competition and ultimately the fascist holocaust. As Soros says, “there is something wrong with making the survival of the fittest a guiding principle of civilized society. This social Darwinism is based on an outmoded theory of evolution.” As the more enlightened view gains prominence -- that life is far too intelligent and naturally cooperative to proceed simply by blind accident and dominance struggles--it will be increasingly translated, to our collective benefit, into a more enlightened view of our human society in all its social, economic, political and cultural ramifications. My purpose is to help with that translation, for we humans, no matter how spiritual, are inescapably biological creatures, and the solutions we seek are readily available in nature’s experience. We are a


living system embedded in a larger living system, and we could benefit greatly from the lessons already learned in the five-billion-year dance of our planet. Lessons of Nature The only myth that’s going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one talking about the planet -- not this city, not these people, but the planet and everybody on it. --Joseph Campbell Introducing Holarchy: We can see more clearly what is going on if we look more closely at the individual, the community, the nation and global human society as living systems embedded within each other like Russian nested dolls or Chinese boxes. Arthur Koestler coined elegant terms for this concept: holons in holarchies (Janus: A Summing Up, Pan Books, London 1978). Each relatively self-contained system, such as a cell, an organism, a family or an ecosystem, is a holon, while holarchy refers to their interdependent embeddedness within each other, and was intentionally derived but distinguished from the term hierarchy to avoid its value implications of relative superiority. Take the living system most intimately familiar to all of us: the human body. We’ve long known that our bodies behave as a community of cells, which are organized into organs and organ systems. The central nervous system functions as the body’s government, continually monitoring all its parts and functions, ever making intelligent decisions that serve the interest of the whole enterprise. Its economics are organized as an equitable system of production and distribution, with full employment of all cells and continual attention to their wellbeing. The immune `defense’ system protects its integrity and health against unfamiliar intruders. It can be thought of as a kind of global political economy with organs as bioregional units, their different tissues as communities, cells as families or clans, and the organelles within cells as individuals (which many of them once actually were, as we will see shortly). More recently, microbiology has revealed the relative autonomy of cells and their organelles in ever more exquisite detail: every cell constantly making its own decisions, for example, on what to filter in and out through its membrane, how to adjust its local production and distribution economics, which segments of DNA to reorganize or copy from its nuclear gene library for use in maintaining its cellular welfare, etc. Hardly the automatons we had thought them to be! Physiologically we can see that the needs and interests of individual cells, their organs and the whole body must be continually negotiated to achieve the body’s dynamic equilibrium or healthy balance. Cancer is an example of what happens when this balance is lost, with the proliferation of a particular group of cells ignoring the needs of the whole, multiplying wildly at the expense of the body holon, ultimately defeating their own purposes by destroying it. Body economics: On the whole, our bodies work in remarkably harmonious health. But imagine what would happen if our bodies tried to implement an economic system such as we humans practice in our world at present: How would your body fare if the raw material blood cells in bones all over your body could be mined as resources by more powerful “northern industrial” lung and heart organs, transported to their production and distribution centers where blood is purified and oxygen added to make it a useful product? Imagine it is then announced that blood will be distributed from the heart center only to those organs that can afford it. What is not bought is thrown out as surplus or stored till the market demand rises. How long could your body survive that system? Is it an economic system that could keep any living entity healthy? Can we turn the United Nations into a governing body as dedicated to service as is our central nervous system? When will human diversity be recognized to be as necessary and creative

as the diversity of our cells and organs? When will we be as concerned with the health of every local bioregion in our global body as our individual body is, or practice its cellular full employment policy? When will we implement its efficient and universally beneficial kind of economics? Obviously metaphors have their limits and I do not for a moment suggest we slavishly emulate body models. But they are examples of living systems with healthy politics and economics, and we all have them in common, regardless of our worldviews, or of our personal, political or spiritual persuasions. Surely body metaphors are preferable to outdated and unrealistic mechanical metaphors of perfect societies that were supposed to run permanently and smoothly as well-oiled machines once we got them built correctly. The whole Cold War was rooted in competition over which side had that perfect social machinery! The evolution of cooperation: Our bodies are multicelled creatures which actually evolved from an earlier evolutionary phase of “multicreatured” cells, whose story was pieced together by microbiologist Lynn Margulis. (Symbiosis in Cell Evolution, 1981; Early Life, 1982). The story of their evolution holds an extremely important lesson for humanity today. In brief, it goes like this: Ancient bacteria, some two billion years ago, had blanketed the Earth by themselves, inventing all the ways of making a living still employed today (mainly fermentation, photosynthesis, respiration) and devouring its “resources” with downright human thoroughness. Finding themselves in crisis, they began to invade each other for new resources in a phase I call bacterial imperialism, which we humans echoed so much later in our ignorance of their experience. This phase led to renewed crisis, because their early attempts at “globalization” into huge colonies were based on competitive exploitation of each other with no concern for all participating members’ wellbeing. Many such colonies died, until somehow they finally managed to evolve the cooperative scheme we call the nucleated cell: a huge bacterial community with a peaceful division of labor, which we call the nucleated cell. All this was achieved, of course, without benefit of brains, in time to avoid the extinction of Earthlife eons ago. In fact, their “invention” of these huge cells is what makes you and me possible, for each of our cells, as well as those of all organisms larger than bacteria, is one of their descendent cooperatives. (For details of this story, see “ Inspirational Tale of Ancient Times”, below.) An Life, as this story shows, is resilient and creative. Some of the greatest catastrophes in our planet’s life history have spawned the greatest creativity! And therein lies my hope for humanity. It is worth looking at this cooperative evolutionary process up close. What is it that prevents your cells, or your organs, from pursuing their self-interest competitively such that relatively few “win” and most “lose?” The superficial answer is that they are part of a cooperative community in which the health of every level in the body’s holarchy promotes the health of individual cell and organ holons. But what is it that makes our individual cells and organs behave communally? If we can answer this critical question biologically, we will gain important insight for applying the lessons of nature to our human affairs. Holarchic negotiations evolve: One definition of the word evolution is the flow of interwoven steps in an improvisational dance. Although it comes from dance terminology, it actually fits biological evolution very well, since we can now see it as an ongoing process of interweaving, self-organizing holons in holarchy. The dance is not always smooth. Nature sometimes stumbles as it improvises, making crude moves, especially on the part of young aggressive species, such as our own, that attempt to take over the whole dance. In fact, one can discern in evolution a repeating pattern in which aggressive competition leads to the threat of extinction, which is then avoided by the formation of cooperative alliances, as in the bacterial story above. To show how this works, let me introduce a concept of simultaneous self-interest at all levels of living systems holarchy, a concept I have not yet encountered among other evolution biologists.


Darwin, as we well know, held the competitive individual to be the driving force of evolution (as we have applied this theory socially, it could be called the capitalist version of evolution), while later biologists countered with the alternative of species self-interest, wherein individuals within species demonstrated altruism and self-sacrifice for the common good (the communist version) but species as wholes were competitive with each other. Richard Dawkins, refuting both these views, claimed they were in error because competition among selfish genes drove evolution (micro-capitalism?). But what if all these evolutionists are right in sum, rather than individually? That is, what if every level of organization in nature looked out for its self-interests simultaneously? An Inspirational Tale of Ancient Times In studying the Earth’s evolution, the most fascinating story I know is that of ancient beings who created an incredibly complex lifestyle, rife with technological successes such as electric motors, nuclear energy, polyester, DNA recombination and worldwide information systems. They also produced--and solved--devastating environmental and social crises and provided a wealth of lessons we would do well to consider. This was not a Von Daniken scenario; the beings were not from outer space. They were our own minute but prolific forebears: ancient bacteria. In one of his popular science essays, Lewis Thomas, estimating the mitochondria that are descendants of ancient bacteria in our cells as half our dry bulk, suggested that we may be huge taxis they invented to get around in safely ( Lives of a Cell, 1974). From whatever perspective we choose to define our relationship with them, it is clear we have now created the same crises they did some two billion years ago. Further, we are struggling to find the very solutions they arrived at--solutions that made our own evolution possible and that could now improve the prospects of our own far distant progeny, not to mention our more immediate future. I owe my understanding of this remarkable tale to microbiologist Lynn Margulis, whose painstaking scientific sleuthing traced these events back more than two billion years. The bacteria’s remarkable technologies (all of which still exist among today’s free-living bacteria) include the electric motor drive, which functioned by the attachment of a flagellum to a disk rotating with ball bearings in a magnetic field; the stockpiling of uranium in their colonies, probably to heat their communities with nuclear energy; perfect polyester (biodegradable, of course), elaborate cityscapes we can only now see under the newest microscopes and their worldwide communications and information system, based on the ability to exchange (recombine) DNA with each other--the first World Wide Web! Y like ourselves, with our own proud versions of such wondrous et, technologies, the ancient bacteria got themselves deeper and deeper into crisis by pursuing win/lose economics based on the reckless exploitation of nature and each other. The amazing and inspirational part of the story is that entirely without benefit of brains, these nigh invisible yet highly inventive little creatures reorganized their destructively competitive lifestyle into one of creative cooperation. The crisis came about because respiring bacteria (breathers) depended on ultraviolet light as a critical component in the creation of their natural food supply of sugars and acids, while photosynthesizing bacteria (bluegreens) emitted vast quantities of polluting oxygen which created an atmospheric ozone layer that prevented ultra-violet light from reaching the surface of the Earth. Cut off from their food supply, the hi-tech breathers, with their electric motor rapid transport, began to invade the bodies of larger more passive fermenting bacteria (bubblers) to literally eat their insides -- a process I have called bacterial colonialism. The invaders multiplied within these colonies until their resources were exhausted and all parties died. No doubt this happened countless times before they learned cooperation. But somewhere along the line, the bloated bags of bacteria also included some bluegreens, which could replenish food supplies if the motoring breathers pushed the sinking enterprises up into brighter primeval waters. Perhaps it was this lifesaving use of solar energy that initiated the shift to cooperation. In any case, bubblers, bluegreens, and breathers

eventually contributed their unique capabilities to the common task of building a workable society. In time, each donated some of their “personal” DNA to the central resource library and information hub that became the nucleus of their collective enterprise: the huge (by bacterial standards) nucleated cells of which our own bodies and those of all Earth beings other than bacteria are composed. This process of uniting disparate and competitive entities into a cooperative whole--a multi-creatured cell, so to speak--was repeated when nucleated cells aggregated into multi-celled creatures, and it is happening now for a third time as we multi-celled humans are being driven by evolution to form a cooperative global cell in harmony with each other and with other species. This new enterprise must be a unified global democracy of diverse membership, organized into locally productive and mutually cooperative “bioregions,” like the organs of our bodies, and coordinated by a centralized government as dedicated in its service to the wellbeing of the whole as is the nervous system of our bodies. Anything less than such cooperation will probably bring us quickly to the point of species extinction so that the other species remaining may get on with the task. adapted from E.Sahtouris’ “The Evolution of Governance” IN CONTEXT, #36, Fall 1993; http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC36/Sahtour.htm This would necessitate ongoing negotiations among individual parts and levels of organization, and this is exactly what seems to be happening. Moreover, Nature’s dance seems to be energized by the conflicting self-interests of various parts and levels, and choreographed by the compromises it has made in the course of evolution, and continues to make in every day of the present. At its best, the dance becomes elegant, harmonious, beautiful in its dynamics of nonantagonistic counterpoint and resolution. The repeating pattern of evolution is the sequence from unity to diversification, which produces conflict that instigates negotiations, resulting in resolution leading to cooperation, and thus back to unity in the form of a higher level of organization. The most important lesson learned in the course of its evolution, often the hard way, is that no level of holarchy may be sacrificed without killing the whole! Let’s explore this driving dynamic as it plays out in our everyday human experience. The Greek playwright Aristophanes said of marriage partners a long time ago: Can’t live with ‘em; can’t live without `em. Look at this familiar situation anew: A couple is a holon in which two individual holons (the partners) are embedded. This is thus a two-level holarchy, the levels being that of couplehood and that of the individuals. The couple will survive in good health only if each of the three holons’ self interest is negotiated with the other two! Once you see this, then extrapolation to family is easy. Now try community. My favorite creation myth from India tells that the cosmos began as a vast sea of milk in which a tiny wavelet formed, and was torn ever after between wanting to be itself and longing to merge back into the sea. Is this not another metaphor for individual and community in the endlessly creative dialog and metalog of self-expression, already recognized in ancient times? What matters in this dialog is that the contradictions do not become antagonistic. A mature ecosystem--say a rainforest--is a complex ongoing process of negotiations among species holons and between individual species and other parts and levels of the self-regulating holarchy comprised by the various micro and macro species along with air, water, rocks, sunshine, magnetic fields, etc. As Soros pointed out in the Atlantic Monthly, “Species and their environment are interactive, and one species serves as part of the environment for the others. There is a feedback mechanism...” among levels. Let us now look at a fuller complement of the principles by which these interwoven living systems operate, so that we may get on with analyzing our global human crisis more effectively. The Principles of Living Systems Anyone who knows how to run a household, knows how to run the world --Xilonem Garcia, a Meshika elder in Mexico


Xilonem Garcia, in this statement, expresses her intuitive knowledge that anyone who understands the principles of living systems can apply them to any holon at any level of its holarchy. If we think about it, we can all be aware of such principles operating in our bodies. And we seem to intuit and practice them reasonably well at the family level. Not many people starve three of their children to overfeed the fourth, for example, or beautify one corner of their garden by destroying the rest of it. At the level of our local communities or towns, we begin to lose sight of those principles, and when we consider our nations or the world, we seem to have forgotten them entirely, despite the fact that these are living systems, too. Main Features and Principles of Living Systems 1. Self-creation (autopoiesis) 2. Complexity (diversity of parts) 3. Embeddedness in larger holons and dependence on them (holarchy) 4. Self-reflexivity (autognosis--self-knowledge) 5. Self-regulation/maintenance (autonomics) 6. Response ability--to internal and external stress or other change 7. Input/output exchange of matter/energy/information with other holons 8. Transformation of matter/energy/information 9. Empowerment/employment of all component parts 10. Communications among all parts 11. Coordination of parts and functions 12. Balance of Interests negotiated among parts, whole, and embedding holarchy 13. Reciprocity of parts in mutual contribution and assistance 14. Conservation of what works well 15. Creative change of what does not work well Let us look, then, at a list of the main features and principles of all healthy living systems or holons, be they single cells, bodies, families, communities, ecosystems, nations or the whole world (see above). By understanding these principles, we can assess the health of any particular living system and see where it may be dysfunctional. This in turn will give us clues to making the system healthier. I leave it to the reader to consider this list in detail, and to choose a familiar living system, such as an organization or community, to analyze for its adherence to each principle in turn. Our purpose here is to learn to do such analyses in order to understand in what ways our living systems are healthy and in what ways they are not. We want especially, in this discussion, to apply there principles to the process of political, economic and cultural globalization--of forming our new “body of humanity.” As soon as we begin checking this list, we see that while globalization of humanity is bringing about a complex, self-organizing process and is embedded within our ecosystems (1,2,3), it does not meet most of the other requirements because only a relatively small part of humanity is involved in decisions and has the power to serve its own interests, often at the expense of other parts. We must question how well it knows itself (4), for the process to date has not been fully conscious, at least among the vast majority of humans. Most of us feel swept along by its tides with far less than real knowledge of what the process is all about. We have not adequately taken into account our embeddedness in and dependence upon the Earth holon with all its various sustaining ecosystems. As a result, our self-regulation is woefully inadequate. To wit, the input of matter and energy from our ecosystems into our human systems (7) has been unsustainably rapacious, transforming them to our use as though they were simply resources put there for our benefit. Our output back into those ecosystems has further despoiled them rather than restored them. While our human system certainly has the complexity and diversity of parts common to all living systems, we have not recognized that as an asset. Rather, we have tried to make the system’s human components as uniform as possible by imposing a Western consumer ethic and other Western cultural patterns of

industrialization, education, fashion, etc. on the world as a whole. We had better take into account that monoculture is a very strange concept we humans have introduced into Nature and that it does not make a lastingly workable living system. Monoculture fails in agriculture as in social culture, in economics as in religion. Social monoculture is rooted in an outmoded and ignorant fear of difference and of scarcity. It is time we learned to respect and cherish our human diversity as the creative source of harmonious complexity. As we continue through the list it is readily apparent that our worldwide system of humanity is not functioning well as a living system. The system neither empowers nor employs all humans (9). While our communications (10) are technologically impressive, we do not use them to coordinate parts and functions (11) in ways that foster a balance of interests at all levels (12) of the human system (individuals, families, communities, bioregions, nations, world), nor is there yet an intent for reciprocity in mutual contribution and assistance (13). As for conservation (14) and creative change (15), we are entirely unused to seeing that both are necessary parts of a single system because of our pervasive either/or syndrome, which I would like to discuss in some detail. The “either/or” syndrome: The capitalist/communist drama that played out for most if not all of our lifetimes reveals a fundamental dramatic flaw: an odd and ultimately impossible ideological choice: to build society on the basis of individual interest or on the basis of communal interest. Throughout the Cold War, our global alignment presented nations with this either/or choice between “left-wing” communism and “rightwing” capitalism. One simply could not be “for” both capitalism and communism, both left and right. Even within our political democracies we divide ourselves into radical and conservative parties of various hues, and ask, or require, ourselves to make the choice to vote for one or the other of their left or right political programs. In essence, “right” is conservative, “left” is radical (and still “tainted” by association with communism). In nature, no living system chooses between conservation and radical change as a way of life. Some living systems, such as squids and sharks, cockroaches and certain lizards, have functioned so well despite dramatic changes in their environments that they have survived virtually unchanged over eons, rather like bicycles in the jet age. Others, such as our own human species, have virtually leaped into change. But they have not taken their particular directions from some unflinching commitment to either conservation or change; they have simply done what was called for depending on circumstances. Most species combine conservation and change as circumstances demand. Fifty years of laboratory evidence shows that when they change, they do so by rearranging their DNA intelligently in response to circumstances in the environment (Sahtouris, E. A Walk Through Time: From Stardust to Us, Wiley, New Y 1998). ork Thus Nature interweaves conservation and change to protect what works and change what doesn’t. And we would do well to adopt that strategy, as Alvin Toffler suggested some time ago in urging us to stop looking left and right, but rather to assess any idea in terms of whether it will lead us forward or backward (Toffler, A. The Third Wave, Wm. Collins, London, 1980). In practice, it turns out, there was more in common between capitalism and communism than their professed either/or ideologies indicated. Alvin Toffler was the first author I recall talking about parallels between the Soviet East and the Capitalist West. Both, he pointed out, were unfairly exploiting the Third World to support their large industrialist economies. Now David Korten goes further, telling us “ a modern economic system based on the ideology of free market capitalism is destined to self-destruct for many of the same reasons that the Marxist economy collapsed in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.” (Mander & Goldsmith, editors. The Case Against the Global Economy and For a Return to the Local, Sierra Books 1996). He spells out these common features as: 1. the concentration of economic power in unaccountable and abusive centralized institutions (state or transnational corporations);


2. the destruction of ecosystems in the name of progress; 3. the erosion of social capital by dependence on disempowering mega institutions; 4. narrow views of human needs by which community values and spiritual connection to the Earth are eroded. Note that all of these illustrate systems in which the “top” level is empowered by disempowering local and individual levels. We are accustomed to understanding this about communist systems, but we have ignored the erosion of our own democratic principles in the process of capitalist globalization. A another example of the either/or syndrome, the USA’s President Clinton’s Commission on Sustainability, in its initial meetings, actually argued whether discussions of ecological sustainability need involve economics. The debate occurred because we have created yet another apparent either/or situation: economics versus ecology--sometimes epitomized in the United States as “jobs versus spotted owls.” In the brief time I was given to address this Commission, I pointed out that ecology in Greek is the logos or organization, of the oikos (society as “household”), and ecology the “household’s” nomos or rules. Thus, they can hardly be at odds in any healthy society. The problem is not whether they need be linked, but that we separated them in the first place! (Recall here Xilonem Garcia’s earlier quoted comment that “ Anyone who knows how to run a household, knows how to run a world.”) Our latest version of the either/or syndrome seems to be in a growing debate on globalization versus localization, as is implied, for example, by the title just cited: “The Case Against Globalization and Toward Local Economy.” While most authors of this recent IFG (International Forum on Globalization) book are really only opposed to the way in which globalization is happening, considerable numbers of people actually are arguing this situation in classical and ultimately unrealistic either/or fashion. A balance of all levels: It is of the utmost importance that we not let economic globalization override the interests of people and their local economies and ecosystems, for this would be a grave violation of the principles of living systems, as we have just seen. Local economies are holons within the global human holarchy, and must have the power to negotiate effectively, in their own self-interest, with other levels of that holarchy. The solution to our currently imbalanced globalization is not to oppose globalization; it is to do globalization better. We can easily see that balance among the interests of the global holon and those of the regional and local holon economies it comprises is as important as the balance between the interests of any local economy (as a holon) and those of the individual people and nonhuman species which comprise it. Thus the appropriate response to the world corporate interests that railroaded the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and the WTO (World Trade Organization) into existence under the rubric of “economic liberalism” without in fact giving it a democratic vote after adequate information, is clearly the strengthening of self-sufficient local economies, as David Korten, Herman Daly, Edward Goldsmith and other members of the IFG have explained. It is also to launch a sufficiently strong movement to demand change in the GATT and /WTO themselves, and in the United Nations which spawned them as it earlier spawned the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Taking our cues from our bodies, or from the Earth itself, with its diverse ecosystems, we can see that bioregionalism--basic local selfsufficiency economics which takes all species, including humans, into account -- is as necessary and important an aspect of healthy globalization as are equitable international trade relations. Certainly no one part of a healthy globalized economy will be able to exploit another. That means local economies will have to protect themselves against unfair trade and strong economies will have to permit that protection in their own interests of seeing a healthy global economy. Soros points out in his Atlantic Monthly article that in nature, “Cooperation is as much a part of the system as competition” and again, “The doctrine of laissez-faire capitalism holds that the common good is best served by the uninhibited pursuit of self-interest.” But unless self-interest is “tempered by a recognition of a

common interest,” the society, on which the market rests, “is liable to break down.” This is an excellent example of understanding living systems principles. That is, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” by all people must be possible within the global economy Dynamics of Natural Democracy My tradition helps us learn that individual and group needs must be met in ongoing ways for the People to survive as a People... As we try to consciously and conscientiously fit economics and business back into a holistic approach to life and living; there is much that can be learned from societies and communities that have never forgotten that wholeness;... communities that understand Life as flows of energy,... [in which] everyone receives basic support.... everyone contributes... no part is separate from any other part... the health of the whole enables the health of any part thereof... sickness of the smallest part impacts the whole. --Paula Underwood, World Business Academy Journal, vol. 10 no 4, 1996 In historic terms, capitalism and communism are human social systems experiments that looked good in theory but proved problematic in practice. One has failed; the other is still being tested. Both have imbalanced the interests of individual and community by making one subservient to the other, rather than putting them in balance with each other. It is of considerable interest that both capitalism and communism were in part inspired by the democratic political economy and social structure of the Native American Haudenosaunee, a union of native nations that the Europeans called Iroquois. Ben Franklin, influential with the other founding fathers of the USA, on the one hand, and Friedrich Engels, who influenced Karl Marx, on the other, were inspired by this unique democracy. Unfortunately, neither the capitalist nor the communist systems inspired by the Haudenosaunee really understood her tradition as Paula Underwood describes it above. It is still a lesson to be learned from many native cultures that humankind is but one holon within the Earth holarchy. In such awareness, we all would see clearly the advantage in negotiating (not eliminating) our human differences, and we would also cease and desist immediately our denial of planetary interests and our profligate destruction of the ecosystems sustaining us with ever more difficulty. If we were an intelligent species--and that remains to be demonstrated, given our knowing destruction of our own life support system and our rather juvenile antagonisms over what belongs to whom--we would look to the planet that spawned us for guidance in human affairs, as was the original purpose of natural and political philosophy in ancient Greece. It would then become obvious that human affairs have reached the danger level at which cooperation must restore the imbalances of aggressive competition and hoarding if we are to survive. What’s to be done? Survival means the survival of humankind as a whole, not just a part of it.... If the South cannot survive, the North is going to crumble. If countries of the Third World cannot pay their debts, you are going to suffer here in the North. If you do not take care of the Third World, your well-being is not going to last, and you will not be able to continue living in the way you have been for much longer. --Thich Nat Han, “The Heart of Understanding” The global wave of protests against the unfair advantage of huge corporations and bodies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) that represent their interests, as I said at the outset, is a healthy reaction necessary to rebalancing holarchy in our species is to survive the current crises. We have seen that globalization is the natural next phase of evolution. We are not entirely in control of this process and it is beyond our power to stop. We have already globalized transportation, communications, money, industries, food, weapons, pollution and other aspects of human culture, many of them peacefully.


Sir James Goldsmith, one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time, was quoted in a London Times article of 1994 (March 5). He said: “What an astonishing thing it is to watch a civilization destroy itself because it is unable to re-examine the validity, under totally new circumstances, of an economic ideology.” That ideology is now questioned and discussed ever more openly. The main problem is being identified as imbalance in our global economics. All the WTO’s member states authorize the WTO to do their business negotiations and all are bound by its decisions. They can be forced to change any of their own present or future laws if, as the WTO provisions read , “the attainment of any [WTO] objective is being impeded” by its existence. The trade dispute panels of the WTO and NAFTA do not guarantee members’ economic disinterest. Further, they keep all their proceedings, documents and transcripts secret. There cannot be any media or citizen participation, and no review or appeal is available. This constitutes a loss of sovereignty among the member nations, whose agreements to join were railroaded through congresses with inadequate discussion. But it is not too late to redress these severe imbalances as the world’s people wake up to them. Under present WTO practices, Thailand has been told it cannot refuse to import US cigarettes for health reasons, and Indonesia may not keep the rattan it needs for domestic use. Neither children nor adults are protected from exploitative and unhealthy conditions of labor, and no member country may make any effort to protect its local industry and employment against erosion by unfair competition in the world market. Self-sufficient organic farming is literally outlawed, while poisonous chemicals are forced on countries, destroying the health of people, crops, land, air and water for the sake of short-term profits in high places. The US, after long grassroots efforts resulting in bans on tuna fish caught without ensuring the safety of dolphins, is now being forced to import it again. Europe fights hard against forced imports of genetically altered foods. As each injustice comes to light, people become informed and active. The good news is that we don’t have to do our economics inequitably to globalize. It is possible, as Hazel Henderson has pointed out for decades, to do win/win, rather than win/lose, economics. (Paradigms in Progress: Life Beyond Economics , 1991; Building a Win/ Win World, 1996). As Henderson points out, the UN’s most powerful nations commandeered the World Bank and the IMF, then dominated the GATT discussions and set up the WTO together with corporations and financial institutions. Y the UN’s special agencies, during the et same timespan, formed agreements and treaties on nuclear proliferation (IAEA), air traffic rules (IATA) and postal rates (GPU), also working doggedly on health, education and security issues, as well as accepting a great deal of criticism and recommendations for UN restructuring, which is now an official process. Obviously the UN can only be as good as its member states will make it and as NGO (NonGovernment Organizations) can push it to be. Polls show clearly that the people of the United States support the UN overwhelmingly, while their presumably representative government does not pay its dues and periodically threatens to quit. Interesting global power shifts would happen if it did. Henderson recommends a new UN funding structure by a tiny tax (.003%) on international currency transactions, global commons use fees, “sin taxes” on polluters, drug traffic fines and taxes on arms sales, to avoid the problems created by non-payment of dues by its members. The UN, whatever its problems and whatever our view of it is, remains, as Henderson points out, “the world’s major networker, broker, and convenor of new global negotiations.” All the new problems of globalization are centered in its spinoffs, especially the newer GATT and WTO. So we must also see as a sign of hope the relentless popular pressure of NGOs that is proving itself increasingly an agent of change. In 1995 the UN World Summit on Social Development in

Copenhagen, covered by two thousand journalists, discussed replacing GNP measures with a people centered and ecologically sustainable “new development paradigm.” The 1996 UN Habitat II Summit in Istanbul hosted a World Business Forum that set up a process for Global Standards. Inside the World Bank, its own staff is now in the process of creating significant progressive changes. Now, in 1999, NGOs are sponsoring the Hague Appeal for Peace. In addition to such NGOs, labor organizations, religious organizations such as the United Religions Initiative and others devoted to interfaith peace and alliances, various conscious investment and pension funds, meetings such as the annual Gorbachev Foundation sponsored State of the World conferences and grassroots movements are all playing a role in global awareness and the restructuring of human society. These are just a few of many examples showing that we are growing wiser as a species in our self-organization at the global level. Some capitalist entrepreneurs are uniting with each other to work out ways of doing alternative and responsible-to-community capitalism in organizations such as The World Business Academy, Business for Social Responsibility, the Social Ventures Network and the Conscious Business Alliance. Certain corporations are moving toward stakeholder ownership, very serious recycling, and holarchic decision making. Role models such as the Body Shop, Interface and Ben and Jerry’s show us the possible future of all business enterprises. The picture of globalization and the needs and aspirations of the human community are clarifying now and we can get on with the task of insuring our civilization against demise. We can prove ourselves a mature species, ready to learn from our parent planet’s four and a half billion years of experience in evolving workable living systems. The beloved American author Mark Twain tells the story of a young man returning from his first forays out into the world, amazed on hearing his father speak--surprised at all his father has learned while he was gone. It is of course a characterization not of new learning in the father, but in the son. The son’s budding maturity lies in his new ability to listen to an elder’s accumulated wisdom. When we humans, after all a very young species, drop our adolescent arrogance of thinking we know it all and read the wisdom in our parent planet’s accumulated experience of living systems design, we too will mature as a species, to our own benefit and that of all other species, as well as the planet itself. See Also : * “NEW POLITICAL TAGS: GLOBAL VS. NATIONAL from ” the 12/22/97 edition of The Christian Science Monitor . * from nirvanet’s Zen Planet : * 9/97 ZP interview: Elisabet Sahtouris * Interview: Part Two * E. Sahtouris: BRAZIL AND GLOBALIZATION Organism and Psyche in a Participatory Universe The Evolutionary Outrider. The Impact of the Human Agent on Evolution Mae-Wan Ho The Evolutionary Outrider. The Impact of the Human Agent on Evolution, Essays in Honour of Ervin Laszlo (D. Loye, ed.), pp. 49-65, Praeger, 1998. * Abstract * Organism - the universal archetype * The irrepressible tendency towards the whole * Organic space-time versus mechanical space and time * Organism versus mechanism * A theory of the organism * The thermodynamics of organized complexity * The liquid crystalline organism * Knowledge as intercommunication in a participatory universe * The quantum holographic body field of the organism * The coherence of brain and body consciousness * Quantum coherence and brain consciousness


* The organism’s macroscopic wave function and universal entanglement * Acknowledgments * References Abstract The Jungian ideal of the whole person is one whose cell and psyche, body and mind, inner and outer, are fully integrated, and hence completely in tune with nature. Jung’s ideas on psychical development show many parallels to those relating to the organism. Similarly, Laszlo’s theory of the quantum holographic universe views the universe effectively as a kind of superorganism, constantly becoming, being created through the activities of its constituent organisms at every level. The organism is thus the most universal archetype. I describe a theory of the organism, based on quantum coherence, which is, in some respects, a microcosm of Laszlo’s universe. It involves key notions of the maximization of local autonomy and global cohesion, of universal participation, of sensitivity and responsiveness, which have profound implications for our global future. * Parts of this paper was first delivered as a lecture in the Assisi Conference,”The Confluence of Matter and Spirit: Patterning in the Psyche and in Archetypal Fields”, Assisi, Aug. 11-17, 1996. Organism - the universal archetype In the Summer of 1991, I saw something in Mexico City which haunted me for months afterwards. It was a thick round slab of sculpted rock, about 3.25m in diameter. The official guide book says it depicts the Aztec moon goddess, embodying the powers of night, who was killed and gruesomely dismembered by her brother the sungod an act so terrible that the world itself is torn asunder. Y the et, beautifully executed symmetries of the form evokes a sense of the dismembered parts drawing together again to make a whole, counteracting the violent severence of head and limbs. Mazatl Galindo, who teaches indigenous American cultures and is himself of Aztec Indian descent, has since explained to me that this sculpted disc, which has the same dimensions as the much better known, and widely reproduced calender stone, is actually also a calender: the thirteen main joints of her dismembered body representing the thirteen divisions of the year. The alternating disintegration and re-integration it evokes signifies the cycles of death and rebirth that mark the passage of time. I came upon the sculpture while accompanying a group of university under-graduates travelling around the world on an intensive, year-long education programme on Global Ecology - Integrating Nature and Culture (of which I was a founding faculty member). In the course of the year and throughout the Third World, we had experienced the same distressing disintegration of the environment and indigenous communities brought on by industrial developments. And yet there remains, everywhere, an indestructible, irrepressible spirit to make things whole again. It was not just a survival instinct, but a genuine lust for life - the psychic energy that created the calender stone is at work, initiating the healing process even as disintegration is continuing apace. The meaning of that year’s journey and the journey of my life as symbolic of life itself came to me like an avalanche. I have died several deaths since my encounter with that symbol. I found myself standing at the gates of the underworld, as Orpheus must have done, torn between the fear of impending hell and the over-riding need to recover a lost love. Eventually, it transformed my life, in much the way that Jung (1964) has envisaged the transforming power of symbols. Love rules our lives on many planes. Scottish psychologist Ian Suttie (1924), a critic of Freud, proposed that love, as distinct from sex, is the primary drive for all social organisms. Love comes from the nurturing ministrations of the mother or caretaker during infancy. From this arises a feeling of tenderness that regards all people to be possible companions, to be enjoyed and loved, and from whom approval is sought. On another plane, the successful separation of child from mother creates a field of attraction, a “virtual space” of love

which we fill with our social and creative activities. (Winnicott, 1974). Love is a desire for wholeness. It is a desire for resonance, for intimacy, a longing to embrace and complete a larger whole. And it is that which motivates our social and creative acts and our knowledge of nature on the most universal plane (Ho, 1994a). At its most personal, love is our affection for specific human beings, it is also one’s own process of individuation - of remaking one’s “self” out of the fabric of experiences, transcending the well-worn archetypes to become a unique whole person. The whole person is one whose sense of uniqueness is premissed on her relationship with all of nature. Thus, the personal and universal are inextricably intertwined. The most intimate knowledge of oneself is at the same time, the most profound knowledge of nature. The true love of self is also inextricably the love of humanity and of all nature. That is why we feel obliged to serve, to help, to alleviate suffering and pain just as they were our own. Scientists like David Bohm, Ervin Laszlo and others are indeed trying to recover that lost love, the universal wholeness and entanglement that enables us to emphathize and to be compassionate. The whole is never static, it is constantly dying and reborning, decaying and renewing, breaking down to build up again. The same cycles of disintegration and re-integration occur whether one is looking at the energy metabolism of our body or the stream of consciousness out of which we individuate our psyche. During the normal `steady state’ of our existence, the multitudes of infinitesimal deaths and rebirths are intricately balanced so that the old changes imperceptibly into the new. However, whenever the attracting centre of the new is radically different from the old, a larger, and at times, complete disintegration may be needed before the new can individuate. It is like the caterpillar which must completely dissolve so that the beautiful butterfly can emerge. That is our hope for the approaching millennium. The psyche has so much in common with the organism that many of the most perceptive biologists and psychologists have proposed a complete continuity and identity between the two. They were impressed with the `directiveness’ of all vital processes, whether developmental, physiological or psychical. In development, the fertilized egg goes through a series of morphogenetic changes directed towards producing the adult organism, and is remarkably resistant to disturbing influences. Similarly, the organism is able to maintain its internal physiology in a constant state despite large changes in the external environment. So it is with the purposiveness of all living things. One has only to try to stop a cat from doing what it wants to do. The mark of a living being is that it always has its own way of doing things, its own directed purpose in life that resists what is imposed on it. It is not at the mercy of its surroundings. It is so even for the simplest unicellular organism. The biologist Jennings (1933) took a lifetime to study the ciliate protozoa Paramecium, and became convinced of its purposiveness, it autonomy at the very least. For example, it will swim towards the light, or not, according as to whether it is hungry or fully fed. Geneticist Sinnott (1950) argues in his book, Cell and Psyche, that biological organization, concerned with development and physiology, and psychical activity, concerned with behaviour and leading to mind, are fundamentally the same thing. “In some unexplained fashion, there seems to reside in every living thing,...an inner subjective relation to its bodily organization. This has finally evolved into what is called consciousness...through this same inner relationship, the mechanisms which guides and controls vital activities towards specific ends, the pattern or tension set up in protoplasm, which so sensitively regulates its growth and behaviour, can also be experienced, and this is the genesis of desire, purpose, and all other mental activities.” (p.48) To me, the Jungian ideal of the whole person is also one whose cell and psyche, body and mind, inner and outer, are fully integrated, and hence completely in tune with nature. That may be the secret of the golden flower (see Fordham, 1966), the immortal spirit-body created out of the resolution of opposites, the intertwining of darkness and


light (moon goddess and sungod) that is the essence of life itself. The encounter with the Aztec calender stone is the immediate prelude to my work towards a theory of the organism, much of which is in The Rainbow and The Worm written almost a year later (Ho, 1993). A recent summary of the main thesis with additional work done since is presented elsewhere (Ho, 1997a) Jung’s ideas on psychical development show many parallels to those relating to living organization, and have since been borrowed back into biology. `Individuation’, for example, has been used by the embryologist/ geneticist Waddington (1956) to describe the process of forming a whole, or a whole organ, such as a limb from the global morphogenetic field. Jung himself was not unaware of these parallels when he presented the psyche as a dynamic, self-regulating system, motivated by psychic energy or libido, a general sense of desire or longing, an urge that flows between opposite poles, so that the stronger the opposition the greater the tension (Fordham, 1966). The allusion to the living system and energy flow is unmistakable. Jung’s theory of the psyche, drawn largely from his own experiences and imagination, is also a theory of the organism. The organism is the most universal archetype. Similarly, Laszlo’s (1995, 1996) theory of the quantum holographic universe views the universe effectively as a kind of superorganism, constantly becoming, being created through the activities of its constituent organisms at every level. These activities leave traces (quantum interferences) in the universal vacuum field which feed back on the future evolution of the organisms themselves. The universal quantum holographic field is the collective consciousness (including the unconscious) of all organisms. My theory of the organism is in some respects, a microcosm of Laszlo’s universe. The irrepressible tendency towards the whole What is it to be an organism? It is, at bottom, the irrepressible tendency towards being whole. It is that which underlies both the directiveness of vital activities, and the love we express on many planes. In biological development, the most characteristic feature of the embryo is not so much its directiveness towards producing an adult organism or any archetype, rather it is its tendency to maintain and develop into an organized whole, however it is disturbed. Sometimes, this organized whole is so altered that it is no longer recognizable as the same organism, but it is nonetheless an organism in the sense of being an organized whole. More significantly, there is a special relationship between part and whole in the organism.The egg starts to develop by cell division. At a sufficiently early stage, the cells in the embryo are typically totipotent, in that they have the potential to develop into any part of the whole. When they are separated, each cell can develop into a whole organism, albeit a much smaller one than the original. Similarly, if a part of the early embryo is removed, that part can be regenerated from the remaining so that the whole is again recovered. Regeneration can also occur in adult organisms of some species such as the salamander. It is part and parcel of the healing process that enables all organisms to recover from illnesses and injuries. Whole and part are therefore mutually implicated in the organism. This quality of organic wholeness has eluded mechanistic science right from the beginning, and has been the main sticking point of the debate between the mechanists and their opponents, the vitalists. Organic space-time versus mechanical space and time The mechanistic framework broke down at the turn of the present century, giving way to quantum theory at the very small scale of elementary particles and to general relativity at the large scales of planetary motion. In place of the static, eternal universe of absolute space and time, there is a multitude of contingent, observer-dependent space-time frames. Instead of solid objects with simple locations in space and time, one finds delocalized, mutually entangled quantum entities evolving like organisms. The opposition between the mechanistic and the organic worldview hinges on the fundamental nature of space and time.

Mechanical space and time are both linear, homogeneous, separate and local. In other words, both are infinitely divisible, and every bit of space or of time is the same as every other bit. A billiard ball here cannot affect another one there, unless someone pushes the one here to collide with the one there. Mechanical space-time also happens to be the space and time of the commonest “common-sensible” world in our mundane, everyday existence. It is the space-time of frozen instantaneity abstracted from the fullness of real process, rather like a still frame taken from a bad movie-film, which is itself a flat simulation of life. The passage of time is an accident, having no connection with the change in the configuration of solid matter located in space. Thus, space and time are merely coordinates for locating objects. One can go forwards or backwards in time to locate the precise objects at those particular points. In reality, we know that we can as much retrace our space-time to locate the person that was 30 or 50 years younger as we can undo the wrongs we have committed then. There is no simple location in space and time (Whitehead, 1925). Psychoanalyst-artist Marion Milner (1957) describes her experience of “not being able to paint” as the fear of losing control, of no longer seeing the mechanical common-sensible separateness of things. It is really a fear of being alive, of entanglement and process in the organic reality that ever eludes mechanistic descripion. And yet, it is in overcoming the imposed illusion of the separateness of things that the artist/scientist enters into the realm of creativity and real understanding - which is the realm of organic space-time. Mechanical physics has banished organic space-time from our collective public consciousness, though it never ceases to flourish in the subterranean orphic universe of our collective unconscious and our subjective aesthetic experience. In a way, all developments in western science since Descartes and Newton may be seen as a struggle to reclaim our intuitive, indigenous notions of organic space-time, which, deep within our soul, we feel to be more consonant with authentic experience. Organism versus mechanism The mechanistic worldview indeed officially ended at the beginning of this century. But the profound implications of this decisive break with the intellectual tradition of previous centuries were recognized by a mere handful of visionaries, especially by the French philosopher Henri Bergson (1916), and the English mathematicianphilosopher Alfred North Whitehead (1925). Between them, they articulated an organicist philosophy in place of the mechanistic. Let me summarize some of what I see to be the major contrasts between the mechanical universe and the universe of organisms. Mechanical Universe - Organic Universe Static, deterministic Dynamic, evolving Separate, absolute space and absolute time for all observers spacetime inseperable, contingent observer(process)-dependent space-time frames Inert objects with simple locations in space and time Delocalized organisms with mutually entangled space-times Linear, homogeneous space and time Nonlinear, heterogeneous, multidimensional space-times Local causation Non-local causation Given, nonparticipatory and hence, impotent observer Creative, participatory; entanglement of observer and observed The contrasts are brought into sharper relief by considering the differences between mechanism and organism, or, more accurately, the opposition between a mechanical system and an organic system. First of all, a mechanical system is an object in space and time, whereas an organism is, in essence, of space-time. An organism creates its own space-times by its activities, so it has control over its space-time, which is not the same as external clock time. Secondly, a mechanical system has a stability that belongs to a closed equilibrium, depending on controllers, buffers and buttresses to return the system to set, or fixed points. It works like a non-democratic institution, by a hierarchy of


control: a boss who sits in his office doing nothing (bosses are still predominantly male) except giving out orders to line managers, who in turn coerce the workers to do whatever needs to be done. An organism, by contrast, has a dynamic stability, which is attained in open systems far away from equilibrium. It has no bosses, no controllers and no set points. It is radically democratic, everyone participates in making decisions and in working by intercommunication and mutual responsiveness. Finally, a mechanical system is built of isolatable parts, each external and independent of all the others. An organism, however, is an irreducible whole, where part and whole, global and local are mutually implicated. An even more significant change in worldview is the dissolution of the Cartesian barrier separating the observer from the observed. In the quantum universe, observer and observed are mutually entangled, each act of observation determining the evolution of both. Knowledge, therefore, involves the full participation of the knower in the known. As the knower is an organism, she is also an actor who participates in constructing and shaping the universe, andshe does so knowingly. There is, thus, no escaping from the responsibility of a participatory universe and the moral imperative of one’s mutual entanglement, ultimately with all of nature. But let us begin with the central percept of being an organism. A theory of the organism There are 75 trillion cells in our body, made up of astronomical numbers of molecules of many different kinds. How can this huge conglomerate of disparate cells and molecules function so perfectly as a coherent whole? How can we summon energy at will to do whatever we want? And most of all, how is it possible for there to be a singular “I” that we all feel ourselves to be amid this diverse multiplicity? To give an idea of the coordination of activities involved, imagine an immensely huge superorchestra playing with instruments spanning an incredible spectrum of sizes from a piccolo of 10-9 metre up to a bassoon or a bass viol of a metre or more, and a musical range of seventy-two octaves. The amazing thing about this superorchestra is that it never ceases to play out our individual songlines, with a certain recurring rhythm and beat, but in endless variations that never repeat exactly. Always, there is something new, something made up as it goes along. It can change key, change tempo, change tune perfectly, as it feels like it, or as the situation demands, spontaneously and without hesitation. Furthermore, each and every player, however small, can enjoy maximum freedom of expression, improvising from moment to moment, while maintaining in step and in tune with the whole. I have just described a theory of the quantum coherence that underlies the radical wholeness of the organism, which involves total participation, maximizing both local freedom and global cohesion. It involves the mutual implication of global and local, of part and whole, from moment to moment. It is on that basis that we can have a sense of ourselves as a singular being, despite the diverse multiplicity of parts. That is also how we can perceive the unity of the here and now, in an act of “prehensive unification”(Whitehead, 1925). Artists like scientists, depend on the same exquisite sense of prehensive unification, to see patterns that connect apparently disparate phenomena. In order to add corroborative details to the theory, however, I shall give a more scientific narrative beginning with energy relationships. The thermodynamics of organized complexity Textbooks tell us that living systems are open systems dependent on energy flow. Energy flows in together with materials, and waste products are exported as well as the spent energy that goes to make up entropy. And that is how living systems can, in principle, escape from the second law of thermodynamics. The second law, as you may know, encapsulates the fact that all physical systems run down, ultimately decaying to homogeneous disorganization when all useful energy is spent, or converted into entropy. But how do living systems manage their antientropic existence? I have suggested (Ho, 1996a,b; 1997a) that the key to understanding how the organism overcomes the immediate constraints of thermodynamics is in its capacity to store the incoming energy, and in somehow closing the energy loop within

to give a reproducing, regenerating life cycle. The energy, in effect, circulates among complex cascades of coupled cyclic processes within the system before it is allowed to dissipate to the outside. These cascades of cycles span the entire gamut of space-times from slow to fast, from local to global, that all together, constitutes the life-cycle. Each cycle is a domain of coherent energy storage - coherent energy is simply energy that can do work because it is all coming and going together, as opposed to incoherent energy which goes in all directions at once and cancel out, and is therefore, quite unable to do work. Coupling between the cycles ensures that the energy is transferred directly from where it is captured or produced, to where it is used. In thermodynamic language, those activities going thermodynamically down-hill, and therefore yielding energy, are coupled to those that require energy and go thermodynamically uphill. This coupling also ensures that positive entropy generated in some space-time elements is compensated by negative entropy in other space-time elements. There is, in effect, an internal energy conservation as well as an internal entropy compensation. The whole system works by reciprocity, a cooperative give and take which balances out over the system as a whole, and within a sufficiently long time (Ho, 1997a). The result is that there is always coherent energy available in the system, which can be readily shared throughout the system, from local to global and vice versa, from global to local. That is why, in principle, we can have energy at will, whenever and wherever it is needed. The organism has succeeded in gathering all the necessary vital processes into a unity of coupled non-dissipative cycles spanning the entire gamut of spacetimes up to and including the life-cycle itself, which effectively feeds off the dissipative irreversible energy flow. In thermodynamic terms, the living system can be represented as a superposition of cyclic nondissipative processes, for which entropy production balance out to zero, SDS = 0, and dissipative, irreversible processes, for which net entropy production is positive, SDS > 0. But how can energy mobilization be so perfectly coordinated? That is a direct consequence of the energy stored, which makes the whole system excitable, or highly sensitive to specific weak signals. It does not have to be pushed and dragged into action like a mechanical system. Weak signals originating anywhere within or outside the system will propagate throughout the system and become automatically amplified by the energy stored, often into macroscopic action. Intercommunication can proceed very rapidly, especially because organisms are completely liquid crystalline. The liquid crystalline organism Several years ago, we discovered an optical technique that enables us to see living organisms in brilliant interference colours generated by the liquid crystallinity of their internal anatomy. We found that all live organisms are completely liquid crystalline - in their cells as well as the extracellular matrix, or connective tissues (see Ho et al, 1996; Ross et al, 1997). Liquid crystals are states of matter between solid crystals and liquids. Like solid crystals, they possess long-range orientation order, and often, also varying degrees of translational order (or order of motion). In contrast to solid crystals, however, they are mobile and flexible and highly responsive. They undergo rapid changes in orientation or phase transitions when exposed to weak electric (or magnetic) fields, to subtle changes in pressure, temperature, hydration, acidity or pH, concentrations of inorganic molecules or other small molecules. These properties happen to be ideal for making organisms, as they provide for the rapid intercommunication required for the organism to function as a coherent whole. (Images of live organisms taken from video-recordings may be found in Ho, 1997c) This imaging technique enables us to literally see the whole organism at once, from its macroscopic activities down to the longrange order of the molecules that make up its tissues. The colours generated depend on the structure of the particular molecules - which differ for each tissue - and their degree of coherent order (see Ross et al, 1997 for the mathematical derivation showing how, for weakly birefringent material, the colour intensity is approximately linearly related to both intrinsic birefringence and the order parameter). The principle is exactly the same as that used in detecting mineral crystals in geology; but with the important difference that the living liquid crystals are dynamic through and through. The molecules are all


moving about busily transforming energy and material in the meantime, and yet they still appear crystalline. The reason is because visible light vibrates much faster than the molecules can move, so the tissues will appear indistinguishable from static crystals to the light transmitted, so long as the movements of the constituent molecules are sufficiently coherent. In fact, the most actively moving parts of the organism are always the brightest, implying that their molecules are moving all the more coherently. With our optical technique, therefore, one can see that the organism is thick with coherent activities at all levels, which are coordinated in a continuum from the macroscopic to the molecular. That is the essence of the organic whole, where local and global, part and whole are mutually implicated at any time and for all times. Those images draw attention to the wholeness of the organism in another respect. All organisms - from protozoa to vertebrates without exception - are polarized along the anterior-posterior axis, or the oraladoral axis, such that all the colours in the different tissues of the body are at a maximum when the axis is appropriately aligned in the optical system, and they change in concert as the axis is rotated from that position. Knowledge as intercommunication in a participatory universe The images demonstrate something profound about the nature of knowledge. Are the colours really in the organisms? Y and no. They es are dependent on the particular organism and its physiological state, but no colours would be produced unless we set up the observation in a certain way. Therefore, the observation, and hence the knowledge gained, is always dependent on both the observer and the observed. It is an act of intercommunication, which, in the ideal, is just like that between different parts of the organism (see below). The authenticity of the knowledge gained depends on this delicate balance of obtaining information while respecting the object of one’s interrogation. That is why one uses minimally invasive, nondestructive techniques for investigating living organization, which allows organisms to be organisms (Ho, 1993). Crude, destructive methods of interrogation will invariably yield misleading information of the most mechanistic kind, reinforcing a mechanistic view of organisms and of the universe. In the same way, as we participate in universal wholeness, in Laszlo’s quantum holographic field, we do so with the requisite sensitivity and respect. Knowledge is always a gift one accepts with responsiveness and responsibility. Let us look at how intercommunication takes place within the organism. The quantum holographic body field of the organism There is no doubt that if we could look inside our bodies the same way we have done for the small creatures, we would see our living body as an incredibly colorful, liquid crystalline continuum, with all parts rapidly intercommunicating and colours flashing, so that it can act as a coherent whole. (That may be why we say we are off-colour when we don’t feel well.) One has been led to believe that intercommunication in large animals like ourselves depends on the nervous system controlled by the brain. However, that may be only half the story, as nerves do not reach all parts of the body, and animals without a nervous system nevertheless have no problems in acting as a coherent whole. The clue to the other half of the story is in the connective tissues which make up the bulk of most animals including ourselves. These are the skin, the bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and other tissues that fill up the spaces between the usual organs. Most people still think that these tissues fulfill mechanical functions of protection and support, like packing material. However, we now know they are all liquid crystalline, and have much more exotic properties. The connective tissues are further connected to the intracellular matrices of all individual cells which are also liquid crystalline. There is thus an excitable, liquid crystalline continuum for rapid intercommunication permeating the entire organism, enabling it to function as a coherent whole, as we have directly demonstrated with our noninvasive optical imaging technique. This continuum constitutes a “body consciousness” that precedes the nervous system in evolution (c.f. Oschman, 1984, 1993); and I suggest, it still

works in tandem with, and to some extent, independently of the nervous system. This body consciousness is the pre-requisite for conscious experience that involves the participation of the intercommunicating whole. When the body is fully coherent, intercommunication is instantaneous and nonlocal. By nonlocal, I mean that distant sites, say my left hand and my right hand, take no time at all to reach agreement as to what to do next, so it is impossible to know where the “signal” originated. This is the quantum coherent state. The quantum coherent state is a very special state of being whole, which maximizes both local freedom and global cohesion (see Ho, 1993). This is due to the factorizability of the quantum coherent state (Glauber, 1970) in which the parts are so perfectly coordinated that the correlations between them resolves neatly into products of the self-correlations of the parts, so the parts behave as though they are independent of one another. Remember the huge superorchestra I mentioned earlier? Factorizability of the quantum coherent state explains why the body can be performing all sorts of different but coordinated functions simultaneously. As I am writing this paper, my metabolism is working in all the cells of my body, my trunk and leg muscles are keeping in tone so I don’t collapse into a heap, while the muscles in my arms and fingers are working together in just the right way to make the appropriate taps on the keyboard, and my eyes are tracking the words on the monitor screen; and hopefully, the nerve cells in my brain are firing coherently. All that is possible also because noiseless and instantaneous intercommunication can occur throughout the system when the system is coherent . In practice, quantum coherence occurs to different degrees, and factorizability is never perfect except in the ideal. Nevertheless, our body approaches that ideal, which also tends to be restored after decohering interactions (see Ho, 1997a,b). The coherence of brain and body consciousness From the perspective of the whole organism, the brain’s primary function may be to mediate coherent coupling of all subsystems, so the more highly differentiated or complex the system, the bigger the brain required. Substantial parts of the brain are indeed involved in integrating inputs from all over the body, and over long time scales. But not all the coordination required is provided by the brain, for this coordination seems instantaneous by all accounts. Thus, during an olfactory experience, slow oscillations in the olfactory bulb (in the brain) are in phase with the movement of the lungs (Freeman and Barrie, 1994). Similarly, the coordinated movement of the four limbs (or all the hundreds of limbs in the millipede) in locomotion is accompanied by patterns of activity in the motor centers of the brain which are in phase with those of the limbs (Collins and Stewart, 1992; Kelso, 1991). That is a remarkable achievement which physiologists and neuroscientists alike have taken too much for granted. The reason macroscopic organs such as the four limbs can be coordinated is that each is individually a coherent whole, so that a definite phase relationship can be maintained among them. The handeye coordination required for the accomplished pianist is extremely impressive, but depends on the same inherent coherence of the subsystems which, I suggest, enables instantaneous intercommunication to occur. There simply isn’t time enough, from one musical phrase to the next, for inputs to be sent to the brain, there to be integrated, and coordinated outputs to be sent back to the hands (see Hebb, 1958). I raised the posssibility that a “body consciousness” works in tandem with the “brain consciousness”of the nervous system. I suggest that instantaneous coordination of body functions is mediated, not so much by the nervous system, but by the body consciousness inhering in the liquid crystalline continuum of the body. (The nervous system is also liquid crystalline, however, the known activities of the nervous system are not based directly on their liquid crystalline properties.) Ho and Knight (1997) following Oschman (1984, 1993), review evidence suggesting that this liquid crystalline continuum is responsible for the direct current (DC) electric field permeating the entire body of all animals, that Becker (1990) and others have detected. Furthermore, this liquid crystalline continuum possess all the properties required for a body consciousness that can register tissue memory of previous experiences.


Becker (1990) has demonstrated that the DC field has a mode of semi-conduction that is much faster than nervous conduction. During a perceptive event, local changes in the DC field can be measured half a second before sensory signals arrive in the brain, suggesting that the activities in the brain may be pre-conditioned by the local body field. Becker located the DC body field to “perineural” tissues such as the glial cells. But we believe it is located in the liquid crystalline continuum of the connective tissues (Ho and Knight, 1997). Up to 70% of the proteins in the connective tissues consist of collagens that exhibit constant patterns of alignment, as characteristic of liquid crystals (Knight and Feng, 1993). Collagens have distinctive mechanical and dielectric properties that make them very sensitive to mechanical pressures, changes in pH, inorganic ions and electromagnetic fields. In particular, a cylinder of water surrounds the collagen molecule, giving rise to an ordered array of bound water on the surface of the collagen network that supports rapid “jump conduction” of protons, or positive electric charges. Proteins in liquid crystals have coherent motions, and will readily transmit weak signals by proton conduction, or as coherent electric waves. Thus, extremely weak electromagnetic signals or mechanical disturbances will be sufficient to set off a flow of protons that will propagate throughout the body, making it ideal for intercommunication. The liquid crystalline nature of the continuum also enables it to function as a distributed memory store. The water bound on the surfaces of proteins are known to be altered when the proteins change their shape. Proteins undergo a hierarchy of shape changes over a range of time scales and of different energies. The shapes are clustered in groups that have nearly the same energies, with very low energetic barriers between them. Thus, global shape changes in a liquid crystalline network can easily be triggered, that will, in turn, alter the structure of bound water. As the bound water forms a global network in association with the collagen, it will have a certain degree of stability, or resistance to change. By the same token, it will also retain tissue memory of previous experiences. Additional chemical modifications of the collagen network may also contribute to this memory. The memory may consist partly of dynamic circuits, the sum total of which constituting the DC body field. A yet more interesting possibility is that the liquid crystalline continuum may function as a quantum holographic medium, recording the interference patterns arising from interactions between local activities and a globally coherent field. This is exactly analogous to Laszlo’s (1995) suggestion that the “zero-point field” of the universe functions as a universal holographic medium, recording the experiences of all the particles, each of which is subject to influences from the rest of the universe as well as feedback from the particle’s own activities on the universal medium. If the organism is coherent as I have suggested, then the conditions are there for a quantum holographic memory store in the liquid crystalline continuum of the body itself. Holographic memory is unique in that it is distributed globally, and yet, can be accessed and recovered locally. It captures an aspect of the organic whole in developmental biology that has completely eluded mechanistic understanding. It is that which can give rise to the subjective self, or psyche, that guides and regulates all vital activities towards a specific end. It is possible that biological development is based on the same holographic memory so that the entire organism can be engendered locally in a germ cell, from which the organism is, in turn, recoverable. Thus, consciousness is distributed throughout the entire body; “brain consciousness”, associated with the nervous system, being embedded in “body consciousness”. Brain and body consciousness mutually inform and condition each other. The singularity of purpose of the individual is based on a complete coherence of brain and body. The implications for holistic and psychic health are clear. A stressful situation will affect body consciousness through subtle ways in which mechanical pressures build up in the body to block intercommunication. That acts on the nervous system to give a diminished self-image of the body, which feeds back on the body in a vicious cycle that further undermines the individual’s physical well-being. By contrast, a supple body is a responsive body that moves and responds with the greatest of ease. It leads to a buoyant self-image that again feeds back to further enhance all bodily functions. Quantum coherence and brain consciousness

Many recent studies of brain activities are revealing impressive largescale spatiotemporal coherence that suggest the brain also functions with a high degree of quantum coherence (see Ho 1997b and references therein). These come from measurements carried out with the ultrasensitive, noninvasive SQUID magnetometer, also referred to as magnetoencephalography (MEG) (see Iaonnides, 1994) as well as conventional electroencehalography (EEG) (Gray et al, 1989; Singer, 1995; Freeman and Barrie, 1994). Multichannel MEG, in particular, provides high speed, high resolution information of spatiotemporal coherence in brain activities. Studies conducted over the past 5 years have revealed 40 Hz activities that are coherent at both deep and superficial layers of the brain. Similarly, Freeman (1995) and his coworkers, recording simultaneously with an array of 64 electrodes from the rabbit cortex, found oscillations that are coherent over the entire array, for which no obvious “sources” could be identified. Computer scientist, Marcer (1992; 1995), proposes a quantum holographic model of consciousness in which perception involves the conversion of an interference pattern (presumably between a coherent wave-field generated by the perceiver and the wave-field reflected off the perceived) to an object image that is coincident with the object itself. This is accomplished by a process known as phase conjugation, whereby the wave reflected from the object is returned (by the perceiver) along its path to form an image where the object is situated. In the act of perceiving, the organism also perceives itself situated in the environment, and through active phase conjugation directed throughout its body, forms an image of the self coincident with the organism itself, so “self” and “other” are simul-taneously defined (Ho, 1997b). What is the source of the coherent wave-field generated by the perceiver? Could it be the body field itself? Or the body field as modulated by the nervous system? This could be subject to empirical investigation. In the same way that body consciousness associated with the liquid crystalline continuum registers memory of its experience, brain consciousness registers memory of sensory images. The idea that brain memory is distributed and holographic has been suggested by a number of neurobiologists over the past 40 years (see Ho, 1997b for more details and references). Holographic memory storage is orders of magnitude more efficient than any model that make s use of “representations” because holographic memory employs actual physical simulations of processes (Marcer, 1992, 1995) and do not require lengthy sequences of arbitrary coding and decoding of isolated bits. Marcer suggests that the brain stores experienced holographic spatio-temporal patterns and compares stored with new patterns directly, recognition and learning being reinforced in “adaptive resonance”, thus also making for much faster processing. As mentioned before, the liquid crystalline continuum supporting the body field may also take part in memory storage, although this possibility has never been seriously considered. Laszlo (1995) goes even further to suggest that much of memory may be stored in an ambient, collective holographic memory field delocalized from the individual; and that memories are only accessed by the brain from the ambient field. This ambient field may well be our collective unconscious. One can begin to see the organism with its own local quantum holographic field as a microcosm of the universal field in which it participates. The organism’s macroscopic wave function and universal entanglement If quantum coherence is characteristic of organism and psyche, as I have argued here, then the organism will possesss something like a macroscopic wave-function. This wave function is ever evolving, entangling its environment, transforming and creating itself anew. There is no “collapse of the wave function” as required by conventional quantum theory (cf Bohm and Hiley, 1993; see also Ho, 1993, 1997b). When quantum systems interact, they become mutually entangled, and there may be no resolution of their respective wave functions afterwards. So one may remain entangled and indeed, delocalized over past experiences (i.e., in Laszlo’s ambient field). Some interactions may have time scales that are extremely long, so that the wave function of interacting parties may take a correspondingly long time to become resolved, and largescale nonlocal connectivity may be maintained, possibly accounting for synchronicities, as Laszlo (1995) suggests. The


“whole” organism is thus a domain of coherent activities, constituting an autonomous, free entity (see Ho, 1996a), not because it is separate and isolated from its environment, but precisely by virtue of its unique entanglement of other organisms in its environment. In this way, one can see that organic wholes are nested as well as entangled individualities. Each can be part of a larger whole, depending on the extent over which coherence can be established. So, when many individuals in a society have a certain rapport with one another, they may constitute a coherent whole, and ideas and feelings can indeed spread like wildfire within that community. In the same way, an ecological community, and by extension, the global ecology may also be envisaged as a super-organism within which coherence can be established in ecological relationships over global, geological spacetimes (see Ho, 1993, 1997d). What of the global community of human beings who can potentially intercommunicate in a matter of seconds, given the marvels of informational technology? Could they also be envisaged as a super-organism? There is an important debate going on in the global arena concerning “globalization” - the idea that the greater part of our life is determined by global processes in which national or local cultures, economies and borders are dissolving. While some are questioning the reality of globalization (eg, Hirst and Thompson, 1996), others see the globalized economy as the greatest threat to the survival of the global community (Korten, 1995). The problem with the globalized economy under the current terms is that it does not respect the autonomy of individual persons, local communities or nation states, nor does it enable universal participation of all the parties concerned. Local autonomy and universal participation are some of the pre-requisites for a coherent, sustainable global society (see Ho, 1996c, 1997c), in which the players must also be sensitive and responsive, or responsible and accountable. Instead, “unaccountable corporate powers” (Korten, 1997) effectively rule the world, depleting the earth’s natural resources with impunity, degrading the environment and creating poverty on a massive scale. The challenge of globalization is, indeed, to create a fully participatory global society, served by an appropriate global economy, that maximizes both local autonomy and global cohesion, as consistent with the quantum coherence of a truly organic system. Acknowledgments I thank Ervin Laszlo, Walter Freeman and David Korten for stimulating discussions and for relevant reprints. Reprinted here with permission from the author, the following is mirrored from http://www.i-sis.org/organis.htm Gaia and the Evolution of Coherence First presented at the 3rd Camelford Conference on The Implications of The Gaia Thesis: Symbiosis, Cooperativity and Coherence, November 7-10, 1989, The Wadebridge Ecological Centre, Camelford, Cornwall; revised 10.8.93 Mae-Wan Ho & Fritz-Abert Popp Mae-Wan Ho is the author of The Rainbow and The Worm: The Physics of Organisms. Her ideas on the universe as an intelligent, coherent quantum organism match closely the ideas of ancient Taoists. She once again offers an energetic explanation in the language of modern physics on what is clearly described in Taoist alchemy texts. This paper links ecology and the energy field as being inseparably linked. Michael Winn 1. Introduction The Ufaina Indians in the Colombian Amazon believe in a vital force called fufaka which is present in all living things. The source of this vital force is the sun. From the sun, it reaches earth and is constantly recycled among plants, animals and human beings. Each group of beings requires a minimum of the vital force in order to live, and is seen to be borrowing the energy from the total energy stock. When any being dies, the energy is released and goes back to the stock. Similarly, when a living being consumes another, for example, when a deer eats the leaves of the tree, or a tree extracts nutrients from the soil, or when people cut down trees to

make a clearing, the consumer acquires the energy of the consumed. What is of importance to the Ufaina is that the vital force continues to be recycled from one species to another in such a way that not too much accumulates in any one of them, since this could deprive another of its vital force, and upset the natural balance (von Hildebrand, 1988). It is a remarkably coherent cosmology: a natural ecological wisdom that understands nature as a dynamically balanced whole linked by energy flow, with the energy arising ultimately from the sun. This cosmology is based on a total understanding that comes not just by scientific observations, but from an intimate experience of nature from within. It took Western science hundreds of years with many sophisticated instruments and a number of false starts and turns in order to arrive at a similar picture. As Peter Bunyard (1989) says, ‘The Indian conception ... is not in principle far removed from... [our own] notion of energy flows and foodweb and chains, with the sun providing the necessary energy.’ The major difference between them and us is that whereas they live by their wisdom and see themselves as part of nature, we have placed ourselves above and outside the balance of nature, to the peril of all. What we want to do in this paper is to present a vision of ecological balance from contemporary Western biophysics which shows just how intimately we are connected with one another and with nature. How all nature is one resonating and intercommunicating whole. We shall be drawing from the work of many, including ourselves, who have derived inspiration from the union of biology and physics. Let us begin with the western ecological versionof energy flow. The energy of sunlight is absorbed in individual packets or quanta called photons by chlorophyll, the colour pigment in green plants. This energy in each quantum goes into an excited electron, which, in the course of falling back to the ground state, travels around the body, its energy meted out to support all vital activities such as growth and differentiation, sensations, and movements. When animals feed on plants or on other animals, they are taking in the energy stored in the food to serve their own growth and development and all the activities that constitute being alive. Hence, the energy absorbed from the sun is circulated a long way round all the organisms in the biosphere, with fractions of the total being lost as heat on the way till finally it becomes spent, or reaches the ground state. The energy cycle is accompanied by the parallel cycling of chemicals. Both cycles branch and anastomose in a very complicated way as ecologists who study foodwebs or nitrogen and carbon cycles are well-aware. But it leaves us in no doubt that all life is a dynamic unity, it is the consequence of sunlight streaming through an open system, to maintain it far away from thermodynamic equilibrium. Albert Szent-Gyorgi (1960), a founding father of modern biochemistry, had a nice way of putting it: that life is an interposition between two energy levels of an electron: the ground state and the excited state, and furthermore, as it is the electron that goes round the circuit, life is really a little electric current going round and connecting up all nature with the sun and the earth. This fundamental unity of physics and biology has indeed inspired a lot of people who felt that here was the key to unlocking the mystery of the living state. But as Szent-Gyorgi remarked then, and it is still largely the case now, biochemistry and molecular biology do not address such questions. They tell us a great deal about what the molecules that make up living organisms are, but very little about how they are supposed to act. How the energy plucked originally from the sun is translated so very efficiently into various forms of work - chemical, mechanical, electrical and osmotic - and in organizing matter into the splendid diversity of organisms in the biosphere. Szent-Gyorgi suggested that we can only begin to understand these characteristics of living systems if we take into account the collective properties of the molecular aggregates in terms of solid state physics. There, we would find a clue to the mystery of life. We know, for example, that although at ordinary temperatures, the molecules in most physical matter have a high degree of uncoordinated, or random motion. The situation can change when the temperature is lowered to beyond a critical level. At that point, all the molecules so to speak, condense into a collective state, and exhibit the unusual properties of superfluidity and superconductivity. In other


words, all the molecules of the system move as one, and conduct electricity with zero resistance (by a coordinated arrangement of all the electrons). Liquid helium at a temperature close to absolute zero is the first and only superfluid substance known. And various pure metals and alloys superconduct at liquid helium temperatures. Recently, technology has progressed to materials which can superconduct at much higher temperatures above absolute zero. The solid-state physicist Herbert Frohlich (1968) in Liverpool was among the first to point out that something like a condensation into a collective mode of activity may be occurring in living systems, such that living organisms are in effect, superconductors working at physiological temperatures. He suggested that much of the metabolic energy, instead of being lost as heat, is actually stored in the form of coherent electromechanical vibrations in the body. He called these collective modes, coherent excitations. Coherence refers to highly correlated activities in both space and time. In physics, it is usually understood as the ability of electromagnetic waves to interfere. For instance, in a version of Y oung’s pioneering experiment (Fig. 1), two narrow slits and are illuminated by light from a light source. The light beams, on passing through the slits, fall on the screen and form an interference pattern of differing brightness in accordance to where the oscillations in the two light beams are in phase or out of phase. The ability to form interference patterns depends on the stability of the oscillations in the two light beams, or more specifically their phase relationships. This phase stability is referred to as coherence; the more coherent the light, the sharper the interference pattern. The coherent state is fluctuationless and has the further characteristic that it is factorizable (Glauber, 1969). This means that the parts paradoxically behave statistically independently of one another while maintaining a coherent pattern as a whole. In other words, coherence does not imply uniformity, or that every individual part or molecule of the system is necessarily doing the same thing all the time. An intuitive way to think about it is in terms of a grand symphony, or a grand ballet; or better yet, a jazz band in which individuals are doing different things and are yet in tune or in step with the whole. It is a state of cooperativity in which the individuals cooperate simply by doing their own thing and expressing themselves. What are the consequences of coherence? It results in properties that are characteristic of biological systems. These include the high efficiency of energy transfer and transformation which often approaches 100%; the ability of communication at all levels within cells, between cells and between organisms capable of resonating to the same frequencies; the possibility for sensitive, multiple recognition systems utilizing coherent electromagnetic signals of different specific frequencies, such as for example, the organization of metabolic activities within the cell, the operation of the immune network and a host of other biological functions involving specific recognition between hormones or ligands and their receptors; and finally, the stable persistence of the working system arising from the inherent stability of coherent states. A more detailed description of coherence is given in Ho (1993a). 2. Biophotons and coherence in living systems Evidence for the existence of coherent excitations in biological systems came from the study of biophotons (see Popp et al, 1981; Popp, 1986). Practically all organisms emit light at a steady rate from a few photons per cell per day to several photons per organism per second. An increasing number of observations within the past 15 years from different laboratories all over the world suggest that biophotons are emitted from a coherent photon field within the living systems. Organisms are thus emitters and most probably, also receivers of coherent electromagnetic signals which may be essential for their functioning (see next Section). The nature of the light emitted from living organisms is best studied after a brief exposure to weak illumination. It has been found, without exception that the the re-emitted light from living tissues follows, not an exponential decay curve as characteristic of noncoherent light, but a hyperbolic decay function which is exhibited only by coherent light (see Fig. 1). This unusual behaviour can be

intuitively understood as follows. In a system consisting of noninteracting molecules emitting at random, the energy of the emitted photons are lost completely to the outside or converted into heat, which is the ultimate non-coherent energy. If the molecules are emitting coherently, however, the energy of the emitted photons are not completely lost to the outside. Instead, part of it is coherently reabsorbed by the system. The consequence is that the decay is very much delayed, and follows characteristically a hyperbolic curve with a long tail. This result can be derived rigorously from both classical and quantum mechanical considerations (Popp, 1986). A coherent system stabilizes its frequencies during decay whereas a noncoherent system always suffers a shift in frequencies. That, and the capability to reabsorb emitted energy account for the stability of coherent states. 3. The characteristics of biophotons Where do biophotons really come from? We know that all sorts of excited molecules can emit light when they relax back to the ground state, the frequency of the emitted light being specific for each kind of molecules. When the spectrum of biophotons is examined, however, it was found that the light is always in a broad band of frequencies from the infra-red to the ultraviolet, with approximately equal numbers of photons distributed throughout the range. This is very different from the Boltzmann distribution which characterizes a system at thermodynamic equilibrium at the physiological temperature of the biological system, thus indicating that the latter is far, far away from thermodynamic equilibrium (see Fig. 2). Not only is there an excess of photons at the high energy (short wave-length) end of the spectrum, but the distribution is very nearly flat. In other words, it does not depend on the wavelength: f(l) = const. This means that the light is emitted from all kinds of molecules all over the cell. The photons are stored in a delocalized manner within the system, and all the frequencies are coupled together to give, in effect, a single degree of freedom. Evidence for the delocalization of coupled photons come from the observation that the emitted light retains its broad spectral distribution when organisms are stimulated with monochromatic light or light of limited spectral compostion. Moreover, the hyperbolic decay kinetics has the same form over the entire spectrum of emitted light (see Popp, 1986; Musumeci et al, 1992). The Boltzmann distribution characteristic of a system at thermodynamic equilibrium arises from the maximization of entropy (molecular disorder, or degrees of freedom) under the constraint of a fixed energy in a closed system. As biological systems are open instead of closed, the constraint of a fixed energy does not apply. This does not mean that energy conservation is violated, as biological system + surroundings are still subject to energy conservation. Nor does it mean that there is always an overflow of energy within the system. It only means that there is always enough energy available for the system. Living systems store energy (or photons) over the whole range of space and time scales from 10-10m to metres or more, and 10-9s to days or longer time intervals - in a readily mobilizable form. They do not suffer from energy shortage on account of their high storage capacity within the intricate space-time organization (see Ho, 1993a,b for details). The f(l) = const. distribution can also be seen as the consequence of the maximization of entropy when the constraint of fixed energy is removed in an open system far from equilibrium. The f(l)= const. profile looks somewhat like the expression of “white noise” within the system, but this is far from the case. As this distribution represents the highest possible entropy in a system far from equilibrium, fluctuations cannot be interpreted in terms of noise - in contrast to a system at thermal equilibrium. Rather, they are “signals” generated within the system. In other words, by maximizing entropy according to f(l) = const., the signal/noise ratio of the biological system is optimized over all wavelengths (Popp, 1989). On the other hand, as the frequencies are all coupled together, the absolute value of entropy representing the maximum can also become arbitrarily small, theoretically even zero. In summary, the fact that there is always enough energy available in the biological system confers on it the following properties:


1. Optimal signal/noise ratio for communication, 2. Existence at a phase threshold between a chaotic (S - , N - ) and a coherent (S - 0, N - 1) regime, where S is the entropy, and N is the number of degrees of freedom, and 3. The possibility to extend energy storage, or the f(l) = const. distribution to longer and longer wavelengths in the course of evolution, and hence to expand the range of communication from distances between molecular within the cell all the way to distances between individuals in a population. 4. Long range communication The hypothesis that the f(l) = const. distribution of biophotons can extend into infinitely long wavelengths is admittedly an extrapolation from measurements within and near the visible range. However, it can explain a variety of phenomena such as cancer development or group formation in organisms. We are postulating the existence of very weak, long-range (long wave-length) interactions between living systems. These weak longrange emissions cannot be detected directly with the instrumentation now available. However, this is not a sufficient reason for excluding them from consideration, as there are methods of obtaining indirect evidence of their existence, as we shall describe below. a. Normal and cancer cells in culture A first experiment of this kind was performed by Schamhart and van Wijk (1987). They exposed suspensions of cultivated rat liver and rat hepatoma cell lines H35 and HTC for some seconds to white-light from a 150W tungsten lamp and registered the re-emitted light afterwards. The decay curves are, as usual, hyperbolic rather than exponential. On altering the number of cells in the suspension, the found that normal cells exhibit decreasing light re-emission with increasing cell density, whereas tumour cells show a highly nonlinear increase with increasing cell density (see Fig. 3). If there were no longrange interactions between the cells, the intensity of re-emitted photons would increase linearly with increasing number of cells, corrected by a term for self-absorption within the population. Neither the nonlinear increase of re-emission intensity from tumour cells nor the significant decrease of re-emission from normal cells could be explained unless there are long-range interactions between the cells, which are furthermore, correlated with their differing social behaviour, the tendency of tumour cells to disaggregation as opposed to the tendency of normal cells to aggregate.These phenomena can be interpreted in terms of Dicke’s (1954) theory of photon-emission from an ensemble of emitters. He showed that photon emission tends to bifurcate into the two branches of superradiance and subradiance as soon as the wavelength of the emitted light is large compared to the distances between the emitters which are also absorbers. Superradiance is the increase of emission intensity concomittant with a shortening of the relaxation time. The opposite branch describes the regime of subradiance where emission intensity decreases with a more and more prolonged decay time, corresponding to photon storage within the system. In terms of Dicke’s theory, normal cells have a greater capacity for subradiance the closer they are together, while the malignancy of tumour cells is associated with the opposite behaviour, that is, the loss of subradiance. This suggests that long-range interaction is based on the coherence of the subradiance regime, with the coherence volume extending over the entire cell population. By changing the degree of coherence the cells can control and regulate their social activities. According to this model, tumour cells, unlike normal cells, seem unable to communicate. This may account for the repulsive forces that are responsible for metastasis in the malignant cells as opposed to the attractive forces responsible for population formation in normal hepatocytes (for further details see Nagl and Popp, 1987). b. Populations of Daphnia Even more clear-cut results are obtained in organisms, such as Daphnia; where self-emission is measured instead of stimulated re-emission. Figure 4 depicts the results of measurements

made by Galle et al (1991). Instead of the expected linear increase in photon intensity with increasing number of individuals, a pattern of maxima and minima is observed, where the maximum and minimum values of photon intensity can be reproducibly assigned to definite numbers of individuals in the cuvette. It turns out that they invariably correspond to integer ratios of the average distances between individual animals to their body size. The results cannot be interpreted in terms of ordinary biochemistry. Instead, by treating the daphnia as a population of antennae interacting by means of resonance wavelengths related to their geometrical dimensions, a good fit to the experimental data is obtained. Regardless of whether the details of the hypothesis are correct, the experiments clearly demonstrate the existence of longrange interactions between individuals in a population. These interactions may be the basis for swarming and the regulation of growth and other collective functions. The link to body size indicates communication wavelengths in the microwave to millimeter range. c. Superdelayed luminescence in Drosophila We have recently discovered the remarkable phenomenon of superdelayed luminescence in synchronously developing populations of early Drosophila embryos, in which intense, often prolonged and multiple flashes of light are re-emitted with delay times of one minute to eight hours after a single brief light exposure. Some examples are presented in Figure 5 (see Ho et al, 1992). The phenomenon depends on the existence of synchrony in the population, and furthermore, the timing of light exposure must fall within the first 40 minutes of development. However, the occurrence of the flashes themselves do not obviously correlate with specific embryonic events. They give information concerning the physical state of the embryos at the time of light stimulation - such as the existnece of a high degree of coherence - rather than at the time during which the flashes themselves occur. Superdelayed luminescence bears some formal resemblance to the phenomenon of superradiance described above in which cooperative interactions among embryos within the entire population lead to most, if not all the embryos emitting light simultaneously. This implies that each embryo has a certain probability of re-emitting after light stimulation, so that it can either trigger reemission in other individuals, or alternatively, its re-emission could be suppressed by them. Only whe the population is re-emitting at the same time is the intensity sufficient to be registered as the intense flashes that is detected by the photon-counting device. On the other hand, re-emission in the entire population could also be suppressed (i.e., in the subradiant mode), such that in approximately 30 to 40% of the cases, there is no clear indication of any superdelayed re-emission. We do not know if any functional significance could be attached to superdelayed luminescence. Drosophila females typically lay eggs just before sunrise, so the external light source could be used as an initial synchronizaing signal or Zeitgeber, which maintains the circadian and other biological rhythms. The superdelayed re-emission could then be a means of maintaining communication and synchrony among individuals in the population. On the other hand, the flashes may simply be the embryos’ way to inform us of their globally coherent state at the time when light stimulation is applied, enabling the embryos to interact nonlinearly to generate light emission that is coherent over the entire population, and orders of magnitude more intense than the spontaneous emission background (see Ho et al, 1992; and Ho, 1993a for further details). 5. Coherence and the evolution of consciousness What does the study of coherence contribute to our understanding of the unity of life? To return to our overview on the cycle of life, we can see that sunlight is the most fundamental source of energy, which is supplied at the high frequency end, and biological systems as a whole display the natural tendency to delay the decay of this high level energy for as long as possible. This is why the earth’s natural biosphere is not a monoculture, indeed, it is the very diversity of life that is responsible for delaying the dissipation of the sun’s energy for as long as possible by feeding it into ever longer chains and webs and multiple parallel cycles in the course of evolution. But that is not the entire story, for the the most effective way of hanging on to this energy for as long as possible is by the formation of a coherent


platform of oscillations which expands the photon field into a coherent state of growing bandwidth. This is the f(l) = const. distribution which allows the sun’s energy to spill over into longer and longer wavelengths. This may be why organisms have such different life-spans; the trend in evolution is towards the emergence of organisms with longer and longer life-spans and finally in the case of social organisms and human beings, we see the emergence of social traditions that span many generations. The link with social tradition is the clue to the meaning of this energy flow through a coherent field of ever increasing bandwidth. For it is at the same time a flow and a creation of information. Electromagnetic signals of different frequencies are involved in communication within and between organisms, and between organisms and the environment. The coherent platform is a prerequisite for universal communication. Thus, it seems that the essence of the living state is to build up and extend the coherent spatio-temporal platform for communication starting from the energy of the sun initially absorbed by green plants. Living systems are thus neither the subjects alone, nor objects isolated, but both subjects and objects in a mutually communicating universe of meaning. In contrast to the neo-Darwinist point of view, their capacity for evolution depends, not on rivalry or on might in the struggle for existence. Rather, it depends on their capacity for communication. So in a sense, it is not individuals as such which are developing but living systems interlinked into a coherent whole. Just as the cells in an organism take on different tasks for the whole, different populations enfold information not only for themselves, but for all other organisms, expanding the consciousness of the whole, while at the same time becoming more and more aware of this collective consciousness. Human consciousness may have its most significant role in the development and creative expression of the collective consciousness of nature. References Ho, M.W. (1993a). The Rainbow and The Worm: The Physics of Organisms, World Scientific, Singapore. Ho, M.W. (1993b). Bioenergetics, Open University Press, Milton Keynes (in preparation). opp, F.A. (1984). Biologie des Lichts, Paul Parey Verlag, Berlin. Popp, F.A. (1986). On the coherence of ultraweak photonemission from living systems. In Disequilibrium and Self-Organization (C.W. Kilmister, ed.). pp. 207-230, D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht. Popp, F.A. (1989). Coherent photon storage of biological systems. In Electromagnetic Bio-Information (F.A. Popp, U. Warnke, H.L. Konig, and W. Peschka, eds.), Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munchen. Popp, F.A., Ruth, B., Bahr, W., Bohm, J. Grass, P Grolig, G., ., Rattemeyer, M., Schmidt, H.G., and Wulle, P (1981). Emission of . visible and ultraviolet radiation by active biological systems. Collective Phenomena 3, 187-214. Popp, F.A., Li, K.H., Mei, W.P Galle, M. and Neurohr, R. (1988). ., Physical aspects of biophotons. Experientia 44, 576-585. Szent-Györgi, A. (1960). Introduction to a Submolecular Biology, Academic Press, New Y ork. http://www.i-sis.org/ Bioenergetics and Biocommunication Mae-Wan Ho On Quantum Coherence, from conclusion of this article by MaeWan Ho: “ intuitive way to understand quantum coherence is to think of An the ‘I’ that each and every one of us experience of our own being. We know that our body is a multiplicity of organs and tissues, composed of many billions of cells and astronomical numbers of molecules of many different kinds, all capable of working autonomously, and yet somehow cohering into the singular being of our private experience. That is just the stuff of quantum coherence. Quantum coherence does not mean that everybody or every element of the system must be doing the same thing all the time, it is more akin to a grand ballet, or better yet, a very large jazz band where everyone is doing his or her own thing while being perfectly in step and in tune with the whole. “

The article below is cutting edge scientific thinking on wholeness and the quantum field, which share a common foundation with Taoist principles of chi field theory. The article gives the “hard” physics that integrate those cutting edge ideas. Reading it (slowly, if you are not used to scientific absracts) will give Tao practitioners another viewpoint to understanding the energy body they work with in their daily practice. Bioenergetics and Biocommunication by Mae-Wan Ho 1 Introduction Organisms are so enigmatic from the thermodynamic point of view that Lord Kelvin, co-inventor of the Second Law of thermodynamics, specifically excluded them from its dominion (Ehrenberg, 1967), while Schrödinger (1944) suggested they feed upon “negative entropy” to free themselves from all the entropy they cannot help producing. Lord Kelvin was impressed with how organisms seem to have energy at will, whenever and wherever required, and in a perfectly coordinated way. That is at once the problem of bioenergetics - how organisms can have energy so readily - and of biocom-munication how the energy mobilizing activities are organized as a whole. Similarly, Schrödinger alluded to the ability of organisms to use the energy they feed on to build up and maintain their dynamic organization. The intuition of both physicists is that energy and organization are intimately linked.... In this essay, I show how stored mobilizable energy effectively frees the organism from thermodynamic constraints so that it is poised for rapid and specific intercommunication. In the ideal, the organism is a quantum superposition of coherent activities with instantaneous (nonlocal) noiseless intercommunication throughout the system. 2.1 Energy storage and mobilization in living systems The key to understanding the thermodynamics of the living system is not energy flow or energy dissipation, but energy storage under energy flow (Fig. 1). Energy flow is of no consequence unless the energy is trapped and stored within the system where it circulates before being dissipated. A reproducing life cycle, i.e., an organism, arises when the loop of circulating energy closes. At that point, we have a life cycle within which the stored energy is mobilized, remaining stored as it is mobilized, and coupled to the energy flow. .... According to Rothschild et al (1980), linearity in biological processes can arise in enzymes operating near a multidimensional inflection point far away from thermodynamic equilibrium, if some of the rate constants are linked. That is realistic for living systems which are now known to have highly organized flows in the cytoplasmic matrix. ..Sewell shows how Onsager’s reciprocity relationship applies to locally linearized combinations of forces and flows, which nonetheless behave globally in nonlinear fashion. That is particularly relevant to the living system, where nested compartments and microcompartments ensure that many processes may be operating locally at thermodynamic equilibrium even though the system or subsystem as a whole is far away from equilibrium (Ho, 1995a). Further-more, as each process is ultimately connected to every other in the metabolic net through catenations of space and time, even if truly symmetrical couplings (note: kan & Li?) are localized to a limited number of metabolic/energy transducing junctions, the effects will eventually be shared or delocalized throughout the system, so that symmetry will apply to appropriate combinations of forces and flows over a sufficiently macroscopic space-time scale (Sewell, 1991). That is perhaps the most important consideration. As real processes take time, Onsager’s reciprocity relationship cannot be true for an arbitrarily short instant, but must apply at a sufficiently macroscopic time interval when overall balance holds. To summarize, nonlinearity does not preclude symmetry on the appropriate scale, and local linearity does not exclude the possibility for self-organization at a more global level....


2.3 Thermodynamics of the steady state vs thermodynamics of organized complexity Microscopic homogeneity is not crucial for the formulation of any thermodynamic state, as the thermodynamic parameters are macroscopic entities quite independent of the microscopic interpretation (Ho, 1993). Like the principle of microscopic reversibility, it is extraneous to the phenomenological laws of thermodynamics (Denbigh, 1951). ...According to Guggenheim the two processes, diffusion and flow of current across the junction, “take place at rates which vary according to different laws” when the composition gradient across the boundary is altered, and so it seems reasonable to suppose that the two processes are merely superposed, and that the one may be ignored when considering the other. Thus, the steady state is treated as if there were no dissipative processes, and it is this assumption which is later validated by Onsager’s reciprocity relationship. 2.4 The living system is free from immediate thermodynamic constraints In the same spirit, I propose to treat the living system as a superposition of dissipative irreversible processes and non-dissipative processes... This will include most living processes because of the ubiquity of coupled cycles, for which the net entropy production balances out to zero. The principle applies in the smallest unit cycle in the living system - enzyme catalysis - on which all energy transduction in the living system is absolutely dependent. Over the past 30 years, Lumry and his coworkers (see Lumry, 1991) have shown convincingly how the flexible enzyme molecule balances out entropy with enthalpy to conserve free energy during catalysis. The organism is, in effect, a closed, self-sufficient energetic domain of cyclic non-dissipative processes coupled to the dissipative processes (Ho, 1995b). In the formalism of conventional thermodynamics, the life cycle, or more precisely, the living system in dynamic equilibrium, consists of all cyclic processes for which the net entropy change is zero, coupled to dissipative processes necessary to keep it going, for which the net entropy change is greater than zero (Fig. 3). Consequently, the organism is free from the immediate constraints of energy conservation - the First Law - and the Second Law of thermodynamics. There is always energy available within the system, which is mobilized at close to maximum efficiency and over all spacetime modes. This in turn creates the conditions for rapid, sensitive and specific intercommunication throughout the system. 3.1 Energy self-sufficiency and the exquisite sensitivity of organisms One distinguishing feature of the living system is its exquisite sensitivity to weak signals. For example, the eye can detect single photons falling on the retina, and the presence of several molecules of pheromones in the air is sufficient to attract male insects to their mates. That exquisite sensitivity applies to all levels of ‘information processing’ in the organism, and is the direct consequence of its energy self-sufficiency. No part of the system has to be pushed or pulled into action, nor be subjected to mechanical regulation and control. Instead, coordinated action of all the parts depends on rapid intercommunication throughout the system. The organism is a system of “excitable media” (see Goodwin, 1994,1995), or excitable cells and tissues poised to respond specifically and disproportionately to weak signals because the large amount of energy stored can amplify weak signals into macroscopic actions. It is by virtue of its energy selfsufficiency, therefore, that an organism is a sentient being - a system of sensitive parts all set to intercommunicate, to respond and to act appropriately as a whole to any contingency. 3.2 The polychromatic whole Evidence for constant intercommunication throughout the living system may already exist in the physiological literature. I refer to ‘deterministic chaos’ which has been used to describe many living functions from the complex, locally unpredictable behaviour of ant colonies (Goodwin, 1994) to unrepeatable patterns of brain activities (Freeman, 1995). A different understanding of the complex activity spectrum of the healthy state is that it is polychromatic (Ho, 1995d), approaching ‘white’ in the ideal, in which all the modes

of stored energy are equally represented. It corresponds to the socalled f(l) = const. rule that Fritz Popp (1986) has generalized from the spectrum of light or “biophotons” found to be emitted from all living systems. I have proposed that this polychromatic ideal distribution of stored energy is the state towards which all open systems capable of energy storage naturally evolve (Ho, 1994b). It is a state of both maximum and minimum entropy - maximum because energy is equally distributed over all space-time modes, and minimum because the modes are coupled together to give, in effect, a single degree of freedom (Popp, 1986; Ho, 1993). In a system with no impedance to energy mobilization, all the modes are intercommunicating and hence all frequencies are represented. But when coupling is imperfect, or when the sub-system, say, the heart, or the brain, is not com-municating properly, it falls back on its own modes, leading to impoverishment of its activity spectrum. The living system is necessarily a polychromatic whole, it is full of variegated complexity that nevertheless cohere into a singular being, and that is the ultimate problem of biocommunication that needs to be addressed. (note: Need for organs to communicate with each other) 4 The intercommunicating whole Recent advances in biochemistry, cell biology and genetics are giving us a concrete picture of the organism as an interconnected, intercommunicating whole. It is becoming increasingly clear that living organization cannot be understood in terms of mechanistic controls, nor of endless processings of genetic information. 4.1 A molecular democracy of distributed control Henrik Kacser (1987) was among the first to realize that in a network, especially one as complicated as the metabolic network, it is unrealistic to think that there could be special enzymes controlling the flow of metabolites under all circumstances. He and a colleague pioneered metabolic control analysis to discover how the network is actually regulated. After more than 20 years of investigation by many biochemists and cell biologists, it is now generally acknowledged that so-called ‘control’ is invariably distributed over many enzymes (and metabolites) in the network, and moreover, the distribution of control differs under different conditions. The metabolic network turns out to be a “molecular democracy” of distributed control. 4.2 Long-range energy continua in cells and tissue. Studies over the past 25 years have also revealed that energy mobilization in living systems is achieved by protein or enzyme molecules acting as “flexible molecular energy machines” (Ho, 1995a and references therein) transferring energy directly from the point of release to the point of utilization, without thermalization or dissipation. These direct energy transfers are carried out in collective modes extending from the molecular to the macroscopic domain. The flow of metabolites is channeled coherently at the molecular level, directly from one enzyme to the next in sequence, in multi-enzyme complexes (Welch and Clegg, 1987). At the same time, high voltage electron microscopy and other physical measurement techniques reveal that the cell is more like a ‘solid state’ than the ‘bag of dissolved enzymes’ that generations of biochemists had previously supposed (Clegg, 1984). Not only are almost all enzymes bound to an intricate “microtrabecular lattice”, but a large proportion of metabolites as well as water molecules are also structured on the enormous surfaces available. Aqueous channels may be involved in the active transport of solutes within the cell in the way that the blood stream transports metabolites and chemical messengers within the organism (Wheatley and Clegg, 1991). As Welch and Berry (1985) propose, the whole cell is linked by “long-range energy continua” of mechanical interactions, electric and eletrochemical fluxes and in particular, proton currents that form a “protoneural network”, whereby metabolism is regulated instantly and down to minute detail. Cells are in turn interconnected by electrical and other cytoplasmic junctions. And there is increasing evidence that cells and tissues are also linked by electromagnetic phonons and photons (see Popp, Li and Gu, 1992; Ho, 1993; Ho, Popp and Warnke, 1994). As I shall show later, the cell (as well as organism) is not so much a “solid state” as liquid crystalline. Living systems, therefore, possess just the conditions favouring the rapid propagation of influences or


‘information’ in all directions, which are naturally gated in cascades (see Ho, 1993) by the relaxation space-times of the processes involved. These are precisely the conditions that can yield linear flow force relationships in a system globally far from thermodynamic equilibrium (Berry et al, 1987). Global phase transitions may often take place, which can be initiated at any point within the system or subsystem. Abrupt, phase-transition like changes in the electrical activities of whole areas of the brain are indeed frequently observed in simultaneous recordings with a large array of electrodes, for which no definite centre(s) of origin can be identified. 4.3 Organism and environment - a mutual partnership Biology today remains dominated by the genetic paradigm. The genome is seen as the repository of genetic information controlling the development of the organism, but otherwise insulated from the environment, and passed on unchanged to the next generation except for rare random mutations. The much publicized Human Genome Project is being promoted on that basis (Ho, 1995e). The genetic paradigm has already been fatally under-mined at least ten years ago, when a plethora of ‘fluid genome’ processes were first discovered, and many more have come to light since. These processes destabilize and alter genes and genomes in the course of development, some of the genetic changes are so well correlated with the environment that they are referred to as “directed mutations”. Many of the genetic changes are passed on to the next generation. As I pointed out at the time, heredity can no longer be seen to reside solely in the DNA passed on from one generation to the next. Instead, the stability and repeatability of development - which we recognize as heredity - is distributed in the whole gamut of dynamic feedback interrelationships between organism and environment from the socioecological to the genetic. All of these may leave imprints that are passed on to subsequent generations: as cultural traditions or artefacts, maternal or cytoplasmic effects, gene expression states, as well as genetic (DNA sequence) changes (see Ho, 1986;1996). 4.4 The distributed organic whole Thus, the essence of the organic whole is that it is distributed throughout its constituent parts, with no centre of control, no governors, no hierarchical levels of line-managers or regulators processing information down the line of command. Instead, pervasive, moment to moment intercommunication throughout the system renders part and whole, local and global completely indistinguishable. The existing mechanistic framework is most inadequate in coming to grips with the organic whole. In the next Section, I shall present an alternative frame-work based on coherence, in particular, on quantum coherence. 5 The organism as an autonomous coherent whole 5.1 The coherence of organisms I mentioned earlier that the living system is necessarily a polychromatic whole - a variegated complexity that nevertheless cohere into a singular being. The wholeness of the organism is the ultimate problem of biocommunication: how to account for the continuity that encompasses the activities of elementary particles and atoms, molecules and cells, tissues and organs all the way to the organism itself (see Joseph Needham, 1935) The problem has never been adequately addressed until Herbert Fröhlich (1968; 1980) presented the first detailed theory of coherence. He argued that as organisms are made up of strongly dipolar molecules packed rather densely together (c.f. the ‘solid state’ cell), electric and elastic forces will constantly interact. Metabolic pumping will excite macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids as well as cellular membranes (which typically have an enormous electric field of some 107V/m across them). These will start to vibrate and eventually build up into collective modes, or coherent excitations, of both phonons and photons extending over macroscopic distances within, and perhaps also outside, the organism. The emission of electromagnetic radiation from coherent

lattice vibrations in a solid-state semi-conductor has recently been experimentally demonstrated for the first time ... The possibility that organisms may use electro-magnetic radiations to communicate between cells was already entertained by Soviet biologist Gurwitsch (1925) early this century.This hypothesis was revived by Popp and his coworkers in the late 1970s, and there is now a large and rapidly growing literature on “biophotons” believed to be emitted from a coherent photon field (or energy storage field) within the living system (see Popp, Li and Gu, 1992). In collaboration with Fritz Popp, we have found that a single, brief exposure of synchronously developing early fruitfly embryos to white light results in the re-emission of relatively intense and prolonged flashes of light, some tens of minutes and even hours after the light exposure (Ho et al, 1992b). The phenomenon is reminiscent of phasecorrelated collective emission, or superradiance, in atomic systems, although the time-scale is orders of magnitude longer, perhaps in keeping with the coherence times of organisms. For phase-correlation to build up over the entire population, one must assume that each embryo has a collective phase of all its activities, in other words, each embryo must be considered a highly (quantum) coherent domain, despite its multiplicity of activities (Ho, Zhou and Haffegee, 1995). During the same period of early development, exposure of the embryos to weak static magnetic fields also cause characteristic global transformation of the normal segmental body pattern to helical configurations in the larvae emerging 24 hours later (Ho et al, 1992a). As the energies involved are several order of magnitude below the thermal threshold, we conclude that there can be no effect unless the external field is acting on a coherent domain where charges are moving in phase, or where magnetically sensitive liquid crystals are undergoing phase alignment globally (Ho, et al, 1994). Liquid crystals may indeed be the material basis of many, if not all aspects of biological organization (Ho et al, 1995). 5.2 Organisms as polyphasic liquid crystals Liquid crystals are phases of matter between the solid and the liquid states, hence the term, mesophases (DeGennes, 1974). Liquid crystalline mesophases possess long range orientational order, and often also varying degrees of translational order. In contrast to solid crystals, liquid crystals are mobile and flexible, and above all, highly responsive. They undergo rapid changes in orientation or phase transitions when exposed to electric and magnetic fields (Blinov, 1983) or to changes in temperature, pressure, pH, hydration, and concentrations of inorganic ions (Collings, 1990; Knight, 1993). These properties are ideal for organisms (Gray, 1993; Knight, 1993). Liquid crystals in organisms include all the major constituents of the organism: the amphiphilic lipids of cellular membranes, the DNA in chromosomes, all proteins, especially cytoskeletal proteins, muscle proteins, collagens and proteoglycans of connective tissues. These adopt a multiplicity of meso-phases that may be crucial for biological structure and function at all levels of organization (Ho et al, 1995) from channeling metabolites in the cell to pattern deter-mination and the coordinated locomotion of whole organisms. The importance of liquid crystals for living organization was recognized by Joseph Needham (1935) among others. He suggested that living systems actually are liquid crystals, and that many liquid crystalline mesophases may exist in the cell although they cannot then be detected. Indeed, there has been no direct evidence that extensive liquid crystalline mesophases exist in living organisms or in the cytoplasm until our recent discovery of a noninvasive optical technique (Ho and Lawrence, 1993; Ho and Saunders, 1994; Newton, Haffegee and Ho, 1995). This enables us to obtain high resolution and high contrast coloured images of live organisms based on visualizing just the kind of coherent liquid crystalline mesophases which Needham and others had predicted. The technique amplifies small birefringences typical of biological liquid crystals, en-abling us to see the whole living organism down to the phase alignment of the molecules that make up its tissues. Brilliant interference colours are generated, specific for each tissue, dependent on the birefringence of the molecules and their degree of coherent phase alignment. The colours are generated even as the molecules in the tissues are moving about, busily transforming energy. That is


possible because visible light vibrates much faster than the molecules can move, so the tissues will appear indistinguishable from static crystals to the light passing through so long as the movements of the constituent molecules are sufficiently coherent. With this imaging technique, one can see that the organism is thick with activities at every level, coordinated in a continuum from the macroscopic to the molecular. And that is what the coherence of the organism entails. These images also bring out another aspect of the wholeness of the organism: all organisms, from protozoa to vertebrates without exception, are polarized along the anteroposterior axis, so that all the colours in different parts of the body are maximum when the anteroposterior axis is appropriately aligned, and they change in concert as the organism is rotated from that position. The anteroposterior axis is the optical axis of the whole organism, which is, in effect, a single (uniaxial) crystal. This leaves us in little doubt that the organism is a singular whole, despite the diverse multiplicity and polychromatic nature of its constituent parts. The tissues not only maintain their crystalline order when they are actively trans-forming energy, the degree of order seems to depend on energy transformation, in that the more active and energetic the organism, the more intensely colorful it is, implying that the molecular motions are all the more coherent (Ho and Saunders, 1994). The coherence of the organism is closely tied up with its energetic status, as argued in the beginning of this essay: energy and organization are intimately linked. The coherent whole is full of energy - it is a vibrant coherent whole. 5.3 Quantum coherence in living organisms The above considerations and observations convince me that the wholeness of organisms is only fully captured by quantum coherence (Ho, 1993 A quantum coherent system maximizes both global cohesion and local freedom (Ho, 1993). This property, technically referred to as factorizability, enables the body to be performing all sorts of different coordinated functions simultaneously (Ho, 1995b). It also enables instantaneous (nonlocal) and noiseless intercommunication to take place through-out the system (Ho 1995f). As I am writing, my digestive system is working independ-ently, my metabolism busily transforming chemical energy in all my cells, putting some away in the longer term stores of fat and glycogen, while converting most of it into readily utilizable forms such as ATP Similarly, my muscles are keeping in tone . and allowing me to work the keyboard, while, hopefully, my neurons are firing in wonder-fully coherent patterns in my brain. Nevertheless, if the telephone should ring in the middle of all this, I would turn to pick it up without hesitation. The importance of factorizability is evoked by the movie character, Dr. Strangelove, portrayed by Peter Sellers as a megalomaniac scientist who wanted to rule the world. He was a wheelchair-bound paraplegiac, who could not speak without raising his arm in the manner of a Nazi salute. That is just the symptom of the loss of factorizability which is the hallmark of quantum coherence. The coherent organism is, in the ideal, a quantum superposition of activities - organized according to their characteristic space-times each itself coherent, so that it can couple coherently to the rest (Ho, 1995b). It is, in effect a vast array of Fröhlich systems all coupled together. This picture is fully consistent with the earlier proposal that the organism stores energy over all space-time domains each intercommunicating (or coupled) with the rest...Furthermore, quantum superposition enables the system to maximize its potential degrees of freedom so that the single degree of freedom required for coherent action can be instantaneously accessed. The main implication of quantum coherence for living organization is that, in maxi-mizing both local freedom and global intercommunication, the organism is in a very real sense completely free. Nothing is in control, and yet everything is in control. Thus, it is the failure to transcend the mechanistic framework that makes people persist in enquiring which parts are in control, or issuing instructions or information. These questions are meaningless when one understands what it is to be a coherent, organic whole. An organic whole is an entangled whole, where part and whole,

global and local are so thoroughly implicated as to be indistinguishable, and where each part is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. The challenge for us all is to rethink information processing in the context of the coherent organic whole. Acknowledgments (60 footnotes on website) http://www.i-sis.org/ A “New” Method of Tossing I Ching Hexagrams Way of the Total I Ching by Stephen Karcher Stuart Harrop Note: For a review by Michael Winn of Stephen Karcher’s Total I Ching, see the Amazon.com book reviews. This version of the I Ching is the most suitable for Healing Tao adepts, combining the ancient shamanic Jou I Ching with the later Confucian I Ching. A New Method of Tossing I Ching Hexagrams by Stuart Harrop (U.K.) Which version of the I Ching is best? When I began using the I Ching some 37 years ago the only significant version available was the renowned Richard Wilhelm translation. This translation served me well for years. I would not recommend it now. There are some far better, more accurate and comprehensive translations available. However, the forward to this edition by Carl Gustav Jung, in which he asks the I Ching to analyse the effect of its arrival in the West, is interesting and indeed a lesson in interpreting the oracle. Until very recently the best technical translation, giving a flavour of the directness of the original Chinese and drawing on the known key source documents, was the translation by Rudolf Ritsema and Stephen Karcher (Element 1994). As soon as this book appeared I dropped the Wilhelm version and didn’t look back. However, this is bulky and esoteric in the extreme. Karcher has since produced many small texts based on his translation work. Even though these books look like every-day versions, such is Karcher’s scholarship (as a sinologist) and depth of understanding and true relationship with the oracle, that they are all useful and reliable. They go by many names: Elements of the I Ching, How to Use the I Ching etc. and he keeps reprinting them with new names presumably pursuant to his publisher’s policy to encourage sales. He has even produced a version called Love Symbols (with added relationship meditations produced by two other authors). I have not used this version but his rationale for producing it is that most of the questions asked of the I Ching have something to do with human relationships. I mention these subsidiary books because if you are hiking across mountains or trekking in the jungle you may want to carry a small text! The best of the I Ching editions by an immeasurable gulf is Karcher’s latest work: Total I Ching -Myths for Change (Time Warner Books 2003, also available from Capitol Books). This deploys the best of the text translations and adds in the ancient mythical and magical roots of the I Ching taking it back to all of our ancestors. (That isn’t too far back according to scientists in a recent Nature paper where it is suggested that we all share common ancestors who lived at about BC 1500 or even in the AD years if we discount outlying islands! So if Lao Tzu had kids………..) The only problem with this version is that it is a little heavy for a rucksack.There is a rumour that a smaller more portable version by Time–Warner books is on its way.. (Note: it now available in smaller pocketbook size, soon to be available on this site - we may also put a digital version of it online). Finally, there are many other versions of the I Ching and some are useful for cross-referencing or for cosmological introductions. One or two are very badly translated or too coloured by the author’s own prejudices to allow the oracle through. The safe bet is to stick to Karcher’s translations and for oracular use; the Total I Ching is all you


need! Using the Oracle The I Ching does not require pomp and circumstance. Some say that the long, slow yarrow process is best in order to reach the right meditative state. I don’t entirely agree. If the questioner (the adept or Chun Tzu) has already set foot in the Kan and Li’s he or she has already learned to focus rapidly and effectively enough to work with the I Ching as if in a conversation with Michael Winn at breakfast. Karcher gives very clear instructions on the process in all of his books. Essentially: ask a question when you have a real need. In so doing: focus and centre your shen, write the question down and then consult the oracle. In my experience, I usually get the answer to my real question. This is not always the same as the question reduced to writing. The I Ching is particularly capable of cutting through all of our personal nonsense and trappings. On many occasions it has seen through my superficially new question and scolded me as a “Y oung Fool” for repeating one of the questions it has already clearly and unequivocally answered. So be prepared for the guidance that you truly need!! For years I used the coin method, predominantly. However, when I had the time I preferred to use the yarrow stalk method. (See most of Karcher’s books for instructions.) I felt that the latter method produced clearer answers and that it contributed to developing my relationship with the oracle. The downside is that yarrow stalks are bulky and take up too much space in a rucksack. Worse still, if you are in a hurry, asking the I Ching a question can take a long time. Karcher recommends a new method (again all mentioned in most of his books) concerning the use of 16 coloured beads or similar objects. This proposed method is portable, as rapid as the coins and yet it replicates the odds of the yarrow stalk oracle. I now use something like this almost exclusively. However, instead of basing the system on colours, I use a depiction of the actual line that will make up the hexagram. This “dowel” method has brought me increasingly closer to understanding the ramifications of change as they affect my life. The dowel method Cut 16 similar sized thin pieces of dowel. (Use a thickness of either 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch to retain a portable system.) Then sand them and draw a hexagram line on each of them in the following ratio: --- five (solid yang liine) - - seven (broken yin line) -O- three (solid yang line with 0 over it) - X - one (broken yin line with X in center) To consult the oracle place all of the pieces of dowel in a suitably sacred bag (or if you wish an old sock!), shake it and draw one piece out at random whilst visualising and using any technique you can to become fully immersed in your question. Draw the line revealed on each piece of dowel (from the bottom up), place the dowel back in the bag and repeat the process until you have drawn the six lines. As long as there are 16 pieces of dowel in the bag prior to extraction the probability of drawing a particular aspect of change replicates the ancient yarrow stalk method. Using the ratios described, there must be many other alternatives to this. A computer programme could be developed, by example, that generates specific musical tones attributed to each line. Once the hexagram is generated Karcher details a number of ways in which it can be analysed and I recommend these are experimented with. Many of the methods he describes are new to the west and take the pronouncements of the I Ching much further and deeper. One particularly important process which should not be neglected is to let the images which are generated by the oracle permeate your imaginations, meditations and dreams. Total I Ching is

particularly useful in supporting this process through the wonderful range of exquisitely rich images that are in the background descriptions to the hexagrams. I have found that these images ultimately give me the most guidance. They act directly on my shen and do not, like so many words, stick in my head. I also find that the guidance I receive acts on a number of levels, not only in my conscious approach to life, but also in the inner events within my alchemical meditations. Probabilities and the nature of yin and yang I have no doubt that the I Ching can reach beyond probability and speak to us direct. But we are dreaming in later heaven and are subject to the laws of mathematics aswell as physics. Therefore, I deploy an oracular method that replicates the probability ratio of the ancient yarrow oracle. I find that this approach deepens the relationship without forcing dependence on an impossibly impeccable level of focus. There is an older method that uses tortoise shells (with weird probability ratios) but burning the carapaces of endangered species is not within my concept of the Dao’s flow. The probability statistics of the coin, yarrow and “dowel” methods are as follows: Probability of drawing a line 3 Coin Method vs. Y arrow or Dowel Method yang line 3 in 8 vs. 5 in 16 yin line 3 in 8 vs. 7 in 16 changing yang line O 1 in 8 vs. 3 in 16 changing yin line X 1 in 8 vs. 1 in 16 Karcher believes that the coin method is too symmetrical and does not penetrate as deeply into a situation as the older yarrow stalks oracle or the simpler dowel method that I have described. He says that yin and yang are asymmetrical in their qualities and the odds in the yarrow stalk oracle reflect the tendency of yin energy to stay in place and that of yang energy to move. This is difficult to appreciate when we consider some aspects of the yin-yang flux. Thus the cycles of the moon are symmetrical (although its dark phase might appear to be longer than its full, bright phase). Similarly the seasons seem to depict a symmetry (but some believe that winter goes on far, far too long and summer is gone almost as soon as it begins). Time may not be relevant here. The qualities of yin and yang described by Karcher are not necessarily time-based but may reflect the asymmetry of later heaven. For my part I have had consistent and direct communication with the I Ching using the dowel method and the only areas that have been difficult to understand have concerned questions about my internal alchemical practices. In retrospect it might be that we should consider using a coin oracle, with its symmetrical odds if we feel we are requesting information that might require an understanding of early rather than later heaven dynamics. Ultimately, however, the I Ching is designed to give guidance for the human in his or her later heaven interactions. I suspect that when we can truly act from the centre then we transcend the dictates of change. On that latter note we also have to be careful not to obsess and certainly we must avoid being ruled by the I Ching. Rather than relying on an oracle and being subject to the ramifications of change, the alchemical goals surely include transcendence through functioning more and more from the centre: from a state of wu-wei (not that I would know!!) Best, Stuart Harrop


8 October 2004 Stuart Harrop holds a professorial Chair in the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, within the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kent, UK. He has, over the last period of 20 years, learned a number of “shamanic” dreaming and other practices deriving from various South American and Celtic traditions. Changing direction somewhat he has concentrated his path by studying the Taoist nei dan practices, during the last 10 years, mostly on a self-taught basis (although during the last three years he has been taught by both Mantak Chia and Michael Winn). He has recently taught elements of these practices to small groups in the UK and Africa. Mantak Chia awarded him the status of Honorary Senior Inner Alchemy Instructor in March 2003. The Subtle Body Ecstasy of Daoist Inner Alchemy Daoist Mystical Experience Livia Kohn The Subtle Body Ecstasy of Daoist Inner Alchemy LIVIA KOHN MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE Descriptions of personal mystical experiences in the Daoist tradition are hard to find. Authors typically refrain from becoming too personal, and the overall tendency in the literature is to express the experiences of the mystic in generalized instructions and the listing of warning signs. This is different from Western religions, where the experience is at the pivot of it all and is described as overwhelming and ineffable, timeless and yet full of knowing certainty (James 1936), and where mystics have described its wonders time and again as they have their agonies when it eluded them for a period in the so-called dark night of the soul (Underhill 1911). There is no strong emphasis on personal experience in Daoism. There are experiences, yes—the complete oblivion of all, for example, described often as “the body like a withered tree, the mind like dead ashes,” and the ecstatic visions of the gods and palaces of the otherworld, to name the most common. But there are very few personal reports on the overwhelming and powerful nature of certain specific experiences that could be compared in impact and importance to their Western counterpart. This lack can be explained as a general feature of Chinese culture, where religious autobiography was not a major genre, and the earliest first-hand accounts of the troubles and delights of the quest for perfection only appear after contact with Western missionaries in the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Still, even before this period mystical manuals contain warnings and instructions regarding specific experiences. For example, the Dingguan jing (Scripture on Concentration and Observation), a Tangdynasty text, says quite explicitly: If there are thoughts and fantasies during concentration, Manifold delusions and countless evils, Also specters and wicked sprites Will appear accordingly. But when you see The Perfected or Lord Lao, Divine wonders and amazing sights, This is an auspicious sign. (lines 27-28; Kohn 1987, 138). Similarly, the Zuowang lun (Discourse on Sitting in Oblivion) of the eighth century is very clear about the difficulties that adepts can expect to face and outlines the radiance of spirit and boundless joy they may eventually attain (see Kohn 1987). Y neither has quite the et same importance, the same centrality as the mystical experience in the Western interpretation of mysticism. While Western mystics fixate on the experience, it seems, the Chinese concentrate more on the transformation of body and mind. The key to being a mystic, then, is not whether one has had a certain experience, but to what degree one’s self is being transformed into cosmic dimensions, how sagely and nonacting one has become (Kohn 1992). The underlying reason for this difference in emphasis regarding experience is the nature of the worldview at the foundation of the two religious systems. Western traditions pose a transcendent divine agent, a God totally other; their mystics accordingly concentrate on rare visions of the deity, granted through his mercy, that are overwhelming, ineffable, and entirely out of this world. The

Chinese tradition, on the other hand, sees its ultimate in the Dao, a divine force so immanent that it is even in the soil and tiles, so much a part of the world that it cannot be separated from it. Oneness or union with the Dao is the birthright of every being, not a rare instance of divine grace. It is natural to begin with, and becomes more natural as it is realized through practice. The Chinese mystical experience of oneness with the Dao, quite logically, is astounding only in the beginning. It represents a way of being in the world completely different from ordinary perception, sensually and intellectually determined. The longer the Daoist lives with the experience and the deeper he integrates it into his life and being, the less relevant it is. Thus, neither is the experience itself the central feature of the tradition, nor is there a pronounced “dark night of the soul,” a desperate search for a glimpse of the transcendent divine. THE BODY Another major difference between the two traditions is the continued emphasis the Chinese place on the body in the transformation to a celestial being. Unlike in the West, where body and soul are radical opposites, body and spirit in in Daoist mysticism, though clearly distinguished, are not seen as opposites. Rather, they represent different aspects of the same continuum of the Dao and have to be purified in equal measure. As Maxime Kaltenmark puts it, Chinese terminology reflects subtle differences between states of a more or less ethereal quality, but of one and the same principle lying at the foundation of all the complex functions of man. The gross conditions of the body are as much included as are its finer essences and the higher mental states which make up holiness. This then is the reason why one can say that the Chinese do not make a clear-cut distinction between what we call body and mind. Their outlook is in general much more oriented towards life as an organic whole and ongoing process. (1965, 655) The challenge for the mystic, then, is not to overcome the body in favor of the spirit but to transform the entire body-spirit continuum to a higher level and come to experience himself as the divine replica of the cosmos in oneness with the Dao. This perspective is again based on the worldview of the underlying oneness of everything in the Dao. In this framework, the human body is seen as an accumulation of cosmic, vital energy known as qi and evaluated in terms of its energetic workings rather than as a solid, ultimately fragile entity. Qi is at the root of everything that exists, whether natural or supernatural, human or nonhuman, animate or inanimate. It generally appears in the complementary forces yin and yang, which correspond to night and day, shadow and light, resting and moving, feminine and masculine, tiger and dragon, mercury and lead, and so on. They cannot exist without one another but continuously engender and develop in mutual interaction, moving in cycles of days and seasons, of inner circulation and outer rhythm. They are further subdivided into categories of lesser and greater and associated with the Five Phases (wood, fire, earth, metal, water), symbolic representations of their developmental patterns. In this more complex form, the phases of qi are then set into a relationship with the key organs of the human body, its senses, material constituents, psychological agents, and emotions. Qi comes in two major forms, prenatal or primordial and postnatal or ordinary. Primordial qi is the cosmic parent of yin and yang, the power of the universe at its creation, the original purity of the cosmos in its most potent form. It is the ultimate neutral energy, the highest creative power, the most essential force of all existence. Everybody at birth receives a set amount of primordial qi, but even that amount is already miniscule compared to the intensity of the primordial power of the cosmos (Winn 2001). Postnatal qi is ingested through breath, food, and interaction with others. It mingles with the primordial reservoir deep within and most commonly diminishes it until the person becomes spiritually disconnected and physcially weak, and eventually dies. Lack of primordial qi in this system is the reason why so many people feel alienated from God, nature, and each other, and why they tend to believe that the gross, dense, physical reality they see around them is all there is. The Daoist endeavor consists in the recovery and replenishing of the tiny spark of primordial qi that is buried within all human beings. All qi continuously moves in the body in a smooth regular rhythm dictated by the cosmic patterns of yin and yang. It is in a state of


ongoing flux, continuously changing, constitutes health or sickness, moods and tempers, and determines how we work, eat, and sleep. As and when the spark of primordial qi is ignited and strengthened, it will “gradually dissolve one’s suffering and struggle and restore life to its innate state of grace and effortless, nonactive (wuwei) communication with Heaven, Earth, and all nature. Cultivating primordial qi is growing Heaven and Earth within” (Winn 2001, 14). To do so, practitioners begin with cultivating qi as it appears in the body in its most tangible and concrete form—as jing or essence. Jing is the indeterminate aspect of qi, also described as qi in transition from one determinate form to another (Porkert 1974). Put most concretely, jing is no longer the qi of the eggs in the omelet and not yet the qi of the eggs as assimilated in the body body of the eater. As Michael Winn describes it, “jing is perhaps best understood in Western terms as primal matter. It is the raw fuel that drives the pulsating rhythm of the body’s moment-to-moment cellular division and reproduction of itself” (2002, 20). Governed in the body by the kidneys and the Phase water, it is also closely related to the psychological power of the will or determination, the innate power to “seek pleasure, and to fulfull a specific destiny” (Winn 2002, 20). It is also the source of a person’s charisma or magnetic power, of sexual attraction and an innate sense of wholeness. In its most concrete form jing in the body appears as sexual energy, i.e., semen in men and menstrual blood in women. Much of Daoist cultivation accordingly begins with the control and reorientation of sexual energy. Eventually this jing is purified and made more subtle and transformed into qi that is then moved consciously around the body in various cycles. This qi in turn is further rarified into shen (spirit), which is a third form qi assumes in the human body. Shen is understood as the inherent higher vitality of life, the power of consciousness, and the ability to think. It is closely associated with the individuality’s outlook and personality and is said to reside in the central organ of the heart. It governs the emotions and has the most impact on the mystical transformation. Ultimately, spirit is also the goal of mystical attainment: the transformation of a baser qi being into an entity of pure spirit. To achieve this, various methods of cultivation are employed, including formalized body movements, breathing exercises, ritual ceremonies, meditations, visualizations, and so on. It should be understood, however, that none of these practices—however beneficial they may be for health and long life and good fortune—are undertaken to obtain or acquire qi. Rather, qi is already there, and the practitioner already is part of nature’s infinite qi--field. The task is not to change the basic set up of being human but to recognize one’s true nature as part of the Dao, to “understand the unconscious communication patterns that are always flowing between one’s microcosmic (personal) qi-field and the impersonal (macrocosmic) qi-field”(Winn 2001, 13). INNER ALCHEMY The tradition within Daoism that makes most obvious use of this understanding of the body as a cosmic qi-field is known as “inner alchemy” (neidan). A complex system of techniques that integrated physical longevity methods, spiritual meditations, operative alchemy, and the intricate symbolism of the Yijing, it can be traced back to the Tang dynasty (618-907) but came to flourish in the Song (960-1260), especially in south China, where it was practiced by various schools. Inner alchemy describes mystical attainment in terms of three stages— transforming jing into qi, qi into shen, and merging shen with the Dao, in the form of interior spiritual entity known as the golden elixir or the immortal embryo. Inner alchemical practice begins in the first stage with taking control of the jing, the sexual energy. For men, this means that they must avoid losing semen through ejaculation while women, through a series of meditations and breast massages learn to lessen and eventually stop the flow of menstruation. Instead practitioners retain their jing and reverse its flow, making it move up the spinal column “to nourish the brain.” The brain, according to Chinese traditional medicine, is the Ocean of Marrow, and marrow is jing as manifest in the bones. Every time jing is lost through sexual activity, therefore, the brain, the bones of the head, and the skeleton of the body are weakened and become more brittle. The jing, moreover, that travels up the spine is not the semen that would be ejaculated during sexual intercourse or lost in

menstruation but its refined form, the qi from which the semen arose in the first place. At the top of the head, the reversed jing unites with other yin secretions of the body and, once it begins to overflow in the cavity there, descends again through the front of the torso to the energy center in the abdomen known as the lower cinnabar field. Circulated mentally in spiraling movements, the qi is stored here and forms the interior cauldron for the concoction of the elixir, the spiritual womb for the growth of the immortal embryo. The process of qi circulation is known as the “microcosmic orbit” and still actively practiced today (see Chia 1983; 1985; Winn 2002). Undertaken after preparatory meditations, chanting of sacred sounds, and the activation of the qi in the five inner organs, it is accompanied by rhythmic breathing and the regular holding of breath. Also, the technique is practiced in synchronicity with the yin-yang patterns of the seasons and matched with appropriate visualizations, seeing for example the rising yang-jing as solar, and the descending yinqi as lunar energies. Through this refinement, the qi in due course opens up to unveiling a kernel of grain or a pearl in the lower cinnabar field—the first concrete inkling of primordial qi within. Called the “mysterious pearl” or the “pearl of dew,” this is the seed of the divine elixir from which the immortal embryo will eventually grow. It indicates the successful completion of the first stage. During the second stage, the transformation of qi into shen, the immortal embryo grows over ten months in the lower and middle cinnabar fields (abdomen and solar plexus). It is nourished by the rhythmic ascent and descent of qi, which creates a great abdominal openness and allows the increasing sublimation of interior qi into spirit. Understood as a reversal of the cosmic process of creation, it involves reverting the five phases to the three primal forces (water, fire, and earth), and the coupling of the reversed energies of fire within water (yang within yin) and water within fire (yin within yang)—the latter often expressed with the help of the symbols of the Yijing (Book of Changes). More primordial qi is assembled and the three cinnabar fields are turned into powerful alchemical cauldrons for its further refinement (Winn 2002,18). This process requires the strongest meditative awareness yet—long periods of quiet sitting and deep inner stillness. After ten months of nurturing with primordial qi, the newly developed subtle body, the immortal embryo is ready to be born. For this, it is moved gradually upward along the spine until it reaches the upper cinnabar field in the head. From there it can leave the body through the top of the head, undertaking excursions to the celestial spheres as it pleases. The birth of the embryo into a free-moving spirit power signifies the adept’s rebirth on a new level and a new yin body, an immortal being of softness, purity, and light. The third stage, following this spiritual rebirth, is not described in great detail in the texts. They mention that the yin body is increasingly transformed into a body of pure yang, essentially through deeper absorption and meditative practice. Eventually it becomes pure, luminous spirit and is reintegrated into cosmic emptiness. In the course of this process, the adept acquires supernatural and magical powers that are, however, not considered of major importance by the tradition. The main objective is final deliverance, achieved through the overcoming of individual identity and all body-mind duality. The modern school of inner alchemy as taught by Mantak Chia subdivides this last stage into five levels: 1. the birth of the immortal child through the absorption of higher forms of yin and yang, the sun and the moon, and by opening communication with the five spirit centers and the divinities of the four directions; 2. the maturation of the immortal child through feeding of the true elixir of the sun, a series of meditations arranged according to one’s astrological birth elements that involve the absorption of planetary power and ecstatic travels to the solar system; 3. the crystallization of the primordial spirit by focusing on the center in the head and there absorbing and interiorizing various astral forces, such as the Big Dipper, the Polestar, and the four Great Star quadrants, eventually attaining the ability to travel freely around them; 4.


the merging of Heaven and Earth through opening a cosmic void within, where Heaven and Earth come together in primordial unity and where the physical body and personality of the adept fully dissolves into primordial qi; 5. union with the Dao, a spontaneous event that occurs when virtue, destiny, and cultivation are complete (Winn 2001, 28-30). Within this overall framework, then, two major sets of experiences can be described: the sense of energetic openness and interior subtlety as a being of pure qi when the microcosmic orbit is fully opened; and the mystical realization of the spirit being both within the body and in its travels through the otherworld. THE MICROCOSMIC ORBIT An early descripition of the transformative experience of the microcosmic orbit is found in the Xiwang mu shize (Ten Rules of the Queen Mother of the West), a work on women’s inner alchemy of the eighteenth century (Despeux 2000, 397). The text notes that the qi refined through extensive breast massages will spontaneously begin to move about in the body. Once adepts become aware of this, they should actively guide it downward through the abdomen and divide it into two streams at the hips, spiralling it to the left and right in the course of thirty-six respirations. Getting warmer and more active, the qi begins to move up the spinal column, first slowly and hesitantly, then with increasing speed and vigor. To unblock hindrances along the spine, adepts clap their teeth seventy-two times and take thirty-six deep nostril breaths before the practice. To prevent qi from staying in the genital area and flowing out of the body, they contract the muscles of the pelvic floor with some force and place both hands over the pubic bone, at the same time actively visualizing the upward flow of qi. Once the qi has begun its upward course, practitioners raise both hands overhead, spreading and releasing the fingers at regular intervals twice thirty-six times, first slowly and lightly, then a bit faster. Next, they place their hands on their hips and shrug the shoulders thirty-six times, allowing the qi to pass through the Double Pass at breast level, the upper spine, and the Jade Pillow at the occiput. Any blockages found there can be further dissolved by clapping the teeth and concentrating on the nape of the neck. Once the qi has moved all the way up through the Niwan Palace to the top of the head, adepts move the lower lip above the upper to encourage the qi to descend along the front of the skull toward the nose. They roll the tongue against the upper palate to establish a connection between the two central energy meridians in the torso, the Governing and Conception Vessels, thus allowing the sweet dew of the qi to descend further. It flows down naturally towards the Purple Gate near the heart, where it is held for a short period. Moving further down through the abdomen, it divides at the hips and is spiraled thirtysix times as before, then concentrated in the cinnabar field and rotated thirty-six times each to the left and the right (Despeux 1990). This free flow of qi through the body brings with it a sense of ecstasy and an increased subtleness of bodily perception. It constitutes the reorganization of personal consciousness and bodily awareness on a subtler and more refined level. Practitioners gain a sense of being part of the flow of the Dao rather than separate individual entities. A first-person account of this experience of the microcosmic orbit has been transmitted from the early twentieth century, when Jiang Weiqiao (1870-1955), a learned and sickly young man who later became know as Master Yinshi, experimented with Daoist inner alchemy to cure himself of tuberculosis. To achieve his self-healing he set up a rigid schedule of meditation and physical exercises, establishing a daily routine that closely resembled monastic discipline. He got up around three or four in the morning and practiced “quiet sitting,” as he calls his meditation, for an hour or two. Breakfast and a short hike, “always facing east, to absorb the energy of the rising sun” (Jiang 1985, 90), were followed by a rest and study period to culminate in another phase of quiet sitting around ten o’clock. After lunch he would spend some time pacing slowly around the room. Beginning at about three o’clock, he practiced the seven-stringed lute or went out for another walk. Dinner and another two hours of sitting in the evening concluded a busy day of self-healing. In the course of a year, he managed to strengthen his qi and began to experience its strong power within: I had started my regimen on the fifth day of the third

month of the year 1900. However, I had to endure many pains and hardships and I was remiss and idle in some thing or another practically every day. Later I learned how to leave things to nature, and my spirit became fresher and healthier every day. Before, when I had gone out for a walk I would make it for two or three miles, then had to rest for tiredness and exhaustion. After a few months of practice, once I got going I could walk on for ten miles and more and never feel the strain. Every time I sat down to meditate, I would focus my awareness on the cinnabar field in the lower abdomen. I could feel a cloud of hot power there. It came and went, rose and ebbed. I was quite amazed by it. Then, on the twenty-ninth of the fifth month, during the evening sitting, it happened first: All of a sudden there was this intense rumbling movement in the cinnabar field in my lower abdomen. I had been sitting in quiet meditation as usual, but this was something I really could not control. I was shaken back and forth helplessly. Then an incredibly hot energy began to rise at the bottom of my spine and climbed up further and further until it reached the very top of my head. I was startled and alarmed. (1985, 91-92; Kohn 1993) In traditional terms, this experience reveals the power of the primordial qi over all living beings and is a first sign of the practitioner’s growing oneness with Dao, an initial step toward the dissolution of ego and the attainment of perfection. For Jiang Weiqiao, it was the first discovery of an energy that pervaded and nourished his body, a powerful, yet ultimately controllable agent, not a mystical divine force of universal creation. Later, as he describes it, the experience was repeated several times until the hot qi that rose along his spine no longer left the body through the top of the head but returned through the face and chest area to the lower abdomen. After undergoing the spontaneous establishment of the microcosmic orbit, he continued to use his power over the circulation of qi whenever he felt weak or sick, sometimes guiding it to flow freely, sometimes directing it to whatever part of his body felt unwell. Another first-person report on the establishment of the microcosmic orbit is by Michael Winn, a long-term seeker of spiritual cultivation in the Indian and Chinese traditions. In the beginning of his quest, he studied Rajneesh’s Book of Secrets and followed its breathing instructions to the point where he could slow his breath down to almost a complete standstill. Then one day, after two weeks practice, I felt my breath stop completely. During a long pause between breaths, I entered a deep, peaceful state, and felt I no longer need to breathe air. Suddenly my whole body shook, then exploded into an intense orgasm and I watched myself catapulted into the space around me, with a clear vision of my body expanding rapidly through the walls of the room. After this initial explosion, I felt like a mushroom cloud above a nuclear blast, with the debris of my former consciousness blown to bits and slowly raining back down on my transparent body in blissful droplets. (2002, 7) Here the opening of the qi body is not felt as a circulation of energy but rather as an explosion, a dissolution of the former, apparently solid foundation of self and body into tiny droplets of energy that were dispersed through space and slowly came back to settle in the personal sphere. Still, the event is very similar—the qi manifests violently with a rumbling and begins to move entirely on its own and without any conscious control of the practitioner. This control is only learned over time and exercised carefully in proper training. Such training is undertaken in the contemporary Daoist practice of inner alchemy in a school known as The Healing Dao, of which Michael Winn is a leading practitioner today. Healing Dao was originally founded by Mantak Chia, a Thai of Chinese ancestry. Born in 1944, he was recognized early for his spiritual potential and began the practice of Buddhist meditation at age six. Later he moved to Hong Kong where he studied various qi techniques, such as Taiji quan, Aikido, and Qigong. There he also met a Daoist master, known as the One Cloud Hermit, who taught him the secrets of inner alchemy over a period of five years. Developing his own system, in 1973 he founded The Healing Dao in Chiangmai, Thailand, and in 1978 brought it to the West. According to Chia, practitioners begin their endeavor by becoming conscious of their inner organs and the qi flow within. Then they


gradually learn to open the microcosmic orbit. About the experience accompanying this, he says: Most people have some sensations during their meditation. These may be warmth, heat, or tingling at the sacrum, Gate of Life, Third Eye, or tip of the tongue, or cold or numb areas. Some people feel an effervascence like champagne bubbles. Y may experience mild ou electic-like shocks anywhere in the body; the body may shake rhythmically or suddenly jolt. Also, the hands, feet, or whole body may become unusually hot; in fact, you may feel strong sensations of heat anywhere in the body. Those who are visually oriented may see a light inside their heads, or points along the orbit may light up. If you have any of these sensations, you may conclude that qi is circulating. (Chia and Chia 1993, 478) The reason for these various sensations in the body is that “we have begun to absorb qi from Heaven, Earth, and the Higher Self, and our channels are widening to absorb additional bursts of qi” (1993, 484). This is considered very beneficial and an important step on the way, leading to a sense of self and body that is no longer limited to ordinary consciousness but grows into a dimension of subtle energetics and cosmic connection. The mystical dimension of existence here is opened through the physical experience of the body and the reorganization of self in terms of qi flow and the perception of subtle energies. Experience is determined entirely by the body—but the body is transformed into a more subtle, more cosmic, more divine entity. THE IMMORTAL EMBRYO This transformation of the body is further intensified in the second stage of the alchemical process, when the inner seed of the elixir, created by the systematic circulation and collection of qi, blossoms forth and gives rise to the immortal embryo. Over ten months of intense meditation, this spiritual alter ego of the practitioner grows to completion, and a primordial light begins to shine through the entire body. Adepts then enter a state of deep absorption, lying immobile as if dead, appearing pale in complexion, and apparently not breathing at all. They need a helper at this time who watches over them day and night for however long the state persists, which may well be up to six days. All noise and shouting that might startle them must be avoided, lest the tenuously growing spirit embryo be injured and the adept be afflicted by madness or demonic forces. When they come out of this absorption, nostril breathing begins very subtly and the divine light opens up. One can then call out to them in a low voice. They slowly begin to move and will gradually rise, get dressed, and take some nourishment, still remaining vigilant since the process is not yet over. Rather, the most important part is still to come: the exiting of the spirit into the celestial realm (Despeux 1990). The first exiting of the spirit embryo is known as “deliverance from the womb.” It is the adept’s celestial rebirth and is accompanied by the perception of a deep inner rumbling, like a clap of thunder. Then the celestial gate at the top of her head bursts free and opens wide, and a white smoky essence can be seen hovering above her. The spirit passes through the top of the head and begins to communicate actively with the celestials, transcending the limitations of the body. Before this exiting procedure, adepts actively move the immortal embryo from the middle to the upper cinnabar field, using rhythmic breathing and/or the recitation of sacred sounds. As long as the adept has not entered a state of very deep absorption, the embryonic spirit is not yet fully detached from the qi circulating in the body and cannot leave. Once absorption is attained, on the other hand, and the spirit has begun to move on its own, the adept easily maintains concentration and may experience various strong internal states. For example, she may may have a vision of a shower of heavenly flowers, perceive divine perfumes, or see an image of a seven-storied pagoda. According to Wu Chongyu of the Ming dynasty, “leaving the state of great absorption is accompanied by different phenomena in every individual. Some see a shower of celestial flowers, others see wind and clouds.” The Dadan zhizhi (Pointers to the Great Elixir) of the late thirteenth century similarly has: As your perfect qi rises, your ears will hear the sounds of wind and rain. Then inside your head there will be the sounds of harps and gold and jade. In your Heavenly Pond [mouth], the Metal Liquid [saliva] will gush forth like a cool stream. Some will flow up into the brain, some will congeal into pearly dew, some will enter into the gullet.

Its flavor will be sweet and delectable. Later, inside your head you will hear the sounds of flutes, zithers, harps, and chimes. Or you may hear the call of the crane, the cry of the monkey, or the chirping of the cicada. . . . When the spirit reaches its exit point, you will hear a huge clap of thunder. (Eskildsen 2001, 150) After its first exit, the spirit learns to come and go freely and communicate widely with the otherworld. In the beginning, it moves rather slowly and does not travel far from the body, then, supported by further meditative exercises known as “nursing for three years,” it gradually gets used to its new powers, moves about faster and travels further afield until it goes far and wide without any limitation. As the spirit enters into these cosmic ventures, the adept exhibits supernatural powers: she can be in two place at once, move quickly from one place to another, know the past and the future, divine people’s thoughts, procure wondrous substances, overcome all hazards of fire and water, and has powers over life and death. Known as “spirit pervasion,” this indicates the freedom achieved by the spirit and also manifest in the practictioner. Few first-person accounts are found on this part of the practice. Michael Winn mentions that he, at some point in his intensive training, found his sleep needs drastically reduced and experienced different spiritual powers, “ranging from bursts of telephathy and foreknowledge of the future to experiences of the entire universe collapsing into a single point” (2002, 8). He also reports on a dramatic experience of cosmic merging in a situation of what the Daoist tradition calls “dual cultivation” or partner practice: We had sat naked for a few minutes, facing each other in crosslegged meditation position to tune in. We were both suddenly overtaken by a powerful energy field with extremely intense and unusual vibrations. Not a word was spoken, as our mental, emotional, and speech faculties were completely suspended, but we later confirmed having an identical experience. One aspect of our consciousness began experiencing a very yang orgasm, expanding out of the bedroom faster than the speed of light, whizzing through galaxies, exploding supernovas, and then beyond. Another part of us was orgasmically imploding inward with opposite and equal force, grounding and concentrating the great intensity in our physical bodies. (2002, 26) Here the energy fields of the two practitioners merge in an explosive and powerful manner, moving both outward as their spirits travel into the planetary vastness of the otherworld and inward as the body is opened to cosmic emptiness and primordiality. The experience is overwhelming and transcendent, yet firmly grounded in the energetics of the body, the result of years of practice and the cultivation of subtle forms of qi. However, even this high level if mystical attainment is not the ultimate goal of inner alchemy, which is only reached after further meditative practice, known as “wall gazing.” This technique is adopted from Chan Buddhism, whose first patriarch Bodhidharma is said to have realized full enlightenment by sitting in a cave and gazing at a wall for nine years. In this very final phase of the process, the adept whose body is already transformed into pure light has yet to fully overcome its limits and melt utterly into cosmic emptiness. The process takes nine years or 3,000 days, a number symbolic of highest yang and great completion. A poem attributed to the great lady adept Sun Buer (1119-1182) describes it as follows: All your tasks already well fulfilled, Just sit down in a corner, concentrate the spirit, Feel your body rest on purple clouds, Y whole being calm, floating on weak waters. our The qi forces melt together, yin and yang unite, Spirit, Heaven, Earth all are only one. Concluding the great work, you see the Gate of Jade Emerging from the mists—and heave a deep, long sigh. (Chen 1934; Cleary 1989) The deep meditative absorption in this stage, perfected over long years of practice, involves the attainment of complete purity, tranquility, and nonaction. Mind and spirit are no longer of this world but illuminate the infinite, and the adept is fully integrated into the heavenly spheres. Eventually he or she sheds her earthly form and


ascends upward, mounting a cloudy chariot or riding on an immortals’ bird. She receives formal empowerment from the palaces above and becomes an acknowledged member of the heavenly host. Received by the divine ladies at the court of the Queen Mother, she is led to the immortals’ paradises and attains the ultimate state of mystical achievement. CONCLUSION The mystical experience in Daoist inner alchemy, the most recent and still practiced form of Daoist cultivation, can therefore be described as a form of subtle body ecstasy. Practitioners learn, through breathing, gymnastic, and meditative exercises, to open themselves to a level of experience that is not accessible to ordinary, dualistic, outward-oriented consciousness. They realize on an experiential level— as opposed to the purely theoretical or intellectual understanding of concepts and doctrines—that the universe consists of various fields of qi, primordial, postnatal, yin, yang, fire, water, five phases, and so on. Feeling the qi in its different levels within, refining sexual energy (jing) into qi and qi into spirit (shen), they systematically reorganize their experience to a wider, more inclusive, more open, a strongly cosmic level. Doing so, they essentially reprogram their conception of the universe with its various signs, metaphors, and symbols towards an energetic perception, a mode of communication with nature in its own way, a qi based way of being in the world. In the course of this transformation, moreover, they discover internal levels of existence they never suspected and learn to interact with beings of the supernatural plane—ghosts, demons, gods, immortals, and various planetary entities. Their universe expands both within and without, and they become denizens of the larger universe, flowing streams of qi, pure aspects of the Dao. Their experiences, moreover, although not commonly described in personal narratives are extraordinary and supra-sensual, raising the individual’s consciousness to intense levels both within and without. What, then, do they teach us about the nature of mystical experience? As seen from the Daoist tradition of inner alchemy, mystical experience is transcendent of ordinary consciousness and common perception, not transcendent in the Western sense of experiencing something totally other but transcendent in that it goes far beyond the world to a deep, underlying level of existence that is always there, always accessible, always present, but not usually perceived. Mystical experience, moreover, is immensely physical and takes place firmly on the basis of the body. This body, however, is not a clodlike lump of material solidity but a replica of the universe, an entity of flowing, subtle energies that are activated through systematic cultivation and take on a life of their own, superseding and eventually replacing the individual’s personal consciousness. Mystical experience means the dissolution of self and body and mind into the larger cosmic flow of the Dao, the recovery of the universal power of primordiality, the attainment of a state at the original creation of all. Mystical experience according to the Daoist tradition is also very much determined by culture. It is consciously and actively created through a series of exercises that apply physical movements, breathing techniques, and specific guided meditations. While the very highest level of total dissolution is something that happens on its own and cannot be controlled, all other stages and experiences along the way are systematically prepared and learned. This, again, is why there are so few personal narratives: people know what to expect and when to expect it, they are guided kindly but firmly by a master who knows the body energetics and can give helpful support at all stages. It is accordingly no accident that the two first-person reports on the establishment of the microcosmic orbit cited above were written after the qi-flow opened up unexpectedly and without a teacher’s guidance. The practitioners were surprised and amazed and wondered what they had stumbled into—experiencing mystery not unlike their Western counterparts but with access to a tradition that could map their route and provide them with support and reassurance. According to him, peak experiences are special moments of complete happiness, fulfillment and meaning. Transcending the ego and giving people a sense of unity with all-that-is, they may come about through love, creativity, art, or being in nature, and are characterized as times of greatest maturity, individuation, and selflessness, moments of perfect health and unity (Maslow 1964, 73). They are common to humanity but differ in degree and interpretation. Although

arising of their own accord, they can be invited to occur. The more an individual accepts peak-experiences positively and acknowledges them as a meaningful part of life, the more frequently they recur. The higher the frequency of peak-experiences, the more positively they are felt and the more the individual’s consciousness moves into what Maslow calls Being-cognition, the psychological equivalent of the selfless cosmic consciousness of the mystic, a state of openness and freedom and a sense of rightness and oneness with the cosmic flow (Maslow 1964, 83). Daoists in the tradition of inner alchemy, therefore, use the worldview of intermingling, flowing qi-fields to create an environment that invites peak experiences of varying strength and intensity, from the smooth and open qi circulation in the microcosmic orbit through the sense of spiritual presence in the creation of the immortal embryo to the ecstatic excursions into the far reaches of the universe. Daoists learn to be open to the qi reality within and without, they train to flow along with it, and they attain mystical transcendence both within this world and within this body. REFERENCES Baldrian-Hussein, Farzeen. 1984. Procédés secrets du joyau magique. Paris: Les Deux Océans. Chen, Yingning. 1934. Sun Buer nüdan shizhu. Shanghai: Yihuo tangshan shuju. Chia, Mantak. 1983. Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao. Huntington, NY: Healing Tao Books. Chia, Mantak. 1985. Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality. Huntington, NY: Healing Tao Books. Chia, Mantak, and Maneewan Chia. 1993. Awaken Healing Light of the Tao. Huntington, NY: Healing Tao Books Cleary, Thomas. 1989. Immortal Sisters: Secrets of Taoist Women. Boston: Shambhala. Cleary, Thomas. 1992. The Secret of the Golden Flower: The Classic Chinese Book of Life. San Francisco: Harper. Xingming guizhi. Munich: Diederichs. Despeux, Catherine. 1990. Immortelles de la Chine ancienne. Taoïsme et alchimie féminine. Puiseaux: Pardès. Despeux, Catherine. 2000. “Women in Daoism.” In Daoism Handbook, edited by Livia Kohn, 384-412. Leiden: E. Brill. Eskildsen, Stephen. 2001. “Seeking Signs of Proof: Visions and Other Trance Phenomena in Early Quanzhen Taoism.” Journal of Chinese Religions 29: 139-60. Gyatso, Kelsung. 1982. Clear Light of Bliss. London. James, William. 1936 [1902]. The Varieties of Religious Experience. New Y ork: The Modern Library. Jiang Weiqiao. 1985. Jingzuo fa jiyao. Taipei: Jiyou, Daozang jinghua. Kaltenmark, Maxime. 1965. “La mystique taoïste.” In La mystique et le mystiques, edited by A. Ravier, 649-69. Paris. Kohn, Livia. 1987. Seven Steps to the Tao: Sima Chengzhen’s Zuowanglun. St.Augustin/Nettetal: Monumenta Serica Monograph XX. Kohn, Livia. 1992. Early Chinese Mysticism: Philosophy and Soteriology in the Taoist Tradition. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Kohn, Livia. 1993. “Quiet Sitting with Master Yinshi: Medicine and Religion in Modern China.” Zen Buddhism Today 10: 79-95. Lu, Kuan-yü. 1970. Taoist Y — Alchemy and Immortality. oga London: Rider. Maslow, Abraham H. 1964. Toward a Psychology of Being. New Y ork: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Needham, Joseph, et al. 1983. Science and Civilisation in China, vol. V.5: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention—Physiological Alchemy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Porkert, Manfred. 1974. The Theoretical Foundations of Chinese Medicine: Systems of Correspondence. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Robinet, Isabelle. 1989. “Original Contributions of Neidan to Taoism and Chinese Thought.” In Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques, edited by Livia Kohn, 295-38. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Chinese Studies Publications. Robinet, Isabelle. 1995. Introduction a l’alchimie interieure taoïste: De l’unité et de la multiplicité. Paris: Editions Cerf.


Shi, Dao. 2002. “ Meeting on the Pathless Path: An Interview A with Ken Cohen and Shi Jing.” The Dragon’s Mouth, Summer 2002, 2-9. Short, Lar, and John Mann. 1988. The Body of Light. San Francisco: Fourth Way Books. Skar, Lowell, and Fabrizio Pregadio. 2000. “Inner Alchemy (Neidan).” In Daoism Handbook, edited by Livia Kohn, 464-97. Leiden: E. Brill. Underhill, Evelyn. 1911. Mysticism. London: Methuen & Co. Wilhelm, Richard. 1962 [1929]. The Secret of the Golden Flower. New Y ork: Harcourt, Brace and World. Winn, Michael, and Mantak Chia. 1984. Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Huntington, NY: Healing Tao Books Winn, Michael. 2001. “Daoist Internal Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature’s Intelligence.” Paper Presented at the Conference on Daoist Cultivation, Vashon Island. Winn, Michael. 2002. “The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm: Daoist and Tantric Sexual Cultivation in the West.” Paper Presented at the Conference on Tantra and Daoism, Boston University, Boston. The Doctrine of the “Mysterious Female” in Taoism A Transpersonalist View Eugene Tortchinov This essay on the feminine nature of Taoism is by a Russian professor who has penetrated to a very deep philosophical perception of the Tao. My own perception, based on alchemical practice, supports this view. It is one reason why Taoist teachings are so very important at this junction in global history. The feminine has been culturally and economically suppressed throughout the world, but healing this requires a deeper spiritual understanding and a practical alternative to the way the major paternalistic religions use their idea of spirit to oppress or dominate matter/body/sexuality. Taoist alchemy avoids this imbalance by holding the truth is the neutral boundary between the yin and the yang. This essay shows how that Mysterious Pass or neutral point also is described through essentially feminine images and functions of birthing. It also helps explain how the Tao embraces the body and sexuality without limiting itself to or being controlled by sexual/bodily needs. - Michael Winn The Doctrine of the “Mysterious Female” in Taoism: A Transpersonalist View by Evgueni A. Tortchinov, Department of Philosophy St. Petersburg State University, Russia The principal purpose of this paper is to suggest the approach of transpersonal psychology for analysis of some important aspects of the Taoist doctrine, that is, the concept of the Tao as a female universal principle and the Taoist attitude “to be like an infant” or even as an “embryo.” To understand these Taoist principles, we must begin from the very beginning-from the central concept of Taoism, that is, Tao (the Way, the True Way). This concept designates the prime ground of the World, the source of all life and the limit of every existence, as well as the rule and measure of beings. The female, maternal image of Tao is the crucial point to understanding the psychotechnique (or psychopractical) approach of Taoism. It is possible to demonstrate its importance by citing some passages from the Tao Te ching (The Canon of the Way and its Power) or the”Lao-tzu,” a famous Taoist classic: 1. §6: The valley spirit never dies-it is called ‘the mysterious female”; The gate of the mysterious female is called “the root of heaven and earth.” Gossamer it is, seemingly insubstantial, yet never consumed through use. 2. §25: There was something featureless yet complete, born before

heaven and earth; Silent-amorphous-it stood alone and unchanging. We may regard it as the mother of heaven and earth. Not knowing its name, I style it the “Way.” 3. §28: Know masculinity, Maintain femininity, and be a ravine for all under heaven. . §61: A large state is like a low-lying estuary, the female of all under heaven. In the congress of all under heaven, the female always conquers the male through her stillness. Because she is still, it is fining for her to lie low. E. M. Chen (1974), in her article dedicated to the role of the female principle in Chinese philosophy, notes that some aspects of Lao-tzu’s concept of Tao makes it possible to propose that the formation of the teaching about Tao as a philosophical idea was preceded by the cult of some Mother-Goddess which was connected with the genesis of Taoism (Chen, 1974, p.53; Kravtsova, 1994, pp.208-213). She notes that in the description of Tao in the Tao Te ching there are all the meanings which are essential for the Mother-Goddess cult: Tao is like an empty vessel (§4); voidness (§5); mysterious darkness (§1); it is nonborn, but, nevertheless, it is the predecessor of the Heavenly Lord (§4); it is the Mysterious Female which is the gate of Heaven and Earth (§6); mother (§1, 20, 25, 52); female (or hen-§10, 28); female (§61); and Mother of all under heaven (§25, 34). In addition, Tao is often described as water (§8, 78) and as valley (§6, 28, 32, 39, 41). Clearly this valley is the principle of generation which bears all beings in its depth. The Tao Te ching speaks much about the pre-existential, nonmanifested aspect of Tao which is the philosophical opposition to the manifested phenomenal existence as some potential being (wu). In this regard, § I is rather interesting. It describes this nonmanifested or mysterious (occult) aspect of Tao as the womb of the universal embryo, the womb which generates Heaven and Earth, which is the source of life. Briefly speaking, it is nothing but the Mysterious Mother of the world: The nameless is the origin of the myriad creatures; The named is the mother of the myriad creatures. Therefore, Always be without desire in order to observe its wondrous subtleties; Always have desire so that you may observe its manifestations... Mystery of mysteries, The gate of all wonders! This passage develops the leading idea of §1 about two aspects or “hypostases” of Tao: about Tao as “mysterious womb” and Tao as mother-nurse of all beings. Here we can recall the words of the famous commentator and thinker, Wang Pi (3 A.D.), that “Mysterious” (or “Unnamed”) Tao nourishes and bears all creatures, and phenomenal named Tao feeds them; the analogous description Wang Pi gives to the character of the interrelations between Tao and Te. What about the last sentence of the passage? It can be said that the character miao (mystery) of the sentence consists of two elements: “woman” and “little.” We can suppose that its use here is not arbitrary. It is not too difficult to “ascribe” its etymology (probably it is not a scientific one) as this: “something, that is little inside a woman,” that is, embryo hidden in the womb, like the prototypes of things (see §21) are hidden in the “womb” of Tao. This opinion may be supported by the fact that the images of the womb and embryo are often used by Taoists to describe the “Tao-world” relation. So Tao can be metaphorically defined as the


mother of the world, the source of life and being, and the universal female archetype. It is quite essential to understand the Taoist doctrine of immortality as well, because this doctrine considers Tao to be the life-giving principle which gives eternal life to the adept who has obtained unity with it. The Tao Te chitig also says (§52): Having realized the mother, you thereby know her children. Knowing her children, go back to abide with the mother. To the end of your life, you will not be imperiled. Let’s look at the child of the “Mysterious female of all under the heaven.” §55 of the Tao Te ching says: He who embodies the flillness of integrity is like a ruddy infant. Wasps, spiders, scorpions, and snakes will not sting or bite him; Rapacious birds and fierce beasts will not seize him. His bones are weak and his sinews soft, yet his grip is tight. He knows not the joining of male and female, yet his penis is aroused. His essence has reached a peak. He screams the whole day without becoming hoarse; His harmony has reached perfection. Harmony implies constancy; Constancy requires insight. Striving to increase one’s life is ominous; To control the vital breath with one’s mind entails force. Something that grows old while still in its prime is said to be not in accord with the Way; Not being in accord with the Way leads to an early demise. Here, an infant (a baby; the text uses Ch ‘ih tzu, “red,” or “ruddy” infant, i.e., a just newborn child) represents the image of the perfect sage hill of the vital force. An infant in the Tao Te ching is something like an androgyrie who does not know the parting of male and female, and who, because of this, is overflowing with vitality. His energetic essence (ching) does not flow below; it does not change into semen yet, and so it is perfect. Thus, an infant is like the great Tao itself Tao is a source of life, and like an infant also can not be tired, because exhaustion is a result of energetic deficiency. An infant enjoys absolute security; nature is not dangerous to it because he or she is at the center of its forces and powers. We should note the following words: Striving to increase one’s life is ominous; To control vital breath with one’s mind entails force. Here we can find a direct reference to the relation existing between ideas of obtaining immortality and religious psychopractice. Taoism proclaims that a human being is nothing more than an inseparable psychosomatic unity. So people can obtain inimortality only when their body-microcosm becomes a self-sufficient whole--a self-containing reservoir of the vital energy from one side, and when it realizes its potential, isomorphism with the world-body of the cosmos from another side. One of the most important means on the way to this exalted state is the so-called “regulation of the vital breath” (or “regulation of the pneumata” - hsing ch ‘i), that is, a complex of gymnastical and breathing exercises, the aim of which is to obtain mind control over the flowing of the energy streams in the human body. The most important principle of such techniques is often repeated in medieval Taoist writings: “Pneuma (breath, ch’i) is led by willconsciousness (yi).” This means the presence of some volitional enforcement which leads the streams of the vital energy along the channels of the body (analogous to the meridians of acupuncture) in the desirable direction. The Tao Te ching is just one text which clearly formulates this idea in ancient times. Instead of the “volitional impulse” (yi), the Tao Te ching speaks about “mind” or “heartconsciousness” (Hsin), but it is the same idea. It was thought for a long time that the concept relating the

Taoist ideas of immortality and different practices was described only in medieval tests, but recent archeological discoveries in Ch’angsha Mawangtui (Hunan province) demonstrate the profound antiquity of both. Thus, the Mawangtui texts describe numerous respiratory exercises for the “regulation of the Pneumata” (hsing ch ‘i) and postures of the Taoist gymnastics (tao yin). Special pictures painted on silk, which were known under the general title, Tao yin t ‘u (Schemes of Gymnastics), were even dedicated to such practices. So it may be concluded that these practices were well-known in China in the days when the Tao Te ching is now regarded to have been composed (4-3 B.C., rather than the traditionally accepted period of 6-5 B.C.). The Tao Te ching everywhere prefers the softness and weakness of the infant to the strong hardness of adults. Strictly speaking, a newborn child is the concentration or manifestation of the vital energy. This is quite clearly demonstrated in §76: Human beings are soft and supple when alive, stiff and straight when dead... Therefore, it is said: The rigid person is a disciple of death; The soft, supple, and delicate are lovers of life. But the theme “infant-sage” cannot be reduced only to the metaphor of the newborn child. Much deeper and more interesting is the image of the nonborn child, which also plays an important role in the teachings of the Tao Te ching. Let us cite a part of §20 of the text: All the people are glad and joyfull as if they are celebrating upon the great sacrifice of oxen, as if they are mounting a tower in spring. O! I am the only who is quiet and silent, like a baby who is not yet a child. O! 1 am fastened and tied and I have no place to return. All people behave themselves as if they have more than enough and I alone am bereft. O! I have the mind of a fool! O! Muddled and mixed! All people are luminously clear and I am the only one who is dark and conhised. All people are exact and definite and I am the only who is obscured and vague. O! I am wavering like an ocean. O! I am flying in space and I have no place to stop in. All people behave themselves as if they have a purpose and I alone am uncouth and simple. I am quite different from others by honoring the mother-nurse. This passage is worthy of careful analysis. It appears to me to offer a key to the understanding of the most essential features>of Taoism. And the sentence: “O! I am the only who is quiet and silent, like a baby who is not a child yef’ (in Chinese: wo tu p’o hsi ch ‘i wei chaoju ying erh chih wei ‘wi) is a key to this passage. So, it is best to begin an analysis of the passage with this phrase. What is the meaning of the words “a baby who is not a child yet” or “a baby who did not become an infant yet”? I think that the text is speaking about the foetus in the maternal womb. In fact, even those commentators and translators who think that the hai (infant, child) here must be changed into its phonetical and practically graphical omonym (the difference between two characters is only one classificator “mouth” written before the original grapheme) agree with this interpretation. The second character hai means baby’s cry or baby’s smile. But a not-yet-crying baby is a not-yet-born baby. Therefore, Lao-tzu here compares himself with the nonborn baby. What does he inform us about this baby? This baby-sage is “fastened and tied” by his embryonic “clothes” and umbilical cord, which unites


him with the maternal body. This holy foetus has “the mind [or heartthe thinking and conscious organ according to Chinese tradition] of a fool,” while at the same time it possesses the highest wisdom. This wisdom seems like nothing but stupidity to ordinary people proud of their common sense. This nonborn baby wavers in the ocean of the womb and “flies” in these maternal waves. The connection with the motherly body and nourishing and feeding the foetus is depicted quite clearly also at the end of the passage where “mother-nurse” (shi mu) is mentioned. If the baby of §20 is a sage, Lao-tzu himself; who then is the mother? The information above makes it possible to conclude that this mother is the great Tao itself; it is the eternal and unspeakable Way and mysterious ground of every existence; the hidden depth of this Tao is the womb wherein the baby-sage dwells. This image directly correlates with Taoist cosmology and cosmogony. It considers Tao to be something like a cosmic womb which embraces the whole universe. The universe enjoys absolute unity (chaotic unity - hun yi) with the maternal body of the Way until its birth, differentiation and divorce from the Way in the course of cosmogenesis. Nevertheless, even in the “born world” some unity with Tao is preserved: it is fed by the power of Tao, which is called Te or Power-Virtue. For example: “The Way gives birth to them and integrity [i.e., Te] nurtures them” (§51). Thus, the connection between birth in the course of the cosmic evolution world and Tao looks quite like the connection between a mother nourishing her child, and the baby itself But in the case of humans, there appears a self concept, an independent, selfcontaining “I,” as an unchanging subject of actions. This kind of egoistic self-consciousness harms the original unity, and humans begin to counteract Tao. The predominant attitude of human actions is no longer the law and measure of the cosmic rhythm of Tao, but egocentric preferences, which change spontaneous natural life into purposeful activities based only on bare subjectivity. Taoism sees egocentricity as the cause of all human sufferings, pains, frustrationsfrom mortality to social collisions. The only means, not only to become liberated from sufferings but to obtain the highest happiness, is to restore original unity with Tao, to broaden consciousness and to put an end to the egocentric attitude, that is, to return to the state of the nonborn child who does not know a distinct difference between his or her own body and the maternal body, who breathes the maternal breath and eats maternal food. This coming back to the womb of the Mother-Tao is connected with the broadening of the personality to the cosmic scale, when “eternal integrity never deserts you, Y will return to the state of ou infancy” (§28) and “a man is sparing of his body in caring for all under heaven” (§13). This state of the nonborn child is the state of immortality, peace, and unity with all beings and with one’s own nature: The return to the root is called “stillness,” stillness is called returning to the “fate-vitality,” the return to the fate-vitality is called “constancy.” One who knows constancy is called “enlightened” (§16).’ Tao explicates itself on all levels of micro- and macrocosm, and because of this, the Taoist texts distinctively describe an isomorphism between cosmogonic process, development of the foetus and birth, and in the reverse sequence, the steps of the Taoist cultivation. So, for the Taoist, the returning to the womb of the Mother-Tao is not simply a metaphor, but a kind of expression of some profound essence of the isomorphous structure of the universe. It is also the reason why practicing Taoists try to imitate the prenatal states in their selfcultivation. One example is the famous technique of “embryonic breathing” (t’ai hsi), first depicted in Ko Hung’s Paop ‘u-tzu (4 A.D.). It is very still and quiet breathing, minimizing inhalation and exhalation. This kind of breathing control gives the impression that the practitioner does not breathe at all, like a foetus in the maternal womb, obtaining vital energy (ch ‘i) from the blood of the mother. Prenatal symbolism permeates the whole text of the Tao Te ching. The comparison of Tao with water and the important role played by the symbolism of water in this text in general is well known: For example: “The highest good is like water; Water is good at

benefiting the myriad creatures but also struggles to occupy the place loathed by the masses. Therefore, it is near to the Way” (§8). The reason for the importance of the water symbolism lies not only in that, archetypically, water has female nature; it can be proposed, following Lao-tzu, that water is of the same nature as the nature of the waters of that embryonic ocean in which the baby-sage washes and wavers (§20 of The Canon of the Way and its Power). In this regard, it is rather important to evaluate the namepseudonym of the sage, who according to a tradition more than two thousand years old, is considered to be the author of the Tao Te ching, that is, Lao-tzu, Old Sage, and also Old Infant. Let us once again reflect upon this infant with the grey beard. Up to the first centuries A.D., the teaching was formed about the divinized Lao~tzu (Lord Lao or Lao-jun). But the tendencies to divinization were very old. Thus, in the 21st chapter of the Chuang-tzu, Lao-tzu says that he was wandering in the origin of things. The divinized Lao-tzu was associated with Tao and with original chaosundifferentiated energetic pneuma (ch ‘i), that is, with the source of the universe itself. (Detailed research into the process of the divinization of Lao-tzu may be found in Seidel, 1969.) The texts of the Han dynasty period (3 B.C.-3 A.D.) describe Lao-tzu as the Body of Tao. All of the texts use synonyms to express the idea of the body in this context: hsing (form, pattern), shen (body, person, personification), and ti (body, substance, incarnation) (Schipper, 1978, pp. 358-361). But further still, identified with the chaos in its mythological personification of P’an Ku (cosmic pananthropos, typologically akin to Purusha of the Rig-Veda and Adam Kadmon of the Kabbalah), Lao-tzu became the creator of the world: “Lao-tzu has changed his body. His left eye became the sun, his right eye became the moon, his head changed into the K’unlun mountain, his beard changed into the stars and heavenly space, his bones became dragons, his flesh-beasts, his viscera-snakes” (Maspero, 1950, p. 108; Schipper, 1978, p. 361). In his evolution from the undifferentiated chaos to his cosmic “birth,” Lao tzu goes through nine stages, reflected in the myth of his “historical” birth. As K. M. Schipper points out (1978, p.361), this corresponds to the concept of §21 in the Tao Te ching which describes the transformations of the universe from the unqualified “blurred and nebulous” to the Name-Mother of all creatures. The famous commentary of Hoshang-kung (2 B.C.) says: In relation to myriad beings, Tao is such: it is wandering hither and thither and it has no definite place to be grounded there. Tao dwells in the formless of the “blurred and nebulous,” but it is the only principle pattern of all beings. Though ‘Lao is nothing but “blurred and nebulous,” the One exists in it; the One contains in itself all metamorphoses. Due to the presence of the pneuma-ch’i, it becomes materialized. Though Tao is only formless darkness of mystery, it has spermatic energy [ching] and though in its essence its divine numinous mind [shen ming] is very subtle, it lies in the basis of the yin-yang interaction. If one can say anything about the nature of the spermatic pneuma [ching ch ‘ij, it must be declared that its mystery is absolutely real; it does not need any decorations, Tao hides glory in itself; Tao contains name in itself-here is sincerity and truth [hsin] in the midst of it. (Hoshang-kung, in Tao Te ching, 1989, p.55) It is timely to recall here the myth about the historical and cosmic birth of Lao-tar. There are very interesting details in the canonical text San t ‘ian nei ‘chieh ching (Canon of the Esoterical Erplanation of Three Heavens) written during the Han period. First of all, the text describes the cosmic birth of Lord Lao as a kind of theophany: Then in the midst of darkness, Cave of Emptiness was born [K’ung tung]. In this Cave of Emptiness, Great Absence was born. Great Absence changed itself into three pneumata: Mysterious, Original and Principal. Being in chaotic mixture, these pneumata gave birth to Jade Maid of the profound Mystery [Hsuan miao yu nü]. After her birth joining pneumata twisted in her body and by their transformations they bore Lao-tar... When he was born he had grey hair. So he was called Old infant [i.e., Lao-tar]. This Lao-tzu is Lord Lao. By his transformation he created from his pneumata Heaven and Earth, people and things. Thus he has created everything by his


transformations. This passage clearly tells us that Lao-tar was his own mother. Another passage tells us about the “historical” birth of Lao-tar: In the time of King Wu Ting of Yin dynasty, Lao-tar once again entered the womb of Mother Li . .. When he was born, his hair was grey again. Therefore he was again called Old Infant... What about his coming back to the embryonic state in the Mother Li’s womb?; it must be understood that he himself has changed his subtle various body into the body of Mother Li, entering thus his own womb. In reality there was no Mother Li. Unwise people now say that Lao-tar entered Mother Li’s womb from inside. In reality, it is not so. (Tao tsang, Vol. 876; see also Schipper, 1978, p.365) K. M. Schipper notes that none of the most ancient myths about Lao-tar’s birth tell about the father of Lao-tar. Even his family name (Li) Lao-tar received from his mother (”Li” literally means “plum”). According to some versions, Lao-tar was born because his mother ate the kernel of a plum (Schipper, 1978, p.365). Thus, in Taoist texts, Tao is conceived of as a female maternal principle personified in the image of the male-female androgyne Laotar (Berthier, 1979; Seidel, 1969, p.64). Moreover, texts stress only his female aspect, because Tao bears the universe by itself; its “male” aspect does not participate in this process at all. In the myths mentioned above, the founder of Taoism is conceived of as universal panantropos, the All-Man, who enjoys everlasting bliss in the maternal womb of Tao with which he is connected so perfectlylike a foetus and its mother constituting one and the same body. It is quite obvious that myths of this kind (myths of a rather early date, as we have seen), underline the importance of the theme of perfection as a prenatal state for Taoism. They also explain in great part why the authorship of such a basic (though not uniquely basic) text of Taoism was ascribed to the person called Old Infant. (I refer here to the traditional view of Lao-tar as the author of the Tao Te ching.) It is also interesting that the Taoists prefer to interpret the name of Lao-tzu as Old Infant or Old Baby but not as Old Sage. It seems to me that understanding the role and meaning of the prenatal symbolism in Taoism would serve as a general key to the right insight into the whole system of Taoist thought. Here it is also possible to suggest a hypothesis about the relationship existing between prenatal and perinatal themes and their archetypic images from one side, and different kinds of myths about miraculous conception, which are known to practically every civilization, from another side. It can be suggested that the mythologem of miraculous conception is a manifestation of a subconscious wish to enjoy the synergetic unity with the mother which was attainable during the period of prenatal development. This wish is, in addition, accompanied by the elimination of every (and first of all, fatherly) mediation of this unity. In any case, Taoist materials undoubtedly connect the state of immortality and perfection with returning to the state of the sage-infant (compare the biblical phrase “If you do not change and become like little children you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven” [Matt. 18:3], and the idea of the combination of the wisdom of a snake and the simplicity of a pigeon, the topic developed and explained by St. Paul). This sage-infant of Taoism eternally dwells in the universal womb of the Mysterious Female, Tao as Great Mother of the world, and this womb is isomorphic, but certainly not identical to, the maternal womb in which the embryo enjoys happiness before its birth. Li Erh, Lao-tzu, Eternal Infant of Taoism, the founder of this teaching and the teacher of the kings, age after age appearing on the earth in the name of highest wisdom and highest simplicity (nonpolished wooden block- p’u, and raw silk-su, are quite common designations of original simplicity as one of the most important values of Taoism. he/she is that paradigmatic figure to which Taoism appeals and calls for identification with. Taoism proclaims that the human body is a microcosm, an “image and likeness” of the macrocosm, the universe. “ man is A

but small heaven and earth,” is an often mentioned Taoist saying. This teaching, extremely important for the Taoist tradition, is also wellknown in other religious and philosophical doctrines, in the East as well as in the West, including Christianity, especially in its Gnostic variety (the Russian theologist Father Pavel Florensky considers it to be absolutely orthodox). The Taoists also evaluate body as the image of the state; the state according to Chinese philosophical concepts is a part of natural, universal integrity. This doctrine of the similarity of the body and the universe is the true foundation of the Taoist practice of “inner alchemy,” the aim of which is to produce the so-called elixir of immortality inside the body of an adept from its energies or pneumata which are a microcosmic analogue of the metals and minerals of the outer world. It is obvious that the processes of the body were thought of as analogous to the processes and changes of the outer laboratory, alchemy, the cauldrons of which represented a specific acting model of the macrocosm as well. Strictly speaking, treatises on the inner alchemy (nei tan) tell us about the creation of a new immortal body of the Taoist which must be created inside the old “corrupted” body. If the process is successitilly finished, a new immortal body replaces the old one. being “born” of the mortal body. For our thesis, it is important that the process of the creation of the new sacred body from the pneumata of the profane one is described in the texts in terms of pregnancy, embryonic development, and birth. The image of the creation of the new perfect body is rather widespread in the religious beliefs of quite different peoples of the world. In Shamanism, for example, it is used in the imitation of death, which is accompanied by contemplation of flesh decay, which is followed by rebirth after the creation from the skeleton (substantial ground of the body) of the new “Shamanic” body. This form of practice is rather common for shamanistic initiations (e.g., Eliade, 1972, pp. 63-64). Such rituals are also known in some Indian yogic sadhanas, especially those of Tantric origin: in the course of this practice, the yogi creates a new indestructible yogic body (yoga deha), corresponding with the old one as mature and green fruit, or (in terms of”rasayana,” “vehicle of alchemy”) as vulgar profane metal and mature alchemical gold (Fliade, 1958, pp. 274-278). The contemplation of a skeleton is also a common practice in classical Buddhism. But the semantics of this contemplation in Shamanism or Taoism are quite different than in Buddhism. In the first case, the skeleton is a symbol of some basic or original substance, which coming back to gives new powers to the person and brings him or her to a new level of existence. The adept returns to it in his or her experience of mystical death and rebirth, and then obtains new powers and creates from this substance a new sacred body. The Taoist image of coming back to the maternal womb as an unborn child in the Tao Te ching and its ontological connotation, that is, returning to the womb of the emptiness of Tao and obtaining a new everlasting life, are also of the same kind. From the depth of darkness of the “chaotic and obscure” womb of the Mother-Tao (huang hu), the Taoist sage creates the light of enlightenment (ming) and new life by passing through the experience of mystical death (reduction to embryonic state in Tao) and rebirth-resurrection. But this rebirth does not lead to the separation from Tao: this Mysterious Female forever remains the mother-nurse of the Taoist baby-sage. In the case of Buddhism, however, such contemplation is directed at recognizing that existence is inherently subject to impermanence, destructibility and mortality, that is, the purpose of this kind of meditation is an interiorization of the understanding of the ubiquity of samsara (world of deaths and rebirths) as suffering and frustration. For an understanding of the Taoist inner alchemy, two pairs of interrelated concepts are of predominant importance: natural essence (hsing) and vitality (ming); precelestial or prenatal (hsian t’ian) and postcelestial or postnatal (hou t’ian). The Taoist texts explain these


concepts thus: The teaching about alchemical melting is the teaching of the method of melting of the natural essence and vitality to make them perfect. The law of the natural essence and vitality has two sides: the natural essence given by Heaven, which must be nurtured, and the natural essence of the pneumatic quality, which must be overcome. The vitality which is confirmed in separation must be pacified; bodily vitality must be fed. These are the principal two sides of the teaching of the Way (Tung Te-ning, a Taoist of the 18th century, commentary on the “Chapters of the Insight into the Truth” of Chang Po-tuan, 11 A.D.). A famous representative of inner alchemy, Wu Ch’ung-hsti (born in 1574), also tells us that precelestial nature is the pneuma received by the foetus at the time of conception, and the postcelestial one is the pneuma or energy received by a foetus due to the breathing of its mother or (after its birth) through its own inhalations. The first pneuma is concentrated in the navel, the second one in the nostrils. The inner alchemy is directed towards the harmonization of the “natural essence” and “vitality,” the elimination of any collision between them. When this purpose is realized, an “elixir of immortality” appears inside the body of an adept which, in turn, changes itself into the socalled “immortal embryo” (hsian t’ai) growing into the state of the new immortal body of the alchemist. Therefore, the body of the Taoist is a female body, maternal body, and the adept himself or herself appears to be his or her own mother, like Lao-tar of the cosmological myth, who also was, as we have seen, the mother of himself/herself. Certainly, “immortal embryo” is a fruit of the conjugality or hierogamy of two principles, yin and yang, like everything in the world, but this sacred marriage has its place in the body of a Taoist who, like all beings, obtains his/her life in the maternal womb of the Mysterious Female, the great Way (Tao) of the universe. The body of the Taoist is a female body, too; in this body the conjunction of the principles takes its place and the fruit of this union is nothing other than the miraculously transfigured Taoist himself/ herself. Thus the body of the Taoist is an analogy to the mystical body of Tao which is of paradigmatic value for the Taoist (Schipper, 1978, p. 371). We can continue to compare “embryological” and “psychotechnical” aspects of Taoism. The Taoists pay much attention to the teachings about the states of development of the foetus. Why? It seems to me that the reason lies in the deep isomorphism between the steps of embryonical growth, the stages of the process of cosmogony, and the phases of the formation of the “immortal embryo” in inner alchemy”: “The foetus obtains his definitive bodily form for ten lunar months and afterwards the baby is born. Like this, the numinous foetus also needs ten lunar months to be born. The spirit obtains its fullness and then goes out” (Wu Ch’ung-hsti, 1965, p.45). In the teaching of the “inner alchemy,” therefore, two sides of the Taoist concept of the female take their place: the identity of the body of the adept with the female body, and the correspondence of the latter with Tao as an ontological pattern from one side and the teaching about transubstantiality of the mother-adept and ‘her” child from the other side. Nevertheless, Taoists understood ambivalence of the perinatal patterns. So the maternal womb was seen by them, not only as a source of life and energy, but as the grave as well-the resulting summary of life, built on the expenses of the vital force. It resembles the idea in transpersonal psychology of the ambiguity of the perinatal experience (Grof; 1993): BPM I (Basic Perinatal Matrix) provides an experience of the maternal womb as a blissful and secure place, and BPM 2 and BPM 3 places of suffering and disease. One of the most famous Taoists of the T’ang period, Lu Tung-pin, according to tradition, declared the following: “The gates, through which I came to life are also the gates of death” (Schipper, 1969, p.38). This sentence was repeated in the famous didactic and erotic novel of 16 A.D., Chin, Ping Mei (The Plum Flowers in the Golden Vase) to warn readers against frivolous spending of the life energy, but here, in a sexual context. In any case, the ambivalence of the female principle has never been forgotten in China. What kind of transpersonal experience is typical for Taoism?

To answer this question we can use the classification of Grof (1993). Grof mentions a specific kind of ecstasy he calls “oceanic’ or “ Apollonic” ecstasy. According to Grof (1993, p.336), oceanic ecstasy (recall the sea waves in which the unborn baby-sage of the Tao Te ching swims) may be characterized by bliss, freedom from any stress, loss of any limitations of “ego,” and the experience of absolute unity with nature, universal order, and God. This state is concerned with a deep, direct understanding of reality and cognitive acts of universal meaning. It must be noted that the ideal of Taoism is a spontaneous and absolutely natural following of one’s own primordial nature (which is rooted in the empty Tao itself) and the nature of all other things, the nature of the universal whole (shun wu, “following things”). This “following the Way” suggests the absence of mentally constructed, reflective, purposive activity-a state devoid of any real ontological status egosubject of activity (non-doing, wu we:). We must also note that Taoist texts demonstrate for us a profound and direct vision of reality. Phrases like “returning to the root, coming back to the source” are very typical of Taoist texts. These texts also proclaim the epistemological ideal of Taoism: “One who knows does not speak; one who speaks does not know”. According to Grof; the conditions of oceanic ecstasy correspond to the experience of symbiotic unity of a baby and its mother during the period of foetal development and of breast feeding. He writes (cited in reverse translation from Russian): “ we could expect, in the As state of oceanic ecstasy there is presented the element of water as the cradle of life . . . The experience of the foetal existence, the identification with different aquatic forms of life or the consciousness of the ocean, visions of the starry sky and the feeling of the cosmic mind are exclusively widespread in this context” (Grof; 1993, p.336). All these characteristics correspond to the description of the Taoist experience. It is also interesting to note how late Chinese sects with a Taoist background use the theme of the unborn. Here, Female Tao takes the image of Wu sheng lao mu (Unborn Old Mother). Unfortunately, sinologists have not noticed the paradoxical nature of the worldview of the sectarians, looking upon themselves as the children of the unborn mother! The paradox of a mother who is herself unborn is as astonishing as a Zen Buddhist koan. Even the very word “unborn” is paradoxical, and we know about the cases of enlightenment of some Zen monks meditating upon the sense of this word. Indeed, the unborn mother of the unborn child is but Great Tao itself. In Grof’s Beyond the Brain (1993, p.380 of Russian edition), in fact, there is a picture presenting the image of archetypical Lao-tar-the baby-sage, an infant with grey hair. The picture was made by a participant in a psychedelic session and is concerned with the experience of BPM I. In the picture we can see a baby sitting with crossed legs on a lotus flower. The baby has long grey hair and has an umbilical cord conjoined with the unseen body of its mother. Grof says: “Identification with the foetus in the period of the peaceful prenatal development has, as a rule, divine qualities. The picture demonstrates obtaining, during a high dose LSD-session, an intuitive insight into the connection between the enibryonic bliss and the nature of the Buddha” (Grof, 1993, p.380; reverse translation from Russian). Here we once again meet with the exceptionally important question of the correlation between perinatal and transpersonal or “mystical” experience. The question is: Is it possible to reduce the mystical experience of transcendence to prenatal or perinatal experience and to recollections about it? At the present time, we cannot resolve this question conclusively. Therefore, below I shall suggest some hypotheses which remain to be verified in the course of future transpersonal research. First of all, like Grof I do not equate transpersonal (mystical, psychopractical) experience with recollections of a perinatal character; I think it is quite incorrect to reduce experience of the first kind to experience of the second kind. Secondly, it is well known that perinatal recollections of the adult are principally different from the amorphous and rather simple experience of the foetus. The first kind of


experience is much richer, broader, and varied. This type of experience is connected, as one can suppose, with much deeper levels of the unconscious representing the archetypical dimension of the mind. Probably these archetypical patterns and gestalts are something like a priori forms of the repetitive experience of the perinatal state~as in Kant’s philosophy, time and space are a priori forms of sensual intuition which determine our form of vision of the transcendent to these forms-reality as it is. Briefly speaking, our profound archetypical levels of the unconscious may be the source of patterns forming the experience of the perinatal states by adults. And those archetypical patterns, in turn, are akin to some kinds of mystical vision. Nevertheless, we can observe a kind of parallelism between the perinatal and mystical experience. In this parallelism, perinatal gestalt correlates with the corresponding transpersonal (mystical) state. Moreover, in some cases, we can speak of the superimposition or interplay between perinatal and mystical experience. In such cases, perinatal experience may be a sort of key opening to the mind gates to mystical experience. We can only explain this phenomenon hypothetically by a kind of likeness or analogy existing between some perinatal and mystical states. For example, there is some analogy between the feeling of peace and security of the foetal existence of BPM I and the transpersonal experience of the unjo mystica, or the experience of universal unity. Therefore, the attainment of the perinatal state serves to eliminate the barriers of the unconscious, opening its deepest levels which correspond to this unity, thereby enabling the mind (or selfconsciousness) to penetrate there. In other words, a person who achieved the experience of symbiotic union with the mother of BPM I can more simply and easily attain a parallel but higher experience of the universal unity: the first kind of experience gives way to the openness of analogical but highest (or deepest) strata and levels. Probably, the personal or individualistic limitations dividing the psychical worlds of different individuals are already absent on such profound levels of subconscious existence. (I do not use the word “subconscious” here in the psychoanalytical sense; perhaps it would be better to call it “superconscious.”) Therefore, we may cautiously suppose the existence of some kind of isomorphism of basic states of consciousness of different levels, rooted in the holistic and polistructural (”holonomic” in Grof’s terminology) nature of reality as such, including its psychical dimension. But the problems of the ontology of consciousness are too subtle to discuss briefly. For now, we can only note the distinctive interplay of perinatal and transpersonal levels of experience in the Taoist tradition. Taoist tradition, undoubtedly, is a precious part of the spfritual heritage of humankind. Many of the basic ideas and images of Taoism have a profound humanistic sense, deeply rooted in the very structure of our psychical experience. Do we not see the image of the Mysterious Female-Mother of all under heaven in Sophia or Eunoia of the Gnostics, in Shekhina of the Kabbalah, or in Sophia, the soul of the world, the image of the coming all-unity of the Russian philosopher and mystic Vladimir Solovyev? I have seen everything and everything was only one: The only image of the female beauty. Unlimitless entered its measure, In front of me, inside of me, there is only you. -Vladimir Solovyev, “Three Meetings” NOTE 1.1 have used the English translation of the Tao Te ching by Victor H. Mair (1 990). In cases of disagreement with his interpretation of the text, I provide my own translation, which is indicated with the superscript “I.” The concluding translation by Solovyev is also my own. reprinted from: Everything Is According to the Way: Voices of Russian Transpersonalism (Bolda-Lok Publishing and Educational Enterprises, Brisbane,

Australia ©1997 ) Edited by T. R. Soidla and S. I. Shapiro REFERENCES Berthier, B. (1979). Le miroir brise ou le taoiste et son ombre. L ’Homme, 19, 3-4. Chang Po-tuan. (1965). Wu chen p ‘ian chen yi [Real meaning of the “Chapters of the Insight into the Truth”]. Taipei: Taryti ch’upan she. Chen, E. M. (1974). Tao as the Great Mother and the influence of motherly love in the shaping of Chinese philosophy. History of Religions, 14 (1), 51-73. Chuang-tar. (1986). Erh shi erh tzu [Twenty two philosophers. Shanghai: Kuchi ch’upan she. Eliade, M. (1958). Y oga: Immortality and freedom. New Y ork: Pantheon. (Bollingen Series No.56) Eliade, M. (1972). Shamanism: Archaic techniques of ecstasy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Bollingen Series No.76) Grof, S. (1993). Za predelami mozga. Rozhdenie, smert i transcendentsija v psihoterapii [Beyond the brain: Birth, death and transcendence in psychotherapy]. Moscow: Izdatelstvo Transpersonalnogo Instituta. Kravtsova, M. E. (1994). Poezija Drevnego Kitaja: Opyt kulturologicheskogo analiza. Antologija hudozhestvennyh perevodov [Poetry of ancient China: An essay of culturological analysis. Anthology of poetical translations]. St. Petersburg: Centr “Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie.” Mair, V. (Trans.). (1 990). Tao Te Ching: The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way by Lao Tzu. An entirely new translation based on the recently discovered Ma- Wang- Tui manuscripts. New Y ork: Bantam Books. Maspero, H. (1 950). Le taoisme. Paris: Civilisation du Sud. San t’ ian nei chieh ching. (1925-1926). T’ai shang san t ‘ian nei chieh ching [Canon of the highest of the esoterical explanation of three heavens]. Tao tsang [Taoist canon], Vol.876. Shanghai: Shangwu yinshu kuan. Schipper, K. M. (1969). Science, magic and mystique of the body: Notes on Taoism and sexuality. In Beurdeley et al. (Eds.), The clouds and the rain: The art of love in China (pp.3-36). Fribourg and London. (Russian translation: Kitaisky eros [Chinese eros]. 1993. Moscow: Kvadrat, pp.102-123) Schipper, K. M. (1978). The Taoist body. History of Religions, 17 (34), 355-398. Seidel, A. (1969). La divinisation de Lao-tseu dans le taoisme des Han. Publications de I’ Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient, 71. Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve. Tao Te ching. (1989). Lao-tzu. Tao Te ching. Han Hoshang-kung chu (Laotzu. The Canon of the Way and Its Power. With the commentaries of Hoshang-kung of the Han dynasty]. Chungkuo ch ‘i kung ta ch ‘eng [Compendium of the Chinese Ch’ikung gymnastics]. Ch’angch’un: Chum k’ohsue chishu ch’upan she. Wu Ch’ung-hsu. (1965). T’ian hsian cheng ii chihiun tsengchu [”Straight discussions about the true law of the celestial immonals” with commentaries]. Taipei: Tzuyu ch’upan she. Daoism and the Origins of Qigong Livia Kohn Daoism and the Origins of Qigong LIVIA KOHN Qigong or “Qi Exercises” describes a group of practices highly popular in China and increasingly well known the West. They involve slow, gentle body movements, breathing exercises, self-massages, and the mental circulation of qi, with the aim to open the body’s inner channels, provide a free flow of energy, help in healing, and in general create a sense of greater well-being and openness of spirit. Qigong as a modern system of healing goes back to the 1940s. In 1947, the communist party cadre Liu Guizhen (1920-1983), suffering from a virulent gastric ulcer, was sent home to recover or die. He went home but refused to die—he was only 27 years old at the time! Instead, he took lessons in gymnastics and breathing from the Daoist Liu Duzhou. After 102 days of faithfully undertaking these practices, he was completely cured. He returned to his job and described his healing success to the party, which appointed him as a medical research leader


in Hebei province with the task to study the effects of breathing on healing. In 1948, he created the term Qigong to indicate the methods which focused largely on breathing at the time. He then began to teach party officials and repeated his success with various ailments (see Chen 2003). As this beginning of the practice documents, contemporary Qigong tends to focus on medical goals and the improvement of life quality with the help of methods transmitted by Daoists. It is practiced both in the medical community and actively pursued among Daoist followers and successfully combines techniques that go back to both medical and Daoist sources. The most obvious and direct forerunner of Qigong is Chinese gymnastics, known as daoyin, which literally means “guide [the qi] and stretch [the body].” Using the same four basic methods as Qigong today, daoyin teaches practitioners to move the limbs and torso in a particular way while exercising deep breathing and mentally circulating the qi within. Through this, the body’s qi-flow is regulated and pathogenic elements are expelled. Gradually the body not only becomes supple and flexible but health improves and longevity is attained. Gymnastics for many centuries have been described as a valuable tool to prevent old age and cure diseases. They nourish the qi, refresh the body after hard work, help fasting and other spiritual practices, and open the body for a long and joyful life. How, then, did daoyin relate to Daoism in the course of Chinese history? To begin, let us look at the early documentation and role of the daoyin tradition. THE DAOYIN TRADITION The earliest documents on daoyin are found in medical literature on healing and health maintenance. Following the dictum of the Y ellow Emperor’s Inner Classic that the best physician is one who prevents diseases and never even has to treat a patient, gymnastic and breathing exercises formed a part of traditional Chinese medicine that specialized in preventative practice and was known as yangsheng or nourishing life. Practices used are commonly called longevity techniques and include diets, breathing exercises, gymnastics, massages, sexual practices, the absorption of solar and lunar energies, as well as various forms of meditation. Used both for healing and enhancing health, these methods ensured not only the realization of the natural life expectancy but were found to often result in increased old age and vigor. Our earliest sources on these methods, and thus also on gymnastics and breathing, are a set of manuscripts unearthed at Mawangdui and Zhangjia shan in southern China. Written on silk, bamboo and strips of wood, they date from the second century B.C.E. and present practical advice on how to nourish life with the help of gymnastics, breathing, dietetics, and drugs. Works include: Conjoining Yin and Y (He yinyang), Discussion of the Perfect Way in All Under ang Heaven (Tianxia zhidao tan), and Recipes for Nourishing Life (Y angsheng fang). A text called The Rejection of Grains and Absorption of Qi (Quegu shiqi), furthermore deals with techniques of eliminating grains and ordinary foodstuffs from the diet and replacing them with medicinal herbs and qi through special breathing excercises. The text repeatedly contrasts “those who eat qi” with “those who eat grain” and explains this in cosmological terms, saying: “Those who eat grain eat what is square; those who eat qi eat what is round. Round is heaven; square is earth (Harper 1998, 130). The most famous and relevant to our topic among the Mawangdui manuscripts is the Gymnastics Chart (Daoyin tu). It contains color illustrations of human figures performing therapeutic gymnastics. Some of the recognizable captions refer to the names of exercises already mentioned in the Zhuangzi, such as “bearhanging” and “bird-stretching.” The text, although fragmentary, shows the importance of gymnastic exercises, used in conjunction with selfmassages to dissolve blockages, help circulation, and increase the harmony of qi in the body. It also documents the early use of animal models for physical exercises, a practice that has been linked with ancient shamanic dances (Despeux 1989, 237-38). Another manuscript on gymnastics is the Book on Stretching (Yinshu), found among several medical texts in Zhangjia shan, Hubei, about 150 miles km north of Mawangdui, Dated to 186 B.C.E., it begins with the description of a daily and seasonal health regimen, including hygiene, dietetics, regulation of sleep and movement, as well as adequate times for sexual intercourse. After that, the text

details fifty-seven gymnastic exercises, including massages. Some exercises are preventative, others more curative. The third and last part of the Book on Stretching deals with etiology and the prevention of diseases. The most important factors that cause diseases, according to this work, are climatic excesses such as the heat of summer, moisture, wind, cold, rain, and dew. An unstable diet, excessive emotions and a lifestyle inappropriate to the season are also named as possible causes of an imbalance of qi. The text recommends various therapies, such as breathing exercises, bodily stretches and the careful treatment of the interior qi. It says: “If you can pattern your qi properly and maintain your yin energy in fullness, then the whole person will benefit” (Wenwu 1990, 86). It is interesting to note that the text makes a distinction between “upper class people,” who fall ill because of uncontrolled emotions such as rage and excessive joy, and lower ones whose conditions tend to be caused by excessive labor, hunger and thirst. It further notes that the latter have no opportunity to learn the necessary breathing exercises and therefore contract numerous diseases and die an early death. Obviously longevity techniques were very much the domain of the aristocracy and upper classes who could affort quality medical care and the instruction by specialists of prevention (Engelhardt 2000). Following these manuscripts, records on gymastics include mention in dynastic histories, such as the biography of Hua Tuo, staff physician of Cao Cao under the Three Kingdoms in the third century. According to his official biography, he created an integrated system of gymnastic exercises known as the Five Animals’ Frolic. The text says: The body needs a certain amount of movement. This movement serves to properly balance right and left, it helps to redistribute and assimilate the various breaths that are issued from the cereals, more than that it causes the blood to circulate properly and prevents the origination of diseases. The human body is like a door hinge that never comes to rest. This is why Daoists practice gymnastics. They imitate the movements of the bear which hangs itself head-down from a tree, of the owl which keeps turning its head in different ways. They stretch and bend the waist, and move all the joints and muscles of their bodies in order to evade aging. I myself have developed a series of exercises which I name the Five Animals’ Frolic. The five animals are the tiger, the deer, the bear, the monkey, and the bird. The practice of the Frolic aids the elimination of diseases and increases the functioning of the lesser members. Whenever a disorder is felt in the body one of the Animals should be practiced until one perspires freely. When perspiration is very strong, one should cover the affected parts of the body with dust. In due course one will find the body lighter, more comfortable and a healthy appetite will return. (Sanguo zhi 29.2a; Despeux 1989, 242) Futher codification and development of gymnastic exercises occurred in various medieval medical sources, such as the Compendium of Essentials on Nourishing Life (Y angsheng yaoji). It summarizes early sources and describes longevity practice in ten sections: 1. Strengthening the vital spirits; 2. Caring for the breath; 3. Maintaining the body; 4. Practicing gymnastics; 5. Speaking properly; 6. Eating right; 7. Sexual moderation; 8. Right relations to the common world; 9. Taking medicinal drugs; and 10. Observing protective prohibitions (Stein 1999, 103). The most important medical source on gymnastics in the middle ages is the Origins and Symptoms of Medical Disorders (Zhubing yuanhou lun), compiled under the supervision of the physician Chao Yuanfang and presented to Emperor Y of the Sui dynasty in 610. ang The text presents for the first time a systematic treatise on the etiology and pathology of Chinese medicine, distinguishing four major categories of diseases: inner, outer, women’s and children’s. Each of these four main parts is then subdivided into sections that outline the origin of the disorder in question, its process of development and its major clinical symptoms. After this, the text does not prescribe phytotherapeutic or acupuncture prescriptions but rather specific exercises of gymnastics, massages, breathing or visualization. This new classification of the practices of nourishing life in accordance with a systematic etiology and pathology represents a big step forward in the development of these techniques (Despeux 1989; Despeux and Obringer 1997).


Further texts of the Tang dynasty continue this tendency, clearly identifying gymnastics as part of the medical tradition and linking them with specific diseases. For example Master Ning, one of the classic gymnastics masters, is cited in the sixth-century Gymnastics Scripture (Daoyin jing) as saying: We practice gymnastics because they make all the pathogenic energy evaporate from our limbs, bones, and joints. Thus only good energy prevails and can become more pure and essential. Practice the exercises diligently and with care whenever you have time between work and conversation. Either in the morning or at night is fine. Gradually your bones and joints will become firm and strong. The hundred diseases will be eliminated completely. Whether you have caught a chill [wind-attack disorder] in your chest or are thoroughly fatigued and cannot rouse yourself; —whether you have periods of deafness when you cannot hear or find your eyes going dizzy and your mind turning mad on you; —whether you have energy moving against its proper current and rising up violently or experience severe pains in your hips: —in all cases you can actively expel the disease by practicing these exercises and guiding the energy to the place of trouble, following the proper charts and focusing it on the right spot. By guiding the energy you will supplement the energy of your spleen and stomach systems; by practicing gymnastics you will heal your four limbs. (2ab; Kohn 1993, 144-45) How, then, did Daoists approach this medical tradition of gymnastics? THE DAOIST PERSPECTIVE From the earliest sources and throughout the middle ages, Daoists acknowledged the presence of preventative medicine and the methods of nourishing life as a valuable tool but considered it secondary. Even the very earliest mention of gymnastic exercises in the Zhuangzi of the third century B.C.E., has a rather denigrating feeling to it. It says: To pant, to puff, to hail, to sip, to spit out the old breath and draw in the new, practicing bear-hangings and bird-stretchings, longevity his only concern—such is the life favored by the scholar who practices gymnastics, the man who nourishes his body, who hopes to live to be as old as Pengzu, for more than eight hundred years. (ch. 15; Watson 1968, 167-168) The contrast made in the Zhuangzi is between the liberated master who has a direct connection to the Dao and lives freely in its flow and the technical practictioner who needs to study hard and work systematically at his attainments. A story in chapter 7 illustrates the contrast. Here, a Daoist master named Huzi or Gourd Master gives in to the urgings of his disciple Liezi and lets himself be analyzed by a fortunetelling shaman. The shaman comes repeatedly, seeing a different personality or mind image each time. After coming for the third time, he exclaims in exasperation: “Y master is never the our same! I have no way to analyze him! If he tries to steady himself, I will come back and examine him again.” The master, in contrast, is unfazed and explains: “Just now I appeared to him as the great vastness where nothing wins out. He probably saw in me the workings of the balanced energies. Where the swirling waves gather there is an abyss; where the still waters gather there is an abyss; where the running waters gather there is an abyss. The abyss has nine names and I have shown him three. Try bringing him again.” The next day, the shaman again joined Liezi to see the Gourd Master, but before he even came to halt before the master, his wits left him and he fled—confronted by a vision of the pure Dao at the origins of creation or, as the text says, “that which has not yet emerged from the source—totally empty, wriggling and turning, not knowing anything about who or what, now dipping and bending, now flowing in waves.” (Watson 1968, 94-97). The same distinction between a level of existence that is completely at one with the Dao and a more technical approach to cosmic harmony is also made in the Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity (Baopuzi), an alchemical classic of the fourth century C.E.. It notes that those who nourish life with herbal remedies, diets, breathing, and gymnastics may deem themselves advanced practitioners of the Dao, but will never reach the higher levels, for which an alchemical elixir has to be prepared and active communication with the gods be established. First, the text clearly acknowledges the medical and long life benefits of the

practices. It says: The ability to writhe like a dragon, stretch like a tiger, waddle like a bear, swallow like a tortoise, fly like a swallow, twist like a snake, dilate like a bird, look heavenward and earthward—all these will prevent the orange colored wax from leaving the Cavern Chamber in the head. Then when you have climbed like a monkey and jumped like a hare 1,200 times, your hearing will not deteriorate. The deaf may steam their ears with lizard. Or they may form a packed of jujubes, sheepturd cinnamon, and plumed sparrow cinnamon, and seal their earms with it. All these procedures produce cures. (15.9b; Ware 1966, 257) But then it notes that while these methods may help health, they will not reach to the higher spheres, and that the truly marvelous alchemical recipes can reach much further, granting practitioners states of unlimited immortality and oneness with the Dao. The text has: Man’s death ensues from losses, old age, illnesses, poisons, miasmas, and chills. Today people do gymnastics and breathing exercises, revert their sperm to nourish the brain, follow dietary rules, regulate their activity and rest, take medicines, give thought to their inner gods to maintain their integrity, undergo prohibitions, wear amulets and seals from their belts, and keep at a distance all those who might harm their lives. In this way they may avoid the six baneful things just listed that can cause death. Physicians today have pills that activate and brighten the kidneys, powders that benefit the circulation, roasted boxhorn from strengthening bone structure, and infusions of yellow hedysarum as a general tonic. . . .Writings also assert that a certain Wu Pu received from Hua Tuo the Five Animals’ Frolic as a basic form of gymnastics and managed to live to over a hundred. If such are the effects of the humblest of medicines, just think what can be done by those that are truly marvelous! (Baopuzi 5.4a; Ware 1966, 103) This position is radicalized further in organized Daoism, where the relationship to the Dao in the form of various heavens and deities superseded all other concerns and health was the direct result of a pure and pious life. Communal Daoists of the Celestial Masters, founded in the second century C.E., thus prohibited medical and health treatments in favor of religious cultivation. For them, the world was populated by gods and demons—the latter appearing everywhere and in every shape, from the lowly rabbit and the dirty rat to all sorts of natural and supernatural creatures. A list of such demons has been excavated from a Han tomb, and several others are found in the earliest surviving texts of the Celestial Masters. To combat them, members had to fortify their houses and bodies with talismans, learn to recognize the demons and call them by their proper names, and visualize themselves as demon-conquering heroes If, despite such measures, someone was attacked by a demon, they would suffer sickness and disease. Moreover, such an attack could occur only because the person had been careless and had a moral failing. As a result, all healing of the Celestial Masters was undertaken through confession, ritual, and magic.. First the sick person was isolated in a so-called quiet chamber, an adaptation of a Han institution for punishing wayward officials involving solitary confinement. There they had to think of their sins going all the way back to their birth to try and find a explanation for the illness. Once certain sins had been identified, a senior master would come to write them down—in triplicate and together with a formal petition for their eradication from the person’s divine record. The three copies would then, in a formal ceremony, be transmitted to Heaven (by burning), Earth (by burying), and Water (by casting into a river), whose officials supposedly set the record straight and restored the person’s good health. Longevity techniques, such as gymnastics and meditations, were permitted only in the larger context of the supernatural universe and seen mainly as supplementary measures of purification (Kohn 2001). The same also holds true for the major medieval schools of Highest Clarity and Numinous Treasure, although their followers were lay based and thus not prohibited from availing themselves of medical treatments. Still, their universe was dominantly characterized by their relation to otherworldly entities with cultivation practices that involved visualizations of gods, opening of divine palaces within the body, ecstatic excursions to the stars, and highly complex ceremonies


of communication, purification, confession, and the exoneration of ancestors. Methods akin to gymnastics and breathing were used mainly as purification measures in the preparation of rituals. Thus the Introductory Explanation to the Daode jing (Daode zhenjing xujue), a fifth-century texts on devotional observances to Lord Lao discovered among manuscripts found at Dunhuang, instructs followers who wish to recite the Daode jing to begin by burning incense and straightening their robes, then bowing to the ten directions. After this, while concentrating their mind and visualizing Laozi together with his main disciples, they should open the sacrd text and recite an incantation of invitation and praise to the deity that also places the practitioner into a cosmic context In my room, the seven jewels come together, Doors and windows open of themselves. Utter in my purity, I strive for deeper truth, Riding on bright light, I ascend the purple sky. Sun and moon shine to my right and left, I go to the immortals and find eternal life. Following this, adepts are to click their teeth and swallow the saliva thirty-six times, applying long life methods. Then, however, they again move into the more religious spheres and are to see themselves surrounded by the celestial constellations of the four directions: the green dragon to the left, the white tiger to the right, the red bird in front, and the dark warrior behind. Only when placed in such a cosmic environment can they recite the sacred book. It is thus evident so far, that medical gymnastics as the forerunners of Qigong were acknowledged by medieval Daoists but considered potential hindrances or, at best, preparatory and secondary measures to their main concern of attaining immortality and oneness with the Dao. IMMORTALITY Looking further into the early tradition, however, it becomes evident that methods akin to gymnastics, breathing, diets, and sexual control were also used by immortals—not as medical methods to restore and enhance health, though, but as ways of transforming the qiconstellation of the human body/mind and thereby attain a level beyond natural life known as immortality. A state of having gone beyond the limitations of this world and ascended to a higher sphere, this is a form of transcendence to a divine realm that is closely connected with the origins of the universe. To attain this state, practitioners live in separation from society, engage in techniques of physical and spiritual control, have their mind set on interaction with the spirit world, and in the process of their training acquire magical powers. They live in the wilderness, dress in garments of leaves or deer skins, fast by living on pure qi or eat raw food they find in the woods (Eskildsen 1998, 20-21). They are symbolically associated with birds in the lightness of their bodies and their ability to fly (Kaltenmark 1953, 10). Being so close to nature, moreover, immortals attain extended longevity and continuous vigor and eventually reach the paradises, luscious mountains surrounded by extensive bodies of water, the most prominent of which are known as Penglai and Kunlun (see S_fukawa 1981). Not many sources remain that describe immortals and their practices. The first appear in the Han dynasty and are typically written by aristocrats and court writers—such as Sima Qian’s Record of the Historian (Shiji) and the Immortals’ Biographies (Liexian zhuan), attributed to Liu Xiang (77-6 B.C.E.). Additional information on immortals is found in later dynastic histories (see Ngo 1976; DeWoskin 1983) and hagiographies, such as Ge Hong’s Biographies of Spirit Immortals (Shenxian zhuan) and his work of The Master Who Embraces Simplicity, both of the fourth century. The key characteristic of immortals is the transformation that happens in and to the body of the practitioner. Refining their inner qi to higher levels of subtlety, immortals become etheric beings, feathery, sometimes hairy, with no need to eat or drink and completely invulnerable to heat and cold, fire and water. Light as ether, they can appear and vanish in an instant, and despite highly advanced years typically look young, fresh, and radiant. The main techniques leading to this wondrous state involve the refinement of qi, which is taken into the body as breath,

food, or sexual energy. Immortals accordingly practice control in these areas, using breathing exercises and gymnastics, dietetics and sexual practices in their own unquie way. Harnessing the breath through methods of “expelling the old and inhaling the new,” they control breathing and reach high longevity, so that even at an age of several hundred years they still look as if they were only seventeen: a face clear like peach blossoms, a mouth of cinnabar redness, vibrant and smooth skin, and glossy black hair and eyebrows. However, even here breathing is only the preliminary stage, and immortals need to complete the elixir of immortality to fully ascend to heaven (Campany 2002, 357). Food intake is another major way of achieving bodily transformation. Most commonly this means the ingestion of only natural substances, such as roots, nuts, berries, or pine needles. An early example for this is Chang Rong, who lived in the mountains and ate only ash raspberry roots, thereby maintaining the complexion of a twenty-year old for several centuries before finally being transported to the divine realm (Liexian zhuan 2.5b; Kaltenmark 1953, 152-53). More famous than she is Yu Jiang, better known as Maonü, the Hairy Woman. A palace woman under the First Emperor of Qin, she saw the collapse of the dynasty approach and took refuge on Mount Hua. There she met the immortal Gu Chun, who taught her how to eat pine needles and survive in the wilderness—thus gaining the ability to live without solid food, become immune to cold and heat, and move as swiftly as if she were flying. After living at ease on the earth for several hundred years, she ascended to the paradises of the immortals (Liexian zhuan 2.7b-8a; Kaltenmark 1953, 159-60). Still a highly venerated and respected immortal, she is depicted in a leafy gown and with hairy legs and still venerated today on various Daoist mountains (Porter 1993, 69). Another well-known immortal who used dietary techniques is Master Whitestone (Baishi xiansheng). He would have liked to concoct an alchemical elixir, but his family was poor and he could not afford to do so. Instead, he made it his habit to boil white stones and use them for food, the reason why he came to be called Master Whitestone, in combinatin with bits of dried meat. For the most part, however, he would abstain from all grains and solid foods and thus reach an age of centuries. His account in the Biographies of Spirit Immortals says: He was able to walk as far as three or four hundred miles in one day. Though hundreds of years old, he still looked like he was about thirty. When someone asked him why he did not wish to ascend to heaven, he replied: “I’m not at all sure I should enjoy myself as much in heaven as I do in this world right here!” (1.17b) A third major way of controlling qi as it enters and leaves the body is through sexual hygiene. In many cases this means the practice of celibacy for the preservation of sexual energy and its circulation and refinement within the body (Eskildsen 1998, 38-40), but it can also involve work with partners. Men might have relations with numerous women in order to obtain their qi so they could augment their own stock by guiding the precious substance through the body for greater energetic refinement, but some women are also reported to have used sexual methods for their attainment of long life and transcendence (see Wile 1992). In all these cases, longevity techniques are used by religious practitioners for the attainment of higher stages: first a level of complete health, then a transcendence of health in an extended longevity, often over several centuries, and finally a transformation of the body’s qi to a more spiritual level of oneness with the Dao. Unlike the organized religious Daoists of later centuries, the early immortals acknowledged and actively used the continuity of qi to guide them from healing through longevity to immortality. What, then, is the logic behind this perspective and how can it be part of an integrated Daoist teaching? LEVELS OF PRACTICE The three levels of healing, longevity, and immortality can be seen as three different dimensions of practice within the same greater universe of the Dao. The Dao can be described as “organic order”— organic in the sense that it is not willful and order in that it is clearly


manifested in the rhythmic changes and patterned processes of the natural world. Not a conscious, active creator or personal entity, but an organic process that just moves along, the Dao is mysterious in its depth and unfathomable in its essence. But beyond this, as order the Dao is also predictable in its developments and can be discerned and described in ordered patterns. These patterns are what the Chinese call “self-so” or “nature” (ziran), the spontaneous and observable way things are naturally. Y while Dao is very much nature, it is also more et than nature. It is also the essence of nature, the inner quality that makes things what they are. It is governed by laws of nature, yet it is also these laws itself. In other words, it is possible to explain the nature of the Dao in terms of a twofold structure. The “Dao that can be told” and the “eternal Dao.” One is the mysterious, ineffable Dao at the center of the cosmos; the other the Dao at the periphery, visible and tangible in the natural cycles. About the eternal Dao, the Book of the Dao and Its Virtue says: Look at it and do not see it: we call it invisible. Listen to it and do not hear it: we call it inaudible. Touch it and do not feel it: we call it subtle. . . . Infinite and boundless, it cannot be named; It belongs to where there are no beings. It may be called the shape of no-shape, It may be called the form of no-form. Call it vague and obscure. Meet it, yet you cannot see its head, Follow it, yet you cannot see its back. (ch. 14) This Dao, although the ground and inherent power of the human being, is entirely beyond ordinary perception. It is so vague and obscure, so subtle and so potent, that it is beyond all knowing and analysis; we cannot grasp it however hard we try. The human body, senses, and intellect are simply not equipped to deal with this Dao. The only way a person can ever get in touch with it is by forgetting and transcending ordinary human faculties, by becoming subtler and finer and more potent, more like the Dao itself. The Dao at the periphery, on the other hand, is characterized as the give and take of various pairs of complementary opposites, as the natural ebb and flow of things as they rise and fall, come and go, grow and decline, emerge and die. The Book of the Dao and Its Virtue says: To contract, there must first be expansion. To weaken, there must first be strengthening. To destroy, there must first be promotion. To grasp, there must first be giving. This is called the subtle pattern. (ch. 36) Things develop in alternating movements as long as they live. It is the nature of life to be in constant motion. It is the nature of things to always move in one direction or the other, up or down, toward lightness or heaviness, brightness or darkness. Nature is a continuous flow of becoming, whether latent or manifest, described as the alternation of complementary characteristics and directions that cannot exist without each other. This becoming can be rhythmic and circular or it can move back toward the source of life in the ineffable Dao, which at the same time is a forward movement toward a new level of cosmic oneness In this larger cosmic vision, healing and longevity involve either the recovery or the the maintanance of harmony with the visible and tangible patterns of the Dao, while spiritual attainments of enlightenment and immortality mean the overcoming of the natural cycles and the ultimate return to the Dao at the center of creation, the uncreated void at the base of all. The practice of Qigong and gymnastics can serve all three, supplementing, enhancing, or transforming the qi that makes up both the body and the universe. Seen in terms of the body’s qi, the three levels of practice involve different scenarios and trajectories of qi management. As is well known, the body consists of two forms of qi: a basic primordial or prenatal qi that connects it to the cosmos and the Dao; and a secondary, earthly or postnatal qi that is replenished by breat, food, and interaction with objects and people and helps the body survive in everyday life. Both forms of qi are necessary and interact constantly with each other, so that primordial qi is lost as and

when earthly qi is insufficient, and earthly qi becomes superfluous as and when primordial qi is complete (as in the case of the embryo in the womb). People, once born, start this interchange of the two dimensions of qi and soon begin to lose their primordial qi, especially through interaction with the world on the basis of passions and desires, sensory exchanges, and intellectual distinctions—the very same features considered most harmful for cosmic interaction in the classical texts. When people have lost a certain amount of primordial qi, they get sick and eventually die. Healing, then, is the replenishing of qi with medical means such as drugs, herbs, acupuncture, rest, gymnastics, and so on. Longevity or health enhancement, next, comes in as and when people have become aware of their situation and decide to improve their quality and enjoyment of life. Attaining a basic state of good health, they proceed to increase their primordial qi to and even above the level they had at birth. To do so, they apply various longevity techniques, including diets, breathing exercises, gymnastics, massages, sexual practices, and meditations. These ensure not only the realization of the natural life expectancy but may even result in increased old age and vigor. Immortality, third, raises the practices to a yet higher level. To attain it, people transform all their qi into primordial qi and proceed to increasingly refine it to ever subtler levels. This finer qi will eventually turn into pure spirit, with which practitioners increasingly identify to become spirit-people and transcendents. The practice that leads there involves intensive meditation and trance training as well as more radical forms of diet and other longevity practices. Unlike healing and longevity, where the natural tendencies of the body are supported and enhanced, immortality demands the complete overcoming of these natural tendencies and the body’s transformation into a different kind of energy constellation. The result is a bypassing of death, the attainment of magical powers, and residence in cosmic realma, such the immortals’ paradises. DIFFERENCE IN APPLICATION Daoyin exercises as much as the other longevity techniques, therefore, can be used equally for medical, health enhancing, and spiritual purposes. When done for therapy, the specific direction toward which they are aimed does not seem to matter. When used to enhance overall health, there are some instructions on geographical orientation and astronomical constellations, with the east being the most common, as it corresponds to spring and rising qi. Done as a preparation for higher spiritual attainments, the exercises are often conbined with formal purifications and with rituals to the gods. However, their basic patterns remain the same on all three levels, so that similar sequences of gymnastic exercises are used in all cases. Still, the exercises are not entirely the same. Certain practices that are useful in healing may be superfluous in the attainment of longevity, while some applicable for immortality may even be harmful when healing is the main focus. Take breathing as an example. When healing or extending life, natural deep breathing is emphasized, with the diaphragm expanding on the inhalation. When moving on to immortality, however, reverted breathing is advised, which means that the diaphragm contracts on the in-breath. Undertaking this kind of reverted breathing too early or at the wrong stage in one’s practice can cause complications, from diiness to disorientation or worse. Again, the point is made clear in the case of sexual practices. In healing, sexual activity with a partner is encouraged in moderation and measured ways, with both partners reaching regular orgasms. In longevity practice, sexual activity may still be undertaken with a partner, but ejaculation and other loss of essence and qi is avoided and the sexual stimulation is used to raise the awareness of the positive flow of qi in the body, which is the redirected to relieve stress and increase vitality. Through the practice, as Mantak Chia and Michael Winn state, people “become more aware that all living things are one” (1984, 171). In immortality, finally, sexual practices are undertaken entirely within one’s own body and without a partner. They serve the creation of an immortal embryo through the refinement of the sexual energy jing first into qi, then into cosmic spirit shen. Ni Hua-ching emphasizes accordingly that in advanced attainment sexual energy should not be used to have fun or beget children, but must be


sublimated into spiritual energy, which will then give birth to the spiritual embryo and help people to attain the immortal state (1992, 110).He says: It is hard for people to establish the correct goal of life. Typically people are looking for emotional happiness in the form of lots of pleasure, fun, stimulation or excitement. For spiritual people, it is necessary to avoid pleasure, excitement, stimulation and fun. Actually, those four things have a healthy and unhealthy level. In other words, some fun is all right, because it does not harm your life being. However, even on a healthy level, if fun is overextended, it can become negative and damage your energy being. (Ni 1992, 111)] Immortality is thus the creation of an inner spirit being and means the avoidance of ordinary joys and excitements. Practices associated with it are not only unsuitable (and probably impossible) for people on the levels of healing and longevity, but may even be harmful if attempted improperly. The same point, that practices of a similar nature vary significantly among the three levels, can equally be made for diets and fasting. Thus diets on the medical and health levels involve abstention from heavy foods such as meat and fat, as well as from strong substances such as alcohol, garlic, and onions. Instead, practitioners are encouraged to eat lightly and in small portions. As their qi increases, they will need ever less food, until—in immortality practice—all main staples can be cut out and food is replaced by the conscious intake of qi through breath in a technique known as bigu or “avoiding grain.” In all cases, longevity practices and thus Qigong and gymnastics serve to guide people from a wasteful and neglecting attitude toward their bodies and minds toward a more wholesome, healing, and caring way of dealing with themselves. Allowing the conscious bodily experience of the cooperation among all body and mind energies, the practice increases the mental awareness of oneself as part of the Dao, manifested as a flow of energy that rises and ebbs, comes and goes, moves and halts. As one reaches a state of mental quietude and greater stability in one’s heath, the practice leads on towards a more encompassing understanding of self and world, which also includes a sense of wonder, of gratitude towards the natural world and the greater universe. The tense, ego-bound self loosens and a sense of open qi-flow takes its place. Healing moves on to longevity, and as cosmic awareness increases, even to immortality. Historically, organized Daoists changed their attitude toward the application of longevity techniques after unification around the seventh century. Around the very same time when the medical tradition began to systematize and organize long life methods in their classics, Daoists integrated the practices of the immortals of old more actively and acknowledged their value. Looking at the Daoist origins of Qigong, there is, therefore, both a distinction and a continuity among the organized religion with its foremost focus on divinity and otherworldly powers and the tradition of life-enhancing practices that can be used on all different levels. It is thus not surprising that long life methods should be transmitted among Daoist texts and that Qigong to the present day serves as a key part of Daoist practice. DAOIST TECHNIQUES So far, we have looked at daoyin as the key forerunner of Qigong— a practice that uses to a large extent the same techniques and shares the same worldview, that similarly reaches from health enhancement to spiritual dimensions. However, daoyin alone is not Qigong, and there are a number of practices commonly undertaken today that have a different origin, that in fact go back to more religious Daoist practices. In the last section of this presentation, I would like to point out a few of those, focusing mainly on the transformation of the body into a cosmic energy system, the visualization of animal nature and cosmic flow, and the impact of inner alchemy. One of these practices is the cosmicization of the body through the ingestion of the so-called five sprouts, also known as the “method of mist absorption,” which involves partaking of the pure energies of the five directions. Part of medieval Daoist cultivation and described especially in the texts of Highest Clarity (Robinet

1989, 165-66), the practice begins with swallowing the saliva while chanting invocations to the original qi of the four cardinal directions. Then adepts face the direction in question, usually beginning with the east, and in their minds visualize the qi of that direction in its appropriate color. A general mist in the beginning, it gradually forms into a ball, sort of like the rising sun, then through further concentration shrinks in size and is made to come close to the adept. Eventually the size of a pill, the sprout can be swallowed and guided mentally to the organ of its correspondence. A suitable incantation places it firmly in its new receptacle, and gradually the adepts body becomes infused with cosmic energy and partakes more actively of the cosmos as a whole. The sprouts, as Isabelle Robinet points out, are originally the “germinal essences of the clouds” or “mist.” They represent the yin principle of heaven—that is, the yin within the yang. They manifest in human saliva, again a yin element in the upper, yang, part of the body. They help to nourish and strengthen the five inner organsorbs. A Highest Clarity scripture known as On the Code of the Dao (Daodian lun) explains that they are very tender, comparable to the fresh sprouts of plants, and that they assemble at dawn in the celestial capital, from where they spread all over the universe until the sun begins to shine. Turning like the wheels of a carriage, they ascend to the gates of the nine heavens, from where they continue to the medium level of the world—to the five sacred mountains ruled over by the five emperors of the five directions—and finally descend into the individual adept. They thus pass through the three major levels of the cosmos (Robinet 1989, 166). The virtue of these sprouts is twofold. They are “emanations of the highest poles” and as such full of the power of far-off regions, the fringes of civilization where the Dao resides in a rawer state. At the same time, they are “tender like freshly sprouted plants” and as such contain the entire potential of being in its nascent state. This growth potential, the small and imperceptible qi in a state of pure becoming, is the main objective for the Daoist practitioner. “Sprouting” means inherent creation, purity, newness, return to youth. It also implies the prevalence of the soft over the hard and the power of yin over yang that Laozi describes in the Daode jing . Here yin is represented by the saliva that adepts absorb. The practice is undertaken at dawn, the time when everything awakens to life, yet another symbol of creative, unstructured potential. By ingesting the sprouts, the Daoist partakes of the inherent power of celestia lbodies and feeds on the pure creative energy of the universe its most subtle form. It is thus not surprising that the absorption of the sprouts is also used as a preparatory practice for the “abstention from grains.” By and by the sprout intake replaces adepts regular nourishment and allows them to identify with the germinal energy of the sprouts. They thus can become lighter and freer, appear and disappear at will, overcome the limitations of this world, and attain immortality in the heavenly realms (Robinet 1993). Another Daoist practice that has made its way into modern Qigong is inner observation or neiguan, the active, conscious intro