Neiguan jing – observarea interna

Lord Lao said:

[1b] Heaven and Earth mingle their essences; yin and yang engage in interchange. Thus the myriad things come to life each receiving a particular life: yet all are alike in that they have a share in the life-giving Dao. When father and mother unite in harmony, human beings receive life.

  1. In the first month, essence and blood coagulate in the womb.
  2. In the second month, the embryo begins to take shape.
  3. In the third month, the yang-spirit rouses the three spirit souls to life.
  4. In the fourth month, the yin-qi settles the seven material souls as guardians of the body.
  5. In the fifth month, the five phases are distributed to the five organs to keep their spirits at peace.
  6. In the sixth month, the six pitches are set up in the six intestines to nourish qi.
  7. In the seventh month, the seven essential stars open the body orifices to let the light in.
  8. In the eighth month, the eighth phosphor spirits descend with their perfect vital qi.
  9. In the ninth month, the various palaces and chambers are properly arranged to keep the essence safe.
  10. In the tenth month, qi is strong enough to complete the image.

Humans’ feeding on primordial harmony is never interrupted. The Lord Emperor of the Great One resides in the head. He is called the Lord of the Niwan Palace. He governs the host of spirits. What makes life shine forth and lets people know of spirits is spirit soul. [2a]
Siming, the Ruler of Destinys, resides in the heart. He regulates the prime energies of life [YQ: source of the mind]. Wuying occupies his left, from where he manages he three spirit souls. Baiyuan occupies the right, from where he organizes the seven material souls. Daohai resides in the navel, where he preserves the root of the essence. What makes the various joints of the body function together are the hundred manifestations of spirit of life. As it pervades the whole of the body, spirit is not empty. When primordial qi enters through the nose and reaches the niwan in the center of the head, spirit light radiates and the body is stable and at peace. For all movement and rest, however, it fully depends on the mind. This is how life first begins.
When you now observe yourself in detail and with care, beware of the mind. As the ruler of the self it can prohibit and control everything. It is responsible for the propriety of the body spirits. [YQ: It limits and controls the body spirits]. “The mind is spirit” [ZZ 48/19/11]. Its changes and transformations cannot be fathomed.
It does not have a fixed shape [see ZWL 2b-3a, 13b]. In the five organs, the following spirit manifestations reside: spirit soul in the liver; material soul in the lungs; essence in the kidneys; intention in the spleen; spirit in the heart.
Their appellations vary in accordance with their respective positions. The mind/heart belongs to the phase fire. Fire is the essence of the South and of greater yang. Above it is governed by the planet Mars, below it corresponds to the mind/heart. [2b] Its color is red and it consists of three valves that resemble a lotus leaf. As the light of pure spirit is rooted there, it is named thus.
Spirit is [YQ: neither black nor white], neither red nor yellow, neither big nor small, neither short nor long, neither crooked nor straight, neither soft nor hard, neither thick nor thin, neither round nor square. It goes on changing and transforming without measure, merges with yin and yang, greatly encompasses Heaven and Earth, subtly enters the tiniest blade of grass [Xisheng jing 7 and 17]. Controlled it is straightforward, let loose it goes mad. Clarity and stillness make it live, defilements and nervousness cause it to perish. [Qingqing jing 2a ] When shining it can illuminate the eight ends of the universe. When darkened it will go wrong even in one single direction. You need only keep it empty and still, then life and Dao will spontaneously be constant.
Always preserve an attitude of nonaction, and the self will prosper.
[YQ: The world thinks that]Spirit is shapeless and cannot be named. All good and bad fortune, all success and failure only come from spirit. Thus the sage will always preserve a straightforward relation to the ruler and the government, to the established rewards and punishments, and to the laws and regulations of the administration. He sets an example for others [cf. DDJ 8]. The reason why people find it hard to submit to rules and regulations is found in their minds. When the mind is pure and calm, all the many problems of misfortune don’t arise. All ups and downs, life and death, all vicissitudes and evils arise from the mind. [3a] All foolishness and delusion, love and hate, all accepting and rejecting, coming and going, all defilements and attachments, as well as all entanglement and bondage arise gradually from becoming involved in things. Madly turning hither and thither, tied up and fettered, one is unable to get free. Thus one is bound for peril and destruction.
Oxen and horses when led properly can easily wade through the marsh. When let loose, however, they will sink in deeper and deeper and can never get out again by themselves. So they have to die. People are just like this: when first born their original spirit [YQ: spirit prime] is clear and still, profound and unadulterated.
But then people gradually take in shaped objects. Those will in due course defile the six senses:

  • The eyes will covet color. The ears will suffer from sound. The mouth will be addicted to flavors.
  • The nose will always take in smells. The mind will be intent on refusing and coveting.
  • The body will desire to be slimmer or fatter.

From all these ups and downs of life no one is able to wake up by himself. [ZWL 8a]. Thus the sages with compassionate consideration established the doctrine to teach people to reform. They made them use inner observation of the self and body in order to purify the mind.

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