Pure Spirit reaches in the four directions, flows now this way, now that—There is no place it does not extend to.
One with Heaven
Topic: Immanence & Transcendence
Pure Spirit reaches in the four directions, flows now this way, now that—There is no place it does not extend to. Above, it brushes Heaven; below, it coils on the earth. It transforms and nurses the ten thousand things, but no one can make out its form. Its name is called One-with-Heaven.The way to purity and cleanness is to guard the spirit, this alone, guard it and never lose it, and you will become one with spirit, one with its pure essence, which communicates and mingles with the Heavenly Order.
Wilson, Andrew, editor. World Scripture - a Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. Paragon House, 1991, p. 602 [Chuang Tzu 15].
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Chuang Tzu (4th Century BC)
Born in the 4th Century BC, Chuang Tzu* like Lao Tzu, is one of the principal sages of Taoism. Taoism is best known through its doctrine of wu wei (which literally means “pure effectiveness”, in that, “action in the mode of wu wei is action in which friction—in interpersonal relationships, in intrapsychic conflict, and in relation to nature—is reduced to the minimum”). However, of interest to the current essay is the nondualism (and its inherent immanence and transcendence) that was expressed by Taoist sages such as Chuang Tzu. As stated by Aldous Huxley, “In the Taoist formulations of the Perennial Philosophy there is an insistence, no less forcible than in the Upanishads, the Gita and the writings of Shankara, upon the universal immanence of the transcendent spiritual Ground of all existence.”
—Aldous Huxley (1970, p. 7); Huston Smith (1991, p. 200). [*Changed name spelling from Chang Tzu to Chuang Tzu.—AD]
Additional Chuang Tzu Quote
“Do not ask whether the Principle is in this or in that; it is in all beings. It is on this account that we apply to it the epithets of supreme, universal, total …. It has ordained that all things should be limited, but Itself unlimited, infinite. As to what pertains to manifestation, the Principle causes the succession of its phases, but is not this succession. It is the author of causes and effects, but is not the causes and effects. It is the author of condensations and dissipations (birth and death, changes of state), but is not itself condensations and dissipations. All proceeds from It and is under its influence. It is in all things, but it is not identical with beings, for it is neither differentiated nor limited.”
—Huxley, Aldous. (1970). The Perennial Philosophy. New York, Harper & Row. [‘Book of Chuang Tzu’] pp. 7 – 8.
Ch’i (Qi) is the spiritual energy pervading all things. Taoist meditation called Chi Gong and martial arts such as T’ai-Chi, employ physical exercises in order to cultivate the ch’i, unite with its flow, and harness its power, resulting in inner tranquility and spiritual vigor. In meditation controlling the ch’i begins with controlling the breath…