The Secret Of The Golden Flower: Book On Meditation

The Secret of the Golden Flower: Book on Meditation

The Secret of the Golden Flower is a book on meditation and Chinese alchemy. Richard Wilhelm translated the classic, Carl Jung wrote the prologue. Light, symbolized by a golden flower, is a metaphor.

Everything moves and emanates from this light, the center of power where everything circulates and transcends all. Through practice we can open and awaken our consciousness to this light.

This book is one of the most important texts in Taoism. However, it is also highly controversial. The Secret of the Golden Flower is a ‘westernized’ translation of one of Asia’s greatest spiritual legacies.

As happened with the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the details were simplified for Westerners. What remained was a manual for Chinese yoga that the western world could understand perfectly.

However, it is much more than that. The first written testimony to this text is known to date from the seventh century, on wooden planks. It was an ancient Chinese treatise on esotericism that was passed down orally.

Its principles, codes and wisdoms were collected by a member of the so-called religion of light, of which Lü Yán was the leader. It is believed that all these methods can be traced back to ideas already known in Persia, which have their roots in the Hermetic Egyptian tradition.

This Chinese philosophy and religious movement is very complex. An example is the alchemical process that illuminates the essence of spiritual consciousness.

To do this, we must focus on an inner sacred space, that golden flower that is both the beginning and the end. Although Wilhelm and Jung left out many concepts, it is a background work on that philosophy.


The secret of the golden flower: an inner quest

In his memoirs Carl Jung said that he had always been interested in Eastern philosophy. In 1920, he began his thorough investigation of the I Ching (The Book of Changes), overlooking the figurative language and Eastern traditions of the ancient wisdom.

It was precisely during those years that he met Richard Wilhelm, a well-known sinologist, theologian and German missionary. Richard Wilhelm mainly specialized in translating Chinese texts into German.

The idea to translate the book The Secret of the Golden Flower arose after the two met at the School of Wisdom and later at the Psychology Club. In 1923 he completed the work with Jung’s prologue and remarks.

In 1931 Carl Baynes translated it into English. It quickly became a bestseller because it talked about Chinese yoga. But is the Secret of the Golden Flower really just about yoga and meditation? Absolutely not.

The importance of developing our inner golden flower

The original title of the book was something like Instructions on Developing the Golden Flower . To understand the purpose of this book, we must first know what the golden flower means.

  • The golden flower is a metaphor referring to the alchemy of inner transformation.
  • Taoist philosophy affirms the existence of a spiritual energy that transcends each of us. A light that symbolizes our consciousness.
  • Meditations and practices, or energy alchemy, awaken that light or our golden flower.
  • By constantly repeating these exercises, we can slowly but surely focus our light and let our golden flower unfold.

As Westerners, we may feel far removed from the principles in The Secret of the Golden Flower , they are unknown to us after all. However, let’s dwell on Carl Jung’s interpretation for a moment, what caught his attention.

The meaning of the book captivated Jung, a psychiatrist and pioneer of analytical psychology, for much of his life: the golden flower forces us to put aside our minds, which are preoccupied and conditioned by society. to reach a higher, freer, more creative and even heavenly state of mind.

Calm the mind to open the heart

At this point, an obvious question may arise in many of you. What kind of alchemy/meditation would I need to do to reach the light described in The Secret of the Golden Flower ?

The answer is simple, but requires great dedication, practice and willpower: we must learn how to calm our minds in order to open our hearts.

  • We must start by asking ourselves who we are. You probably see your face right now, almost without realizing it. However, it is our thoughts that define who we are, not our bodies. And chances are our thoughts are talking way too much, lying to us and making us do things that aren’t sincere. It is therefore best to calm them down.
  • To calm our thoughts, we must practice deep breathing. Slowly but surely they will come to rest. It is not something that we can achieve in a day or a week. No, calming the mind takes time.
  • Once we reach the inner stillness, reflection will follow. At that moment we will connect with the spirit of our heart, with that place where our consciousness rests.
Person meditating on the beach

The secret of the golden flower requires that we practice meditation regularly. This careful practice will eventually remove the layers that have buried our minds piece by piece until we see a mandala.

It is a figure that holds that glowing alchemical symbol that will set us free completely: the golden flower. 

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