The Secret of the Golden Flower

The Secret Of The Golden Flower

The Secret of the Golden Flower

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The Secret of the Golden Flower ("Tai Yi Jin Hua Zong Zhi" 《太乙金華宗旨》), a Chinese Taoist book about meditation, was translated by Richard Wilhelm (also translator, in the 1920s, of the Chinese philosophical classic the I Ching). Wilhelm, a friend of Carl Jung, was German, and his translations from Chinese to German were later translated to English by Cary F. Baynes. According to Wilhelm, Lü Dongbin was the main originator of the material presented in the book (a section below, Reception from Chinese Taoists, suggests that the material is from Quanzhen School founder Wang Chongyang, a student of Lü Dongbin.) More recently (1991), the same work has been translated by Thomas Cleary, a scholar of Eastern studies.


There are significant differences between the Wilhelm and Cleary translations. Wilhelm was introduced to the work by his Chinese teacherIn Carl Jung's autobiography (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp. 373-377), he wrote a section about his friend Wilhelm and said, in relevant part, "In China he had the good fortune to meet a sage of the old school whom the revolution had driven out of the interior. This sage, Lau Nai Suan, introduced him to Chinese yoga philosophy and the psychology of the I Ching. To the collaboration of these two men we owe the edition of the I Ching with its excellent commentary." Presumably, the same is true of the yoga philosophy of The......
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