The Three Treasures of Life: Jing, Qi, and Shen
In many Eastern philosophies, the elements of Jing, Qi, and Shen are fundamental to both spiritual and physical cultivation. Jing serves as the foundation, Qi acts as the driving force, and Shen stands as the ruler. Within Taoist Neidan practice, these three elements are further differentiated into two categories: innate and acquired. Among these categories, the innate forms of Jing, Qi, and Shen hold the greatest significance for successful cultivation. Most crucial among these is the innate Shen, often referred to as “Yuan Shen” or Primordial Spirit. This form of Shen is considered the ultimate guiding force that is pivotal for effective cultivation practices.
Understanding Shen: Innate and Acquired
The concept of “Shen” can be categorized into two types: “acquired,” also known as “Conscious Shen” (Shi Shen), and “innate,” referred to as “Primordial Shen” (Yuan Shen). Within the realm of innate Shen, there are two successive advanced stages of development known as Yin Shen and Yang Shen.
Conscious Shen: The “False Self”
Conscious Shen represents our human consciousness, encompassing the six senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and thought. This form of Shen is part of the life’s dominant system and ceases to exist upon death, hence it’s often termed as the “false self.”
Primordial Shen: The “True Self”
On the other hand, Primordial Shen refers to our subconscious realm. It’s part of the life’s recessive system and contains all the information a soul has ever absorbed across all times and spaces. In normal circumstances it cannot be seen. This is considered the very essence of life or the “true self.”
Characteristics of Yuan Shen: A Bridge Between Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science
The Yuan Shen is formed from an eternal fundamental substance and has fascinating capabilities. It has the ability to disperse into energy or condense into form, is unaffected by water or fire, and can pass through metal and stone without hindrance. Its speed is as fast as thought. Interestingly, the qualities of Yuan Shen closely resemble the properties of neutrinos in modern nuclear physics.
Stages of Manifestation
As one advances in cultivation, the Yuan Shen initially manifests as a light image during inner visualization. In its ultimate form, it can appear and disappear at will. The refinement of Yuan Shen into a mature Yang Shen form allows transcendence over life and death, even achieving the state of eternal life.
The Ultimate Goal: Emergence of Yang Shen
Whether we talk about Daoism or Buddhism, both traditions view the emergence of Yang Shen as the zenith of spiritual and physical cultivation. Buddhism refers to this state as liberation or Buddhahood, while Daoism calls it ascension, attaining the status of a Heavenly Immortal. Regardless of religious views, this phenomenon is widely acknowledged by the Qigong and human body science communities as the pinnacle of human capabilities.
The Mysterious Phenomenon and Modern Science
The phenomenon of the Yuan Shen’s out-of-body experience surpasses current human understanding and defies explanation by modern science. However, advancements in human science are increasingly revealing the Yuan Shen as an objective and super-life phenomenon.
The Responsibility and Potential of Cultivation
As we stride into an era of rapid scientific development, the field of cultivation has a vital role to play. It bears the responsibility of exploring the cross-century experimental subjects of human self-transcendence and eternal life. The development of Yuan Shen not only taps into the vast reservoir of human potential but also opens the gateway for realizing various forms of human wisdom, making it immeasurably significant for explorations concerning eternal life.