Golden Elixir Quote of the Week
Xiao Yanzhi on the Alchemical Metaphors
The World Upside Down: Essays on Taoist Internal Alchemy, by Isabelle Robinet, page 19
The way of alchemy entirely consists of metaphors (xiang). It takes Lead and Mercury as substances, but one must know that the Essence of Lead and the Marrow of Mercury are nothing but metaphors. It is based on the terms Li ☲ and Kan ☵, but one must know that the Kan Boy and the Li Girl are nothing but empty terms. It uses the forms of the Dragon and the Tiger, but one must know that the Dragon-Fire and the Tiger-Water have no form. It talks about the "yellow sprout," the "divine water," and the "flowery pond," but these are things that can neither be seen nor used.
Xiao Yanzhi (mid-13th century), in Xiuzhen shishu (Ten Books on the Cultivation of Reality), ch. 9
The Golden Elixir Quotes of the Week are short quotations on Taoist Internal Alchemy (Neidan) from books published by Golden Elixir Press. They are sent at no cost to subscribers. See a sample and an index of the Quotes of the Week sent to subscribers until present.