Golden Elixir Quote of the Week
Liu Yiming on Superior Virtue and Inferior Virtue
The Seal of the Unity of the Three: A Study and Translation of the Cantong qi, the Source of the Taoist Way of the Golden Elixir, by Fabrizio Pregadio, pages 49-50
The reason why superior virtue "does not use examining and seeking" is that in the person of superior virtue, Celestial Reality has never been damaged and extraneous breaths (qi) have never entered. Since one immediately awakens to one's fundamental nature, there is nothing to cultivate and nothing to verify. One goes directly to the "other shore" (bi'an, nirvana), and the function of examining and seeking does not operate.
The reason why the operation of inferior virtue "does not rest" is that Celestial Reality is lacking, and cognition has begun. Although one could immediately awaken to one's fundamental nature, one cannot follow it as it is. One must use the way of gradual cultivation and the function of "augmenting and decreasing": by augmenting and then again augmenting, by decreasing and then again decreasing, one comes to what cannot be augmented or decreased.
Liu Yiming (1734-1821), Commentary on the Cantong qi (Seal of the Unity of the Three), sec. 20
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.