The Daoists say that we have a cosmic self – which is our true soul, and an acquired self – which is the identity constructed by upbringing, socialization and the input of our peers. They also say that we are all born to go on a mystical quest to reclaim our cosmic self, as this creates health and happiness. The chi-cycle lifestyle supports this quest. Every two hours a destiny gateway, a portal to heaven, offers divine guidance, relevant to that part of the day, which helps keep us on path. At each gateway we have a choice; to either be ‘cosmic’ in our actions and receive that guidance, or to be ‘acquired’ by remaining fully immersed in the affairs of the mundane world.
For example, when you wake up you can choose ‘cosmic’ by getting up and doing a chi practice, or ‘acquired’ by hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep. At lunchtime you can select ‘cosmic’ by sitting down for a warm nurturing lunch, or ‘acquired’ by scoffing a sandwich on the run. Now, as we enter the 5pm -7pm phase of the cycle, another destiny gateway opens and you can either choose to be ‘cosmic’ by experiencing your soul in a mystical meditation, or to be ‘acquired’ by remaining busily engaged in, and distracted by, the physical world. Individually, these all seem like small, and possibly irrelevant, decisions, but they are not. Each time you take the ‘acquired’ option and miss a destiny gateway your acquired self becomes more entrenched, more solid and it feels more real. You lose sight of your cosmic self, start believing that the physical world is all there is, and dogma, discrimination, analysis and beliefs are born.
Your acquired self seeks support from the material world; it feels wounded by the words or actions of others; it seeks revenge; it has judgmental opinions; it criticizes politicians; it fights with your partner or kids; and it wants security – oh so badly. None of this is real, none of this is really you, and none of this is going to make you happy. Your cosmic self doesn’t give a rat’s arse about any of that stuff! Your cosmic self is accepting of everything and everyone, it has no opinion, it understands the big cosmic picture, it knows that everything you need is within you, and that we are all beautiful souls capable of infinite love. I should point out here that being acquired is normal, as is being fully occupied with the material world; with the pursuit of goals, the dramas and relationships with friends, family, home or workplace, and the never-ending social obligations.
And plenty of people would say they are satisfied with this full and busy schedule. They don’t feel the need, or have the time to feel the need, to change anything, let alone to go on a mystical quest. Walking into any busy household and suggesting adding ‘mystical quest’ to the already too-long fridge to-do list, wouldn’t go down well. But, the problem is, the acquired self needs the acquired world to interact with. It is reliant on this for meaning, purpose and direction. The acquired world can’t deliver this, though. Or, if it can, it is temporary. All day long I treat people who have lost their jobs, possessions or relationships, and people who no longer have the energy (through illness or accident) to live the acquired life. I also see people who the acquired world doesn’t want, like those who have been parked in an old folks home, the place of broken dreams, by their ungrateful offspring. They all feel they are looking down the barrel of the remainder of their life being spent in confusion, pain and misery. They feel they have ‘less’ each day.
This is the outcome of being trapped in the acquired world. This is not our destiny. We are all ambassadors of Heaven, we have the spark of divine consciousness in our organs. If we incorporate a mystical quest into daily life, as we face the normal loss and disappointments, or as our physical power diminishes (as it will), every day is still filled with discovery and purpose, and each day brings ‘more’. Between 5pm and 7pm you have a priceless opportunity to boot this process along by really immersing yourself in the mystical. It is now 12 hours since you woke at 5am and did your chi-practice. We are halfway through the 24 hour cycle. Ideally, you were highly productive in the morning, in flow with cosmic yang, and have then been winding down progressively through the afternoon in accord with cosmic yin. All your work should be done now and you are ready to delve further into yin and the mystical.
It is time to escape reality, again, and ‘roam the universe’ in a magical meditation. The Daoists have many different types of meditation and what we want to experience now is ‘Yuanyou’. This has been translated by the renowned Daoist scholar, Livia Kohn, as ‘a meditative travel to distant countries, sacred mountains, the sun and moon, and encounters with gods and Xian transcendents (beings endowed with supernormal powers). This meditation is an effortless and psychedelic experience and, being a connoisseur of altered states, it is probably my favorite part of the day. I just found a great definition of ‘psychedelic’ as ‘soul showing’ and this is exactly what we need to do at this time of the day. We have to consciously acknowledge that our activities in the acquired world have ended for the day and immerse ourselves fully in an experience of the cosmic self.
This destiny gateway is a big one. It is your last chance for the day to switch-off, break out of a yang mode and establish the yin that ensures a deep and restful sleep which, in turn, allows your soul to take its mystical overnight journey home. So, find somewhere to go and be alone and prepare. Let your face, the mask of your acquired self, relax and become expressionless, and set your intention. The Dao is like a super-computer, you issue the instructions and it does its part. I start by talking to the universe; “Great Spirit, Father, Mother, God, Highest Source of Good, please be with me and allow me to now receive my meditation”. Then I put my focus on the lower Dantien, the lower belly, the ‘root’, and just hand over to Dao. Instantly the feeling from my morning chi-gung floods me, but this time it’s effortless. It comes over in waves, building to an almost orgasmic finale. Afterwards I feel restored, refreshed and returned to original.
The evening can then continue as a smooth preparation for the upcoming mystical journey of the soul. Cosmic chi is empowering kidney function now. Your kidneys are known as the ‘mother of yin and yang’ and, while yin and yang merge in them, you can experience your true self in the midst of a merging of the cosmic creative forces. It is a mind-blowing trip. We all have the hardware, the organs and orbs, to run this mystical meditation program. Just follow the steps outlined above and you will receive the experience. Like anything new though, it does feel weak to begin with, but keep doing it and it doesn’t take long to develop the skills to instantly fall into that state. If you are not up for an immediate launch into this intense meditation, find alternative ways of disassociating from your acquired self.
Brian Tracy, the great motivational guru, used to make himself sit on a park bench at this time every day until he had managed to stop thinking about work. He said it didn’t matter how successful you were; if you couldn’t do this, nothing mattered. If the CEO of a multi-million dollar business can find time to do this, we all can. Many health-conscious people head to the gym around this time to switch-off from work. This is a kind of disassociation but, as I always say in my chi-cycle seminars, this is not the time to go to the gym unless you plan on taking a bottle of wine and sitting back and watching everyone else exercise. Exercise is yang, it is effort. It belongs to the morning. The acquired self is temporary and stored in your body in layers in the muscle tissue. Exercise and chi-practices can get right into those deep muscle layers and break this down. In the morning your lungs and large intestine are activated and primed to process and release this toxic stuff. By 5pm, the orbs in your kidney are preparing for you to enter a blissful mystical state. If you’re running around madly exercising you are throwing a spanner in the works. You are metaphysically out of synch, and this will cost you chi.
Our aim is to do everything in harmony with the cosmic forces and build chi. They say the level of your chi is ‘your share in Dao’. As your share in Dao increases so does your happiness. The more times you choose the cosmic options and pass through those destiny gateways, the more chi you build, the happier your organs are, the more at home the orbs feel, and the more guidance you get from Heaven. Your life becomes a cycle of ever-increasing wonder, mystery and magic. All you have to do is make a few lifestyle changes, shift a few things around and respect the great cycles of yin and yang. The park bench approach is a more yin aligned approach to disassociation than exercising, and more suited to our purposes now. But this is the mystical chi-cycle and we want more than dissociation. We want to switch off the identity of this incarnation and get a profound experience of something eternal. This is about cosmicization. This is not a theoretical process, so don’t try and understand it and then do it – do it and then the understanding comes.
I’ve been running chi-cycle workshops for years now, and have repeatedly seen people frantically writing down everything I say about what action to do when, and why, and treating it like a theory about life, but it’s actually an art of living. These days I’m offering week-long immersive chi-cycle retreats, so people can feel it first. Ultimately though, I’d love to see retirement homes and nursing homes replaced by ‘Refreshment homes’. Permanent chi-cycle communities located in chi hotspots where, instead of going to retire and decline you go to build metaphysical power. I’d have the sound of ‘om’ wake everyone, and have meditation, yoga and tai-chi teachers offering classes from 5am. Dining facilities with chi-infused foods, mealtime organ activation mantras, productive think-tanks in the morning, chilled-out afternoons and blissful meditative experiences. A place where you can fully devote yourself to the quest for the cosmic self. This is how we need to approach the end of our lives.
Well, now you’re probably thinking, ‘I don’t have to worry about that yet, but actually we do. The other thing about the acquired world is, as it is temporary, your time in it whizzes past very quickly. Starting the mystical quest is a matter of urgency and the sooner you get it underway the less likely you are to have the rude shock of finding yourself in a nursing home, wondering who you are or what it was all for. To reinforce the sense of urgency, I like to start each morning with the mantra “I will die, very soon, so who am I?” And I tell you, there’s nothing quite like this to grab your own attention, and to make yourself focus on the big picture. Try the mantra. Stop what you are doing, close your eyes and say it out loud (meaningfully) to yourself right now. You will probably feel an internal shift, a shock, a spark of recognition that the physical self is temporary and that we have a short time to find our cosmic self. It really reinforces your intent to accept what every destiny gateway in the day ahead offers, to build your share of Dao, to let Heaven into your life, and to follow your true path. Ps stay tuned for a discussion on sex, creativity and the cosmic self, in my next article!