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The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life Paperback – 1962


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The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life + The I Ching, or,  Book of Changes (Bollingen Series XIX)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Revised edition (1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156799804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156799805
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German, Chinese (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

C. G. Jung was, together with Freud and Adler, one of the three great pioneers in modern psychiatry. Dr. Jung died in 1961.

Carl Gustav Jung was born in Kesswil, Switzerland. His father, Johannes Paul Achilles Jung (1842-1896), was a pastor - a profession that had traditions in the family. He married Emilie Preiswerk (1848-1923) in 1874.

Richard Wilhelm is the Marco Polo of the inner world of China. He, more than any other, is responsible for opening up to the West the vast spiritual heritage of China and thus all of Asia. He translated the great philosophical works from Chinese into German, where they have in turn been translated into the other major languages of the world, including English. To this day, among the dozens of translations of the I Ching now available, his 1923 translation stands head and shoulders above the rest. He introduced the I Ching, and Chinese philosophy, to the School of Wisdom when it first opened in 1920. These ideas have been a integral part of its program ever since. Richard Wilhelm, and the ancient Chinese Sages he came to know so well, are key Ancestors of the School of Wisdom.
 

Another student of the School of Wisdom, Carl Jung, wrote an interesting sketch of the inner world of Richard Wilhelm, as part of his Jung's autobiography.


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Customer Reviews

He highly recommends it.
Sandra Follett
I am sorry to say that the Kindle edition of this book requires proof-reading and correction.
Ian D. MacKinnon
I cannot posibly put into words the extreme importance of the contents of this book.
Pat Reed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 99 people found the following review helpful By R. Schwartz on October 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very interesting and meaningful book to say the least. And like Jung, gratitude must be given Richard Wilhelm for his insight in the East and translation of the text.

A manual written symbolically for the practice of meditation, where thoughts are reduced to the square inch between the eyes, the eye lids half closed, eyes centered near the tip of the nose, the heart rate next to nothing in quietude, controlled breath of a circular motion that becomes quiet. The "white light" so spoken in Buddhist terms and various states of consciousness are related. However, this is far more than a mere meditation manual, but symbols which convey non-intellectual ideas, that is, non-Western rationalism, and yet significant and advanced in both it's teaching and applications.

Ultimately for myself, it is Jung's commentary that my Western mind needed to interpret the text itself and the subsequent interpretations. I am moved in profundity on Jung's analysis that man's consciousness advances non-rationally, but psychically. Where the advancement cannot be spoken or written of in intellectual terms but rather can be done so in symbols. In this, Jung expounds on the idea that symbols convey advanced images that relate to the psyche and can never be proved intellectually or rationally. This is where images, as in Mandalas, come in. Images and symbols speak what words cannot. They are of a higher conscious level awareness, a psychical advancement. None of this is rationally or mathematically equated, none, nor can it be languistically conveyed. Humans can only point, using symbols and images, they can not expound, explain and reason on such.
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely worth reading, from cover to cover, including all of the commentaries and introductions and what have you. The text itself is, of course, incredible, with a surprising clarity that is rare among aged religious and philosophical texts, especially those pertaining to meditative practice, and Richard Wilhelm's somewhat outdated translation doesn't inhibit it much. Carl Jung's commentary is equally worth reading, and could easily stand as a book of its own. It also thankfully puts this book at arm's length from watery New Age "spirituality." Get this book and don't skip anything.
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88 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Pat Reed on July 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
The "Secret of the Golden Flower" is the best book i have ever read. I have read hundreds of nonfiction books searching for hidden knowledge - none of them (with an exception of Sri Swami Sivananda's Yogic Texts) speek so clearly and openly of the divine secret which has eluded mankind for so long. I cannot posibly put into words the extreme importance of the contents of this book. The ancient Taoist translations are priceless. Read it and then read it again. I have read the two Chinese texts, with Wilhelms excellent translations, over ten times - and haven't even glanced and Jung's commentary. For the spiritual aspirant contemplating the deep secrets of the alchemical sciences, ancient Egyptian, Indian, and Biblical texts - look no further - this book is worth it's weight in "gold."
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By JJ Semple on October 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Some people struggle with this book. The reason? It's not an intellectual read. You have to practice the method to understand it. At the same time, you have to master each technique, one at a time. Only when you master Technique A, can you move on to Technique B. It's like a treasure hunt; you can only get to Point B after you reach Point A. This frustrates some people. But that doesn't deter from the underlying value of the method, or its truth, that it does contain the secret of life

I spent two years breaking it down. Sure , I became frustrated. Sure, I doubted, but in the end I understood that this method was part of the Buddha's practice. If He'd learned and mastered these principles and passed them on to us, there must have been a reason: that, with effort, we, too, could master the science of Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul on November 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
The main text of this book "Secret of Gold Flower" deals with both an age old meditative practice and a supportive theory in the Taoist tradition. Carl Jung's commentary basically dealt only with theory part and interpreted as similar in concepts to his individuation process (the development of the self as similar to development of the golden flower). It adds credibility to both sides: Taoist practice gained western academic respectability whereas Jung's concepts of collective unconscious and archetype gained supportive evidence from an old high-culture. It is interesting to note that whereas Wilhelm was a Taoist practitioner who had brought himself full-scale into Taoist yoga, Jung on the other hand advised against western people taking up such practice!

On the practice side, the choice of texts is excellent: "Secret of Golder Flower" deals with the leading role of "human nature" (collective unconscious)in Taoist meditation with full supportive theory, whereas "Hui Ming Jing" deals with the procedural details of the practice itself (a combination of Taoist and Buddhist practice, the author himself a Buddhist monk of Zen tradition). Though an English translation might not be able to present and differentiate finer points that can only be understood if one can read the Chinese language, one benefit is that a translation can do away with some unnecessary mystical elements (for example in the book symbols from I-Ching are replaced by alphabets)that often times leads would-be practitioners into unnecessary maze. Though I have to complain that more of the Hui Ming Jing had not been translated (included) for a more complete manual for practice reference.
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