Taoism/The Eleventh Parable: Lessons of the Achievement of Immortality
The Eleventh Parable:
Lessons of the Achievement
This day Lao Tse made a long way on his donkey along the mountain trails. On steep slopes, he often got off and walked. Thus they climbed very high.
Exhausted, they chose a place to stay for the night.
The donkey began its supper with fresh grass, while Lao Tse gathered some dry brushwood and built a small fire. He started looking at that fire…
Huang Di also was looking at it…
Vivid memories from the past life again displaced the reality of that moment…
* * *
Huang Di and His disciples were on the peak of a mountain. A night sky, studded with stars, embraced them from all sides. There was no wind. It was silent and calm!
Yet it was cool.
Huang Di reached out His hand — and a huge fire blazed up! It was remarkably beautiful! Tongues of this flame seemed to be dancing some sort of special dance, and sparks flew to the night sky as fiery threads, from which the fire stars were falling down into the space of the night…
Disciples warmed up… They were looking at the fire, which fascinated them with its beauty!
Huang Di began to speak in the transparent stillness of the night. His soft and deep voice united the listeners, the Speaker, and what was said — in one. The understanding was penetrating into the souls as the words sounded.
“Remember this fire! For you it will be enough to recall its image — and, regardless of the situation, you will be able to feel Me, My presence!
“Just as the endless marquee of the starry sky over the whole Under-Heavenly World can always remind you about My existence — so this fire can remind you about Me and about the Great, Infinite Power of Tao, Which, like Tao Itself, is everywhere, under all the manifestations of the material world. It is My Creative Fire.
“You should accustom yourself to seeing and recognizing diverse Manifestations of Tao in everything on your Path. Tao is the invisible Sustainer of all that exists. People come to the Earth, being born, and go away, leaving their bodies that have fulfilled their purpose, but Tao always exists on the other side of the material world.
“The One Who has cognized Tao can’t be entangled by doubts anymore!
“The Wise Who have cognized Tao can serve people as an ideal. These Wise show — by the examples of Their lives — how it is possible to bring order and calm into the world, where discords and hatred reign. They also show how to maintain and multiply love and purity in the midst of the chaos. The Wise can do this because They remain in the Unity with Tao!
“The Wise Who have cognized Tao can show the Path to others.
“They — by Their work — contribute to the process of the perfection of everything and everyone!
“They flow into the Ocean of Tao and enrich Its Infinity with Themselves.
“They obtain the Great Calm of Tao and may proceed from It in order to accomplish great deeds.
“Each thing or event has its meaning. The Wises make it so that things occupy better places and actions happen in their due time.
“Tao is Omnipresent, and those Immortals Who have reached the Unity with Tao are omnipresent too!
“One can obtain the Immortality, but it is not granted by My miracles. The hard work, which is not miraculous at all, has to precede the acquisition of great achievements and abilities!
“The one who is cognizing Tao develops oneself through practicing meditation day after day, year after year and can, eventually, obtain the state of Immortality.
“It can be said that the life in a body is the cause of a death. However, the one who has died — or, rather, left one’s body — knows that it is not the end, but the beginning of another life — life without a body. Such a life can last for centuries, but the state in which it occurs can vary greatly. The soul remains on that level of subtlety or coarseness to which it was accustomed during its life in the body…
“Those who learn to meditate, following the Path to the Subtlest, also cognize life without bodies. Leaving their bodies during meditation, they don’t die but learn about the life of the consciousnesses free from the material. Returning to their bodies after that, they guard the memory of the Heavenly and learn to maintain and develop their relationship with Te and Tao.
“A developed and strong soul can easily come out of its body when it wants to, leaving only a small part of itself inside it. In this case, the body can continue walking, sitting, lying and reacting adequately to everything that happens around it.
“If one does so, then nothing bad can occur to the body, as some fantastic stories about the Immortals narrate. Such a body can’t be eaten by animals or buried by shepherds or farmers who found it accidentally.”
… Huang Di proposed to His disciples that they begin filling their bodies with His Creative Fire.
“Fill all your chakras and meridians with this Fire. Let your bodies and consciousnesses become this Fire!
“Each of you can fill with this Creative Flame the whole body and its smallest details as well.”
… After some effort, the bodies and cocoons of the disciples became filled with the Divine Fire.
A little deeper than this Great Flame, they perceived — as Living, Deepest, Endless and Transparent Calm — the Ocean of Tao.
Huang Di helped His disciples to enter It for some time.
Lao Tse heard the words of Huang Di that were seemingly addressed only to him:
“While everything superfluous in you hasn’t been burned by this Divine Creative Fire, and while the one who enters and becomes this Fire exists — these are just training meditations.
“But when the one who does this meditation disappears — only the true United Existence of all Te in the Infinity of Tao will remain.”
… Lao Tse submerged into the Boundless Calm of Tao and dissolved himself in It.
Huang Di continued:
“We — as souls — can live being submerged in the Flame of Te or in the Transparent Calm of Tao.
“Let’s enter the Transparent Calm all together! Now let’s try to look from there at our bodies and begin to fill our chakras and meridians with the state of Tao.
“Through this, you can start learning to control your bodies from Tao, replacing gradually the part of the consciousness that you have left there to control them.
“Against the background of the Transparency of Tao, you will be able to see clearly all the energies of the consciousness that are not identical to the Subtlest yet!”
“How many years will this work take?” — asked one of the disciples.
“About 100 years, not less, and for the lazy even more. Therefore, not all spiritual practitioners live until the immortality of their material bodies,” — Huang Di joked. — “Yet the most important thing is the immortality of the soul, which obtains properties and qualities of Tao and Te.
“Only very big Te can disappear fully in Tao and then manifest Themselves again in the Creation.
“The Transparency of Tao is completely immune to any negative influences! So learn to be transparent!
“By rotating the energy of the consciousness through the microcosmic orbit, technique that I’ve already taught you, you can cast out from your bodies everything that differs from the Transparent Calm of Tao. Then only Tao will be present in your bodies, replacing them by Itself more and more.
“Remember this moment! Now you are in the state of Te, Who exist in the Mergence with Tao! You are ‘tasting’ the Immortality!
“However, in the future, you will have to learn all these gradually by yourselves!
“So, let now the deepest Depths be for you the only world you perceive! Listen and feel here — inside the Ocean of Transparent Calm! From this state, you will be able to hear if someone calls you from the Earth for the help! You will be able to appear before the incarnate people as the Souls That rise like Light-Fire Mountains from the Ocean of Tao!
“Afterwards, I will teach you how you can transport yourselves together with your bodies.
“You should also remember that our aim is not to teach people to believe in miracles. Without us, there are enough writers of fairy tales about the immortals who can do whatever they want. This is what many people dream about — to be able to fulfill any of their whims and desires.
“Yet the one who serves Tao never fulfills one’s own desires! For that person only the Desires of Tao and Te are the guide for action!
“The real Taoist will not try even to save his or her own body from the death if there is not the Will of Tao for this… Such a Taoist will just accept, being in great calm, the death of his or her body and merge — as Soul — with Tao in the universal Abode of all the Perfect Ones.
“Having left forever Their worn-out bodies, Te serve Tao and people by showing Their Divine Appearances for the contacts with the embodied seekers of Tao, by giving advice and by controlling the course of the destinies.”
* * *
Lao Tse found himself again sitting near the small fire. His white donkey was eating grass peacefully near him.
Now Lao Tse could easily maintain himself in the Great Ocean of the Transparency of Tao for a long time.
Huang Di continued their conversation, as if it was not interrupted by a gap between the incarnations of Lao Tse:
“Let’s continue the lesson that we didn’t finish in your previous incarnation.
“I’ll tell you a little more about such Unity with Tao that is called the achievement of Immortality.
“First, the soul achieves the Great Unity with Tao. Leaving on the Earth his or her material body for the time of meditation or forever, such a spiritual warrior flows easily into the Boundless Ocean of Tao.
“Nevertheless, as I’ve already said, it is also possible to make the body immortal. This requires new efforts and a long life of the soul in the Unity with Tao. A human body can become then like a wonderful vessel that is always filled with Tao and carries Tao in itself!
“This is the Wealth that is really worth obtaining!
“An ordinary human body is fragile and subject to all possible influences; it can be easily damaged; it gets old and dies.
“However, you can create an immortal body filled with the Immortality of Tao. Such a body carries Tao in itself, and Tao freely projects Its Power through it. This body is not subject to aging and diseases, and it can be dissolved and recreated without effort.
“Yes, it is possible to live in such a deep Mergence with Tao and still have a material body.
“When you live so, you can easily explore the mechanism of the creation of any forms from the formless and, conversely, the mechanism of their dissolution in the formless. In this case, you will be to participate — with the Power of Tao — in these processes.”