The Secret of the Golden Flower
A Chinese Book of Life

Translated by Richard Wilhelm
Commentary by C.G. Jung
London 1931

Jung-GoldenFlower 77
78 The East that has taught us another, wider, more profound, and a higher understanding, that is, understanding through life. We know this way only vaguely, as a mere shadowy sentiment culled from religious terminology, and therefore we gladly dispose of Eastern “wisdom” in quotation marks, and push it away into the obscure territory of faith and superstition. But in this way Eastern “realism” is completely misunderstood. It does not consist of sentimental, exaggeratedly mystical, intuition is bordering on the pathological and emanating from a ascetic recluses and cranks; the wisdom of the East is based on practical knowledge coming from the flower of Chinese intelligence, which we have not the slightest justification for undervaluing.

Jung GoldenFlower 94
1. Tao 道
The great dificulty in interpreting this and similar texts1 for the European mind is due to the fact that the Chinese author always starts from the centre of things, from the point we would call his objective or goal; in a word, he begins with the ultimate insight he has set out to attain. Thus the Chinese author begins his work with ideas that demand a most comprehensive understanding on our part. So much so, that a man with a critical intellect feels he speaks with laughable pretension, or even that he is guilty of utter nonsense, if he dares launch a purely intellectual discourse on the subtle psychic experiences of the great minds of the East. For example, our text begins : " That which exists through itself, is called Tao". The Hui Ming Ching begins with the words : "The most subtle secret of Tao is essence and life"

Jung Golden Flower 106