"The Yellow Emperor went wandering north of the Red Water, ascended the slopes of K’un-lun, and gazed south. When he got home, he discovered he had lost his Dark Pearl. He sent Knowledge to look for it, but Knowledge couldn’t find it. He sent the keen-eyed Li Chu to look for it, but Li Chu couldn’t find it. At last he tried employing Shapeless and Shapeless found it. The Yellow Emperor said, “How odd! – in the end it was Shapeless who was able to find it!”.............Chuang Tze from “Heaven and Earth”
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels[e] of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches."
..................Revelations chapter 1 verses 17-20
A few days back my friend, Joel Clark, posted the first quote in Facebook and I promised him that I would write a commentary as this mythological tale is told to impress upon the seeker the need for dependence on the “Shapeless” or Tao rather than knowledge as the only way of attaining higher consciousness and this is a derivative of Bodhidharma's philosophy and is emphasized throughout the Taoist tradition just as Ch’an monks were encouraged to strive for Buddhahood rather than search for knowledge.
The meaning behind the quote is as follows: Out of the seven energy centres of the human body, the (Manipura) chakra is the highest of the lower three chakras and is assigned the colour yellow. This is the Yellow Emperor of the physical manifestation and is preeminent point between the three lower chakras and the four higher chakras. The Kundalini energy or vital life force or Chi constantly travels or ascends through the Sushmana nadi (nadi is the energy channel) and get channelized through the descending pingala and Ida nadis. While the vital life force has to climb to the top, signifying an effort of transcendence from the physical to the spiritual, the descending force is only compared to seeing south, as it is only a limited perception of a physical manifestation of the higher order consciousness There is a perfect balance that need to be maintained in this flow of energy constantly nourishing the vital life force towards perfection. But in our material existence we lose the balance which is compared to the lose of the "Black Pearl". A black pearl is priceless and rare but hard to find when there is darkness. A consciousness which is not illumined but which exists in ignorance cannot find this priceless gift. The tools that are sent to find this pearl such as knowledge or intellect, which is here compared to the wisdom of longevity of " the keen-eyed Li Chu" (who was reputed for spotting herbs that promoted longevity), could not find it. It is only the shapeless, which signifies only that which is not derivative of the physical, external or inner intellect, can find and retrieve this wonderful gift of human life.
When I read the Yellow Emperor's tale, I was immediately drawn to the Book of Revelation and St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.
The biggest misinterpretation of the Bible is the "Book of Revelations". This text, written by John the Divine on a secluded Greek island, is taught as an Apocalyptical text indicating the second (Physical) coming of an all conquering Christ. But the deeper esoteric interpretation has to do with one's own spiritual journey. There are now volumes written on this topic which mostly resides in the scholarly sphere.
The declaration of Christ to John when he beholds the vision of the living Christ is that "..... I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades" This denotes the perennial nature of consciousness which is primarily the spirit and from which the physical is manifest. Hence for Christ consciousness or Divine consciousness there is no death and it is alive forever.
Then comes the detail of how this manifestation takes place in the physical form. It is the " ......... seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels[e] of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches."
The Revelations are more explicit in defining nature of the vital life force and its location. The seven energy centres or the seven churches and the seven angels which are vital life force at these seven centres. Stars symbolize self illuminating manifestations and hence equated to angelic forms which are entities of higher consciousness while the candle stands are the places where the light which is lit from an external source is placed and hence subject to decay.
Man with his seven energy centres or Chakras is the created entity symbolized by the Adam or the first man and Christ consciousness is the repeated coming or manifestation and is the life giving spirit and is the everlasting Adam. This is what Paul writes to the Corinthians in his first letter;
"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." ...."So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit." ........................1 Corinthians XV 22,45
Let us find these hidden Black Pearls in all the mythologies and sacred writings.
Love to you all