About the author

Matthew Butler

Matthew Butler is Chief Editor of SpiritualSun.com, a website exploring the history and practice of the ancient Religion of the Sun. A keen writer since his youth, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and has a natural interest in probing hidden truths and higher knowledge. He felt called to study spirituality in 2004 and has pursued it ever since. On The Spiritual Sun, he directs his skills and inquisitive nature towards shedding light on the ancient Religion of the Sun, which he investigates both as a writer/researcher and practitioner.

11 Comments

  • These are wonderful teachings indeed, and their beauty and wisdom actually shines more now, having them all at one place.

    I also find it intriguing how in Hua Hu Ching, they talk to a feminine listener (“The one who can dissolve her mind will suddenly discover the Tao at her feet, and clarity at hand.”). I don’t think I have seen it anywhere else, and was wondering if it was a specific feature of this particular text, or if it is a “norm” for the Taoist teachings?
    Thinking about it further, it somewhat makes sense from the point of view of the listener being a Soul, that is supposed to be feminine in its nature.

    • This doesn’t seem to be the norm for Taoist texts in general and it’s not clear to me whether it’s an actual feature of this text.

      There aren’t many other translations of the Hua Hu Ching, unfortunately, and the only one I could find did not use a feminine pronoun there (and was quite different in many other respects).

      That’s the thing with translating these ancient Chinese texts it seems — the translator has to make a lot of interpretive decisions given that the language is very different to English.

      So there may be a meaning at work in the text that the translator is picking up on, or it could just be Brian Walker’s decision as translator to use the feminine pronoun as the default instead of him/he.

    • Like Justin, I don’t know whether this reflects what is in the original Chinese or if the translator chose to be more gender inclusive in the translation.

      Sometimes the ancient word may not be gender specific, because other languages can have non gender pronouns, which leaves the translator the option of having to choose a male or female pronoun in English. Since there is no appropriate singular pronoun in English, you inevitably have to chose he/she or his/her as “it/its” doesn’t really cut it.

      Whatever the case, for the reason you mentioned, I agree it works well and is actually very appropriate, as the raw human consciousness is described as being feminine anyway, which why Sophia is female in the Pistis Sophia, and there is the symbolism of a damsel being rescued by a Christic figure in mythology. This is something explained in the chapter on the winter solstice in The Path of the Spiritual Sun.

      • I don’t know if it helps somehow, but Sophia is greek word and it means Wisdom with a feminine gender, as Pistis that means Faith.

  • I think it’s supposed to be ‘fall’ rather than ‘rail’ in the the first sentence of the first quote. I remember seeing the quote on belsebuub.com and had it copied onto a post-it-note. It was (and still is) very inspirational to me.

    Thanks for sharing these quotes from Hua Hua Ching. I’ll have to find a copy!

  • Thanks for these great Taoist quotes showing the way of how to be in the present moment.

    I am a bit unsure about the last sentence though in the “ego is a monkey” quote which says – “And then forget that you are there.” If you are doing the “watching” that the sentence before it says to do, wouldn’t one of the things you’d see be yourself?

    Maybe one of my monkeys is holding on to an idea preventing me from seeing what this last part of that quote is saying…

    • The way I’ve understood that line is that one should also let go of any ideas around being in the present, or of thinking about being in the present, but just to be watching naturally.

      Then what you are watching is the thoughts, emotions etc. that are arising within.

    • David, I agree that the “And then forget that you are there” is very illuminating.
      I can see a few interpretations. The main one I see is: reaching samadhi (where the mind is utterly still). But other meanings might be: becoming Action (ie. becoming a living Verb because there is nothing which would hold you still/influence incorrect actions), death of the egos (ie. the monkey), as well as the final part of the path of liberation that Belsebuub (belsebuub.com) talks about as part of the return to source — all of these at the same time! I’m sure there are others, and that others will have even more insightful meanings!

    • Hi David,

      Your question reminded me of an experience I had years ago (https://spiritualjourneys-belsebuub.com/2017/02/11/experiencing-the-unity-of-everything-living-through-awareness-at-the-park/), when I think I was the closest possible to the state of “no-being” or “forgetting I was there”.

      It happened to me after going every day to a park close to my house for an ‘awareness walk’, where I would focus intensively on getting out of my thoughts and perceiving everything around me. After about a year of doing this every day, I had an experience where for a while I found myself outside of my mind, just perceiving everything very clearly. There were not even any background “noises” in my mind and no emotions. I remember feeling as a part of the scenery around me, to the extent that I stopped feeling myself as a person, I was just “everything around”. I felt like I was also the light that shone on me, and the pond, and the ducks, and the trees. There was a peace and a lot of beauty in that state, but no emotions as we usually know them. And then a “byproduct” of that state was that the different animals started coming close to me, which always spoiled the experience, as their unusual behaviour brought up the different egos within me, even though those were just minute thought forms, still they were the clouds that ruined the clear state.

      An interesting thing about this state was that afterwards, I was thinking about it and concluded that I was not sure if I wanted to just “disappear” like that, and that the state was not so enjoyable after all. I think those were most likely my egos “analysing” the experience afterwards, but it also came to my mind that maybe the “emptiness” I felt during this experience, or the fact that I “lost myself” could have something to do with the fact that I haven’t built any superior spiritual bodies within me at that point, and haven’t incarnated any higher spiritual parts, which would most likely make the experience more powerful and maybe more “personal” in a way, in comparison to just a small fraction of consciousness experiencing merging with the Whole – but this is just my speculation.

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