17. The Dao Can Be Learned at Any Time of Life 學道無早晩 도를 배우는 데는 때가 없다

△ The Dao(道). imageⓒAdobeStock_mingirov .

『Dongui Bogam-Internal Bodily Elements(동의보감-내경편』 Ⅰ. Body(신형 身形)

Written By Jun Heo(許浚, 1539~1615), Translated by Namil Kim, Wung Seok Cha et al., Published by Ministry of Health & Welfare (Korea)

A person moves day and night emitting qi and eventually loses the original qi. If the six yang are all dried out, one might easily die since there is only yin left. The age 64 is when the destiny of the trigram has worn out and original qi has become deficient. Therefore, it is too late to recover the genuine foundation. Oh! It is of the same logic as the Bok trigram of the Book of Changes does not return unless the Bak trigram has been done; yang is not engendered unless yin has finished its course. If one tries one’s best with a sincere heart with the teachings and the secret key from a great master, one would be able to return to the state of the Geon trigram of the Book of Changes even at the age of 120. Figuratively, an old tree can revive when a young branch is grafted onto it. Old can return to young if genuine qi is tonified. Ma Ziran a long time ago sought out Tao at the age of  64 because he was afraid of  getting  old  and  dying. Just in time, he met Liu Haichan and learned the secrets of long life and, eventually, his life became unlimited. Who was he that he was able to get a long life? It only needed one time of enlightenment.” 

② The Annotation of the Essay on the Comprehension of Truth (悟眞篇) says “Lu Chunyang met a hermit named Zhengyang at the age of 64, Ge Xianwong met the hermit Zheng at the age of 64 and Ma Ziran met Liu Haichan at the age of 64. They all trained themselves on the Tao of the gold cinnabar; they were able to achieve their goals at old age. This is because they longed for the Tao from the prime of their lives, practiced the precepts, and collected amulets which led them to earn the true teachings of the gold cinnabar at 64; it is why they were able to achieve the Tao so quickly. If they, like ordinary people, lost the essence, harmed their spirits due to too much thinking, and lost their true yang due to dissipating qi from exhaustion, they would not have been able to become hermits even if they had earned great Tao. If they sever themselves from desires, seek for the Tao at the prime of their lives, and start to train the Tao quickly, they are expected to reach the level of true enlightenment to Tao.” (→ Continued in next issue)