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We often hear people talking about Gu Shen or valley spirit. Is it Shen or its derivative?

In chapter 6 of Tao Te Ching (By James Legge) it carries the following lines:

The valley spirit dies not, aye the same;
The female mystery thus do we name.
Its gate, from which at first they issued forth,
Is called the root from which grew heaven and earth.
Long and unbroken does its power remain,
Used gently, and without the touch of pain.

Can you give us a clarification?
Gu Shen (谷神) is also translated as empty valley, God of empty valley or valley spirit.

In post-heaven state, people use authentic Jing (or Zhen Jing, 眞精) to indicate condensed substance that derives from 抽坎添离(withdraw the middle unbroken line of Kan trigram to fill the middle broken line of Li trigram). The middle unbroken line of Kan trigram originally derives from the Chien trigram of pre-heaven state (in post-heaven state it became old Chien trigram located in north-west). The middle broken line of Li trigram originally derives from the Kun trigram of pre-heaven state (in post-heaven state it became old Kun trigram located in south-west). So, it is from post-heaven state to transit to pre-heaven state.

As the pre-heaven elements gain restored gradually during alchemy practice, alchemists begin to use medicinal substance or elixir cinnabar or elixir pill or brilliant pearl to illustrate the condensed substance. When welll in pre-heaven state we should use Gu Shen to name it. Therefore, as circumstance changes, the quality and quantity and other factors naturally undergo changes. Changes and transformation prevails always and there is nothing that can remain immune to their effects. As the void at extremities as well as as the efficacious at extremities, Gu Shen denotes the one wave of Chi that is both mythical and ethereal, non-being but effective. Deriving from nonbeing, it is subject to no death at all. Gu (valley) is a term to denote the spaciousness, void and embracing all while Shen (spirit) indicates the sovereign and ethereal mechanism in hidden place for the Creation and Transformation. The pivotal point is how to take advantage of it.

Here we attach the Poetic Essay upon Gu Shen (谷神赋) down below for people to appreciate. (It was written in traditiona Chinese. So, people are required to know Chinese)


谷 神 賦

道唯谷神,在玄牝門。能含而三關不死,善養而一炁常存。炁中有精,須守黑而知白;向外無物,但固蒂以深根。

原夫出自希夷,存乎要妙,谷能自養,神則歸竅。知柔藏影於中虛,善閉含光而内照。生可長永,死能救療。雖云自然,在靜而專。無大廢而外暢,但多藏而内堅。如能曉其含真,則乃命在我;若不知其守一,則玄之又玄。爾乃含之微微,處之默默,炁用萬端而求泯,絕利一源而取則。心是樞機,目為盜賊。愛嗜欲而無所求,則修真之不可得。察其負陰抱陽,地​久天長,洞迷者尋之有路,窒塞者去之無方。見赤子之潛蔭,號而不嘎;知靈龜以自得,捨之則藏。念黃橘之神凝,勸玄珠而並長。專用含畜,不離影響,還中玉質,焉能生於見疑。閫外塵埃,豈能混於存想。視之不見,得之若驚。

老聃傳之於尹喜,惠子得自於莊生。至道哉!養神在心,不死由我,生而從水,發者就火。若知動之死地,則無可之於不可。
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