Way of Highest Clarity, 7


7. pp. 211-223 "Praeface to the Perfect Scripture of the Great Grotto"

pp. 211-212 the text of, and the Praeface to, the Perfect Scripture

p. 211

The ‘Great-Grotto Perfect-Scripture’ (Da-don Z^en-jin) = DZ 6 "is ... one of the ... Highest Clarity texts transmitted by perfected Lady Wei to Yang Xi in the original Highest Clarity revelations in the early 360s [Chr.E.]. The text comprises thirty-nine stanzas revealed by thirty-nine gods, who correspond to thirty-nine points in the body. Each stanza ... names the relevant deity and describes how it can block one of the thirty-nine "gates of death qi" (siqi sanshiji men ...).

The adept is instructed to visualize [fn. 1 : "zhensi ... "perfect and think" or "realize through meditation. It is ... a gloss on the term cun ... which is used in other ... texts."] the "perfect qi" (zhenqi ...) of the deity blocking up the death gate and then recite a prayer. ... Multicolored qi from the visualized deities then enters the adept’s body through the Mud Pill ... . Then there follow ... prayers to be recited by the adept while his body transforms. Each stanza ends with a talisman, a symbolic token of the fusion between the adept’s body and the spirit[’s qi]."


The Great-Grotto Perfect-Scripture was composed by Z^u Zi-yin (Chr.E. 976-1029).

p. 212

"the Gentleman who Observes Marvels", Z^u Zi-yin, was "twenty-third patriarch in the Highest Clarity lineage of Mt. Mao"

pp. 213-215 origin of the Way

p. 213

"the Way is born from nonbeing, secretly harboring [qian] a multitude of numinous powers [lin] which none can fathom [ce]. Spirits [s^en] condense in the void, marvelously transforming in myriad ways without bounds [fn. 3 "boundless" wu-fan]. In the darkest depths, there is an essence, serene and stable, which shines out light. This great mystery [xuan] is infinite, reaching across the void, preserving stillness. This is called the "Great Grotto."

p. 214

It accumulates the vital essence [jin] and gathers the spirits, driving the ancestral qi round and about, refining the spirits, joining with the Way, whirling an auspicious wind and drumming and dancing. In the midst of nothing, suddenly there is breathing in and out, dispersing the myriad spirits on their way, moving them to the uttermost, then returning them to stillness. It is shadowy [huan] and indistinct [hu] [fn. 10 : "huan hu" is a quotation from Dao De Jin 21], yet it encloses the marvelous phenomena of the Imperial [Lord] and [Supreme] Unity. This is called the "blending of the whirlwind." It forms the common root of the stem of Heaven and Earth [p. 15, fn. 12 "common root of the stem of heaven and earth" tian-di pu-z^i z^i ben] and the source of the creative power of emperors and sages.

p. 215

When humans are born, they are endowed with qi from the Supreme Ultimate and their activity and stillness is modeled on heaven and earth. They derive their numinous powers from Unity Prime and their contractions and expansions embody yin and yang."

pp. 216-218 heavenly origin of the Perfect Scripture

p. 216

"the thirty-nine Imperial Sovereigns of the heaven of Highest Clarity circulate as perfected beings and shine down to enter the thirty-nine portals of the body. ... Their language is profound and abstruse, but by using it one can draw in a hundred spirits and summon perfected cosmic forces. This is called "congratulatory clouds opening the gate of life" and "auspicious vapors blocking the portals of death." [fn. 16 "the revelation of the gods ... inhibits death by blocking up the portals through which noxious forces could invade the body. Thus ..., ... the gods ... to perform these ... functions of ... blocking death."]

p. 217

Thus the yellow Venerable Lord of Prime Simplicity of the Center gathered the abstruse sentiments of the ranks of sages and compiled them into the Perfected Scripture of the Great Grotto, which is ... the scripture in thirty-nine chapters. In addition there is

one [chapter] from the Whirlwind Imperial [Lord],

one [chapter] from the Lofty Prime Male and

one chapter from the Five Elders and the Female One."

[fn. 18 : "in Highest Clarity theology there are only thirty-six celestial realms, and therefore only thirty-six Imperial Sovereigns (Dihuang ...) each of whom is responsible for one section of the text."]


"the Way has three marvels. The first marvel is the thirty-nine chapters of the Perfect Scripture of the Great Grotto.

The second marvel is the Precious Scripture of the Female One and the Five Elders. [fn. 19 "The Lofty Jade Emperor’s Precious Scripture of the Female One and the Five Elders" Don-z^en Gao-s^an Yu-di Da-don Ci-yi Yu-jian Wu-lao Bao-jin (= DZ 1313) "contains a variety of methods ... involving female deities in the brain". {cf. the animal-headed goddesses in the brain according to the Bar-do bTags-grol (Bodish Book of the Dead), a rN~in-ma composition}]

The third marvel is the Marvelous Scripture of the Pure Numinous in the palace of Vast Possessions." (= DZ 1314)

p. 218

The Great-Grotto Perfect-Scripture is "the first scripture in the "golden books" of the Lord of Great Purity in the Realm of Highest Mystery.

One name [for this book] is the Dragon Book of the Three Heavens;

another name is the Scripture of the Way of Great Perfection of the Nine Heavens.

This scripture was created by the Heavenly King of the Primordial Beginning of the Ten Directions of Mysterious Subtlety, who circulated his qi to compile them."

[fn. 22 : Yuan-s^i Tian-wan (‘Primordial-Beginning Heavenly-King’) "is to be distinguished from" the later ‘Primordial-Beginning Heavenly-Worthy’ of the Lin-bao Dao (‘Numinous-Treasure Way’).]

pp. 219-220 transmission of the Perfect Scripture

p. 219

"The Queen Mother of the West received the Way from Heavenly King of Primordial Beginning and then had [the texts] collectively engraved in the Northern Prime Heaven and registered in Naxie Country, with a numinous reflection on the Mountain of Humans and Birds in the Tower Field Cavern. In [this] empty chamber, the vital force of the Orthodox Unity of Nine Mysteries came together, forming calligraphy with characters ten feet tall ... .

The Heavenly King of Primordial Beginning moreover transmitted this to the Yellow Venerable Lord of the Center attached to the Eight Perfected Ones of Highest Clarity, enabling the teaching to be conferred upon the lower regions, so that [the people there] should become perfected persons and ascend to the three starry realms.

The Yellow Venerable Lord of the Center kept this scripture secret and in the profane realm there is no knowledge of it".

p. 220

"The treasured secrets of the Heavenly Perfected of Highest Clarity must ... be handed on the those who will become perfected persons : ...

those who have a gold pavilion jade name in the heaven of Great Mystery;


[those who have] a precious inscription in purple lettering;


those who possess a secret register from the Three Primes of being joined to the dawn-star; or


those who have a writ in yellow characters in the Cinnabar Terrace."

pp. 220-221 cosmic function of the Perfect Scripture

p. 220

"This text is [also known as] the Emblem of the Highest sovereign Way and the Volume of the Marvelous Purple Dawn. It regulates the destiny of the [various] ranks within the nine heavens, and invokes the numinous powers of the five Imperial [Lords].

It spins out the blending of the whirlwind; it condenses the mystery essence of the nine revolutions [of the heavens]. It unites male and female, and convokes the myriad spirits. Lushly wooded and rich with sound is [the Heaven of] Great Perfection.

It brings cosmic energy down to the individual level [p. 220, fn. 25 "Literally, "it moves pifei ... to the bright beam ... ." Pifei is vital force that transcends the nine heavens. The bright beam is the equivalent of pifei in the body."], connects the transforming existence [of the cosmos] to the mystery gate [in the body], and links the creative power [of the Dao] to the production of marvels [in the earthly world]. It is a pure and dazzling web, which shines through the clouds. [From] vast emptiness it produces the qi of the numinous gate".

p. 221

"It [fn. 29 : "the heaven of Highest Clarity ... and the scriptures that descend from it"] is the loftiest residence of the spirits and the deep abyss of the myriad perfected. With golden rooms, lustrous and radiant, rich indeed is [the Heaven of] Highest Clarity."

pp. 221-223 making use of the text of the Perfect Scripture

p. 221

"If you can ... abstain from human contact, recite the precious chapters on a winding terrace and stir up the numinous powers with sweet songs of invocation, then your registration as a perfected person will be fixed in the east.

The seven mysteries will then flood the purple chamber [in your head]. overpowering the demon king and thereby dominating the spirits; the five Imperial [Lords] will be knitted together so as to protect your body; always and everywhere your fleshly body will fly [up into heaven] and seven times will [the seven mysteries] call on the Controller of Destinies to appear.

p. 222

These marvelous chapters of the great grotto sum up countless ways to revert life, [producing] from nothing marvelous hair, unusual substances, golden bones and jade names. ...


If you recite these chapters ten thousand times without ceasing, the Yellow Venerable Dao Lord of the Center will submit a report,

the Supreme [Imperial Lord] will order a supreme cinnabar whirlwind chariot with a green canopy and

the nine numinous powers will dispatch the Supreme Controller of Destinies to come and meet you.

Thereupon the winged chariot of the five ancient ones, its feathers fanned by the eight winds, spurred on by spirits and numinous powers, will carry you into the clouds like a flying dragon and you will ascend into heaven that very same day to be granted a text in the palace of the Three Prime Lords in the [Heaven of] Great Simplicity. This is what is meant by ascending to Highest Clarity to receive a text at the Supreme Ultimate and to be venerated as Left Officer of the High Immortals.

p. 223

If, however, you possess this scripture but do not get to study it, the heavenly Imperial Lord of [the Palace of] Supreme Subtlety will expunge your death certificate and, beginning from when you received the scripture, will establish [your] register of perfection. When you first begin a purification retreat, he will transfer your records to the Supreme Ultimate, inscribe your name in [the Palace of] Eastern Blossom and send a report about you to the Supreme [Imperial Lord]. You will be registered and enfeoffed in Turtle Terrace, and ten thousand spirits and a thousand numinous powers will call you the Great man of Nine Mysteries. Your rank will be that of Immortal Earl of Great Clarity." [fn. 36 : "In this case the adept will gain the rank of Immortal Earl, rather than perfected person, and will be installed in the heaven of Great Clarity, rather than Highest Clarity."]


James Miller : The Way of Highest Clarity. Three Pines Pr, Magdalena (NM), 2008.