You are currently viewing Degrees of Simplicity

Degrees of Simplicity

  • Post author:

It is often difficult to see what happens within the progress of our practice. 

The teacher is there, but it is useful to understand a couple of things.

Several things should be seen:

* Phenomena
* Levels of consciousness
* Stages of evolution
* Developed qualities

In training, one can feel phenomena of various intensity, which aren’t important at all, but which are real. Whether you feel this or that, within the framework of your practice, is always true, if you feel it more than you imagine it, obviously… but it doesn’t matter.

Within the framework of evolution on the Way, the pupil will go through stages, change level of consciousness, evolve towards a greater sensitivity to reality, but also, for a while, he will feel another reality. What you will be able to perceive will be analysed according to your understanding, to your progression within the great principles of evolutions; it is indeed only possible to understand with the mental tools we possess at any given time.

The developed qualities will be integrated within these perceptions with the level of awakening present at the time. They are different levels, different capacities, a different kind of work in order to evolve within each concept.


When acquiring more energy, one can be prone to “flashes” of reality which might shock or awaken. The body being involved in this part of the training can give us new or old sensations on a perception level. All of that is real, you feel it, but you shouldn’t get too much attached to it.

To comment on, calculate of dissect these phenomena, is a waste of time, but it is also a way for your mind to get hold of your experience. It is very useful to share it with your teacher, in order to keep him informed, without expecting any particular feedback.

On all levels of practice, it is possible to be deluded.

Levels of conscience:

From the first day of practice until the last, one can get a taste of the Tao. It is possible, without practicing, to perceive the infinite, just as it is possible to practice unceasingly while remaining in the fog of our mind. In everyday life, we identify three basic levels consciousness: the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep.

Within the framework of our practice, we will talk about nine states altogether, three in each basic level. Indeed, in the waking state, it is a euphemism to say that we are not always present, we often wander in states of unconsciousness which are more or less sticky. In the waking state, we speak of presence, of normal unconsciousness, and of deep unconsciousness.

In the dream state, we have the conscious dream, the guided dream and the unconscious dream.

But these incursions in the land of consciousness are not stable, there are only moments that come and go without knowing why. These little moments of clarity enable us to see that towards which we tend, that which we seek. It is useful for our search but it is not the search itself. The practice allows us to install this state of consciousness in order to make it normality.

Moreover, you will only be able to understand, interpret this perception of reality, according to your personal evolution.

Stages of evolution:

It is not a way of judging but a way of understanding: it is as the child who evolves towards language, it is not that it is “good”, it is just an evolution. As opposed to the levels of consciousness, which can come and go, be unstable and changing; the stages of evolution, are permanent: the child who has access to language cannot go back.

It is only possible to go forward and when a stage is reached, it becomes unforgettable, acquired. One will always practise in the search to understand oneself. In this work, we will go towards knowing the other. In looking at oneself and the other, we will perceive the changes of the world differently.

The three stages of evolution go from our self, from one to the other, in the perspective to better seize the changes of the world.

We go from the one (us) towards the two (the other) then towards the world (all the rest).
道生一, 一生二, 二生三, 三生萬物

“The Tao produces the one, the one gives the two, the two gives the three and of the three (come) the 10.000 things.”
Laozi, chap. 42

In practice we will talk about nine stages, three by basic level. The stages of evolution allow a different reading of identical elements.

The “great Taoist’s principles” have both: levels of consciousness and stages of evolution.

Developed qualities:

Whatever the discipline approached, and because people do not have the same education, the same ease or the same experience, each one will practice with his own strength and weaknesses. The idea here is simple: For the Way to be right, it must be balanced.

We must go into the aspects of the Way which we like and in those which underline our weaknesses.

The three basic qualities are body, energy and mind. We must go towards Qigong, Neidan (internal alchemy) and Shen gong (meditation) in order to cover all the facets of our being.

For the body, we work on the physical structure (strength), the relation to oneself in space (rooting) and the exchange between the body and the world (relaxation).

For Neidan, we practice the three stages described in the teaching.

There are also three levels to the work of Shengong.

It is not about working more, but about dividing our time of practice between the three levels of body, energy and mind.

That was for a finer understanding of our development in the Way, a dissection not very useful for the practice, but so satisfactory for our mind.

“A practice without concept evolves blindly, 

but concepts without practice are sterile”

(A. Einstein)