Home | Taoism main page | Topics | New or updated | Search

The Crystal Palace (Upper Tan Tien)

In Taoism, this centre of the brain is variously referred to as the Square Inch [Secret of the Golden Flower, p.25], the Heavenly Heart [Ibid], the Crystal Palace [Awaken Healing Light, pp.222-223], the Upper Tein Tan, the Original Cavity of the Spirit (Yuan Shen Shih) or the Ancestral Cavity (Tsu Ch'iao) [Taoist Yoga - Alchemy & Immortality, pp.5, 9, etc].  This is said to be the place where the original Spirit principle dwells.  Sufism also locates the principle of Spirit (Ruh) in the head-centre.  In the Radha Soami teachings, which integrate Sufi, Tantric, and Vedantic ideas, the Ajna or Brow Centre is considered the seat of the Soul (Jiva) or Spirit (Ruh) [Sar Bachan, p.35], in contrast to the conventional Tantric location of the Self or Soul in the Heart (Anahata) Centre.  The Brahma Kumari sect likewise teaches that this centre is the seat of the Soul.  They advise practisioners to meditate exclusively on it in order to attain Liberation.

According to Mantak Chia the "Crystal Palace" is ovoid in shape (the Brahma Kumaris teach their followers to meditate on a red ovoid; the shape is in agreement but the colour is wrong!), and, when activated, becomes illumined like millions of shining crystals, able to receive light and knowledge from the universe and reflect them to the various parts of the body [Awaken Healing Light, pp.222-223].

In Kabbalah, this Center corresponds to the Sefirah Daat, located on the Middle Pillar (= the internal Central Line or Sushumna) between Binah (= Back of Head Centre) and Hokmah (= Forehead Centres).  The occultist Kenneth Grant associates Daat with Pluto, and sees it as the gateway to the "transplutonian" sefirot, which represent a different dimension of existence [see e.g. Cults of Shadow ].  A correlation could be made here with the Taoist spiritual Alchemy, which speaks of the mysterious gate (hsuan kuan): an inner Light produced through the union of the lower ch'i and the ch'i in the brain, and from which Spirit (shen) emerges prior to the final breakthrough [Taoist Yoga, p.xv].

It would also seem to be this Centre rather than the Crown that in Tibetan Buddhism is the source of the White Drop that descends to the Heart Centre, there to mix with the ascending Red Drop in order to attain the Enlightened state of consciousness.

A one-sided emphasis on this centre can however lead to an imbalance of the yang or spiritual principle, as indicated by the Brahma Kumari sect, who take a very cynical view of bodily existence, and are concerned only with attaining the transcendent heaven realm.

Summing up, the Internal Head Centre is White in colour, associated with the principle of Spirit (Ruh, Ruah, Shen), and the positive or Yang/Heaven polarity, and is the inner gateway to various spiritual dimensions of existence.

Taoism page

Alchemical Taoism

Home | Taoism index page | Topics | New or updated | Search

Creative Commons License
Unless otherwise attributed or quoted, all text is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.
The images on this page are not covered by this license.

images not loading? | error messages? | broken links? | suggestions? | criticism?

contact me

content by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 24 May 1999, last modified 21 November 2003