A hermaphrodite explains the Tao
As the Spring Festival crowds eddy around the souvenir stalls and game booths in the Temple of the White Room’s main yard, others queue up as far back as the gate, waiting to touch the bronze animal with the body of a mule, the head of a horse, the tail of a donkey, and the feet of a cow. Upon your turn at this hybrid creature known as a te, you place a hand on the part of the animal corresponding to the afflicted part of your own body and make a wish for a cure.
Behind the green-tiled vermillion wall at the fore end of the yard, in the garden section of the temple known as the Islet of Immortals, more devotees stop and start on their way to the Longevity Hall, itself situated within an inner set of walls accessible only to this select elderly male group, quite unbeknownst to the average temple visitor. If you could follow along with them you would begin to make out their purpose once you entered the hall. Each carries in his hand a bundle of 100 newly pressed 100 Yuan banknotes, or a total of 1,600 US dollars at the going exchange rate, tightly wrapped in the standard bank-issued binding strip to ensure the compacted notes smolder evenly when tossed into the old stove, designed for the burning of coal briquettes but still effective at heating the interior with expensive paper for fuel.
From the stove they are directed to the center of the hall and told to keep moving. Hulking over the pilgrims on a granite platform to the left, the statue of a naked female with savage hair, a tiger’s teats and panther’s tail; to the right, a naked male with a bird’s face and tiger’s tail for a penis: Xiwangmu, the Western Royal Mother and Dongwanggong, the Eastern Royal Duke, from the mountains of the immortals. And on the central granite dais, a naked and unconscious Huanji perched back on a silk cushion, a stream of liquid issuing from between its legs, the fountain of life, droplets of which find their way into each open mouth by turn, until one trembling in the ecstasy of the moment falters and plunges directly onto the jade gate and feels the piercing lash of a whip on his cheek so violent it sends the wayward supplicant sprawling on the floor.
No, no, please, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do it! Please, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry!
You disobeyed the rules.
I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to please give me another chance I won’t do that again. Oh, no, I really am sorry please!
Go back and study the rules! says Cuo’er the dwarf with the whip to the kowtowing man whose cheek glistened with tears upon departing with his money and now glistens with blood. Happens every time, I’m telling you, the dwarf grins. It’s always the ones that can’t bear to part with their money who can’t control themselves and sully the fountain with their filthy maw.
For its genital fragrance is so alluring a force greater than gravity plugs the mouth of statistically one out of seven devotees flush onto the vulva like the thud of a rock dropped on the ground. This, unfortunately, negates its effects and requires another 10,000 yuan for a second round. It is indeed essential therefore to know the rules, prominently posted outside the entrance to the hall:
- Do not ask questions.
- Deposit your money into the fire with reverence.
- Keep moving.
- Bow to Huanji.
- Respect the Fountain of Life.
- Receive the water without touching the Jade Gate.
- Receive the water for no more than one second.
- Do not make contact with the Jade Gate!
- Do not look back.
- Do not disobey the rules.
Inside the interior end of the temple’s main yard behind the vermillion wall topped with glazed green tiles is a garden known as the Islet of Immortals, which surrounds the Longevity Hall. Behind this hall you may find another set of walls high enough to prevent prying eyes from gazing into yet another hidden garden. Into which if you could peer you would see various animals and objects collected there to delight the eyes of Huanji: cranes, a deer, a gazelle, a peach tree. At the front of the garden, facing the elixir platform chamber attached to the rear of the hall, is an altar table set with a bottle of 5100 Tibet spring water, sandalwood incense, vanilla-scented candles from IKEA, dragon fruit, gladiolus flowers, an antique Chinese water pipe, and a porcelain bowl filled with a mysterious powder.
Inside the elixir chamber they are at work. Huanji balanced on a sling, legs spread; the deaf Wuwen, head shaved, breasts rolling like wax down a candle, alternately deep-kissing Huanji and sucking its jade staff, as Huanji fingers the yin pearl in Wuwen’s sacred field; the blind Wutong, hair down to her anus, working her hand into Huanji’s jade gate; and assisting the proceedings, Cuo’er the dwarf.
Wutong slides two, three and then four fingers into the vagina and strokes it, palm upward. Curling in her thumb, she forms a beak with her hand and pushes further in. Something is struggling to get out. No. My hand’s not syncing.
Slow down, says Cuo’er.
With the baby girl. Its spasms aren’t syncing.
It’s distracted, says Huanji. Tends to happen in the presence of a stranger.
When the secluded vale is excited, it expands like a balloon. Some, like me, have the baby girl, which swells out and fills it up. When it is aroused and you can barely get anything inside, it has a baby girl.
Parting Huanji’s pubic hair and scrotum and folding back the labia minora, Wutong again hooks two fingers inside the roof of the vagina. There, see it, she says, straining to pop out like the head of a baby? By stroking the yang terrace, you can coax the baby girl out of the golden gully.
Yes, I see it but have not seen the likes of it before and don’t know what it is.
The G-spot, says Cuo’er. The female prostate. It’s engorged with blood during arousal which is filtered into plasma or liquid yin. The interior jade terrace—in your modern terminology the clitoral crura and corpora cavernosa—swells up too and clasps its tentacles around the baby girl. These spasms close off entry into the vagina. Once Wutong works her hands in, she will pump the perineum to propel yin energy into the microcosmic orbit—the solar system inside the body that circles about the middle dantian, otherwise known as the yellow court or solar plexus. In most people the rotation stalls from lack of qi power to drive it. Even adepts need to keep it going with disciplined effort or the energy dissipates. To jump-start it, you need to pump qi across the qi bridge to shoot it up the spine and ring the little bell, the upper dantian, whose vibrations send the qi back down the front of the body to the navel and lower dantian. As the qi cycles up and down it takes on momentum and begins to pulsate like a generator, soon exploding the crystal palace into a thousand crystals and thrusting you into the white.
The white? The crystal palace?
The electrical circuit jointly connecting the pineal gland, thalamus, hypothalamus and pituitary gland. When turned on they ignite a chamber of light inside the brain so bright it shines through the eyes.
This is astonishing and I wish to witness it. But what exactly is the mechanism involved in creating this “chamber of light”?
I’m afraid I don’t fully understand. I have heard that injaculation is the withholding of orgasm to reverse the flow of semen and send yang energy back up to the brain. Is this what you are referring to?
No. Injaculation is not the aborted ejaculation of the exterior penis but the actual ejaculation of the inner penis, the pineal gland. That’s why it’s called injaculation. The pineal gland ejaculates into the brain.
What does it ejaculate? Please explain this to me in biological terms.
The electrification of the crystal palace catalyzes abnormally rapid synthesis of N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine in the pineal gland, the hormone regulating the circadian rhythm and inducing sleep and dreaming. This does not result in a greater compulsion to sleep but on the contrary, a greater wakefulness than in normal consciousness. You see, O-methylating enzymes are produced in tandem equally rapidly, converting the sleep hormone before it has time to make you drowsy first into its methylated product 5-hydroxy-dimethyltryptamine and then by the addition of a methylated oxygen group into 5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine, the entrance ticket for crossing the blood-brain barrier, before reverting to a simple dimethyltryptamine, which however is similar enough to the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine that it is able to fool neuroreceptors into thinking it’s the latter, and the result is a remarkable change in consciousness.
5-hydroxytryptamine, Cuo’er continues, is our natural reality drug. By filtering out cosmic information at the cellular level, it reduces and simplifies perception to familiar space-time coordinates and imparts our sense of moment-to-moment normality. Dimethyltryptamine perforates this reassuring shell of awareness and allows the void to leak in. It retains the dream-creating potency of the sleep hormone N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine but without the compulsion to sleep. It makes you dream while fully awake, and your dreams are all the more vivid because you are awake. Your dream melts into reality and fuses with it. At the precise point when you can no longer distinguish reality from the dream, you white out.
You mean pass out?
Hyperconsciousness. The experience of distinct simultaneous realities overlaid and mapped onto each other. Opening up the mind is just as incapacitating as shutting it down.
Is this something desirable?
Oh, yes. But only adepts are able to concentrate enough qi power to blast into the wuqi—the non-qi, the void to which all qi is drawn. Huanji, on the other hand, is a special case. It’s got two lower dantians in its elixir field, an ovary palace and a sperm palace, and the amount of yin energy catalyzed by their mutual interaction is not twice but ten times the amount of the most adept practitioners with normal female anatomy. It produces so much it needs to expel the plasma, and we catch it.
How is it able to do this?
Normally the plasma flows through the urethra, but when the baby girl bursts, the Skene’s gland opens up to accommodate the sudden flood of ejaculate.
What do you do with the plasma?
We dry and crystallize it so we can access the wuqi at any time. If you want to be fast-tracked into the white, you can try it. The powdered extract is in the bowl outside on the table. Go ahead and take some with you when you leave and try smoking it. But don’t smoke it alone. It’ll hit you so fast you won’t know what’s happening and might drop the pipe on the floor and start a fire.
Why not just drink from the fountain?
You can’t drink it to access the void. It doesn’t work.
What are they drinking out in the hall, then?
They’re drinking from the fountain of life not to access the wuqi but to prolong their life. You can’t access the wuqi without training, and do you think those fellows have any training? You think they know anything about the wuqi? Imbibing the fountain merely increases your capacity to enter the void by restoring yin to energize the qi for health and longevity, while the extract gives you direct access to the void, and the extract can only be smoked.
But if all I have to do is smoke it, what training is there in that?
Of course, it’s better to access the wuqi through training. But you can smoke it to start familiarizing yourself with the wuqi.
Are you saying the dao is a drug?
It’s the technology for producing the drug, Huanji interjects. It’s the way, the means, the road.
If the dao is a road, how does one know one is making progress or is even on it?
It’s the path in the body through which the qi circulates, the microcosmic orbit. That’s the road, the dao.
That’s it? The road physically exists in the body? It’s not somewhere else? You can pinpoint it? It’s not a symbolic path of the soul toward a spiritual destination but is merely located in the bloodstream?
It’s located in the bloodstream but is not identical with it. It flows like electricity but is not identical to it. It’s also the technique.
There, there, stronger plucking on the zither strings. Yes, right there, that’s it!
Wutong has been teasing the baby girl first with two, three and then four fingers, progressively inserting them with upward clawing strokes, as if trying to get a grip on it and pull it right out of the womb. Now, fingers beaked together, she slides her hand further in until the vagina swallows it up to the wrist, rotates it around and stretches out her fingers, as if trying out a new glove. She then withdraws it, suctioning out liquid moonbeams and spilling them on the other hand to ease entry into Huanji’s anus. When this hand is absorbed into the rectum, she likewise stretches the fingers and explores its space, trying out the other glove. With both hands now inserted flush up to the wrists, she begins pumping them alternately like pistons, slowly at first, gradually picking up speed and continuing to transfer lubrication from the upper to the lower hand until they are going so fast they become a blur.
It’s not how much is ejected that’s important, says Cuo’er, it’s that Huanji’s yin is so potent. Only a few drops are needed. But the plasma is copious so stand out of the way if you don’t want to get splashed. You’ll have to stand out of the way anyway because we have to catch it. You can drink from it when the flood gives way to the fountain.
It’s coming, says Wutong. Wuwen removes her mouth from Huanji’s jade scepter just as it paints a semen chrysanthemum on her face. Get out of the way!
The baby girl bursts faster and more furiously than expected. Cuo’er catches the spray in an urn he has at the ready. The streams fly out for more than a minute, a productive session. Huanji’s still-erect jade stem and jade gate glow deep green. Violet, red and golden beams spin and flash through its body and circle out of the jade gate, smash against and wrap around the walls of the chamber before merging with a burst at the ceiling’s apex. The entire chamber is suffused with a dusty purple glow like that of a black light. When the gushing dies down to a gentle fountain, it’s time.
Okay, let’s bring it in, says Cuo’er.
The three carry the now unconscious Huanji, eyes glowing an unearthly white, through a door in back of the chamber into the Hall of Longevity on the other side, where the first devotees are lined up and waiting.
* * *