Mahavairocana Buddha seated on a golden lotus flower, by Unkei, 13th C, Japan

About & Contact

This website was made by Walther Sell with the invaluable help of Junyong Wang. While both are responsible for the translation, Walther created the explanation and comments on the text. Junyong researched Chinese texts, including the meaning of ancient Chinese characters.

They are both members of the Fellowship of Friends, a school based on the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. This teaching is also known as The Fourth Way. Although the Fourth Way is still the basis of The Fellowship of Friends` teaching, it now incorporates and draws inspiration from all esoteric traditions, since the inner meaning of all esoteric traditions is the same: to bring about the presence of the Original Spirit, one`s Higher Self, the God within.

The Hierarchy is one, and the esoteric sides of all religions were launched by it, as was the great experiment started through Ouspensky and Gurdjieff for our own time. -- Rodney Collin (20th c. Fourth Way spiritual teacher)
All religions, all this singing, one song.
The differences are just illusion and vanity.
Sunlight looks a little different on this wall
than it does on that wall and a lot different
on this other one, but it is still one light.
-- Rumi (13th c. Sufi mystic and poet))

While reading The Secret of the Golden Flower, Walther was inspired by the fact that the content and symbolism are similar to the teaching of The Fellowship of Friends and the inner meaning of all religions. After reading the translations of Richard Wilhelm and Thomas Cleary and comparing them to passages in the original Chinese text, he began to feel that, although both translations had their merit, a new translation was possible, that would better reflect the inner meaning and symbolism of many of the passages. This website is the result.

Walther was born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He joined the Fellowship of Friends in 1982, lived 5 years in the USA, 12 years in Japan and has been living in Shanghai, China, since 2005, where he works as a jazz pianist. Junyong is a Chinese native, who has had a longtime interest in classical Taoist scriptures.

Entrust yourself to reliable friends who carefully protect you and support you, they will make sure that within the furnace, the fire times occur as due. -- Zhang Sanfeng (13th c. Taoist master, The Rootles Tree)
Companions are not of one kind only. There are internal and external companions. The external companions are your intimate friends in the Tao. The internal companions are “the men who do not die”. They support the firm bold breath. If your companions are unsuitable, or if you have no companions, there is only your 'lone yin', and any movement would be inauspicious. 
-- Liu Yiming (Cultivating the Tao)