Date: October 7, 2011
First, what book is <The Secret of Golden flower>?
<The Secret of Golden flower> is the classics of Inner Alchemy of Taoism. It is included in <The Collected Essentials of Taoist Canon> and <The Continued Taoist Canon>, but there is small difference between the two editions, they all contain 13 chapters, and each topic is also the same, the writing in the first chapter differs a little, but the general idea is the two editions do not have much difference, therefore the difference of this kind of edition will not influence your practice.
<The Secret of Golden flower> is the classics of practice and cultivation, it elaborates the Inner Alchemy and its idea and technology directly, but does not elaborate the profound theory emphatically. Because this book's full name in <The Taoist Canon> (道藏) is <Lu Zu Xiantian Yiqi Taiyi Jinhua Zongzhi> (吕祖先天一气太乙金华宗旨), people consider Lu Dongbin as the author. But it is not possible, if you inspect this book carefully. Because the opening of each chapter starts with “Ancestor Lu (吕祖) said that” or “God Lu (吕帝) said ”, Lu Dongbin (吕洞宾) was impossible to call himself as “Ancestor Lu” or “God Lu”；In the first chapter of <The Secret of Golden flower>, it has such a few words “Since the establishment of the Tao (道 the Way) by Taishang, Donghua passed it to Yan, The Complete Reality Taoism (Quanzhendao) eventually spread all over China when it is divided into two main traditions, Northern and Southern.” This tells the inheritance of Taoism and the history of <The Secret of Golden flower>. ”Taishang” is Lao-tzi (老子), “Donghua” (东华) or Donghuadijun (东华帝君) is Han Dynasty's Wang Xuanpu (王玄浦), who passed this method to Tang Dynasty's Lu Dongbin (Lu Yan). Taoism was divided into the north-south two parts during Song Dynasty. The northern ancestor's main representative is The Complete Reality of Taoism (Quanzhenpai) established by Wang Chongyang (王重阳). The Complete Reality of Taoism (Quanzhenpai) was formed in Southern Song Dynasty which is 300 years late compared with Tang Dynasty that Lu Dongbin lived. The book mentioned North-South two parts and The Complete Reality of Taoism (Quanzhenpai), could Lu Dongbin possibly write down matters in the book after death more than 300 years later? Therefore it is impossible for Ancestor Lu to have written this book. But in the book each chapter also starts by “Ancestor Lu said that” or ”God Lu said” outset, the reasonable explanation should be, the principle and method that <The Secret of Golden flower> narrated indeed should be the Ancestor Lu taught and passed on, but the after formation of text should be written by some master of Southern Song Dynasty which is 300 years later than Lu Dongbin’s time, very possible he was Wang Chongyang (王重阳), the founder of The Complete Reality of Taoism (Quanzhenpai).