The Evolution of Consciousness
This figure depicts the basic correspondences between cosmological and physiological processes. The lower half of the diagram illustrates the primal unity of heaven, earth, and qi in the macrocosm. At the next highest level, this same unity is present as the relationships between the jing and yuanqi which is present as our endowment of primordial yin and yang in the left and right kidney respectively. The yuanqi, having risen out of the jing represents the primordial yin and yang as they have differentiated from the primal dao. In this sense the function of the yuanyang is similar to the shen in as much as they both may be thought of as the spark which activates potential. The yuanyin may be thought of as being similar in function to jing in as much as they both represent pure potentiality. As the chongqi blends heaven and earth so too does mingmen (the "gate of destiny") blend together one's complement of jing and shen, yuanyin and yuanyang, and early heaven (the inherited influences gained prior to the first breath) with the influences of later heaven ( the aquired influences gained during and after the first breath). The contribution of the sensory orifices in transmitting later heaven into one's depths is represented by the exit and entry points SI-19 and BL-1 (see my article on entry/exit points. If reality is transmitted acurately without being obscured by the conditioned mind's interpretation then the fire's of mingmen burn brightly as reflected in the sparkle of our eyes and the acuity of our hearing.
The quality of the functioning of mingmen is contributed to in a large part by human will as it is present as the kidney spirit (zhi: will, ambition). Hence, the Daoist scholar Liu Yiming affirms that the very foundation of internal alchemy is the stability of our will. The direction of our will is always dependant on choice and determines the extent to which we will be able to fully express the "authentic self" or the extent to which acquired "habitual" behaviors and the accretions of "mundane consciousness," will extinguish the flame of destiny which burns in mingmen. The practitioner must see past the accretions of life's habituating influences back toward each patient's true inner nature. Acupuncture and herbal medicine may be used to access and resurrect these primordial influences helping to initiate and support the endless process of awakening that is the fulfillment of human potential.