“Huang Di asked: ‘I’ve heard of people in ancient times, spoken of as the immortals, who knew the secrets of the universe and held the world in the palm of their hands. They extracted essence from nature and practiced Chi Kung and various stretching and breathing exercises, and visualizations, to integrate body, mind and spirit. They remained undisturbed and thus attained extraordinary levels of accomplishment. Can you tell me about them?’ ”
-The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (the Neijing Suwen) ~240 B.C. translated by Maoshing Ni
Legend states that the alchemists of olden times could only succeed in turning lead into gold when their internal alchemy practice was of a high order. Chasing external results without doing the inner work often led to disaster.