Where Do Babies Come From? - A Taoist View, Part II

The father’s essence stirs the mother’s heavenly essence as the palace of the child is readied. The endometrium emits chemicals into the cavity of the womb to invite the embryo to share in this earthly existence. If the invitation is accepted, a portal is opened up through which the cosmic qi is ignited. Heaven and earth combine, and the creation of a new individual has begun. During the first trimester, the Po (corporeal soul) is being formed as the channels and organs develop. In the second trimester, the Shen (spirit) is programmed to establish the upcoming curriculum or meaning of life, which will be stored in the blood. During the third trimester, the Hun (ethereal soul) establishes how the program is to be carried out.

Each stage of fetal development carries a beautiful interface between the parent’s life and the baby’s spiritual unfolding.  The mother’s energies must be strong enough to contain the great movement occurring within the depths. Her liver must have the blood reserves for the womb to initiate the development of the embryo’s essence. Her spleen must be strong enough to contain the embodied banking of manifestation.  At seven months gestation, the stars open the orifices (sensory organs) to absorb light from heaven and earth. The heart is harmonized and energetic boundaries are established. Heaven and earth settle within the lower chamber of essence (the Dan Tien), and the birth process is initiated as the child is ready to be released into the world.

The mother cannot alter the baby’s curriculum. She is only the channel through which the being has chosen to manifest. It is through her heart that she communicates with her baby.  The highest job she can perform is to remove her own physical, mental, and emotional obstructions so that the baby’s entrance into the earthly realm is not cluttered by her unfinished business. Only then can their souls be in union, unclouded by her needs. In this way, she is in service to her child.

During gestation, the father’s job is to ready the world for the baby’s arrival. In Chinese lore, the father’s interaction with the child begins when the child first laughs. When he recognizes the character of his baby, the father names the child.

In the words of Kahlil Gibran:

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.