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Science of Symbols 2017-04-21T17:36:06+00:00

Science of Symbols

Science of SymbolsAll levels of scholarly discourse in Chinese medicine are presently saturated with a general confusion about the term “science” and its relationship to the roots of the field. Prof. Deng Zhongjia, former dean of the Foundational Studies Department at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, once aptly summarized this predicament in the following manner: “TCM has made the concept of ‘science’ an equivalent to ‘Western medicine’ while our roots are shoved off into the museum; there they stand on a pedestal gathering dust.”

Prof. Deng’s statement echoes the age-old scholar-physician’s lament over the erosion of the cosmological sources of medical knowledge–the concept of the body as a microcosm, which demands that all bodily micro-sciences remain embedded in a macrocosmic frame of reference. Since the creators of Chinese medicine, now often referred to as Huang-Lao Daoists, took the implications of this maxim further to produce a highly complex system of diagnostics and therapy, physicians of all ages have called for a return to this system’s view of the world. What is remaining unclear, however, is how Chinese master physicians envisioned this return, and what, exactly, they thought was so worth while returning to.

The materials presented in this section introduce the preliminary results of a research project that was conceived to shed light on these questions. Since 1998, Prof. Heiner Fruehauf has directed a detailed investigation of ancient Chinese medical symbolism in cooperation with the CCM Terminology Research Group of the College of Classical Chinese Medicine at National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. The focus of this research was to demonstrate how ancient symbols, such as the names of organ networks or acupuncture points, contain very detailed information spanning from the material layer (this is how it looks) to the functional layer (this is what it does) to the macrocosmic layers of space and time (these are the planets and seasons by which it resonates and is influenced). The results reveal a tightly woven system of symbolic references that spell out in detail the multi-layered qualities of macrocosmic and microcosmic reality, including the “how,” “where,” “when,” and “why” of the connection between the Above and the Below.

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Visions of the Baojun: Donald Trump and the Pathological Large Intestine Archetype in Classical Chinese Medicine

BY HEINER FRUEHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


This impromptu editorial by Heiner Fruehauf is an attempt to make sense of the recent US presidential elections through the constructive lens of Chinese medicine systems science.

Visionen eines Baojun: Donald Trump und der pathologische Dickdarm-Archetyp in der klassischen chinesischen Medizin

VON HEINER FRÜHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


DEUTSCHE ÜBERSETZUNG CON BIRGIT ZIEGLER

Diese impromptu Editorial von Heiner Fruehauf ist ein Versuch, Sinn der jüngsten US-Präsidentschaftswahlen durch die konstruktive Linse der chinesischen Medizin Systems Science.

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Six Conformation Diagnosis in Context: The Six Cosmic Qi (liu qi) and the Six Stages of Qi Transformation (liu jing)

BY HEINER FRUEHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


The six conformations represent another system of symbolic methodology that is of great importance for the practice of classical Chinese medicine. Its origins are related to both yin-yang and five phase element theory, yet it is often the primary diagnostic modality that certain practitioners, especially those trained in the lineage of Shanghan lun herbalism, choose to utilize.

GERMAN TRANSLATION BY MARKUS GOEKE

An Excerpt from Qianjin yifang (Supplemental Prescriptions Worth a Thousand in Gold) on the Importance of the Acupuncture Point Names

BY SUN SIMIAO
(581-682)

TRANSLATED BY HEINER FRUEHAUF

None of the acupuncture names were chosen randomly, all of them contain deep meaning. All point names containing the character for the wood element 木 are related to the Liver. All point names associated with Spirit (shen) 神 are related to the Heart. All point names associated with metal 金 or jade 玉 are related to the Lung. All point names associated with water 水 are related to the Kidney. Similarly, the Spirit’s state of movement is also potentially reflected in the point names. All points with the character Fu 府 (Storage) in their name affect the gathering of Spirit.

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Cosmological Thought in China and Europe: Introduction, Yin & Yang

BY FRANK FIEDELER
Translated into English by Gabriel Weiss

This original translation is the introduction and first chapter from the volume Yin und Yang (Yin and Yang), by the late Prof. Frank Fiedeler, one of the best modern interpreters of the Yijing, and is one of the few scholars who have made the symbolic methodology of Han and pre-Han dynasty thought accessible for the field of Chinese medicine.

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Chinese Medicine Holomap with the 28 Stellar Constellations

BY HEINER FRUEHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


MAP DESCRIBING THE RESONANCE OF MACROCOSM AND MICROCOSM

For the last 14 years, Heiner Fruehauf has led a research project decoding the ancient Chinese science linking macrocosm and microcosm, which so crucially informed the original definition of the 12 organ networks of classical Chinese medicine. Per popular request, he has synthesized this information into a "holomap", which reflects the functional resonance of each organ systems with the 28 stellar constellations, the 12 earthly branches, the 12 tidal hexagrams, the 12 times of the day, the 12 months of the year, and the 12 rivers mentioned in Lingshu chapter 12.

The Classical Pearls Series of Remedies: Positions on the Alchemical Holomap of the Chinese Organ Networks

BY HEINER FRUEHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


We are excited to present an informative learning tool and clinical resource — a chart that aligns the 28 remedies in the Classical Pearls Herbal Formulas™ family around the cosmological holomap of the Chinese organ networks that Heiner Fruehauf so often teaches about and has spent over 25 years researching. This chart is primarily to show, at one glance, where the constitutional home of each of each remedy is. The chart includes a short description of how the remedy functions with regard to Chinese medical physiology.

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Fei: An Etymological Analysis of the Pictogram for ‘Lung’

BY HEINER FRUEHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


The word 肺, in a more specific reference to the specific function of this organ system, is classified by the component 巿 po (in its seal script form, composed of the pictographic components grass 屮and eight 八), meaning “abundant foliage in the wind” (this is a clear reference to the anatomical appearance of the lung lobes, as well as to traditional descriptions of this organ: Chinese texts describe them as “leaves”; see Shijing: 東門之楊, 其葉肺肺 “The poplars at the Eastern Gate, their leaves flutter lung-like in the wind;” Neijing: 肺熱葉焦 “When the lung is hot, its leaves become charred”); note that the rain forest with its prolific canopy of leaves is considered to be the lung of the earth.

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The Science of Symbols: Exploring a Forgotten Gateway to Chinese Medicine, Part 1

ByY HEINER FRUEHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


In an earlier publication I tried to articulate the problems that may arise from a categorical imitation of the P.R.C. brand of hospital"TCM" in the West, by illuminating the historical context that spawned this system and reminding practitioners that the "T" in Traditional Chinese Medicine stands for an autonomous and sophisticated knowledge base that goes far beyond the limited confines of the P.R.C. model. My co-author Deng Zhongjia, a well-known advo­cate for preserving the conceptual endowment of Chinese medicine in the Daoist classics, once summarized this argu­ment in the following way: "The administrative forces of TCM have chosen to make the concept of science an equiva­lent to Western medicine, thus effectively renouncing the 'traditional' aspect of our craft. Our roots have been shoved into the museum; there they stand on a pedestal gathering dust."

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The Science of Symbols: Exploring a Forgotten Gateway to Chinese Medicine, Part 2

BY HEINER FRUEHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


3. Applied Symbol Science: The Example of the Acupuncture Point Tianfu LU-3 天 俯

In addition to the general process of signification outlined in Part One of this article (JCM 68, February 2002), the acupuncture point names reveal an even deeper and more detailed level of the symbolist science of defining organ network function. I am choosing the third point of the lung channel as a model for the multidimensional facets of mean­ ing that we see contained in virtually every acupuncture point name. Like other points, Tianfu associates a particular station on its channel with functional entities in the spheres of Heaven, Earth and the social realm of the Human Being.

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Die Wurzeln der chinesischen Medizin, Teil I

VON HEINER FRÜHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine

Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Sepp Leeb

I. Yi Zhe Yi Ye - Medizinwissenschaft ist Symbolwissenschaft

Seit 1956 hat sich in China das Fachgebiet der chinesischen Medizin als wichtiger Ausbildungsgang etabliert, eine Entwicklung, die sich inzwischen in ähnlichem Umfang auch im Westen abzeichnet. Man kann durchaus behaupten, dass mittlerweile in den Vereinigten Staaten und in Europa die Ausübung von Traditioneller Chinesischer Medizin (TCM) auf dem medizinischen Sektor als der Tätigkeitsbereich mit dem größten Entwicklungspotential gilt. Dieser Sachverhalt steht in krassem Gegensatz zum rückständigen Niveau des akademischen Diskurses unter den modernen Anwendern von chinesischer Medizin.

Die Wurzeln der chinesischen Medizin, Teil II

VON HEINER FRÜHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine

Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Sepp Leeb

III. Angewandte Wissenschaft von den Symbolen: der Akupunkturpunkt tianfu (P3, LU3)

Neben dem allgemeinen Prozess der Benennung, wie er oben (siehe 1. Teil dieses Artikels in Chin Med 2002, Heft 1; S. 1-12) dargestellt wurde, enthüllen uns die Akupunkturpunkt-Namen eine noch tiefere und detailliertere Ebene der Symbolwissenschaft, mit der die Aufgaben der Funktionsbereiche genauer definiert werden. Als Beispiel für die mehrdimensionalen Bedeutungsfacetten, die in jedem Akupunkturpunkt-Namen enthalten sind, sei hier der dritte Punkt des Lungen-Funktionsbereichs herangezogen. Wie bei anderen Akupunkturpunkten wird auch bei tianfu eine bestimmte Stelle auf der Leitbahn mit funktionalen Aspekten in den Sphären des Himmels, der Erde und des sozialen Umfeldes des Menschen assoziiert.

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Correlative Cosmology in Chinese Medicine: The 12 Organ Systems and their Relationship to the 12 Months of the Year, the 24 Seasonal Nodes (jieqi), and the 72 Material Manifestations (wuhou)

COLLATED AND TRANSLATED BY HEINER FRUEHAUF
National University of Natural Medicine
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


Collated and translated from the Yizhou shu (Document of Zhou, fl. 3rd century) and a variety of Han and pre-Han dynasty texts.

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Correlative Cosmology: Energetics of the First Month of Spring and Lung Function

COLLATED AND TRANSLATED
BY HEINER FRUEHAUF

National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


In this article of Chinese to English translations, Heiner Fruehauf explores the lung as a metal organ according to the five phase element system. Modern Chinese medicine discourse, therefore, has exclusively focused on this organ’s association with the metal season of fall. In original Neijing cosmology, however, the five phase system is paralleled by a more complex and inclusive system of twelve functional entities that correlate the twelve months of the year with the order of the twelve channel systems that we now refer to as the “organ clock.”

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Correlative Cosmology: Energetics of the Second Month of Spring and Large Intestine Function

COLLATED AND TRANSLATED
BY HEINER FRUEHAUF

National University of Natural Medicine
College of Classical Chinese Medicine


According to the five phase element system, the large intestine is classified as a metal organ. Modern Chinese medicine discourse, therefore, has exclusively focused on this organ’s association with the metal season of fall. In original Neijing cosmology, however, the five phase system is paralleled by a more complex and inclusive system of twelve functional entities that correlate the twelve months of the year with the order of the twelve channel systems that we now refer to as the “organ clock.”

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Philosophical and Cosmological Texts From the Formative Period of Chinese Medicine (The Han and Pre-Han Periods of Chinese Antiquity)

A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS AND MONOGRAPHS

COMPILED BY HEINER FRUEHAUF

Chinese medicine is a microcosmic branch of ancient Chinese philosophy and cosmology. The better one understands the philosophical foundations of Chinese medicine, the deeper one’s knowledge of its core concepts and terminology can be. Theories such as yin and yang, the five phase elements, the hierarchical relationship between matter, energy, and consciousness, the supremacy of spirit, and the twelve organ networks were first mentioned in the Daoist and Confucian classics of the Han and Pre-Han periods of Chinese antiquity (fl. 700 BC - 200 AD) before they appeared in the keystone works of Chinese medicine. The following represents a comprehensive list of relevant philosophical, scientific, and literary works from the formative period of Chinese medicine in English translation.

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