Allow me to begin with my insight into the metaphysical aspect of Chinese medicine. It has always fascinated me how different the manner of thinking of the ancients were from our spoon-fed modern minds of today. We are so heavily bombarded with so much information that we take in a lot of stimulus garbage through our five senses filtering most of them out but learning very little that are of any real significance to our lives.
The ancients from both east and west believed in the world being comprised of five elements. The Greek philosopher Aristotle(322 BC-384 BC) mentioned fire, water, air, earth and aether (quintessence or the fifth element). In China, the Taoist sage Lao Tzu(circa 520 BC) taught that the elements that comprise the world are: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These civilizations probably met only centuries later when the silk road became established. Of the two, the Chinese philosophy retained its presence and influence in the east until this day. Much of the cultures in the Far East are influenced heavily by the principles laid down by Tao philosophers.
My take on the flow of the elements in supporting one another is like this: WOOD when fully mature and dry ignites and fuels FIRE. FIRE burns to yield ash which returns to EARTH. EARTH is where we obtain METAL. METAL at its purest is liquid, thus yields WATER. WATER nourishes plants thus supporting the growth and maturity of WOOD.
The elements also work to control one another in that; WOOD holds the EARTH. EARTH contains and absorbs WATER. WATER puts out FIRE. FIRE melts METAL. METAL tools cut WOOD. Thus the elements are interrelated in supporting their functions and also in controlling each others energies. How this will affect human health will be taken up in the next article.
Thanks for reading my first post!