The Relationship between Man and Nature

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The concept of holism regarding the universe and the human being as one has its special emphasis on the relationship between the human being and nature. According to the ancients,the concrete incarnation of holism is " correspondence between man and universe" and " the relationship between the human body and the natural environment".

When we say "correspondence between man and universe", we mean that the life activitity of the human being is closely related to nature. Su Wen - Yin Yang Ying Xiang Da Lun (Plain Questions — On Conclusions of Correspondence of Yin and Yang) holds, " The essence of Heaven corresponds with the lung, of Earth with the pharynx, of wind with the liver, of thunder with the heart, of food—stuff with the spleen, and of rain with the kidney". And it is said in Lei Jing Tu Yi - Yiyi (Illustrated Supplementary to the Classified Canon — Application of the Book of Changes to Medicine), "Qi of the universe is that of man; the body of man is that of universe"; "Wherever there is will, there will be qi; and as spirit goes with qi, one may correspond with Heaven, Earth, ghosts and immortals". From the above scriptures, it can be seen that man and all the things of the universe are products derived from the primordial qi,

and the primordial qi spreads all over the universe amongest Heaven, Earth and man. Qi of man communicates with that of the universe, and qi of the universe influences the life activities of man. As the climate varies with the four seasons in a year, prominent changes will take place in physiology and qi activity of the human body accordingly. For example, man has more sweat and less urine in summer and vice versa in winter; the pulse becomes taut in spring, full in summer, superficial in autumn and deep in winter.

The overwhelming variation of the climate with the four seasons that goes beyond the adaptability of the human body will impel the origination, development and changes of diseases. Measles and epidemic meningitis are often prevalent in spj ing, malaria and epidemic encephalitis B usually occur in the wet season summer, storm may worsen heart diseases, and cloudy, rainy and wetn days often give rise to joint pain, to mention but a few.

In the long process of development, man and nature are interrelated with and interact on each other. The human being has absorbed various messages of nature, replenished himself and improved the adaptability to the environment. As a result, man has his individual ability and functions corresponding with natural environment, which, in the ancient times, was called " correspondence between man and universe". Lei Jing Tu Yi - Yiyi (Illustrated Supplementary to the Classified Canon — Application of the Book of Changes to Medicine) by Zhang Jiebin of the Ming Dynasty states, "The physique of the human body is the structure of the universe The universe has twelve months, man has twelve internal organs; the universe has — 24 —

twelve rendezvous (hui) of the twelve stars, man has twelve channels; the universe has twelve two—hour periods of the day, man has twelve sections of the body. If this is understood, the circulation of ying-energy (nutrients) and wei-energy (resistance) and the relationship between the exterior and interior of the channels and collaterals are clear".

The theory "correspondence between man and universe" is considered as utmost important for qigongpractice and outgoing—qi therapy. The practitioner and the therapist must first be good at adaptation to the law of natural variations so as to correspond with nature, then they can have a good grasp of the methods of mind concentration, respiration regulation and qi—emitting manipulation. The ancient qigong masters believed that Heaven, Earth and man had three treasures each-the sun, the moon and the stars; water, fire and wind; and jing (essence), qi (vital energy) and shen (spirit) respectively, qigong practice is right aimed at the combination of each group of the three treasures in one so as to reinforce the essence, vital energy and spirit. Attention should also be paid to acting "in line with yin and yang", "in correspondence with the four seasons" and " in accord with the application of numbers" , as well as "avoiding pathogenic factors and evil wind". Only in this way, can one strengthen the resistance of the organism to diseases, adapt to the variable environment, and get the primordial qi substantial and circulating continuously. From this point of view, we say that the training of qi, guidance of qi, and diagnosis and treatment of diseases by outgoing-qi concretely embody the concept of wholism in terms of Heaven, Earth and man as one.

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