The spleen is located beyond the left end of the stomach, between it and the diaphragm. It is bean-shaped and has a deep blue-red color. It weighs from five to six ounces and is soft, spongy, and fragile. The spleen controls blood destruction.
In the Taoist Esoteric system we regard the spleen as the entrance for solar force, which vitalizes the dense body. Without this vital elixir no being can live. From the spleen this sun force is sent to the solar plexus and from the solar plexus this fluid-like energy flows along the filaments composing the nervous system. In this way it permeates every part of the physical body. energizing each and every cell with its life force.
According to Chinese medicinal theories, when a person is healthy, life energy is stored by the spleen and extracted from the blood in such large quantities that it cannot be used inside the body. Therefore, the life energy radiates outward through the pores of the skin in straight lines, drives out poisonous gases, inimical bacteria and viruses and assists in preserving a healthy condition of the physical organism. It also prevents armies of disease germs which swarm about in the atmosphere from entering the dense vehicle.
According to the Taoist system, after eating, the vital solar force attracted by the spleen is consumed by the body in great quantities. When the meal is heavy, the outflow of the vital fluid from the body is perceptibly diminished and does not then cleanse the dense vehicle as thoroughly as it does when the food has been digested, nor is it as potent in keeping out inimical germs.
Therefore, overeating renders a person more likely to catch cold or succumb to disease. During ill health the spleen furnishes the vital body with very little solar energy, and at this time the dense body seems to feed on the vital body. In the Taoist system it is said that we have to repair the vital body, which can then help the dense body to get stronger.
In Taoist Esoterica, the "solar plexus" is regarded as the largest cauldron of the vital body which can alchemically mix or harmonize the generative force with the life energy from the energy center corresponding to the pituitary gland, during the practice of Greater Enlightenment of the Kan and Li. The spleen, as mentioned before, corresponds to a part of the "solar plexus."
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