(Chapter 8: Section 5 & 6; please refer to my last week’s article for Section 3 & 4)
The summer solstice is the most northerly day of the year, and it is the extreme northward movement of the sun. On this day, the northern hemisphere receives the most solar radiation, nearly twice that of the southern hemisphere. After the summer solstice, the altitude of the sun at noon began to decrease day by day in the area north of the Tropic of Cancer and its north.
Mother Earth’s self-temperature control and regulation system is the most effective and scientific regulation system that has been deposited and tested over billions of years. It will not increase the surface temperature to the highest while the surface is getting the most sunlight. Instead, it presents a lagging slow temperature change process. While the atmosphere and the earth’s surface are continuing to absorb the sun’s heat, the center of the earth no longer emits energy. It begins to absorb and restore energy. Or, it is cooling down inside for its Yin to develop now.
We can intuitively understand such energy changes with Six-Yao Hexagrams as shown in the below figure. When Mother Earth’s external surface and air are warm, hot, getting enough Yang energy from the sun, its internal is cooling down with the first Yin rises.
Figure 25: Yin Rises from Yang
Let’s try to interpret the Yin and Yang energy change process from a philosophical perspective. Does it mean that when Yang is at its peak, Yin will be produced in Yang? When something develops to an extreme situation, a new opposite thing will naturally sprout out within it?
An undeniable fact is that the sun, the earth, the moon, and nature, day after day, year after year, are proving and repeating this unchanging cosmic law. Is this law suitable for humans? We need to understand that humans are part of nature. Humans cannot live without the sun, the moon, the earth, and nature.
What if humans relocate to another planet? Does that mean humans will be escaping from the control of nature? Or, escape from the control of the universe? Or, human beings control the universe?
Now we will talk about the fire that we need to cook our life of water. But before we dive deep, we must understand that the fire of Li not only just means human heart, it has a broader meaning, including head, brain, eyes, mind, thoughts, and souls.
But, talking back, we never took the human heart, head, and mind as two independent and unrelated things. When we say that we are putting someone or something in our heart, it is not that our heart is physically big enough to hold someone or something, but that we put people or things in our minds. The heart and the mind stand for the same meaning in many cases and this does not differ due to differences in Eastern and Western culture or religious beliefs.
Human heart carries the fire Li energy.
Chinese medicine has a saying that the heart is “the king of the kingdom of the human body”. In the early stage of the human embryo, the heart started to work. At the end of life, it is the heart at the last moment of work. The heart never stops working in human life. It never stops the blood circulation to transport fresh Yang Qi, oxygen, and nutrients to every cell of the body and transports the exhaust gas and waste materials away from the cells. As part of the human body’s fluid system, blood belongs to Kan water.
This Li fire never stops in human life, just like the human body has its own water all the time. We only need to maintain them at an excellent performance level.
Human heads, thoughts, minds, and souls are Li energy too.
Human thoughts, minds, and souls reflect as human emotions intuitively. Through the action of the cranial nervous system, human emotions are connected to the secretion of body fluids and hormones in various organs of the human body. Together with the action of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, it controls all physiological and physical changes in the human body.
To fire the Li energy well means to well control human emotions to produce hormones that are good for the body, but not toxins fluid that is harmful to the body. This fire is under the control of our hearts. From the heart’s point of view, it silently cooperates with the changes in human’s emotions at the speed of the heartbeat; it gets nervous because of fear, or relaxed because of joy and happiness…
The “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” points out that the heart is “生之本，神之变也”, indicating that the heart is the foundation of life, and at the same time it is in charge of people’s spiritual mind activities. It tells that the heart governs blood vessels and controls the blood system of the whole body.
Clinical studies have found that when people feel angry and desperate, the body secretes a large amount of stress hormones such as cortical and adrenaline, which leads to neurological dysfunction, hyper-function of the sympathetic nervous system, and increases the heart rate, and results in high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, waist and back pains, decreased saliva production, faster but shorter breathing, frequent urination, and other phenomena. It also affects the activity of white blood cells and reduces human immune function.
From a Chinese Medicine point of view, it relates to emotions of joy and hatred. Hatred hurts the heart. The general hatred is sent out from the inside of the heart, while the Qi it produces is gathered inwards, which is particularly likely to cause a series of diseases such as panic, heartbeat, coronary heart disease, and so on.
The human body has two meridians related to the heart: the heart channel and the pericardial channel. The heart channel is related to the mind; the pericardial channel is related to the controls of blood. 11 am – 13 pm, when the two heart meridians are on duty, it is the most critical daily time for heart care. About half an hour after a meal, if the pericardium is properly massaged, it can increase the blood supply to the heart and effectively protect the heart. This method is a good health-care trick suitable for everyone in need.
Noon is also when body Yang Qi is strongest in a day. 15-20 minutes of napping is a good opportunity to balance and relax the body and save energy for people who cannot sleep early at night. But too long napping will disturb the body’s biological clock and cause insomnia at night.
The tongue is the organ that the heart expresses in the five senses. Heart disease usually causes symptoms such as tongue inflexibility and tongue curling. Slips and often wrong words are also signs of lack of heart energy. “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” states that if the heart is sick, the cheekbones will become red.
Heart disease can also be manifested in sudden redness in the center between the eyebrows. If the pattern is like a lantern, there may be a sudden illness. It is not a good thing that the center between the eyebrows is black. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, it is quite a lot of kidney water that prevents the heart-fire function. Now, we can completely understand that this is a very dangerous signal. We must be careful about the color changes of the center between the eyebrows in our daily lives.
Sweat is the liquid discharged from the skin after body fluid is vaporized by the transpiration of Yang Qi. The secretion and excretion of sweat also depend on the opening and closing effect of Qi on the body. When the skin sweat holes are open, sweat is excreted; when the sweat holes are closed, there is no sweat. Because sweat is transformed by body fluid, blood and body fluid come from the same source, so there is a saying that “sweat and blood have the same origin”.
Sweat can reflect good or bad health, and it is wise to be vigilant when sweating is abnormal. Since sweat and blood are closely related in physiology, they also influence each other pathologically. As far as the relationship between sweat and blood is concerned, excessive sweating can drain blood and damage fluid. On the contrary, if the body fluid is weak and blood is insufficient, the source of sweat is insufficient. Excessive sweating consumes the Qi and Blood of the heart, so profuse sweating can also hurt people’s Yang Qi. On the contrary, when the heart’s blood is insufficient, it can also cause pathological sweating, spontaneous sweating, or night sweats.
When we are caring about how our life fire cooks our life water, there are some factors we should watch: the fire burning efficiency, a red fire or blue fire, and the smoke the fire produces. Is the smoke transparent, colorless, and tasteless, or black, choking and poison? Human life’s quality is reflected by not only how this life fire cooks its own water, but more importantly if it gives healthy warm energy to the world instead of leaving harmful poison damages to the others.
“The heart governs the spirit”, “etiquette corresponds to the heart/mind”, to nurture our heart, we must nurture our virtue. The highest state of nurturing the heart lies in cultivating the mind, which in the final is to purify the soul.
Here let’ share a story of how heart medicine saves an “over-happy” heart.
In the Qing Dynasty, a scholar who got the No. 1 scholarship in the National Selection Exam was too happy and went crazy and couldn’t stop laughing.
A famous doctor said to him after seeing: “Your illness can’t be cured, and you only have ten days to live now. Go home quickly, or it will be too late. When you pass Zhenjiang city, please go to visit Doctor Xu, he will see you again.” At the same time, he wrote a letter and asked the scholar to give it to the doctor Xu.
When the scholar arrived in Zhenjiang city, his illnesses from laughing wildly healed already. Doctor Xu opened the letter: “This scholar is ecstatic from ‘over-happiness’, resulting in his mind and heart cannot be closed back. As there is no medication that can cure him, I made him panic and melancholy with alarm words to open his heart and expected him to be cured when he arrived in your city of Zhenjiang ”.
Although we are talking about the internal organs on how they correspond to the different seasons, we will talk further about how this human heart fire energy controls human life quality in later chapters. Please stay with us on our next article coming next week, or visit our book at: