The year is passing by, the whole state of California is littered with wildfires and summer pathologies are in full swing. As mentioned in a previous post, each season is affiliated with an organ, element and emotion. The summer relates to the heart, fire and joy. Who doesn’t love summer?! Certainly beats the grief of fall and fear in winter.
One of my professors was solely responsible for translating the TCM classics Nei Jing and Shan Han Lun to my colleagues and I, essentially all American. Like under a rock American. Even though my parents came from far away lands of their birthplace, I was most certainly raised on the Disney channel and Seventeen Magazine. Being Minnie Mouse the model shaped my cultural values.
When he would try and explain summer, Yang within Yang, and joy as it’s pathology, a resounding “Huh?” would populate his audience. “When in balance you should feel nothing.” Not sad, not happy, just nada. True mental health, the Daoist way.
The Nei Jing is speculated to being written on bamboo in scrolls that would take up the back of a pick up truck around 2600 BC, some say as late as 300 BC. Either way long ago indeed. “thinking of one’s own health only after getting sick is like thinking about the relations between states only after a war has broken out,” it enlightens. Tying back into the organs as officials, Heart as the Emperor, Liver the General, Gall Bladder the Judge, Large Intestine Minister of Transportation, etc. Looking at nature, human society, the human body all under a system that is infinite yet, simplified. Hearts the Emperor, if it doesn’t function, the kingdom will fall. If the Liver is at war, the kingdom is under duress, for now.
Since Summer is predominately Yang, and it’s Fire gets so strong, it’s pathologies are referred to as ‘excess heat.’ When there is heat, the body’s yin and fluids deplete and we see- hot flashes, fever, rashes, mania, insomnia, flu, hysterical and inappropriate laughter, sweats, anxiety and more. Cooling and Yin nourishing foods like Xi Gua(watermelon), cucumber, mint, oranges, alfalfa sprouts, leafy greens are a must have as the summer diet. Staying grounded to stay sane, quiet time, relaxing walks, reading a book, putting down the stimulating phone/computer, mediation, savasana should not be neglected while dancing the night away and running that marathon.
Even though we are have a great time eating BBQ, drinking alcohol, hooting and hollering all night… The balance of the body might feel depleted in the morning. The Liver could definitely be at war, with all the soldiers running around rampart they will sure tax the Stomach, the “Minister of the Mill” and you might not remember your BBQ as fondly upon it’s return. Keep TCM simple and it makes perfect sense.
It’s supposed author, Huang Di, Huang weaning yellow, nicknamed after his affinity for the yellow herbs and earth that made helped him secure his victory and nourish the newly burgeoning Chinese civilization was an original health enthusiast living an auspicious 118 years. Numerology is very important in Daoism, making it very auspicious to die at age 88, so I would think 118 is the holy grail.
After his many accomplishments a yellow “dragon” came down from heaven, a concept frequently cited in TCM, called Tian. It told Huang Di his time on earth was complete, so he rode it off into the sunset despite his crying people protesting and pulling off his clothes as he departed. Mythology surrounds Huang Di, or Ancient Aliens is right on after all. Huang Di lays out many concepts still used by Acupuncturists and Herbals all over the world. Possibly in Heaven with Dragons too.