The Essence of Chinese Medicine: Qi and Yin YangSpring and Autumn Institute
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China is the civilization of 氣qi. Qi is central to Chinese philosophy and art, including medicine. The true understanding of Chinese thought and medicine therefore depends on the depth of ones understanding of qi. Although qi is a concept ever-present in (medical) texts, its understanding often remains elusive. We therefore rely on a vague terminology, using words like ‘energy’ to explain qi.
To deepen our understanding of qi, we will start by exploring the origin and development of the idea of qi through classical texts preceding the formation of the medical theory, in order to provide context and depth to our understanding of the term. Next, we will deal with how visions and meanings of qi developed in medical texts according to the specific needs of this science, and explain how the various expressions of qi inside the human body (yuan qi, zhen qi, zong qi, ying qi, wei qi, zheng qi, xie qi, etc.) show life as an image of the cosmos.
Qi allows the beating of the 陰陽 yin yang, another idea of utmost importance in the understanding of the Chinese universe. In the second part of the seminar we will explore yin yang through the early non-medical writings of China as well as medical texts such as the Huangdi Neijing Suwen and Lingshu to explain the deep meaning of the concept and the development of these ancient ideas into a (medically) useful tool.
Our discussions will include a study of the main Chinese characters involved as well as translations from the relevant Chinese texts.