Huanglao and Jianzhi buhuo

Jianzhi buhuo 見 知 不 惑 “seeing and knowing are never deluded.” A fundamental belief in the Huanglao boshu that differentiates itself from the views of Laozi and Zhuangzi. Another outstanding essay on root-branch structuralism in the Huainanzi by Harold Roth, with finishing thoughts by Volker Sheid on the transmission of tradition. The need for narrative framing and personal navigation in one’s life is something I discuss with my patients often in the clinic, and is a major focus of my upcoming text on the philosophy and modelling of the Lingshu.

I would add this: that which always changes must retain something that does not. In the human body we have been taught that this is the heart; hence it does not participate in qi transformation. It is the universal field, the totality, upon which the foci-particulars circulate into position. It is the vessel repository of shenming and shenhua, of love specifically. The Huainanzi echoes this belief, as does the Heguanzi declare that processes and investigations that do not stem from Unity are innumerable and lead everywhere but to the truth.

The Huainanzi states that that which shares the same essence (jingshen) shares the same reality, even though they have many forms. So what is the heart of Chinese medicine? Does it exist? Must it so in order to possess identity? Though it my be there, can it be exhaustively defined? The answer, perhaps, is such that one need not sample all the apples on the tree to know when we’ve bitten spoiled fruit.

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