DONGUIBOGAM; Internal Bodily Elements-05 Spirit ∙ 神 신 (2)

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Written By Jun Heo(許浚, 1539~1615), Translated by Namil Kim, Wung Seok Cha et al., Published by Ministry of Health & Welfare (Korea)

06 When the Qi of the Five Viscera Are Gone, the Spirit Is Exposed

   藏氣絶則神見於外오장의 기가 끊어지면 신이 밖으로 드러난다

  • There was a scholar who liked to read books and he often forgot to eat. One day, a man wearing claret clothes appeared in front of him and said, “You must not think too deeply, for I die if you think a lot.” He asked, “Who are you?” The man answered, “I am the spirit of food.” Thus, the scholar stopped thinking and ate food as before.
  • The son of Mr. You (游氏) of Wuxi region (無錫) got sick because of alcohol and women. Two women, finely dressed, approached his waist slowly and then disappeared all the time. The doctor said, “This is the spirit of the kidneys. When kidney qi is exhausted, the spirit cannot stay. It is why the spirit is exposed.”


07 Diagnosis by Pulse Taking 脈法 맥법

  • The circumstances in which the seven emotions damage the pulse are as follows: the pulse is dissipated when one is happy, skipping (some say bumpily flowing) when one is angry, rough when one is anxious, sunken (some say bound) when one is deep in thought, bound (some say tight) when one is sorrowful, trembling (some say stirred) when one is frightened, and sunken when one is afraid.
  • The pulse is vacuous when pleasure damages the heart, bound when thoughts damage the spleen, rough when anxiety damages the lungs, soggy when anger damages the liver, sunken when fear damages the kidneys, stirred when fright damages the gallbladder, and tight when sorrow damages the pericardium. The pulses of the seven emotions, although they are tight and exuberant in the qi Mouth, can be subdivided as above.
  • As for the pulse of epilepsy, it is automatically cured when the pulse is slippery and large, but one cannot be cured when the pulse is small, hard, and rapid. It also says, “As for the pulse of epilepsy, it can be cured when the pulse is vacuous but one will die when the pulse is excessive.”[B232]
  • The pulses of epilepsy are floating, surging, large, and long. If they are slippery, large, hard, or replete, phlegm accumulates and manic psychosis will occur. It also says, “If the pulse is large, hard and racing, epilepsy and manic psychosis occur.”
  • When one is distracted and has epilepsy and manic psychosis, the pattern is considered favorable if the pulse is replete and large, and unfavorable if the pulse is sunken and fine.
  • Divine Pivot (靈樞) says, “If the pulse is very rapid, it indicates epilepsy and manic psychosis or syncope.”
  • If one’s heart pounds from being frightened, the pulse is bound and intermittent. If one’s heart pounds because of food, the pulse is sunken, hidden, stirred, and slippery.
  • When one’s wrist pulse is stirred and weak, ‘stirred’ indicates fright and ‘weak’ indicates throbbing. The reason one’s liver pulse stirs all of a sudden is that one has been frightened.
  • One asked, “What is the pulse like when a person trembles with fear?” His teacher answered, “The pulse continues row after row as if touching a string, and one’s face turns white.” One asked, “What is the pulse like when a person feels shy?” His teacher answered, “The pulse is floating, and the person’s face turns from white to red, and then from red to white.”


08 The Spirit Commands the Seven Emotions; One Gets Sick When the Seven Emotions Are Damaged 神統七情傷則爲病신은 칠정을 거느리는데, 칠정이 상하면 병이 든다

  • The heart stores spirit and does a lot of work by commanding the seven emotions as the master of the body. The seven emotions refer to joy, anger, anxiety, thought, sorrow, fright, and fear. Also, because spirit is the master of the ethereal spirit, corporeal spirit, ideation, corporeal spirit, and will, they are all sometimes called spirit.
  • Divine Pivot (靈樞) says, “When the heart feels fear or if there is too much thought, the spirit is damaged. When the spirit is damaged, he or she becomes fearful and absent-minded, loses weight, hair dries, and face darkens; the person will die in winter. If anxiety and worries do not go away from the spleen, ideation gets damaged. When ideation is damaged, one feels tight around the chest, hair dries, face darkens, and the person will die in spring. If sorrow arises from the liver, it damages the ethereal soul. When the ethereal soul is damaged, maniac psychosis or forgetfulness occurs, and one’s mind becomes unclear. If one’s mind is not clear, one’s behavior is not straight, anterior yin contracts, muscles quiver, the person cannot lift both sides, hair dries, face darkens, and the person will die in autumn. If the lungs are too joyous and pleased, it damages the corporeal soul. When the corporeal soul is damaged, one becomes crazy, does not perceive others, skin and hair dry, face darkens, and the person dies in summer. If the kidneys show too much anger and cannot calm down, it damages will. When will is damaged, one forgets what he or she just said, cannot bend or unfold one’s lower back, hair dries and face darkens, and the person will die in late summer. If one’s fears do not go away, it damages essence. When essence is damaged, one’s bones feel chilly and the legs become weak. Sometimes essence runs down. Likewise, the five viscera store essence, and therefore the five viscera must not be damaged. If they are damaged, essence cannot be protected and yin becomes deficient, which in turn leads to the depletion of qi. One dies if qi is depleted.”
  • It also says, “If one is fearful or has too much thought, the essence flows down and does not stop because of fear. When sorrow rises, qi is depleted and one loses life. If one is too joyous or too pleased, the spirit is dissipated and cannot be stored. If one continues to be anxious, qi gets blocked and cannot flow. If one shows too much anger, his or her mind becomes disorderly and it cannot be straightened up. If one is fearful, one’s spirit dissipates and cannot be gathered.”
  • The Inner Classic (內經) says, “How essence qi is gathered together in the five viscera is as follows: when essence qi is gathered in the heart, one is pleased. When it is gathered in the lungs, one is sorrowful. When it is gathered in the liver, one is anxious. When it is gathered in the spleen, one is terrified. When it is gathered in the kidneys, one is fearful.” [The Annotation says, “If the lungs are deficient and so heart essence takes over, one is joyous. If the liver is deficient and so lung qi takes over, one is sorrowful. Other organs are also like this. ‘Anxious’ should be modified to ‘angry’, and ‘terrified’ should be modified to ‘too deep in thought’.”
  • If one’s heart is damaged because one is too joyous, one cannot walk fast or stand up for a long time. If one’s liver is damaged because one is angry, one cannot endure ascending qi, heat qi collides with the chest, breaths will be so short that they cannot last, and there will be difficulty in breathing. If one’s lungs are damaged by anxiety, his or her heart area receives tension, blocking the upper energizer and preventing the flow of nutrients and defense qi, which makes the person anxious when he or she lies down at night. If one’s spleen is damaged because of too much thought, qi cannot flow and aggregation-accumulation forms in the abdominal region. One’s stomach swells up because he or she cannot eat food, and the limbs feel wary. If one’s pericardium is damaged because of sorrow, forgetfulness become severe and so he or she cannot recognize people or find things that he or she has put aside. The muscles tremble and edema forms in the limbs. If one’s kidney is damaged because of fear, qi gets blocked in the upper energizer and cannot flow. However, qi returns in the lower energizer and cannot dissipate, making one indecisive, vomit, and nauseous. If one’s gallbladder is damaged by fright, the spirit has nowhere to go. Moreover, his or her thoughts are not stable, so he or she tells stories that do not make sense at a rapid pace.
  • Divine Pivot (靈樞) says, “Will and ideation command essence and spirit, gather ethereal and corporeal souls, adapt to coldness and warmness, and harmonize joy and anger. If will and ideation are harmonious, one’s mind is straight, his or her ethereal soul and corporeal soul do not dissipate, regret and resentment do not rise, and the five viscera do not accept pathogenic qi.”


08-1 Joy 喜 기쁨

  • The Inner Classic (內經) says, “The mind of the heart is joy.” It also says, “One laughs if the heart is excessive. To laugh is to be joyous.” It also says, “Being joyous all of a sudden damages yang.” It also says, “Getting angry all of a sudden damages qi.” It also says, “If one cannot control one’s joy and anger, and if cold and summerheat are excessive, one cannot protect one’s life.” It also says, “Qi become loose if one is joyous. When one is joyous, qi is harmonized and one’s wills become active, allowing nutrient and defense qi to flow well, which then loosens qi.”
  • Huang Fumi (皇甫謐) said, “Joy originates from the heart and is perfected in the lungs. Therefore, if the degree of joy is excessive, both organs are damaged.”
  • Divine Pivot (靈樞) says, “If joy and pleasure are excessive, spirit dissipates and cannot be stored.” It also says, “Enjoying and feeling pleasure endlessly damages the corporeal soul.” The corporeal soul is the spirit of the lungs.

08-2 Anger 怒 성냄

  • The Inner Classic (內經) says, “The mind of the liver is anger.” It also says, “Being angry all of a sudden damages yin.” It also says, “Great anger depletes physical qi, causing blood to thicken in the upper part of the body, which in turn leads to minor syncope. [Thick means stagnation. Minor syncope is when one faints]. It also says, “When blood gathers in the upper part of the body and qi in the lower part of the body, one feels tightness around the chest and easily gets upset.” It also says, “Anger causes qi to counterflow, and if it gets severe, one coughs up blood, and undigested food comes out in the feces.” The Annotation say, “When one gets angry, yang qi ascends, and the liver Wood suppresses the spleen, causing one to cough up blood and undigested food to come out in the feces.” It also says, “The gallbladder corresponds to anger. [When liver and gallbladder diseases become excessive, one gets angry].” It also says, “One gets angry when pathogenic qi in the yin aspect comes out to the yang aspect.”
  • The Compendium of Medicine (綱目) says, “Anger is caused by yin. It is caused because yin blocks yang and so yang cannot be spread out.” Dongyuan (東 垣) said, “Showing much anger means that wind heat has gone under the ground.”
  • Poems of ancient sages say, “When one gets angry, causing Fire to burn up greatly, it burns geniality and thus damages itself. Do not fight when in trouble. The mind will be clear once it all passes.” Liu Gongdu (柳公度) did well in life nurturing, and his steps were light and strong even when he was over 80 years old. Someone asked how he did this. He answered, “There is no special method. I did not waste my genuine qi in joy and anger my whole life, and I have always kept my CV6 area warm.”
  • The seven emotions all damage people, but among them, anger is the most severe one. When one is angry, the liver Wood suppresses the spleen Earth. If the spleen Earth is damaged, the other four viscera get damaged, too.[B057] ⑤ When treating anger, mix 1 nyang of Cyperi Rhizoma (香附子) powder and 1 nyang of Glycyrrhizae Radix (甘草) powder well, and put it in boiled water by 3 don and drink.

08-3 Anxiety 憂 걱정

  • The Inner Classic (內經) says, “The mind of the lungs is anxiety.” It also says, “Anxiety causes qi to sink.” ② Divine Pivot (靈樞) says, “When anxiety and worries are not solved, it damages ideation.” Ideation is the spirit of the spleen. It also says, “If anxiety and worries are excessive, qi gets blocked and cannot flow.” When one is anxious, qi and vessels get blocked, cannot flow, and they disconnect so they cannot flow up and down. If qi is blocked inside, passages for feces and urine get crooked, causing difficulty in discharging feces and urine.

08-4 Thought 思생각

  • The Inner Classic (內經) says, “The mind of the spleen is thought.” It also says, “Thought causes qi to bind.” The Annotation say, “Because one’s mind is troubled and anxiety does not dissipate, qi also stays and binds.”
  • Huang Fumi (皇甫謐) said, “Thought arises from the spleen and is perfected in the heart, so when one thinks too much, both organs are damaged.” ③ Divine Pivot (靈樞) says, “To think is to keep one’s will and to cope with changes, and to be discreet is to anticipate based on thoughts.” It also says, “One’s spirit is damaged when one is afraid or when one thinks too much. One is afraid and the essence runs down when the spirit is damaged.”

08-5 Sorrow 悲 슬픔

  • The Inner Classic (內經) says, “The mind of the lungs is sorrow.” It also says, “One becomes sorrowful when the heart is deficient. To be sorrowful means to be anxious.” It also says, “One is sorrowful when essence qi is gathered up in the lungs.” One becomes sorrowful because the liver has become deficient and thus lung qi has taken over. It also says, “Qi is exhausted when one is sorrowful.” It also says, “The lungs command suppression, so it becomes sorrow among the five minds.”
  • Divine Pivot (靈樞) says, “When sorrow rises, the ethereal soul is damaged.” It also says, “When sorrow rises, qi is depleted and so one loses one’s life.”

08-6 Fright 驚 놀람

Details are in ‘Palpitation’.

08-7 Fear 恐 두려움

  • The Inner Classic (內經) says, “The mind of the kidneys is fear.” It also says, “The stomach becomes fear.” The Annotation say, “When one has stomach heat, he or she gets fearful because kidney qi becomes weak.” They also say, “One is fearful if his or her essence qi is gathered in the kidneys.” This is because the heart is deficient and so kidney qi takes over.
  • Divine Pivot (靈樞) says, “One gets fearful when one’s kidney meridian is damaged.” It also says, “One’s essence is damaged if his or her fear is not removed.” It also says, “If one fears, his or her spirit is scattered and cannot be gathered.” It also says, “If one fears, qi flows downward.” The Annotation says, “Qi cannot flow because the upper energizer is blocked and so qi returns to the lower energizer.”
  • Zhang Zihe (子和) said, “The liver stores blood. One fears if blood is deficient.” One easily gets angry and brave when the liver and gallbladder are excessive, but one is scared and not brave when the liver and gallbladder are deficient.
  • The Compendium of Medicine (綱目) says, “Fear and fright are similar. Fright is when one is scared of an unknown object, and fear is when one gets scared of a known object. Fright is when one is frightened at sound. Fear is when one feels as if others are chasing after him or her, or when he or she cannot be alone and being with others make him or her comfortable. Or it is when one has to turn on the light during the night and is afraid if there is no lamp or candlelight.”