master acupuncturists practice the secret medicine known as
tian gan di zhi
the contemporary classic book 'mimi neike' - secret internal medicine -
explains in great detail the complete theory and practice of a medicine that is at once both the oldest known medicine and the least known medicine to mankind.
with the author's permission we are publishing extracts from this book.
the 'mimi neike' has three main parts to it: the secret of life; the secret of your life; the secret medicine.
It all began in the year 0, in China
By all is meant order out of chaos.
By the year 0 is meant the beginning of the chinese calendar - the year 2637 BC in the gregorian calendar.
By China is meant Xinzheng, Henan - at the court of the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di.
The Yellow Emperor is an historical figure (2697-2574 BC), known by the chinese as the father of their civilisation.
He was the 3rd of the three Great Emperors of ancient China. On his 60th birthday the Emperor's Prime Minister, Nao the Great, presented Huang Di with a 'gift from Heaven'.
It was a compass that descibed a pattern of movement. This pattern ranged over a period of 60 years and was composed of orderly cycles of movement.
It became known as the 1st cycle of the Cycles of Life.
We are now living in the 78th cycle of the Cycles of Life
78th Cycle of the Cycles of Life
The compass reveals the secret of life as being Li Qi Xu - the right rhythm, right proportion and right number.
Nao the Great's gift to Huang Di was in fact the end product of a process that began with the 1st Great Emperor Fu Xi (circa 3322 BC) and his 8 trigram pattern of Universal Order, and continued with the 2nd Great Emperor's (Shen Nung circa 2784 BC) classification of the '10,000' things according to their proportion of qi (organic energy).
Huang Di combined all this knowledge to create the medical model known as 'tian gan di zhi' or in the west 'celestial stems and terrestrial branches'.
One of the oldest known books to man, entitled 'Huang Di Nei Jing' or in the west 'Yellow Emperor's Internal Canon' describes this medical model. Sadly, some of this book's pages concerning this medical model have been lost.
The contributions made by each of the Great Emperors cannot be over emphasised when it comes to creating order out of chaos, creating the chinese civilisation, and of course when it comes to creating the medical model at the heart of the secret medicine.
Their contributions can be symbolised thus:
Fu Xi Trigram arrangement
relates to Heaven and Rhythm
Shen Nung Tai Ji symbol
relates to Earth and Proportion
Huang Di pentagram
relates to Man and Number
Many of the diagrams in this book are variations on these 3 symbols, where ratio is the creation of Heaven and number is the creation of Man.
The secret medicine is based upon this rational universal model of energetic movement; with rational universal laws that are today being validated by quantum physics, nanochemistry and genetic medicine.
For instance, the secret medicine model contends that 'organised energy creates, controls and sustains form'. The five elemental forces that underlie all matter in the medical model are consistent with the quantum discovery that there are five different types of bosons responsible for the creation of matter.
Again, the secret medicine model asserts that organic energy is organised energy, and that this energy, qi, is a golden chain of spiritual life running through every form of existence, that binds together, as in one living body, everything that subsists in Heaven above and Earth below - the waveforce of wave particle theory.
Finally, the secret medicine model shows us that there are 64 possible permutations of the two energetic trigram arrangements - the formless and the formed - in accordance with Francis Crick's discovery of the 64 bit DNA double helix that underlies genetic medicine.
Energetic medicine, for that is what the secret medicine is, and genetic medicine both agree upon the universal law of 'as above, so below'
Just as the great scientist Humboldt defined science as 'a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance' so we might define alchemy as 'a satisfactory philosophy of knowledge'.
Scientists are on the verge of discovering that that has long been known to alchemists...that the Universe is an electric Universe...
everything is wirelessly connected to everything!
Indeed, alchemy can be said to be the father of physics, chemistry and science.
The first part of this book, the secret of life, reveals the alchemic theory that is the basis of all energetic medicine. Beginning with the 'universal spark' the reader is introduced to a theoretical cosmology composed of elemental forces and polarised energetics used to explain the expansion of the universe, the creation of matter, the entropy of change and the foundations of the secret medicine.
The second part of this book, the secret of your life, engages the reader in an understanding of the creative processes involved in determining the individual nature of their own life. There is an interactive component to this part of the book, with the reader able to discover their own 'personal energy signature' that leads to knowledge of their own constitutional strengths and weaknesses.
The third part of this book, the secret medicine, is the main body of the book. It takes the classical form of modern medical texts with sections on subtle anatomy, physiology, aetiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment. No doubt the western reader will be drawn to the section on treatment formulae for specific western medical conditions. Even so, being a creative, holistic medicine, there is a crucially important section on preventative medicine, for surely 'prevention is better than cure'?
In a universe of constant change we are all born out of balance. This is the price we pay for being individuals, for having individual consciousness. These imbalances are our birthright. They determine how we grow and develop, and these imbalances will determine how we respond and react to the twists and turns of life. Balance is dynamic, a matter of degree. Where there is imbalance, by degrees there is disharmony and disease. Where there is a degree of balance there is health and harmony. It's all a matter of degree!
This is the objective of the secret medicine - to move from a state of imbalance, by degrees, towards a state of balance.
The Secret of Life
“The beginning of the Universe
is the mother of all things.
Knowing the mother, one also knows the sons.”
Lao Tzu - Chapter 52, Dao De Jing
The secret of life is known as LI-Qi-Xu...think of right rhythm, proportion and number, visualise a sine wave of activity...a resonating energetic cycle of life that has a specific resonance, amplitude and frequency...think back to the beginning.
Conceptually speaking we can only go back to the force that created this Universe we live in. This force is known in daoist cosmology as 'a contraction of the waters of life'.
The oldest story known in human history is the story of 'fire and darkness make the world' and it's beginnings echo the daoist sentiment that there came, from a contractive force, and before time and space, a spark to be known as the Universal Spark (US). The forces from the US created time, space and matter.
The US is the source energy of the Universe, which itself is a conscious expression of the four forces emanating from the centre force of the US.
These five forces are the building blocks of the Universe and they are universal in the creation of all life.
CHIEN is the central force of the US, from which the other four forces emanate, creates itself. It is the primal force, the creative force in all living beings. This central force - known as Chien - is the connection back to the US; it is an energetic force operating at a lower level than the US, even so it exists before time and space. This is the force with the most energetic potential in the Universe. At the level of humans it is found between the kidneys and known as the lower dan t'ien.
From the four emanations came the development of time and space.
YUEN is the creating force. At the energetic level of Heaven it is rooted in Ching and
rises towards Heng. At the energetic level of Earth it manifests as Wood. At the
energetic level of Man it manifests in the Gall Bladder and Liver meridians.
HENG is the ever penetrating, liberating force; likely to penetrate anything that is
created. At the energetic level of Earth it manifests as Fire. At the energetic level of
Man it manifests in the Small Intestine and Heart meridians.
LI is the gathering force. At the energetic level of Earth it manifests as Metal. At the
energetic level of Man it manifests in the Colon and Lung meridians.
CHING is the invariable and determining force, the primal hereditary force. At the
energetic level of Earth it manifests as Water. At the energetic level of Man it
manifests in the Bladder and Kidneys meridians.
Ching is dependant on the gathering energy of Li and the creative aspect of Yuen,
and so is a dependant primal force. Whereas Chien is a fully independent primal
force. Chien, at the energetic level of Earth manifests as Earth. At the energetic level
of Man it manifests in the Stomach and Spleen meridians.
These five energetic forces are the forces behind the creation of the five elemental stem energies that create, control and sustain organic form and function.
As the original energy of the Universal Spark continued to fragment, the four
emanations divided into four pairs to become eight parts. This pattern of division
is the means by which all life reproduces and proliferates. It is the configuration that
organises energy into substance. In Western medicine it is identified as the double
helix of DNA.
As above, so below
As the original energy of the Universal Spark continued to fragment, so the material
universe began to unfold. The emanations from the Universal Spark created a
universal order - LI. This order produced a golden chain of spiritual life - QI.
Configuration of light energy - XU - formed the Stars.
Cosmic dust created from the
fragmentation of Star energy - stellar explosions - created the Earth. The forces that created this cosmic dust are the same forces that created us i.e. Earth creates
Man. Being born from the very stuff that all life originated from means that we are
each a representation of the universe. Thus, we are a microcosm of the macrocosm, subject to the laws that rule who we are - LI QI XU.
“Except for hydrogen, every single atom of every single element in our bodies has been manufactured inside Stars and then scattered across the Universe in great stellar explosions known as supernovae, only then to be recycled as part of us. The hydrogen is primordial material, produced in the Big Bang, but everything else has been built up in the burning hearts of Stars. We are made of Stardust!”
John Gribbin - Stardust.
The fragmentation of energy following the Universal Spark produced at first a giving part and then a receiving part. In the immediate aftermath of the US there was a natural expression of energy flow. The faster the flow progressed, the more rapidly it
decreased, creating two channels of energy. These two channels are the origin of yin and yang. Before the two channels there was stillness, no movement, no breath, no
circle within. After there was polarity, change, opposition. From the original energy of Being, i.e. the Universal Spark, the original roots of the two channels combined with each other to produce the energetic
relationship expressed in the Tai Ji symbol.
The Secret of Your Life
“On the day when you to the world were given
The Sun stood still, greeting every Star
And ever since you have striven
To grow by the laws that rule who you are.
And in all of time no power can undo
The living form that life created of you”
From a distance all humans appear to be equal. We all share the same anatomy and the same fate of birth, life and death.
From close up, however, the inequality of individual human life is undeniable. No one person, when looked at in detail, is the same as another; neither in body and mind or in spirit and soul.
We are all unique human beings, united by our common origin and divided by our separate existence. This is the ultimate paradox of being human - realising we are separate from others and at the same time realising we are a part of universal life. The cause of our uniqueness is threefold:
i. the jing we inherit from our ancestors
ii. the moment of our birth
iii. our relationship with the rest of life
No human being can be absolutely perfect in body, mind, spirit and soul. However, all human beings can perfect the life they have been given. This drive to perfection, which ultimately is a drive to a return to the source, is the impulse that gives meaning to the lives of each and every one of us.
The jing you have inherited is the genetic material of genetic medicine...initially created by your biological parents, evolved from seven ancestral generations.
The moment of birth gives rise to your individual consciousness...consciousness of body and mind, spirit and soul...consciousness of the living form that life has created of you.
You are a conscious representation of a moment in time and space. The energetic imprint of that moment will become the laws that rule who you are, that no power can undo.
The laws that rule who you are - LI QI XU - are the energetics of your moment of birth, your energetic imbalances. For we are all born out of balance. Indeed, this is the necessary price we have to pay for individual consciousness, for being separate in a relative universe, for there to be change.
No power can undo your imbalances from birth, nor is there any need to. They are your birthright, your 'personal energy signature'
Your personal energy signature reveals your energetic strengths and weaknesses from birth - and as we know from the previous chapter, energy creates, controls and sustains form and function.
It can also reveal to you how to stengthen your weaknesses and how to capitalise on your strengths. This is the core purpose of this chapter of the secret medicine.
Meantime, time and space move on, forever changing according to the Cycles of Life. You become an energetic guest to the Universal host, involved in a dynamic relationship of change. How well you adapt to change is reflected in your state of dynamic balance, fixed at birth and affected by life.
The secret medicine is the medicine of the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di.
Within that secret medicine is found the secret of life - LI QI XU - and how to achieve dynamic
balance for the purpose of health and harmony.
Thus, the medical model at the heart of the secret medicine is based upon the concept of dynamic balance.
It is applied according to the universal principle that ‘energy creates, controls and sustains form’
It is energetic medicine, utilising the theory of five element alchemy to create patterns of
energetic harmony that resolve illnesses and promote mind/body/spirit/soul health.
Revealing the mystery of resonating energetic patterns will lead to the rise of energetic medicine. Just as revealing the mystery of genetic coding is leading to the rise of genetic medicine. Genetics is yin in relation to yang energetics!
Thus, the medical model of the secret medicine is a unifying theory for all holistic energy medicine.
The secret medicine is truly holistic, as it determines a state of energetic imbalance that exists at the moment of birth for any individual.
This is essential knowledge when embarking upon interventions designed to adjust energetic imbalances, the causes of disease and disharmony; and when carrying out interventions designed to promote health and harmony.
In this part of the book you will discover a mysterious view of yourself - a view of
yourself that encompasses the workings of Heaven and Earth in the workings of your own life - an energetic world that creates and sustains your own mind/body/spirit/soul being.
The secret medicine reveals to you a world of internal alchemy, but more than this; the secret medicine guides you in discovering how to balance yourself for health and harmony, as well as discovering how clinical intervention can resolve illness and disharmony.
Knowledge is power; its application empowers
To apply the secret medicine clinically, it is necessary to understand the basic principles of
These principles are defined as the subtle anatomy, physiology and pathology of secret medicine.
As previously mentioned, in Part II, the energetic cycle of Man is created by the interaction of the energetic cycles of Heaven and Earth.
The energetic interactions of Heaven and Earth create and sustain each human being’s lifecycle, in mind, body, spirit and soul.
Each of us is unique in our energetic make-up, due to the unique energetic imprint existing at the time of our birth.
As created beings we are born out of balance, resulting in individual consciousness, but at a price!
Our individual energetic strengths and
weaknesses manifest themselves in our living form, which no power can undo, as energy creates, controls and sustains form.
This fundamental universal principle is generic to all living beings. Applying this fundamental principle to the secret of life - LI QI XU - determines the specific properties of human energetics, as follows:
1. Heaven created the Earth and the Earth created Man.
2.The energetics of Man are a combination of Heavenly yang creative qi and Earthly yin created qi.
3. Heavenly qi represents the quality of human energy, whilst Earthly qi represents the quantity of human energy.
4. Heaven manifests the five elements in a human. The five elements manifest the internal organs.
5. Earth manifests the deep energies. The deep energies support the human lifeform.
6. Yang energy moves from above to below in a human.
7. Yin energy moves from below to above in a human.
8. The five elements control the quality of qi circulating in the human energy system.
9. The deep energies generate the quantity of qi circulating in the human energy system.
The Secret Medicine
“Man lives on Earth and relies on Heaven
for existence, and it is for this reason
that a combination of the energy of Heaven
and that of Earth is named Man. Man can
live according to the four seasons because
Heaven and Earth are the parents of Man”
Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen Ch. 25
The Secret of Life
"the secret of life, you could shout it out in the marketplace and no one would listen!"
Zen Master Myoko
When Myoko made the above remark we lived in a different Cycle of Life than we do now.
Now we live in the cycle known as SE - the 78th cycle, from 1984 to 2044 AD.
This present cycle is known as the information age. The next cycle will be the communication age.
From the launch of the worldwide web to the mapping of the human genome, this truly is an age of information and revelation, and it is also an age when ancient mysteries can be revealed - such as the secret of life.
The secret of life is embedded in a complete theoretical cosmology, sometimes referred to as a daoist cosmology.
Science is validating the core principles of daoist cosmology. Did you know that the Earth is at the centre of the known universe? Or that the shape of the known universe resembles the yin/yang sign? Or that the planets of our solar system, including the Earth, spiral through space around our Sun as the heliosphere travels at 700000mph through space?
These are just a few of the discoveries that recent science has come upon, and that daoist alchemists have known all along!
As the romantic scientist Humboldt said, "alchemy is a satisfactory philosophy of gnosis whilst science is a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance".
Daoist cosmology places Earth at the centre of the universe:
"born before Heaven and Earth, Dao is great
Heaven is great
Earth is great
Man is great
these are the four great powers of the Universe"
Dao De Jing Ch. 25
Heaven (the celestial sphere) creates Earth and Earth creates Man (human). The following diagram is illustrative of this complete daoist cosmology.
To understand this cosmological system, and of course extract the secret of life from it, we will need to examine in detail it's genesis.
Following the US and the fragmenting of energy into the five forces, as described in the introduction, Universal Order arose. This order was perfectly balanced and inert. There was no time and no space, there was no movement and nothing to measure. This perfect order was famously described in Fu Xi's pre-heavenly trigram arrangement:
Even though the arrangement appears to show bipolar division and polarity around a centre, one must remember that what appears is a cosmic principle, before time and space. This energetic state is visualised thus:
The above diagram expresses natural energy flow accelerating in the immediate aftermath of the US. The faster the flow progresses, the more rapidly it
decreases, creating two channels of energy. These two channels are the origin of yin and yang. Before the two channels there was stillness, no movement, no breath, no circle within. There is no separation in this energetic state, no division, no relativity, all is one emanating from a centre. It is the pressure from this central emanation that produces the movement that leads to the entropic unfolding of the Universe and all living things.
From the original energy of Being, i.e. the US, the original roots of the two channels combined with each other to produce the energetic relationship expressed in the Tai Ji symbol:
The compression from contraction of the waters of life results in the expression of universal life:
So, returning to the fragmenting energies of the US, we see that the creation of movement from a centre manifests the five elemental energies from the five forces:
These five elemental energies are the building blocks that create, control and sustain individual life forms:
This is the energetic template for individualised life. The wheel of life moves to and from a centre; the first movement being from the centre - CHIEN/Earth - and the last movement being to the centre - HENG/Fire.
Movement creates the relativity, the polarity that is expressed in the tai ji symbol - states of yin within yang and yang within yin - and the five elemental energies formed from the five forces express this polarity thus:
Tai Ji means creation within a field of resonating energy i.e. the time space continuum. The +ve and -ve hydrogen ions of western science, expressed following the Big Bang, are the first material manifestations of this energy field.
All further divisions of original energy exhibit variable proportions of yin and yang energy, and all beings will correspondingly be composed of variable amounts of yin and yang energy.
The Four Principles of Yin/Yang Energetics
1. Mutual Opposition
Yin and yang are the opposing forces of nature. They express the relative nature of the Universe. All created beings are defined by the quality and quantity of this energetic opposition.
2. Mutual Dependance
One cannot exist without the other. Nothing is either totally yin or totally yang. All creation contains both yin and yang energy.
3. Mutual Antagonism
As yin energy increases so yang energy decreases and vice versa. Their constant interactions generate, organise and destroy patterns of
4. Mutual Creation
Yang creates yin and yin nourishes yang. Nothing stays the same forever. All creation is subject to change, having a beginning, a middle and an ending.
The knowledge contained in Fu Xi’s gift from Heaven - his 8 trigram arrangement - showed Man that there is an order to the Universe.
Hence it is known as the unchanging truth.
All fixed laws of nature perpetuate the universe, are embedded in the fabric of the universe. This is their purpose: fixed points fashioning the nature and extent of the time space continuum.
They are the patternmakers; from them arises the wave of evolutionary process, known as the changing truth.
Fu Xi’s pattern of organised energy shows a state of perfect balance. This pattern represents an energetic perfection in creation, before the creation of individual life in time and space, before Heaven and Earth. This energetic state is like a blank canvas, awaiting the brush strokes of the artist, the blueprint of the architect.
It is the energetic template for the creation of all life.
Balance is achieved through 4 polar axes of opposition, creating a centre. The proportions of the eight organised energies built around a centre balance each other out to create a perfect equilibrium, likened to a wheel revolving around its central hub.
The four yang trigrams - qian, dui, li and zhen - describe the creation of energetic anticlockwise movement; movement from above to below.
The four yin trigrams - sun, kan, gen and kun - describe the creation of energetic clockwise movement; movement from above to below.
However, this energetic description is merely the potential for movement. It is a formless movement.There can be no organized movement at this stage of creation. In fact, only inertia can exist in such a perfect pattern.
Herein then is the energetic template that underpins all resonating energy patterns in time and space.
As energy creates, controls and sustains form it follows that this energetic template subsists in all living beings.
Resonating energy patterns form the matrix that is the Universe.
Taking into account all that has been revealed in this chapter of the secret of life we come to see the formation of the first organised and resonating pattern of energetic movement in the Universe - the Great Movement.
The effects of the Great Movement in Heaven (the celestial sphere) on Earth (the terrestrial planet) and in Man (humankind) are described in detail in Part 3 of this book.
For now, we will follow the unfolding energetic movements of the source resulting from the energetic fragmentation triggered by the US.
We know that the first movement in the time/space continuum was the Great Movement, i.e. the first cycle of life, and we know that this cycle of life determines all other succeeding lifecycles.
As was previously stated, the five elemental energies are the building blocks that create, control and sustain individual life forms.
So we also know that the five elements are the interface between the worlds of energy and phenomena.
The Great Movement originated from the five forces and it's actions effect the five element composition of all life.
As was also previously stated, the starting point for the impetus for life is the Earth element, with the birth of life beginning in the Wood element.
So now we can visualise the first cycle of life as an energetic waveform with the following elemental and polarity characteristics:
The Great Movement originated from the five forces. It's movement affects the five element composition and energetics of all life. That being so, as
’the five elements take turn and each element rules once towards the end of the fifth year...’
Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen, Ch.9
so each element of the Great Movement rules one year.
Accounting for polarity there are therefore 10 years to one Great Movement. The differing energetics of each of these ten years are known as the 10 Celestial Stems - celestial because they measure the energetic quality and quantity of space itself. They form the Heavenly cycle of life that creates the Earthly cycle of life and that together create the potential for life on Earth.
So we can say that the Qi of Heaven is comprised of a Celestial Stem energy rooted in a Great Movement that transforms organised energy.
The Qi of Heaven is the force creating all cycles of life on Earth.
The energetics and functions of Celestial Stems are detailed in Part 3 of this book.
The Qi of Heaven passes through the orbits of the Sun and Moon on its way to creating cycles of life on Earth.
The energy of the Sun is yang, creative and moving...the energy of the Moon is yin, stabilising and nourishing...in relation to the cycles of life on Earth.
Indeed, scientists have recently validated the stabilising role that the Moon plays on the Earth, which would wobble chaotically without the Moon's influence, so preventing life on Earth from evolving.
As mentioned earlier, the Celestial Stems measure the energetic quality and quantity of time itself and this control over time manifests in the form of Sun cycles i.e. yearly, daily cycles.
Moon (lunar) cycles i.e. monthly and hourly cycles,
regulate the energetic quality and quantity of space itself as measured by the Terrestrial Branches.
Terrestrial Branches are the energetic responses to Celestial Stems.