Modern Civilization, Modern People and Modern Diseases

Zhang Dong

PureInsight | December 30, 2002

Modern science strongly influences modern people. Modern people enjoy modern civilization while suffering from modern diseases.

The basis of modern science is direct observation. Founded on tangible objects that we can see, modern science applies qualitative and quantitative methods of examination. As advanced as we are today, if we sit down and calmly look at the history of human civilization, objectively analyze archaeological discoveries and carefully re-consider the unknown phenomena in our society, we will conclude that the present-day scientific research is only one of many possible paths of exploration. It is a fallacy to believe that ours is the only human civilization that ever existed. Many discoveries have demonstrated that other prehistoric civilizations existed. To more thoroughly explore and understand our surroundings and the universe in which we live, we must acknowledge that other scientific methods exist, probably differing completely from our own. If we stubbornly reject other possible methods, we are allowing our emotions to restrict us, rather than having a truly scientific mind-set. If we break though our post-natally acquired notions, concepts and conditioning, we shall surely find a more evolved science.

Modern science aids the destruction and pollution of man's living environment and helps poison man's body. In return, it gives people only short-term pleasure. The inventions of modern science teach people to struggle for material goods, which they pursue to indulge themselves. Some people say that our lives are so much better than those of ancient people. It seems that we cannot fathom that people were happy in ancient times. Actually, ancient people were happy. Ancient people were attuned to nature, the green mountains, the blue water, flying birds and white clouds. They were carefree. They experienced a kind of liberation, existing in a realm in which one knows the plan of heaven and enjoys it. This is real happiness, deep, continuous, peaceful and comfortable. It solidly nurtured one's heart and body. But modern people prefer to struggle painfully, want to be busy and never enjoy the happiness of reaching the other side of the mountain. Many modern people have lost human virtue, including prudence, diligence, tolerance, peacefulness and courtesy.

In modern civilization, human beings have been weighed down with more and more modern diseases. How do we approach this issue? Only by letting go of modern science and modern civilization, will we be able to understand and solve the problem.

1) Irregular life styles cause imbalances in yin and yang.

Ancient Chinese culture believed that the interaction between yin and yang created the universe and all matter. The movement of the universe, including all matter, follows the rule of the mutual-generation and the balance of yin and yang. The human body is a small universe. While it has its own pattern of movement, it is also related to the entire universe. The ancients said, "Man follows heaven and earth and harmonizes with the sun and moon." "Follow nature, prevent evil qi from entering from outside, nurture yang in the spring and summer and nurture yin in the autumn and winter." "It harms the liver if one opposes the qi of spring, harms the heart if one opposes the qi of summer, harms the lung if one opposes the qi of autumn and harms the kidney if one opposes the qi of winter." All these sayings instruct people about the relationship between fostering life and the changes of the seasons.

Every single moment, life must be orderly and in harmony with the changes of yin and yang. The ancients said, "For a person who gathers the qi of yang, he should spend his time outdoors during the day. As the sun rises in the morning, the qi appears. The qi is at its height at noon, and fades out in the afternoon. The qi gate is closed after dark. So, one should not be active and disturb the tendons and bones after sunset. If one reverses this time schedule, one's body will suffer." It is clear that if one's activities are against the laws of the seasons and the yin and yang of the day, the human body will be in turmoil. The result is an imbalance of the qi and blood, and may result in illness. Aren't today's nightlife and other pleasures of the flesh all out of harmony with the changes of yin and yang in the universe? The ancients said, "Among all illnesses, most are caused by being alert in the early morning, drowsy during the day, stimulated in the late afternoon, and active at night." It means that one's symptoms have a certain relationship with the changes of yin and yang. Many people have had similar experiences, and modern medicine also confirms it.

"The ancients knew the Dao, followed yin and yang and abided by metaphysical rules. They were restrained in their eating habits, awoke and slept regularly and never strained themselves in their work." Their behavior followed the spirits. They lived their lives to the pre-destined time, frequently more than one hundred years. Many of today's people are different. They drink alcohol and indulge themselves in abnormal activities. When they are drunk, they exhaust their vital energy. People do not know how to keep their vital energy and do not organize time sufficiently to conserve energy. Many people only care about indulging in pleasure. They have ups and downs, and their behavior is very erratic. That is why they begin to weaken in their 50's.

2) Imbalanced nutrition imbalances the five elements.

Ancient people believed that the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth compose all matter in the universe, including that of the physical body.

As ancient people said, "five flavors must be balanced and one cannot get attached to any single one." "The five grains provide the main nutrients. The five fruits provide assistance. The five types of livestock provide benefits. The five vegetables provide supplements." These mean that the body should absorb balanced nutrients and one should not prefer only a particular food. "If any of the five flavors are not balanced, it will cause a certain ailment." " If one eats too much salty food, the pulse will be blocked and one's complexion will change. If one eats too much bitter food, the skin will be withered and the hair will fall out. If one eats too much spicy food, the tendons will protrude and the hands will atrophy. If one eats too much sour food, the muscles will waste away and the lips will become pale. If one eats too much sweet food, the bones will ache and hair will fall out." Nowadays, people emphasize a balanced diet, but the food they take in is already imbalanced. For example, ancient people talked about the five grains: wheat, broomcorn, millet, rice and beans. How many people today can have them all? Actually, the five flavors mentioned by ancient people were a basic concept for ancient nutritional science. Its concept is much broader than today's nutritional science. Modern nutritional science understands that there are more than twenty nutritional elements, many vitamins, trace elements, proteins, calcium, phosphate, and so on. Actually, the composition of lives in the universe is very complicated and is not as simple as what is known by modern science. Modern nutritional science calls unidentified nutritional elements unknown factors. There are many more unknown nutritional factors. It is believed that many symptoms are caused by imbalanced nutrition that cannot be cured simply by supplementing with calcium or zinc. Today's scientists probably can observe this, too.

Ancient people considered the human body a universe. From the macroscopic perspective, we can understand and deal with the human body based on yin, yang and the five elements. We can explain the physical phenomena of our body based on the movements of qi, blood and energy channels, interactions between the five elements and the balance of yin and yang. The medical treatments did not target the surface phenomena, but the mechanisms at a deeper level of the human body. This is truly scientific. Modern medical science knows that the human body is a very complicated system, but it only studies the surface and the associated phenomena. Its understanding of the human body is discrete and superficial. Its treatments are also very direct and shallow. Because it targets the surface, the effects are seen on the surface and easily accepted by people. But it cannot cure the roots of illnesses.

In modern society, everything focuses on productivity and efficiency. In agriculture, there are many new hybrid crops and livestock. These usually have a short life cycle and grow very fast. Both crops and livestock are mass-produced. Based on the traditional views, they surely did not absorb enough essence of heaven and earth. If you analyze their protein and energy levels, you might find they are not low. But they all have unbalanced "five flavors." When people eat such foods, they will be unbalanced in "five flavors." People often say, "Free range chicken is tasty, and rich in nutrition." Actually, industrially produced crops or livestock are all distorted. Based on "mutual generation and mutual inhibition," with accelerated growth, the other properties, such as nutrition, must go down. Thus their nutritional level and their overall quality can never match that of naturally produced food. As the cycle of mass production continues, the differences will become even greater. It's just like cultured ginseng can never be compared to natural ginseng. If people continue to eat artificially engineered foods, what will be the consequences?

3. Pollution of water and earth is an evil invasion.

From the beginning of the industrial revolution, human beings have accelerated the destruction of the environment. Since the drilling for and utilization of petroleum began, many chemical products have been developed and humanity started the destruction and pollution of the environment. For instance, people in the past stored things in vats, wooden containers and willow and bamboo baskets. Vats are made from heating molded clay and do not pollute the environment. Wood, willow and bamboo do not pollute the environment either, since they were naturally grown and will return to the earth when they are no longer needed. Nowadays, plastic products are very popular. For instance, plastic boxes, plastic bags and plastic wraps are chemical products. They are hard and do not disintegrate easily. The residues of waste machine oil, petroleum products and detergents pollute the natural environment because they do not naturally disintegrate. These chemical products seriously pollute the water, earth and air.

These chemical products accumulate in the natural world. Animals and plants then ingest chemical pollutants. Additionally, man cuts down trees and damages plants, seriously damaging the environment. Animals that cannot adapt to the polluted environment become extinct. Consequently, countless animal and plant species vanish rapidly from the earth. The speed is quite amazing. Those large animals and humans that are able to adapt to this polluted environment are unable to perceive the changes in themselves. The poisons ingested into their bodies can be rather debilitating. Some were noticed through scientific tests, but most of them cannot be found with today's scientific tools. People are unable to comprehend the devastating effect of foreign chemicals in their bodies and how they will actually affect their bodies. We can be certain that daily-use chemicals that we believe to be beneficial will have a harmful effect on the environment and the human body in the long run. We just cannot recognize all the harmful effects at this time.

There is a popular Chinese saying, "Medicine is 30% poison." It is obvious that certain chemical combinations in medicines are known to the medical scientist to have a negative long-term effect on the body. Humans also eat food, meat and eggs, which contain large quantities of residue from fertilizers, farm chemicals and hormones. Aren't they harmful to the body? The regulations with respect to what levels of artificial chemicals are toxic in farm products can easily be challenged.

It is very difficult for nature to accept, break down and absorb artificially produced products. These things start to pile up in nature and incessantly harm not only the human body, but also everything in the environment. Many illnesses were found to be the effect of such pollution. For example, several decades ago, a strange disease was discovered in Japan. Later on, the source of the disease was found to be a fish from a polluted river.

According to ancient medicine, this kind of situation is classified as a poisonous invasion.

4. Abnormal moods and damage to internal organs

In both modern and Chinese traditional medical practice, emphasis is placed on preventing unhealthy habits. It is generally believed that those suffering from coronary ailments should not get excited, and those with liver problems should not get angry. Ancient proverbs state, "Violent rage and fury is harmful to yin, while sudden and excessive delight damages yang." "The heart is affected by happiness, the liver by anger, the lungs by sorrow and anxiety, the spleen by thoughts and the kidneys by fear." The "five symptoms" illustrated above, that is, the respective reactions of the five organs to sentiments, are reasonable statements. Continued abnormal reactions in these organs will produce harmful vital energy and blood flow, and will have grave consequences to the human body. This will eventually result in diseases of different severity. Modern medical science has also found that constant changes in a human's disposition will lead to different responses of the body's endocrine system, which may result in severe adverse effects on the human body.

Unlike our ancestors, modern people are extremely competitive, tense and depressed. Modern humans are very ambitious, possess little self-control and exhibit strong desires for self-expression. They are also extremely jealous. They are full of resentment and thus they are always scheming to be the winner, harming those around them and, in the long run, harming society. Furthermore, modern humans are constantly worried about personal loss and gain, which affects their psyche negatively. Such unhealthy sentiments cause disorder to the endocrine system and will, without exception, result in illnesses. On the other hand, the ancients were very particular about etiquette and morals and so exhibited self-control. Their behavior was governed by what they understood to be the will of heaven. They were at ease with themselves. They had no high aspirations, did not ask for what was not possible and did not worry about injustices. They harbored no resentment. Also, in ancient society, competitiveness and self-promotion were non-existent. It was a less stressful environment. Ancients did not exhibit nervous, anxious or worried behavior, nor did they have feelings of indignation. Thus, we can safely say that the ancients were not harmed because of their thoughts or behavior.

5. Harming each other and committing countless karma-inducing acts

In Buddhism, all human actions result in either good karma (de) or bad karma (karma). The benefits and misfortunes in life, such as wealth or illness, come from the de and karma one has accumulated.

In reality, the entire universe cannot be seen with the naked eye. There are many dimensions that mankind cannot see. The main and collateral channels, as well as the acupuncture points discussed in traditional Chinese medicine, do not exist in the body in this dimension. Therefore, modern tools cannot find them. Yet they do exist. De and karma are also two substances that are part of the body, but exist in another dimension. When one does a good deed, one will obtain de. When one does a bad deed, one will obtain karma. A person's de and karma follow one's primordial spirit forever.

Modern science is unable to detect other dimensions and cannot confirm the existence of enlightened beings/gods. Modern mankind, under the influence of modern science, will do everything for personal gain without with very little consideration for the consequences. Man will thoughtlessly harm others and will thus obtain karma. Humans do not know that karma is the root of all diseases, sufferings and tribulations.

Some people may not believe this. In fact, tens of millions of true Falun Dafa disciples throughout the world are confirming this contention. They speak from their personal experiences. A survey conducted by the State Sports Commission of China and the joint surveys conducted by the relevant medical departments have all testified to the marked effect of Falun Gong in healing illnesses and in keeping fit. Tens of millions of genuine Falun Dafa practitioners, both in China and overseas, have obtained good health by abiding by the Fa principle of, "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance," and by persistently upgrading their moral standards.

One can find the above expressed in many ancient books. Sun Simiao pointed out in his book Valuable Prescriptions for Emergencies that the reason that doctors are needed is that people fall sick as a result of their behavior and minds going astray. Human beings are very stubborn and restricted within the frame of their own perception. They are powerless to address the wrongs in their minds and let got of their preconceptions. They are not willing to improve their morality, despite being sick. Moreover, the saying "the wind is the cause of all illnesses. When one is quiet, one's flesh will be tight and will not be harmed by strong winds and disease," is very profound. According to modern medical views, "wind" means all pathogenic microorganisms and the symptoms of diseases that develop rapidly, change quickly and are prone to spasms (referred to as the tightening of the flesh in the previous statement). I personally think the wind here means karma. When one is quiet and calm, one naturally will not commit bad deeds, will not be afraid of accumulating karma and will not be affected by poisonous and evil influences. Therefore, not committing bad deeds is regarded as more important than simply observing healthy habits of living.

6. Deviation from the Tao and the Fa as step-by-step approach to the abyss

Along with the development of society, material comforts have become essential to the human life-style. The importance of material wealth has grown exponentially. Regrettably, moral standards have fallen to an all-time low. People's lives have strayed more and more from their inborn nature. In short, people have progressively deviated from the Tao and the Fa.

A sage of ancient times professed, "The principle of yin and yang is the fundamental principle of the universe. It is the law of creation. It brings about the transformation to parenthood. It is the root and source of life and death; and it is found within the temples of the gods. In order to treat and cure diseases one must return to what is fundamental." The life of modern people has deviated from yin and yang and destabilized the Five Elements. People, out of selfishness, will stop at nothing, stoop to low levels and commit all manner of crimes. This results in illnesses that are difficult or impossible to treat.

In ancient times, sages taught ordinary people that harmful influences and evil winds should be avoided at certain times. The ancients were unperturbed, thus the vital force of nature always surrounded them and their fundamental spirit was preserved within. Thus, they did not suffer from illnesses. They exercised restraint with a strong will and had few desires. They were at peace and had no fears. They worked hard, but did not become weary. Their spirit was at ease, living in harmony with their surroundings and followed heaven's laws. They were satisfied and their aspirations were met. All food was appetizing, and their clothing was suitable. They were happy with their life. They were satisfied with their station in life, whether of the lower or upper class. One could say that they were pure of heart. There purity was such that they could not be tempted. Neither riches nor evil could lure their hearts. They were without fear. They were in harmony with the Tao. They lived long lives, sometimes longer than one hundred years, were always active and did not become infirm. Their virtue was exemplary and they could not be imperiled.

But how can one follow the Tao and the Fa? I believe that one should adhere to the law of nature, live a clean, moral life and cultivate oneself. For example, children nowadays often display their dislike in eating. Their parents may force them to eat. Such an action may make the child view eating as a burden, instead of a happy occasion that gives sustenance to the body. Without doubt, this is only one of the reasons why a child may view eating as a chore. In reality, there is a lot of human behavior that is not in harmony with natural law. We can rest assured that such disharmony has caused a lot of mysterious phenomena and abnormal diseases in modern society. For example, many children are obese. This is caused by human behavior deviating from yin and yang and destabilizing the Five Elements. In fact, people have the innate desire to return to their original, true selves. Isn't it true that no matter how poor or rich a family, no matter how many toys a child possesses, or how technically advanced the toys are, 6- or 7-year-old children prefer to play with soil, sand or simple things they find in their surroundings? No matter how dirty they seem to be, they are quite happy.

In short, it is time for mankind to return to its true nature and to become attuned with its environment. However, if society continues to disregard its true nature, human survival is at risk. The way of returning to one's true nature will become narrower and narrower.

1. Hu Naiwen, "Drawing lessons from Chinese traditional medical science to break through the medical bottleneck."

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