Walks in the Apricot Forest: The Story of Famous Physician Wen Zhi

Shui Sheng

PureInsight | March 31, 2003

[In Chinese, "Apricot Forest" is another term for the medical community. For more details see: http://www.pureinsight.org/pi/articles/2003/1/23/1368.html]

[PureInsight.org] Wen Zhi (323-284 BC) was a citizen of the Song State during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). He was proficient in medicine. In the Chapter of Zhi Zhong in The History Before the Qing Dynasty by Lu, there was a record of Wen Zhi applying a traditional psychological principle known as "replacing depression with anger" to heal the depression of King Min of the Qi State.

During the Warring States Period, King Min, ruler of the Qi State suffered from severe depression. The famous physician Wen Zhi was summoned to provide medical treatment, and he graciously obliged. After a detailed medical examination, Wen Zhi told the crown prince, "The King's depression is definitely curable; however, when his majesty is cured, I will undoubtedly be slain." The prince was puzzled by his remarks and demanded that Wen Zhi explain. Wen Zhi replied, "His majesty's depression can only be cured by inducing a rage. The cost of enraging his majesty will certainly be capital punishment!" After hearing the answer, the prince earnestly implored, "If you could only cure his majesty's mental depression, the queen and I would plead for your life with our own." Wen Zhi could not decline the request so he agreed, "Then I will risk my life to treat his majesty's depression."

So Wen Zhi began the treatment by making an appointment with the crown prince for the King's treatment. Wen Zhi purposely missed the appointment and left the King waiting. He did the same for the second and the third appointments. King Min was furious with Wen Zhi's audacity in neglecting their appointments. It was then that Wen Zhi suddenly showed up before King Min.

Without removing his shoes or even first asking for permission, Wen Zhi climbed onto King Min's bed. He trampled all over the King's robe while inquiring about his depression. Consumed with rage, King Min completely ignored Wen Zhi's questions. Next Wen Zhi then tried to escalate King Min's rage with disrespectful words. Finally King Min shouted in anger and jumped up. King Min's rage did cure his depression, but the treatment eventually cost Wen Zhi his life, as he had predicted.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/3/8/20715.html

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