How Should We View the Historic Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Song Chenguang

PureInsight | June 3, 2007

[] All of the
modern literature on the history of the development of traditional
Chinese medicine is a product of writers with a narrow materialistic
view.  At their levels of understanding and points of view, they
can only perceive the superficial phenomena in the history of its
development. This is to say, the history written by a human cannot
exceed that human's understanding.

In reporting on the process of the development of traditional Chinese
medicine, since the moral levels of human beings have constantly been
on the decline, it is difficult for people who emerged later to
understand things produced by earlier people. Because modern people's
moral level is no longer adequate, people don't know how to apply the
methods left by the earlier people who were at higher moral levels.
Even when modern people use these ancient methods, they don't know the
inside connotations, leading to less effective results. Occasionally,
however, a person emerges who writes a new book according to society's
then current life styles. They combine previous people's literature
with their own ideas. Some examples include: The Yellow Emperor's Yellow Emperor's Cannon, Bian Que's Classic On Medical Problems, Zhang Zhongjing's Treatise on Cold Damage, Huang Fumi's A-B Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Sun Simiao's Emergency Formulas Worth A Thousand Gold Pieces and Supplement to the Formulas Worth A Thousand Gold Pieces, Li Shizhen's Compendium of Materia Medica,
and others. Other people were inspired by these works and put forth new
ideas and so many books discussing these new ideas were produced. In
this way, many people contributed to perfecting and enriching
traditional Chinese medicine, leading to the ever more complete and
rapid development of traditional Chinese medicine.

How should one view the history of the development of traditional
Chinese medicine? Consider that English language dictionaries contain
some 600,000 word definitions, but they are all based on a mere 26
letters. Human mathematics is highly-developed, but always utilizes the
same ten numerals, 0 - 9. The theory that all things are made of the
Five Elements is the basis for the millennia-old development of
traditional Chinese medicine. From this we can see that when the gods
pass some little thing on to humans, that small thing will be enough
for a human to study it and set about developing it limitlessly. From
the human point of view, this process is what generates the glorious
history of human development.

Viewed from a higher level, divine beings arranged for the emergence of
certain people in the process of developing traditional Chinese
medicine. These were the people who wrote literature and formed new
theories and acknowledged that divine beings had a hand in creating
history. Because divine beings created humans, these being left humans
a model after which to live their lives. When divine beings pass
something on to humans, it is for humans to follow their arrangements,
to maintain a certain standard in their lives and not deviate from it,
following moral standards.

Much of the literature on traditional Chinese medicine deals with
morality. Many renowned traditional Chinese medicine doctors, having
high moral values, obtained teachings from divine beings. Traditional
Chinese medicine was passed down from divine beings and so has moral
implications. In the process of the development of traditional Chinese
medicine in human society, then, the more people studied it, the more
they would understand the discipline's moral values, which would then
support the maintenance of human morality at a certain level.

Divine beings bestowing something on humans and letting humans develop
it tirelessly serves only one purpose: to maintain the state of
humanity at a certain level while waiting for the Fa-rectification to
come. Many historic figures have made such a prediction.

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