The Heart

In Lingshu chapter 8

Claude Larre and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

This book presents the central position of the heart in the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, Neijing Lingshu chapter 8. The heart is seen as an empty, silent centre, yet as the root of the spirits.

Chapter 8 contains an important discussion of the thirteen fundamental concepts of Chinese medicine: de (virtue), qi, sheng (life), jing (essence), shen (spirit), hun (soul), po (bodily soul), xin (heart), yi (purpose), zhi (will), si (thought), lü (reflection) and zhi (wisdom).

The analysis of this passage takes the terms slowly, line by line, character by character. The ideas described are a key to a deeper understanding of Chinese medical thinking, and show its strong connection to our mental, emotional and spiritual nature.

The main body of the text of chapter 8, together with a full translation, is given in beautiful calligraphy in a pull-out section at the end of the book.

When are our hearts are well regulated, our senses are well regulated too. When our hearts are at rest our sense organs are at rest too. What regulates them is the heart. What sets them at rest is the heart.

Claude Larre
The Heart
pp 132 /   210 x 145 mm / rrp £15.00
ISBN 978 1 872468 04 4
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