Dear colleagues and friends,
Once again, I am sending you our best wishes for a merry Christmas and happy New Year. I hope that this e-mail reaches you in a moment of peace and happiness.
2008 has certainly been a difficult year for most of us. With all the economic and political crises as well as natural calamities, we are facing a momentum of change. President elect Obama is not the first one who propose change. We have periods of stability and change throughout human history, and indeed change is a ‘constant’ within our universe.
Chinese philosophers, over the past few thousand years have been discoursing on the theory of change and development which might be interesting or even enlightening to our modern scientists, economists and political leaders. ‘The Book of Change’ was the result of many great minds during 1600-500 BC, who contributed to this unique classic of Chinese wisdom which took over a thousand years to complete. ‘The Book of Change’ is not a book of divination or fatalism as popularly known. The essence of the book is a collective treatise on the prediction of the future. By charting the past and present according to qian (universal) hexagrame to predict the future. Observing the external world of the five elements, women, men, sun, moon, brightness and darkness, they began to formulate the theory of yin and yang that characterises the formless heaven (universe).
This fascination with the pattern of change according to the interaction of the yin and yang opposite forces gave rise to many fundamental concepts of Chinese intellectual thoughts such as holistic balance in equilibrium that some modern environmentalists hold dear to. The Book of Change also fermented the development of mathematical logic and astronomy in China. Stability and orderly development can only be fostered by controlled dynamics, e.g. evolutionary change towards equilibrium. Therefore “I Ching” is not a book of fatalism, it is a book of wisdom in the pattern of change. The superior man or the intellectual (智者) who masters these patterns may transform the unfavourable to the favourable. However to have the understanding of the “decree” of heaven only make you an intellectual. To become a perfect human being (完人) you need to reach another dimension (境界) of spirituality, being at one with nature and at ease with change.
In Chinese medicine, the idea of “Syndromes” being the patterns of a change in health and disease was the medical adaptation of these concepts. Perhaps our economists and politicians should study the Chinese theory of development to deal with the financial and social problems that trouble the world at present.
The dialectical nature of these concepts is well considered in Hegel’s Science of Logic and Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. New physics’ Supersymmetry and Quantum Mechanics echo the discoveries of our Chinese sages during the period of the “Hundred Schools of Thoughts” three thousand years ago.
There are many exciting thoughts I want to share with you. But right now I should leave you some time to wrap up year of the “rat”. Rest and revitalise yourself for the “OX” which is promising to be a year of toil and hardwork.
In their practice of cultivating life (养生之道)，the Chinese has some secrets in dealing with stress – singing with birds, talking to the golden carps and appreciating the beauty of flowers with poetry etc.
Perhaps this is an ideal moment to do just that, talk to the carps in your garden pond before they hibernate!
May you have a harmonious year!
By the way, an update for those in medicine, you should go to our websites (www.acumedic.com / www.cmir/org.uk ) to take a look at the “WHO Beijing Declaration” (世界卫生组织北京宣言) on 8th November 2008. My latest paper on ‘The Implications of the Scientific Theories of New Physics to the Innovative Development of Dialectical Thoughts in Chinese Medicine’ delivered at Macau 5th World Congress of Chinese Medicine in November 2008 can also be downloaded from our websites. Information of “The minimum requirements for undergraduate education in Chinese medicine (中医本科教育最低要求) adapted at the global conference on Chinese medicine education on 5th November 2008 is available by request.
THE MFM E-LETTER expresses the personal view of Professor Man Fong Mei on health, medicine and other East-West intellectual issues. He is currently the Chairman of the Chinese Medical Institute and Register (CMIR)，Chairman of The Chinese Medical Council, UK（CMC）, and Executive Chairman, Consultative Working Committee of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS). Professor Mei has published and delivered numerous papers in the past two decades. He is also a professor and visiting professor at three Chinese medical universities and an active member of several medical specialty research committees. If you are interested in receiving future issues of the MFM E-Letter, please visit http://www.acumedic.com/email-updates/mfm_e-letter/ to subscribe for free.
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The content of this e-letter does not constitute a statement of guarantee of any kind. It is subject to change without notice and without prejudice.