As individuals all too aware of our struggle for survival in an increasingly chaotic and complex society physically, emotionally and spiritually, we require solutions that are simple and inspired. We fall in love and procreate; we learn through education and survive through work. We produce and consume, coping with our material existence by overcoming difficulties that take a toll on our physical and psycho-emotional wellbeing. The fundamental factor which may be contributing to the withering of our civilisation is the obsession with our physical existence while neglecting the cultivation of our inner being. To do that, we need to refocus on the meaning of life. We each go through our individual journey from Spring to Winter in the natural movement of time. Living in harmony with nature has been the wisdom of Chinese civilisation. Human transformation of nature can only be made within the laws of nature, or else there will be a danger of the decay of human civilisation. As we seek our own happiness and the happiness of future generations, should we take a step out of time in order to savour the beautiful moments of existence without the incessant pursuit of rapid growth in the material world and its destruction of our natural environment? This fundamental question is posed to each of us and requires an individualised self-realisation. Chinese medicine believes in a holistic cultivation of health in body, mind and spirit. A holistically healthy and happy individual is the basic unit of a healthy society.
Different civilisations in the history of humankind rise and fall in the journey of time from Spring to Summer, Autumn to Winter. Like all creatures, everything in this world endures the passage of time. While some wither and some survive, we ask for the reason behind. The Chinese say ‘Dao is the middle way’, the way of balance and harmony in the yin and yang, the nature of things. This understanding applies to socio-economics as well as the individual. Chinese medicine seeks to harmonise the yin and yang in the body, mind and spirit of a person in order to regulate illness and achieve longevity. For each one of us to survive difficult times we need to strike a balance between our materialistic desires and our psycho-emotional wellbeing. In a time of doom and gloom, it is essential for us to raise our spirits with a change of perspective from sadness to joy, from fear to hope, from despair to happiness. To do this, each of us needs to pursue a journey of self-realisation by cultivating our moral strength in the spirit of enlightenment and inspiration. We should cultivate our love for all and not just for ourselves by promoting the good elements of life. Just as a Chinese physician promotes the genuine Qi (energy) of the body to keep at bay the invasion of evil Qi (pathogens), similarly a society must encourage each individual to be positive and hopeful, contributing towards a brighter future for our children. Many parallels of such seasons have existed in the history of Chinese civilisation; but by conceiving the dynamics of yin and yang, the Chinese have managed to survive the past 5,000 years of ups and downs, and are now beginning to regenerate and reinvent themselves in their search for a renaissance.