It is interesting how often I return to the phrase “the simpler the better” when helping acupuncturists gain confidence in their five element skills. And I keep on repeating it because, much to my continuing surprise, what I say does not appear to be actually what people want to hear. It seems as if, instead, they prefer to believe the opposite to be true, that the more complicated things are the better.
One reason may be because people like to take pride in
thinking that their discipline is a complex one requiring hard work to practise
it. To encourage its practitioners to
greater levels of simplicity may appear to run directly counter to this, as
though it strips away some of this pride.
It also takes courage to trust that minimum interference may mean
maximum effectiveness, but there is no doubt in my mind that it does.
Nor must we think that it is easy to be simple, for this is
far from the case. Some of the most
sublime music ever composed is that of Mozart’s piano concertos, where the
pianist may only interject a single note as counterpoint to the orchestra. And yet if that note were placed a bar
earlier or a bar later, or at a slightly higher or lower tone, the whole
perfection of the musical structure would be broken. These single notes could appear to be written
by a child, and yet they are the product of the highest level of creativity.
I like to feel that we can show
some of this creative ability in our own work, if, instead of bombarding the
elements with a plethora of points, often picked at random from one of those
books on points I dislike so much, we dare to hone our selection down to a few simple
points, and end on the single note of a command point. Treatment, like music, should then be allowed
to fall silent, as we give the elements the time to carry on their healing work
without further interference from us.