Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Adding something to life

One way of viewing the qualities of the elements is to regard them as aspects of ourselves which we can choose to use wisely or unwisely.  They can therefore be seen as placing a responsibility upon us.  Should we not make sure that we use them in a way which adds something to our life rather than detracts from it?  And not just to our life, but to the lives of those around us?

I have always kept on my desk before me a quotation from a very wise old Austrian, Dr Oskar Adler, who I have mentioned before.  He brought into our family a surprising aura of the esoteric which always seemed to sit oddly with our own more practical, down to earth view of life.  And yet he had an important influence over us when I was young, one which had a subtle effect upon me and which slotted almost imperceptibly into my increasing understanding of those very aspects of life summoned forth by my knowledge of acupuncture.  He was a musician and an astrologer, and where I learnt the most from him was by reading his fascinating books on astrology just as I started on my acupuncture  training, for they showed me surprising parallels between the two disciplines, enriching my understanding of the world of the elements, and giving it a wider dimension.

The wise saying of his which has accompanied all my writing over the years is one in which he writes that each of us has a duty, a duty, I repeat, to pass on to the world beyond us whatever we have learnt in whatever form this is and however slight or insignificant this may appear in our own eyes.  These words produced such an echo in my mind, and still do, that they became the impetus to my beginning to write my thoughts down, first in the form of handouts for the students at SOFEA, my acupuncture college, then expanded into one book after another (now six), then into my blogs and now into what I am writing here, which may well become my seventh book.  Without the encouragement his words offered me, I might never have had the courage to write anything at all.

And I believe we owe it to the world to leave it a little bit changed, obviously, we hope, for the better, by the way in which we live our life, and this means not only by producing something creative, such as my writing or a painting or a poem, but by how we live our lives.  Our passing through should cause some perceptible ripples to form on the groundswell of life, rather than for us to die leaving everything around us untouched.  From a five element perspective, such ripples will relate to the specific characteristics bestowed upon us by the elements which form us, since these give a different shape to the flow of life through us, and therefore a different kind of way in which the manner of our passing will impinge upon those around us.



1 comment:

  1. Dear Nora, your blog had touched me, deeply.

    I am Aona Liu, a student who is about to graduate from the International Health Management degree at Imperial College London. I have read your book 'Simple Guide to Five Element to Acupuncture’ a few months ago, when recommended by my mom’s close friend in Singapore who has a profound interest in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. What inspired me the most other than the professional knowledge in the content of the book, is that you have really done what you said by ‘passing on to the world beyond us whatever we have learnt in whatever form’. But I can say it is not insignificant, many many many of us, whether in Singapore or China, far from London had long heard about you! It is really great value to us that you are sharing your learnings to everyone. And it makes me really ashamed as a Chinese after reading your book and blog, wishing the Chinese medicine/acupuncture practices and knowledge that could also save tons of people and the quintessence of Chinese culture could be handed down to many more generations. It is heart-breaking to see some of the practices are becoming a lost art.

    I am originally from China, and my family business has been doing pharmaceutical for more than 20 years (; just a few years ago, we started to go into the healthcare provider (hospital) sector, and hoping to provide the people in China with better private healthcare services. As my personal interest, I have great belief and interest in Chinese medicine, I have always wished Chinese medicine/acupuncture can be brought back to be used in more modern day treatments and have great faith that this will happen, in whatever form—say, integrated with western care. Even though I am not specialised in this domain, but I genuinely have great interest and determination to explore more about acupuncture and your ‘Five element acupuncture’, would you be happy to share with me your insights and hoping to meet you. ( )