This famous passage “All Diseases are Rooted in the Spirit” was noted in Chapter 8 entitled Ben Shen 本 神 of the Ling Shu. The Ling Shu or Spiritual Pivot, considered to be the Canon of Acupuncture, is the second part of the Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Classic of Internal Medicine) – a text dating back to the 5th Century BC during the Warring States period in China. The title of this lecture “All Diseases are Rooted in the Spirit (Shen)” itself expresses a vision and reality where structure and material, where anatomy and physiology, are secondary to the living energy of our Spirit (Shen).
Chapter 8 of the Ling Shu in particular, has served as the foundation of Chinese medicine, with the belief that our Shen (Spirit) is conveying the Destiny (Ming) or curriculum of our Soul (Ling) and that as part of our journey through life, the diseases and illnesses we experience can be informative and potentially a manifestation of our curriculum that needs to be experiences by us (and those around us) as a process of growth and development. Based on the belief that our Spirit (Shen) is conveying the Destiny or curriculum of our Ling- Soul, we can see that part of our destiny can include illnesses and diseases that may manifest in our lives.
This talk therefore explores the role of illness as an essential lesson of life, as difficult and as challenging as it may be. Daoist Priest Jeffrey C. Yuen examines the concept of understanding illness as a call to attention toward changing our attitudes, beliefs and lifestyles. Because quite simply, the lifestyle and consciousness that contributed to the disease process can’t be the same consciousness and lifestyle that brings about the healing process. Finally, our discussion focuses on the importance of empowering the healing process and the possibility of transformation rather than the current concentration on merely combating the disease process.