Philosophy of Acupuncture
The essence and comprehensive nature of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are difficult to convey. The holistic theory and philosophy behind the practice is based on diagnosing and correcting any imbalance possible in human nature. The core issue of a condition may originate from physical, emotional, psychological, mental and/or spiritual sources. The goal then of the practitioner is to facilitate healing through restoring integrity of the tissues or organs, replacing emotional reactions with greater understanding and compassion for oneself and others, increasing awareness of mental programs underlying conditions and through compassion, relieving pain and suffering.
Many of these healing principles are expressed in great works of art, which invoke peace of mind and even physical healing.
The Qingming Shanghe Tu is one of China’s most revered works of art. Considered the eastern equivalent of the “Mona Lisa,” this awe-inspiring Northern Song dynasty (960 -1126) village scene emanates a sublime sense of peace permeating and presiding over every aspect of ordinary human life.
During the Northern Song dynasty, political and social commentary was customarily embedded ever so subtly into great works of art. The Qingming Shanghe Tu may illustrate an unspoken observation of the adherence, or departure from, integrous principles and practices among civilians, communities and governance. As the artist left no written explication, one is free to draw one’s own conclusion as to the possible meaning and significance woven into the transcendent nature of the painting. The essence of the scroll, and an understanding of why it has captivated the hearts of so many, may be more deeply understood by acknowledging potential influences of the times, and discerning what it is in all masterpieces that moves the human spirit throughout all of time, across all cultures.
The Northern Song era expressed a shift in focus on embodying the principles of integrity, honor, respect, dignity, service and compassion in every aspect of daily life. Scholars and rulers were critiqued on their character and how well they upheld humanistic yet pragmatic guidelines. The establishing of order was believed to be a direct consequence of instilling values and nurturing a culture of people devoted to virtuous principles. Heaven was not an ideal held outside of oneself, it represented a quality meant to be infused within earthly practices that engender a sense of harmony and reverence. Self-fulfillment through education and the integration of heavenly graces was seen as the gateway to the ultimate expression of human potential, and that which brings forth true masterpiece in all.
Fu Xinian, ed. Zhongguo meishu quanji, Liang Song huihua, shang (Series Vol. 3), pl. 51, pp. 128-137 (This applies to all five sections). Collection of the National Palace Museum, Beijing.
Zhang Zeduan (Song), Qingming shanghe tu. Handscroll, ink and colors on silk, 24.8 x 528.7 cm.
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