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This article is concerned with this conceptual blending only


This article is concerned with this conceptual blending only to the limited extent it serves as an operational instrument for dealing with visible and/or audible excessive reactions, such as pain and suffering, as well as with painful sensations of the body. If conceived as material realities, emotions belonged to both the rules of feeling specific to time and place, as manifested in perception, ge- stures and behavior, and to the reference frame physicians applied in therapy. Though the rules of feeling changed over time, the cognitive mechanism of conceptually expressing social emotional realities by reference to corporeality was implicitly derived from the passage “The locations where the Five essences accumulate” (“Wu jing suo bing” 五精所并) in Huangdi neijing 黄帝内经 (The Classic of the Yellow Emperor, 2nd century B.C.), where the visceral manifestations of emotions are explained as follows:

精气并于心则喜          When the qi-essence [of all Five yin-organs] accumulates in the heart, it will [give rise to] joy,

并于肺则悲伤              when it collects in the lungs, it will [give rise to] sorrow,

并于肝则忧                  when it collects in the liver, it will [give rise to] worry,

并于脾则畏                  when it collects in the spleen, it will [give rise] to dread,

并于肾则恐                  when it collects in the kidneys, it will give rise to fear.

是谓五并                      Such are the so-called Five accumulations (wu bing 五并).


This passage provides the paradigmatic conceptual frame. It conceptualizes emotions as being produced due to the concentrations of qi-essence within the Five yin-organs (zang). The Five viscera theory refers to the study of the inner viscera as the vital core spaces of both men and women alike. The zangfu 脏腑, or viscera, conventionally have been classified into the yin -viscera, the yang -viscera and the “unusual organs” (qiheng zhi fu 奇恒之腑), according to their particular physiological functions. The Five yin-viscera include the heart, the lung, the spleen, the liver and the kidneys. The Six yang-viscera include the gall bladder, the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, the bladder and the triple energizer. The unusual organs include the brain, the marrow, the bones, the vessels, the gall bladder and the uterus. Commonly, the physiological function attributed to the Five yin-viscera was to generate and store vital energy (qi). The Six yang-viscera were considered the receivers and transporters of nourishment. The unusual organs were assigned a function similar to that of the yin-viscera. Qi is the fundamental “breath” which is constitutive for all living systems; and jing , the concentrated essence, which even precedes the form of the body and from which the body originates, is ultimately also constituted and produced from qi. If qi knots or blocks, or if it reverses its flowing direction, illness or disorder will occur in the body and in society. This, at least, is the view put forward in a 16th century commentary to the passage quoted above:

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