陰陽離合論篇第六 Su Wen Chapter 6
Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Note: This chapter discusses the six main meridians (3 yin meridians: TaiYin, JueYin, ShaoYin, 3 yang meridians: TaiYang, YangMing, ShaoYang) and how they are separated and joined. Going forward I will use "meridians" to refer to the 3 yin and yang pairs, and "channels" for the 12 that comes with differentiating between hand and foot.
黃帝 asks: "I heard that the sky is yang and the earth is yin, the sun is yang and the moon is yin. The waxing and waning of moon through 360 days is one year, and so the human is a year older accordingly. Now the three yin and three yang of the body don't reflect the numerology of yin and yang of the universe, why is that? "
岐伯 answers: "Yin yang can count as10, but extrapolate to 100, or can count as 1000, and extrapolate to 10000, and 10000 is a large number, and beyond that is uncountable, and yet it still becomes one. Across the sky and earth, all things are born, those that haven't come out of the ground lives in the yin areas, and is named the yin within yin; those that come above ground, lives as the yang within yin. Yang provides the upright and yin is the base 陽予之正, 陰為之主 it is said that birth is due to spring, growth due to summer, contraction due to autumn and storage due to winter. When it is abnormal then the sky and earth's four seasons are obstructed. The change in yin and yang even though it is in humans is enumerable the same way (and the same with yin within yin and yang within yin, and ultimately become one yang and one yin)"
黃帝 asks: "I would like to hear about the separation and joining of the three yin and three yang."
岐伯 answers: "The saintly human stand and faces the south, the area in front of him is full of yang and named GuangMing (廣明), the area behind him is full of yin and named TaiChong(太冲), the land of the TaiChong (places in the body where there is full of yin) is named ShaoYin(少陰), (paired) above ShaoYin is named TaiYang(太陽), and the root of the TaiYang begins at ZhiYin(至陰／UB67 - ultimate yin), and ends with MingMen(命門-life door, per Ling Shu - this is equivalent to the eyes, so actually refers to 睛明-bright eyes／UB1, or could refer to the branch in the abdomen) and so is named the yang within yin.
Going above from the midsection of the body, it is (also) named GuangMing (廣明-wide reaching brightness), and below GuangMing is named TaiYin(太陰), (paired) in front of TaiYin is named YangMing, and the root of YangMing begins at LiDui(厲兌/St45-severe mouth) and is named yang within yin.
The exterior of JueYin, is named ShaoYang, and the root of ShaoYang begins at QiaoYin(竅陰/GB44), and is named the shao(smaller) yang within yin.
This is what is said as the separation and joining of the three yang: TaiYang is opening(開-kai)(to the exterior), YangMing is storage(闔/盒-he2)(before transformation to yin), ShaoYang is the pivot(樞-shu)(to storage). These three meridians, cannot be separated, when intertwined yang won't float, and is named as one yang. "
黃帝 asks: "I would like to hear about the three yin."
岐伯 answers: "The exterior is yang and the interior is yin, and the meridians in the middle is yin, in front of the Tai Chong (mai), is the TaiYin, and the root of the TaiYin begins at YingBai(隐白/Sp1), and is named yin within yin. Behind the TaiYin, is named ShaoYin, and the root of ShaoYin begins at YongQuan(涌泉/Kd1), and is named the shao(smaller) yin of yin. In front of ShaoYin, is named JueYin, and the root of JueYin begins at DaDun(大敦/Lv1), it is where there is no yang in yin 陰之绝陽(because there is no yang in where two yin meets - it is where Lv channel meets the Chong mai), and is named yin without yin陰之絕陰. This is what is said as the separation and joining of the three yin, TaiYin is opening (to the interior), JueYin is storage(before transformation to yang), and ShaoYin is the pivot(to storage). The three meridians, cannot be separated, when intertwined yin won't sink, and is named as one yin.
The yin and yang courses through incessantly, accumulating and delivering through the body in one cycle, and so the qi in the interior and the form in the exterior complement each other. "
(note: there is discrepancy in the classics between opening 開(to receive) or closing 關(to fend off pathogen/excess) for TaiYang and TaiYin.. needs more investigation. Or refer to Wang Ju Yi's interpretations. )
(note: 太冲 is also the name given to the Chong mai, and is also the point name for Lv3. Here it reference to the Chong Mai, the sea of channels. The Chong Mai traverses the same pathway in the trunk as the ShaoYin. The imagery presented in this chapter is of a man standing as if a plant, with the legs as roots to the ground(yin), the body is form and so is yin, he is facing yang and back is yin. So therefore the channels are in someways yin where it meets yang of the environment and yang where it meets yin of the environment. . The yin channels that root off from the middle Tai Chong, and the yang channels from TaiChong as yang within yin.