from: Rochat de la Vallée, E.

Wu Xing, Five Elements

Wu Xing, Five Elements

2009, 172 pages

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Wu Xing, Five Elements Product information Rochat de la Vallée, E.

In this important new addition to the Monkey Press Chinese Medicine
from the classics series, Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée continues her
exploration of the key concepts of Chinese medicine and philosophy
with a study of wuxing, the five elements, phases or movements.
In the West, the concept of wuxing has been variously embraced or
dismissed, often misunderstood, but never the subject of serious study in its historical context.
This fascinating book traces the development of wuxing theory from its
early beginnings - where we see the five elements in their literal sense,
as the five materials necessary for survival on earth - to its incorporation
into the sophisticated cosmological system of yinyang wuxing during the 2nd century BC E.
Guiding us through well chosen chapters of the Spring and
Autumn Annals and its commentary, the Huainanzi, and the medical texts of the Neijing Suwen,
Rochat de la Vallée explains the development of these ancient ideas which provide such an important basis for zangfu theory within Chinese medicine.

‘The theory of wu xing
provides a link between
phenomena and things which
may be appear very different
but which have a similar
quality and movement of qi.’

Rochat de la Vallée, E.

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée, Jahrgang 1949,
ist eine international anerkannte Autorin, die sich im Bereich der TCM einen Namen gemacht hat. Dabei hat sie mit Autoren wie Larre und Dr. Jean Schatz zusammengearbeitet und interessante Werke erschaffen. Ihre Bücher sind in Französisch und Italienisch veröffentlicht worden, ebenfalls in Englisch.

Elizabeth Rochat de la Vallée, born in Paris in 1949,
studied philosophy, literature and classics at the Paris University where she completed her Masters degree in Classics and in Philosophy then in Chinese.

Self-description: When I was 20, I met Claude Larre s.j. while he was working on his PhD thesis on the Huainanzi and translating the Laozi. As a result of his influence, I began to study Chinese, working with him on Chinese classical texts. I also studied modern Chinese with a native speaker and spent a year in Taiwan to further my studies. In the early 1970's, Father Larre met Dr. Jean Schatz, a western physician with an interest in oriental medicine He was an acupuncturist with a special interest for the classical medical texts. At this time I embarked on a study of Chinese medicine, and together with Dr. Schatz and Father Larre, began the first study group of the classical medical texts in Paris. This lead to the founding of the European School of Acupuncture in Paris in 1976. From this common work, Father Larre, Dr. Schatz and myself co-authored A Survey of Chinese Medicine, published in 1979 (English translation published in 1986). Under the auspices of the Ricci Institute in Paris, Father Larre and I offered lectures, seminars and conferences on Chinese classical thought; this teaching was given not only in Paris and other French cities, but also in several European countries and shortly in America. We also published numerous booklets on the seminal texts of Chinese medicine and philosophy. In the mid 1980's, I began to accompany Father Larre on his teaching engagements in both the UK and the US. Father Larre's subtle understanding of the background culture and philosophy and my knowledge of the medical texts combined to produce a unique teaching team. I continue to teach worldwide, working with both medical and philosophical Classics. I was lucky enough to find good friends and partners to work with, such as Sandra Hill for the editing and publication of books in English through Monkey Press, Peter Firebrace for teaching in London with Orientation; Ken and Jessica Rose in the US with whom I co-founded the Three Spring Institute, and many others in different countries and languages. (See here for details and links). I do think that a real knowledge of the Chinese vision of life is useful not only to understand Chinese medicine from a scholarly point of view, but also to deepen one's practical approach and clinical skill. It is the reason why I always read, translate and explain texts which present a precise pathology and its diagnosis treatment or a reflexion on the nature and meaning of human life or anything in the between. I like and value the Daoist approach of life, especially Zhuangzi and Laozi, while remaining a Christian.
I also worked closely with Father Larre on the Grand Ricci dictionary, completing the first publication two volumes of single characters in 1999. The complete work of seven volumes was finally published, under my direction, just before Father Larre's death in 2001. This awesome achievement is a testament to an inspiring collaboration which lasted over 30 years.

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