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he first part of this book clarifies the aspects of the heart which have been variously translated as heart governor, heart protector, heart constrictor and pericardium. Xin zhu is discussed as ‘the heart as master’ and contrasted with the heart as a void. Xin bao luo is presented as the enveloping and connecting aspect of the heart, and tan zhong as the central temple within the chest – the sea of qi and gathering place of ancestral qi, the place of transmission for elation and joy.
The classical descriptions of the hand xin zhu (heart master, pericardium) meridian and the hand shao yin (heart) meridian are also clarified.
The second part of the book shows the developing concept of the triple heater as seen in the Nei jing, the Nan jing and later commentaries. It is considered both as a separate fu and as the unifying totality of the zangfu. Its fire-water polarity is discussed: as water through its links with the kidneys and bladder, and as a fire minister with the Gate of Destiny, ming men and xin bao luo.
The upper, middle and lower heaters are examined, with particular reference to Lingshu chapter 18, which presents them as responsible for respiration, digestion and elimination respectively. Their connections with ancestral (zong), nutritive (ying) and defensive (wei) qi are also shown.
An index is given for all Chinese characters and main concepts.
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