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, Elisabeth explains the development of these ancient ideas which provide such an important basis for zangfu theory within Chinese medicine.
Another wonderful contribution from a very well established author - just as powerful on her own. Researching a dissertation on yinyang and wuxing, this has proved invaluable in translating not only the medical classics' mention of wuxing but the philosophical classics' interpretations as well. This means, especially with Rochat de la Vallee's commentary, that we can see the evolution of the theory of wuxing, as was written down and preserved at least, in ancient China.