WATER / WINTER

WINTER

In physiology through TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) the element water represents the kidney, urinary track, your bones, hearing and manifest deficiency or overabundance in either your dry or oily skin, lack of energy or sexual drive and weakening of bones. Psychologically water manifestations include fear, causing hardened skin, tears or any liquids to escaping your body. These descriptions originate from 3000 years of study and have been poeticized, fused with witchcraft and confusing theories of a simple understanding of ancient wisdom that nowadays is fairly scrutinized with scientific knowledge.

The accumulative information available today is methodically understood as correct: Today we can teach a younger generation about water viscosity, density, conductivity and it’s thermal properties and pretty much every child (should) knows that water consists of three atoms; one hydrogen and two oxygen which turns into gas (vapor) when heated and expands when frozen – this knowledge, not as scientifically refined as we present it today has been described in astonishing parallels in ancient times. As fluid as science admits to be today, new discoveries bring us deeper into fractions of details and allow us to find subliminal connections to all essence that is life. In my abstract simplification I like to think that with (or without) all the knowledge, a mere fact persists: All matter is connected.

Life is more than simply science. …Standing on the ocean front, your arms stretched out, inhaling the moistened air and hearing the breaking sounds of waves can evoke a sensation beyond physiological wisdom… Is this real?

We tend as humans to need poetry, even a brilliant scientist will escape into a subliminal stimuli reality, accepting that what positively arouses our brain can show effect in our physical existence. (I’m currently living with a scientist – debating this very unscientific quandary).

We enjoy “reality-distractions” like horoscopes, theater, music and novels, art, circus and religion – all to entertain and expand our creative archive – Creating a cognitive mixture of real and surreal that cannot be separated from our realities like biological facts, limited by our irreversibility of time, social politics juggling laws to live in society and the scientific compelling discoveries.  We are a unique limited being, self affirmed we all could be a genius, outliving expectations but unable to get along: It is not the science that creates our struggles on earth; it is the “reality-distractions” by which we segregate individuality because we tend to refuse to be alike.

I enjoy poetical comparisons of science with my perception of living amongst each other: A drop of water is harmless until united it can hurl its power in the form of hurricanes, tsunamis and tidal waves.

In TCM the power of winter is the power of emphasis: it emphasizes the essence of life. Water when frozen is hard, stagnant and encapsulates, preserves – until spring changes the climate and liberates all movement.

Water representing winter invites us to hibernate through meditation, containment, concentration, and the storing of our energy. This is the season for resting and maintaining of our reserves, gathering strength for the year ahead. If we don’t follow nature we will become ill, weak and tired. We must be less active in this season, conserving our sexual energy, going to bed early, and sleeping late. Like seedlings that cannot sprout until they have gathered sufficient strength, our ideas and physical wellbeing is jeopardized if our energy is dispersed or drained.

Winter is a time of stillness, quietude and recovery. We call it the most yin of the seasons: The days are shorter, work should be limited, time should be used to bond, cuddle, to be still and eat less. The energy of winter is latent and potent: in this state of resting deep within, energy is collected and held in constraint; Abundant reserves within give us courage and strength of will.

As the days become warmer and brighter with the approach of spring, nature opens her eyes from the slumber of winter and looks to the new growth cycle that lies ahead.

If we have followed nature’s way and rested through winter, we will emerge with restored energy, clear vision, and a sense of purpose.

TCM Chef Raphael

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