By AFEA member Nicky Douglas
JR Worsley, credited with bringing Five-Element acupuncture to the west, wrote that the Five-Element acupuncturist should, the whole time, be developing the gift of sight to the level that onecan see beneath the surface and is never guilty of making treatment decisions purely on the basis of a physical body and the outward appearance of things. This is essential to diagnosing the true cause of imbalance in a person.
This way of seeing was part of being for the ancient Chinese but one that we have lost and have to practice today. Although I am not planning to paint or pen a masterpiece, in an effort to develop my skill I have been working through the photographer and actor Philippa Stanton’s beautiful book: Conscious Creativity: Look, Connect, Create.
Really paying attention to everything around you sounds simple, but it actually demands a level of curiosity and observation that most people are not used to exercising. And it takes time. But changing your perception of the world around you is incredibly exciting and insightful. It empowers you to see truth rather than assumed knowledge. The unremarkable becomes something that holds the potential for endless new ideas.
She describes her experience with a favourite jigsaw puzzle:
I spent hours looking for the piece with a small grey button on it…I found it. But this grey button was in fact green. My brain could see the grey button but it didn’t inform me that the grey was actually made up of different tones of green.
How often are we misguided in a diagnosis when a colour appears to be one thing and then a cursory glance when we are not ‘looking’ reveals it to be something else.
The rewards of really seeing however are described by JRW:
What a great joy it can be to each of us if we are able to see that essential essence which is there within every human being, and within every living cell, and within every flower and every blade of grass and in every tree.