Searching for jing, qi, and shen in western science

Author: Lee Richard H
Director China Healthways Institute, 115 N. El Camino Real,
San Clemente, CA 92672 USA
Conference/Journal: 4th World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong
Date published: 1998
Other: Pages: 207-209 , Word Count: 1004

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) holds that three 'vital treasures', Jing, Qi, and Shen are real substances which envelop the human body and are essential to life and healing. These are the fields through which Qigong masters work. This parallels the writings of Alice Bailey which present a three fold personality; the mental body shapes the emotional body, which, in turn, shapes the ethnic body. The substance of each body is produced by the physical body whereas its function is consciousness. TCM goes further by introducing three seeds of consciousness, the lower, middle, and upper Dan Tians located in the lower abdomen, heart, and head which provide awareness of the physical world through Jing, Qi, and Shen.

TCM views that Jing is closely related to genetic structure, an
organizing field which shapes the physical body. 'A New Science of Life' by Sheldrake describes a 'morphogenetic field', a vibration field which surrounds and shapes living things as they organize. He shows that our genetic structure doesn't contain, but rather tunes into a collective blueprint of the physical body through this morphogenetic field. He supports this with laboratory findings that when animals and humans are taught a new behavior, others of similar genetic make up but physically separated from the first, earn the new behavior much more quickly than before. Jing appears to be the TCM equivalent to the morphogenetic field of the physical body. Qi might support a morphogenetic field which shapes the Jing, and Shen a field which shapes the Qi. Physical Substance Jing, From the standpoint of physics, is a field of electrons in constant flux suspended in salt water throughout our bodies. The rhythmic movement of this electric field is measurable by EEG, EMG, and EKG. Electrostatic forces are very strong and it is quite conceivable that such a field can shape a physical body by catalyzing certain chemical reactions and moving certain molecules to the right place at the right time, causing, for example, differentiation between liver cells and brain cells in the embryo.

If Jing is to modulate freely it requires sufficient energy to have
free flowing electrons to both resonate with the morphogenetic field and to fuel biochemical reactions. Llya Progigone, in 'Order out of Chaos', establishes that life requires chaos and that raising the energy of a system allows it to reconfigure into a higher order of organization. When biochemical activity exhausts this electrical potential the physical body may become unresponsive, and illness may result. Research during long airline flights where crowding and recirculated cabin air reduce the availability of electricalenergy, people become depleted and develop exhaustion and susceptibility to disease. When passengers wear portable air ionizers, they do not suffer from exhaustion and catch far fewer illnesses from airborne bacteria.

Qi is a field of magnetic substance which can be measured because it makes the body more electrically conductive. Such diagnostic equipment as Ryodoraku and EAV measure the Qi by measuring the electrical conductivity of meridians. High conductivity and balance are associated with good health and vitality, and low conductivity is associated with illness and debility. While the Qi may have little direct influence on the physical body, its ability to increase local electrical conductivity gives it the ability to shape the Jing. Electrically conductive needles give acupuncturists this same ability.

Analysis with Kirlian photography shows that washing the hands with tap water causes the electrical conductivity of the hand to decrease considerably. However, when the hands are washed with the same water which is first passed through a strong magnetic field, the electrical conductivity of the hands increases (as described in my book, Bioelectric Vitality-The Science of Human Energy). This tells us, first, that water can store and transport some sort of magnetic substance, and second, that this substance can be removed from or added to the human body.

To illustrate this, Kirlian research on long jet flights reveals that reduced magnetic fields on airliners often cause those who have a TCM condition called Yin deficiency to have severe exacerbationís of symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and rising heat. Placing a magnet on the body during the flight provides a source for magnetic substance and reduces the symptoms. Shen is described in TCM literature as mind or awareness, and often as light. If it is light, why can't we see it? Modern physics tells us that an electron is really an electromagnetic wave, an x-ray, which is high energy light. Thus, it is conceivable that a field of light or electromagnetic energy could resonate around our physical bodies and remain unmeasurable, just as electrons orbit around a nucleus undetected except for their charge.

Shen may become visible when excited by electricity. While normal
people have Kirlian images which show little balls during the negative pulse and streamers during the positive pulse, healers and artists often have a smooth glow around their fingers. (See Bioelectric Vitality). Some even have certain fingers with a smooth glow while others show the balls and streamers. Invariably, only those fingers requiring awareness have the glow. For instance, a person who principally uses three fingers for massage will find that those three will have the glow while the others have the balls and streamers. The fact that electrons act differently around a healer's fingers is a big opportunity for physicists to investigate the nature of Shen, and to give us a better understanding of the special function abilities of Qigong masters.

In conclusion Jing, Qi, and Shen are measurable with physical equipment, and thus are subject to scientific study. Monitoring the strength of these fields in hospitalized patients and supplementing them when low may reduce recovery time and save lives. Another medical frontier is to study how to increase a patient's resonance with his own morphogenetic field while decreasing his resonance with that of a disease process. This may be a principal area where Qigong masters and other healers excel, while western medicine has little knowledge. The meeting of east and west is bringing about a revolution in modern medicine.