So you tell me, this book (the path of the empress) will make me happy. But can you please tell me, what this book is really about.
Like in: actual contents.
Ok. Where do I start? Yes: This might be important. Let’s talk about healing. About body and soul.
Body and soul are one.
This is paramount. Body and soul are one as in: they are identical. They are also quite different. If you think in a Chinese way (if Chinese is the first language you have learned) it is very natural to hold conflicting thoughts (conflicting from a western point of view) without even noticing the conflict.
Let us start with the oneness:
We are not just our intellects or feelings. Neither are we soulless machines as biomedicine keeps telling us. We are embodied souls. Soul and body are on a continuum with soul being at the Yang end and body at the Yin end. Feelings are what we realize each time the stuff we are made of (the Chinese call it “Qi”) shifts from embodied form into formless being- or back.
There is no way of telling, where the body ends and the soul begins.
For this reason most chapters in “the path of the empress” discuss disorders that are nowadays regarded as “medical problems” in the same way we would discuss problems of the mind and soul.
Also we usually refrain from addressing situations as “problems” or “diseases” and prefer to look at them as challenges or lessons.
(Disclaimer: The path of the empress is a book for smart women. For empresses. Being an empress you will know when to discuss your health issues with a doctor or licensed practitioner and you will also know to never take the words of a book for granted even if it is an outstanding book like the path of the empress. An empress takes charge of her own health.)
Here are some of the “body lessons” discussed in the book
- love sickness aka abandonment trauma
- genital irritations and infections
- menstruational cramps and irregularities
- Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- listlessness and declining libido
- eating disorders
- weight problems
- exhaustion and burnout
- menopause, mood swings and hot flushes
- sleeping disorders
- muscular pains
- wrinkles, withering hair and brittle nails
Is this specific enough?
These “women’s troubles” may very well arise when feminine power is not allowed to develop and instead works against the woman herself.
Chinese medicine knows this every time. Keeping this in mind, we might still start from the body side of the soul body continuum. When we release blocked energy through the systematic use of herbs or specific foodstuffs we might feel liberated on the level of the soul. The improvement in well-being will lead to new insights and impulses.
Another time Chinese medicine may choose to treat a “bodily ailment” through some simple talk.
The identity of body and soul works both ways.
The recipes and strategies in this book are few and not necessary for the book to achieve its effect.
Still we felt that some of them were just too good to be left out. Many of the recipes are based on the original writings of the ancient Chinese shaman doctor Sun Simiao and other ancient Chinese sages and they work on a spiritual level.
If you want to try them, we strongly recommend that you remember that Chinese herbal medicine is medicine and needs to be used with discretion and possibly under supervision of a doctor of oriental medicine.
Whether you use herbs or you not: Remember that pains and ailments are our own creations and that we create them because we need to learn more about ourselves and our own unique path.
Lasting relief will not be achieved before you have learned your lesson. Once you do changes in your life may be the result. Such changes may not always be kindly received by those around the empress.
In many ways things are exactly the same today as they were in the time of Empress Wu.