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Elements Of Life Essay

763 words - 3 pages

The Elements of Life Part I Throughout history, people have always tried to understand life; then eventually, try to master it. As the people set out to find eternal life, many different schools of thoughts and ideas arise. But strangely, all these diverse philosophies settled on the idea of life being composed of "Five Elements". Oh all the different systems of elements, I find that the Chinese Elements of Life most intriguing. The Chinese system of elements, called Wu Xing, is composed of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Although no official records were found, the Chinese were believed to have developed this system early in the third century B. C. It was greatly popularized by the Dao-ists. Dao-ism was a philosophy dealing with the way of life, which later evolved into a religion. The founder of Dao-ism, Lo Si, incorporated the Wu Xing into the Ying and Yang. Not only was the Wu Xing a significant part of Dao-ism, it can also be considered the foundation of Chinese medicine. The Chinese believes that the Wu Xing dictates different parts of a human body, each of the elements working in harmony with another. The Chinese believes that when a person is ill, it is because of the Wu Xing being unbalanced. The Chinese Wu Xing is a big part of my everyday life. Living in a traditional Chinese family, my grandmother would often apply the Wu Xing. She would purchase a special mixture of medicine, which highly resembles tree branches (Wood). The she would boil them (Water) for a specific amount of time, resulting in a thick bowl of mud (Earth). I would try hard (Metal) in attempt to resist. She would then get upset (Fire), and insist that it was for my own good. Aside from the pathetic attempt of humor, the Wu Xing does influence my life to a significant degree. As an American-Chinese, I've developed a great interest in the Chinese history (as if you have not discovered with the two paragraph of introduction). As I venture through pages and pages of history books, I found that the Wu Xing is not merely a philosophical study, but instead a way of life. As time passed, the Wu...

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