Live Longer With This Mindset From A Daoist Scholar

Live longer with this mindset: our body is like a nation.

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I am passionate about reading holistic medicine literature and applying ancient knowledge of health to attain longevity.

Who came up with this “mindset?”

Live longer with this mindset and have your third eye open like his :)

Book title: Baopuzi (抱朴子)

Translated as “One Who Embraces Simplicity” (It is also his pen name)

The author was a Daoist scholar of medicine and alchemy who lived during Eastern Jin dynasty (283-343 CE).

The book describes the law of attaining immortality according to Daoism, as well as politics and and society.

Translation of the text:

Each human body resembles a nation
The position of chest and abdomen 

Is akin to a royal palace
The division of four limbs

Is akin to outskirts (of the nation)

Demarcations of each joint
Is akin to all the government officials (in the nation)
The spirit is akin to a monarch

The blood is akin to a statesman

The energy is akin to a citizen 

Knowing how to govern one’s body 

Enables one to govern a nation

In Oriental Holistic Medicine (OHM), the spirit resides in the heart (chest) and governs our consciousness.

夫愛其民, 所以安其國 
Just as loving the citizens is the reason why a country is at ease
Preserving the energy is the reason why the body is intact

Just as the citizens fleeing leads to the nation’s collapse,
Energy depletion leads to the death of one’s body
Just as the deceased cannot be brought back to life, 

The collapsed nation cannot be intact  
So, virtuous beings eliminate worries before they appear
Treat illnesses before the pain

Medicine is used prior to any harm
And they do not chase the behind of what has already left

Wise beings have no worries, no sickness, and no regrets.

Wise rulers prevent calamities and crises before they appear and do not dwell on past glory nor humiliation.

We find it difficult to nurture (ourselves) 

But easily put ourselves in danger

Energy is difficult to be clear but easy to be turbid

Thus, being capable of examining one’s authority and virtue

Is a reason why the nation is secure

It is hard to build up and easy to tear down.

We have to constantly assess our situation and values.

Preventing illnesses comes from knowing the status quo of our body.

Protecting a nation comes from knowing how to wield one’s power conscientiously.

Cutting out one’s desires

Is the reason why the blood and energy are firm
Consequently, the true whole (= heart) is preserved
The trinity (= Essence, Energy, and Spirit) is maintained

All illnesses retreat

Lifespan is lengthened.

Apparently, the ultimate benefit of stoic living is longevity.

In OHM, the feeling of joy that we get from receiving what we desire is governed by the heart. Too much of it will turn us into maniacs.

By abstaining from excessive pleasures, we take care of the royal palace where our Spirit resides; it remains genuine and complete.

So the trinity of Essence, Energy, and Spirit is another fundamental OHM concept.

Energy and Spirit sound straightforward, but Essence might be an unfamiliar term for some.

The Essence is a vital substance contained in the kidneys from birth and is replenished throughout life via nourishment from food, air, and environment.

It governs birth, growth, and reproduction (the essential activities) of human beings.

Someone with a strong Essence is akin to someone with healthy physical traits expressed by their genetics. They are the ones most likely to pass down their DNA successfully.

You’ll find the more you study OHM, the more you’ll connect to its numerology. I’m really enjoying it thus far.

Live Longer With This Mindset: Conclusion

The comparison of our body to a nation was a refreshing one for me.

We are the true masters of our health.

Strive for simplicity, and the Spirit inside our hearts will guide us:

Towards better management of our emotions, awareness of our body, and presence in the “now.”

Want less and live more.

Thank you for reading,


eternal student of life

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