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A White Horse is not A Horse

In the Warring-States Period (from 475 B.C. to 221 B.C.), the society of China was in flourishing pluralism. There were many famous schools of thought. The school of Gongsun Long (公孫龍) was one of them. Gongsun Long lived in the Zhao (趙) State where was in modern-day Shanxi and Hebei. He was known for his […]

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The Heart in Traditional Chinese Medicine

About functions of the heart, there are some similarities between traditional Chinese medicine and modern medical science. In traditional Chinese medicine, the heart has two main physiological functions. The first one is to control blood and vessels. The heart pushes blood to circulate and carry nutritive substances to every part of the whole body. The […]

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Hide A Dagger In A Fish

This story was a famous event of assassination in the Spring-Autumn Period. Before I tell the story, I have to tell the background of the story. Shoumeng (壽夢), the old king of the Wu (吴) State, reigned from 585 B.C. to 561 B.C. He had several sons, but he liked a young son named Zha […]

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Five Elements For Chinese Medicine

In ancient Greece, there was a theory of four elements. The four elements include fire, water, earth and air. A Greek philosopher Anaximander developed this theory, and he thought that a kind of original substance formed the four elements. At the same time, in ancient China, there was a theory of five elements. The five […]

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Select A Husband

This story took place in 541 B.C. in the Zheng State. The Zheng State was a country in the Spring-Autumn Period in modern-day Henan Province. There was a man called Xuwu Fan. His younger sister was very beautiful. Two nobles, Gongsun Chu and his elder cousin Gongsun Hei, loved her. In ancient China, a grown […]

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Mencius’ Mother

Mencius was a great Confucian thinker in the Warring-States Period. He was famous for his people-based thoughts. His excellent thoughts likely benefited from the enlightening of his mother. “Biographies of Women” (列女傳), a book written by Liu Xiang in the Western Han Dynasty, records four stories about Mencius’ mother. Mencius was born in the Zou […]

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Who Is Closer, Father or Husband?

In the moral principles of ancient China, a woman should be loyal to her husband. As a daughter, she should filially respect her parents. If a woman’s husband and her father had conflict, what would she do? In 697 B.C., Zheng Li-Gong (鄭厲公), the monarch of the Zheng State, wanted to kill his prime minister […]

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The Proprieties of Sitting

Before the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960-1279), Chinese people generally didn’t sit in chairs. They put a mat or a cushion on the ground, and sat with kneeling. Ancient Chinese people had many proprieties of sitting. The normal sitting posture was kneeling-sitting before chairs were popular. Not only ministers and common people, but also emperors, kings […]

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The Wife of Yue Yangzi

Yue Yangzi (樂羊子) lived in Henan in the Eastern Han Dynasty. One day, he walked outside and saw a piece of gold on the road. He thought that someone lost it, but since no other one saw it, so he pocketed it with an overjoyed and nervous mind. At home, he showed the gold to […]

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Which is the Seat of Spirit, the Heart or the Brain?

In modern medical science, the brain is the seat of consciousness, thought, memory, and emotion. But in traditional Chinese medicine, such a seat is ascribed to the heart. Not only ancient Chinese, but also ancient Egyptian, thought that the heart is the seat of spirit. Aristotle also regarded the heart as the source of consciousness […]