I recently had a conversation with my father that touched on many different subjects ranging from life to death to sports. He asked me what I thought happens to us when we die. This subject is one that is near to my heart as my family has seen a lot of death in recent history. My mother passed away 7 years ago and my wife lost her sister and our nephew about 3 years ago all to cancer.
The conversation with my Dad went the way of Chinese medicine theory, because I truly believe that there is a lot to be said about life and our consciousness. Chinese medicine and acupuncture state that we have 5 aspects to self. The Shen, Yi, Po, Zhi, and Hun are considered different aspects yet they are parts of a whole that comprise our earthbound and ethereal experience.
The Shen is the aspect that is related to the heart and governs our ability to make relationships and feel love. This is the aspect that, centered in the chest gives us the clarity of our speech and the ability to feel and be expressive. It is also the one most easily damaged by abuse and betrayal.
The Yi is the thinking mind. This is the part of us that allows for concentration and clear decisive thinking. It is housed or related to the Spleen and Stomach and, when healthy, gives us the ability to comprehend and form coherent thought. When out of balance we will illicit rumination and over-thinking which most times affects our ability to assimilate nutrients or information.
The Po is the corporeal soul and is the energy of the body. When a person dies the body still has energy potential in it. At the very least it becomes food for other critters once buried. The po also is related to our sympathetic nervous system and houses our fight or flight response. Again, it is the energy of the body, and as such it is related to our instincts of survival.
The Zhi is the will. It is essentially our will power, our endurance. The ability to carry on in the face of fear and obstacles. It is housed in the kidney and gives us the strength of our back bone to carry on and manifest our potential.
The Hun is the ethereal soul. This is likened to the Judeo-Christian idea of a soul. This aspect of ourselves returns back to the ether when we die. The hun represents our potential or our destiny. When healthy we make good decisions that allow for growth and expansion. When diseased we experience anger and frustration of a knowing that we are on the wrong path.
Anyway, I just wanted to share some thoughts. Let me know what you think, or if there is another aspect of Chinese medicine and acupuncture that you would like to know more about.