We oftentimes reference the soul in this country. But when you really think about it, what exactly is a soul? When we feel we’ve done something wrong, we worry about our own soul. We talk about it at funerals and we sometimes speak of a person as having a “bad” or “good” soul. It seems that the idea of the soul has been around since time immemorial and yet here we are still very unclear of what it actually is.
There are people who tend to think of the soul as a piece of us that lives on, after the life of our body has expired. Others see it as a sum of the accumulation of thoughts and actions that we produce throughout our lives. Some consider it is the ultimate essence of our true being. No matter what you believe, most perceptions of the soul in our culture are rooted in a principle of permanence. Most of us truly believe that the soul lives beyond time and death and live for all eternity.
The soul is viewed very differently in Chinese medicine in Overland Park. In this system, the soul has more substance and is more material than the Western point of view. This system does not question the soul’s existence, it’s something that is an integral part of us. An aspect of the soul is controlled and contained in each of the organ systems in our body. If that system is out of balance, the aspect that it contains and controls will suffer.
The major organ systems of the body by the Liver, Lung, Spleen, Kidney and Heart.
The Liver is responsible for the ethereal soul or the Hun. This is the part of the soul that continues to exist after death.It’s also the part that is nearest to our perception of what a soul can be; it has permanence, grants us individuality and has much to do with our interaction with others. This part of the soul is closely associated with sleep. The person will stay easily asleep and not fall out of sleep if his Hun is strong. The person’s spirit becomes unrooted if his spirit is weak.This can lead to too much and too vivid dreaming which can make sleeping extremely difficult.
The bodily part of the soul is the Lung. This organ is responsible for soul being bound to the flesh. It’s the animating energy that dies with our bodies. Rather than long-term goals, the Lung tends to be associated with more immediate plans and desires since it does not have the quality of permanence.It is the Lung that controls consciousness.
The Spleen is responsible for the intellectual quality of our soul. It has to do with the buildup of knowledge and our ability to store that knowledge. We would lack the information to make any kind of decision if it weren’t for the Spleen. On the other hand, if the Spleen suffers from an imbalance, this can result in a state of over-obsession and overthinking about details.
The Kidney governs the aspect of the soul that’s responsible for our willpower. The function of the Kidney is to have a plan for life and then having the willpower to make this plan push through. There is no action without the will. This aspect of our soul is the driving force that causes us to make something out of our lives.
Last but not least, the Heart is the face of our soul. It’s also the leader of all the aspects of our soul. Our Shen or spirit, which is a person’s overall spirit, is subordinate to the Heart. The Shen of a person will manifest manic grumbling, incoherence, lack of eye contact, clouded or dull eyes or other signs of dysfunction if the Heart is out of balance. In other words, the person will appear mentally disturbed.