Transformation and Change

The ancient Chinese developed a system of understanding the universe they called The Five Elements, which is used to describe interactions and relationships between people and things.

They are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. This system plumbs the depths of awareness about how each of our organs generate their portion of our total consciousness, and how to bring them into harmony. Each organ is actually an energy system and all of our energy systems instantaneously interrelate on all seven dimensions. All our operating systems function very simply, and that makes them easy to comprehend.

What Are the Five Elements?

The ancient Chinese did not consider atoms and cells to be the building blocks of the material world. Instead, they considered transformation and change to be the building blocks on which reality is based. We gain great depths of understanding about predictable patterns of change and interaction. We also learn that we do not have a separate body and mind. We actually have a bodymind. The five elements give us a clear understanding about how to bring each aspect of our consciousness into harmony with all life.

Each of the five elements describes a unique phase of the circle of life and how we can come into harmony with that phase of the cycle:

  1. WOOD: The power to assert ourselves: The nobility of our ideals, the magnificence of our dreams, and the thoroughness of our plans give breadth and depth to our character. These are sacred parts of character that must be developed if we are to be whole. The liver and gallbladder are the organ systems of the element of wood.
  2. FIRE: Love: Through this channel we learn that the purpose of life is to cherish everyone and everything. Our heart makes everything we focus on have reality in our own unique world, no matter whether it is something we want—or something we would never want. Heart and small intestine are the organ systems of the fire element.
  3. EARTH: Resonance: The horizontal aspect of the cross: Its lessons are that we are safe, loved and have clear boundaries. Home and hearth are the basis of security. Earth is the largest element since all the other elements exist within it. Its organ systems are stomach, spleen, and pancreas.
  4. METAL: The power to grieve and the power to transform and change: Metal is the vertical aspect of the cross, which predates Christianity, connecting us to the spiritual dimensions. Through our lungs and large intestine, we take in and let go. Through this element we develop the fire in the belly.
  5. WATER: Fear: The water element within our bodies represents emotional energy. The kidneys are our intuitive brains. The bladder expresses our feelings. Because our feelings are most similar to the energy of our spirit, feeling all our feelings gives us direct access to the wisdom of our spirit.


Excerpted from Body Intelligence, A New Paradigm by John L. Mayfield, D.C.