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.

The five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water plumb the depths of awareness about how each of our organs generate their portion of our total consciousness, and how to bring them into harmony. The Chinese learned that each organ is actually an energy system. Each of our energy systems instantaneously interrelates on all seven dimensions. Because of that, all our operating systems are the ultimate of simplicity. That makes them easy to comprehend.

What Are the Five Elements?
The Chinese considered transformation and change—not atoms and cells—to be the building blocks of the material world and used the Five Elements as a way to describe predictable patterns of change and interaction.

This system simplifies the unending complexities of the world and can be used to understand everything from the solar system to the human body. One of the gifts of the Five Elements is that it allows us to understand how our body and mind (actually a bodymind) functions and interacts. It also gives us clear understanding about how to bring 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.