Buddhism, not only Confucianism and Taoism, talks about the reason of unity between human and the universe; they agree that human is part of the universe and should live in harmony with all other living beings on earth. According to the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor, human and the universe collaborate with each other in good order.
The Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor mentions the psychological and pathological circadian changes of the human body of day and night, every seven days, four seasons and every year. The timing has a close link with the number Seven. There are seven days in a week; and this is one circle. Buddhism often refers to the number seven in its services. Seven is a secret number in universe. We know that it takes seven days for a hen to hatch chicks. And we know that it takes 280 days for a baby to grow full within his mother; and that is 40 sevens. The Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor puts it, human is born on earth, his life depending on heavens; when the breaths of earth and heavens meet, a life is born to be called human. That is why we often say that we are all children of nature. We look upwards to know about astronomy and downwards to know about geography; in between there is human and its living surroundings. When we keep a harmony with our living surroundings, we can gain health.
In Easter Han Dynasty about one thousand seven hundred years ago, a famous doctor Zhang Zhongjing said in his Treatise on Cold Pathogenic Diseases, “headache related to sun heat should be healed by itself after seven days, and this is the end of a pathological circle”. It tells that sicknesses normally have their pathological circle, and when the time comes, a sick person shall recover from his sickness.
A Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor Mr. Hao Wanshan said in his lecture, “Look at a patient with a cold: with headache, fever, feeling cold, with no sweat but a little bit of cough. If he does not go for a doctor, without other symptoms, he shall recover within seven days, naturally. This is to say, the pathological circle is seven days. Do you know that Zhang Zhongjing could predict on colds recovery? He not only knows on what day a patient will get well; he can tell the exact time. Like he would say the patient suffering from headache from sun heat would get well from nine o’clock in the morning to three o’clock in the afternoon. What he says makes good sense.” Besides the pathological circle of seven days, Zhang Zhongjing also mentioned in his works about the circle of sicknesses by exogenous factors, like 14 days or 21 days.
According to modern scientific research, the movements of stars like the sun, the moon have apparent effects on human health. When the sun is in violent movements, it sends out lots of ultraviolet rays and electric particles which can change the magnetic field of the earth and thus cause weather changes. These changes might bring about over growth of diseases which may be harmful to our human hearts, blood and nerves systems.
Not only the sun, the phases of the moon also have effects on our human body. According to Noinclude, when the moon waxes, our blood and breaths grow with it; when the moon reaches its fullness, our blood and breaths become firm and our flesh harder. When the moon wanes, our flesh softens, nerves weaker and our breaths have a weaker defense.” This tells that our vitality has a lot to do with the movements of the moon. We know that our body is mainly made up of liquid; movements of the moon attract the ocean tides and do the same with our body liquid flow. At full moon, we are easier to be energetic and more active. According to modern research, a woman’s menstrual cycle, her temperature, hormones, conditions of her reproductive organ, immune functions and mental conditions all have close connection with the moon phases.
At the meantime, geographical conditions have effects on human health. Different locality may have different factors that do harm or good to our health.
Some regions in China’s Xinjiang, Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunan and Ningxia provinces have many elder people who live for over one hundred years. According to investigation, pigs in these regions have more selenium in their livers. Things are different in Qinghai, Henan and Sichuan provinces with lower life expectancy and lower level of selenium. Even within one province like Hubei, conditions are similar with much higher level of selenium in areas of longer life expectancy. We are very much sure that the contents of chemical elements in the soil, water and air of a certain area have a strong effect on the health of the people living there. We know that in different areas of the world, swollen masses goiter is caused by shortage of iodine. In some dry areas, the stiffness of joints is the result of too much fluorine in the soil. In some areas in Inner Mongolia and Guizhou, the toad-skin like disease is the result of too much arsenic in the underground water or the coal used for fuel has excessive arsenic. Some areas have the disease of falling hairs, and this relates to thallium. Investigation also reveals that gallstone may be more likely found in areas with limestone.
The theory of heat evaporation among children also tells about the relation between human and the universe. According to Wang Shuhe, a famous doctor in Western Jin Dynasty, a baby’s body shall experience an apparent change 32 days after birth. The first 64 days is called the first evaporation. After three periods of a total of 576 days, this heat evaporation will stop. Main symptoms of these periods are that the baby shall feel hot with his body, thus the result of uneasiness, bad temper and bad appetite. When these happen, the baby’s ears and tailbone shall be cool instead. With this theory, parents can tell whether their baby is pathologically ill or just experiencing heat evaporation.