Artwork for podcast Qiological Podcast
043 The Resonant Hum of Yin and Yang • Sabine Wilms
Episode 4330th July 2018 • Qiological Podcast • Michael Max
00:00:00 01:05:28

Shownotes

Chinese is not that easy, and the 文言文wen yan wen the classical Chinese, that stuff is a whole other order of magnitude in challenge to the modern Western mind. 

And yet if we are going to practice this medicine with deep roots into a long gone time and culture, we need access to the stepping stones that have been handed down to us over centuries through books and writing. 

Translating language is one thing. But translating culture, bringing something of the mind and perception from another time, that is a whole other task. 

It helps if you can understand the poetry, the stories, the world view and beliefs of the time. And it helps if you can track the changes in the meaning of words and ideas across the centuries of commentary. 

In this episode we are sitting down for tea with a self described "lover of dead languages," for a discussion of Resonance from chapter five of the Simple Questions.

Head on over to the show notes page for more information about this episode and for links to the resources discussed in the interview. 

Transcripts

Michael Max:

The medicine of east Asia is based on a science that does not

Michael Max:

hold itself separate from the phenomenon that it seeks to understand our

Michael Max:

medicine did not grow out of Petri dish experimentation, or double blind studies.

Michael Max:

It arose from observing nature and our part in it east Asian medicine evolves not

Michael Max:

from the examination of dead structures, but rather from living systems with their

Michael Max:

complex mutually entangled interactions.

Michael Max:

Welcome to chia logical.

Michael Max:

I'm Michael max, the host of this podcast that goes in depth on issues,

Michael Max:

pertinent to practitioners and.

Michael Max:

Of east Asian medicine, dialogue and discussion have always been elemental to

Michael Max:

Chinese and other east Asian medicines.

Michael Max:

Listen into these conversations with experienced practitioners that go deep

Michael Max:

into how this ancient medicine is alive and unfolding in the modern clinic.

Michael Max:

Hey friends, before we get into today's conversation, I want to

Michael Max:

remind you that qiological is coming up to its first anniversary.

Michael Max:

And for that anniversary show.

Michael Max:

I'd like to have one of you join me.

Michael Max:

So if you've been listening to the show and you've been thinking, Hey, I'd

Michael Max:

like to be on qiological or I've got something that I'd like to discuss, or

Michael Max:

I've got something that I'd like to share.

Michael Max:

Send me an email or better yet record your voice.

Michael Max:

Send me the idea that you'd like to talk about.

Michael Max:

And I'm going to put all of the good ideas into a hat.

Michael Max:

I'm going to pull one out and have one of you on the show.

Michael Max:

So I'm really looking forward to hearing from you and having one of you.

Michael Max:

Join me here on the show.

Michael Max:

Hello, everybody.

Michael Max:

Welcome back to qiological.

Michael Max:

I am very excited to be sitting down for a cup of tea.

Michael Max:

Well, across several times zones, but still sitting down for a cup

Michael Max:

of tea, which have been Wells.

Michael Max:

So Ben Williams is an author.

Michael Max:

She's a translator.

Michael Max:

She's done amazing books for our profession.

Michael Max:

One of which her newest humming with elephants.

Michael Max:

Oh my God.

Michael Max:

I'm not here to plug stuff.

Michael Max:

You guys got to go buy this book.

Michael Max:

I'm very excited that we're going to sit down.

Michael Max:

We're going to, we're going to talk about the book.

Michael Max:

We're gonna talk about some other stuff.

Michael Max:

And they're talking about what's in the book.

Michael Max:

That's even better and Chinese medicine in general and maybe some Chinese language.

Michael Max:

And you know, I'm not exactly sure where the conversation goes because

Michael Max:

when you start exploring a thing about resonance, who knows where to go.

Michael Max:

So being welcome to qiological.

Sabine Wilms:

Well, thank you for having me.

Sabine Wilms:

It's a total pleasure and honor.

Michael Max:

I'm so excited about this.

Michael Max:

So I'm curious.

Michael Max:

I, I want to start, I want to go back in time a little bit.

Michael Max:

How is it?

Michael Max:

Because you know, again, this book of yours is gorgeous.

Michael Max:

I want to know.

Michael Max:

How it is that you so fell in love with the Chinese language

Michael Max:

and Chinese medicine, way back.

Sabine Wilms:

You want to go way

Michael Max:

back as far back as we need to

Sabine Wilms:

go.

Sabine Wilms:

It was, I was in high school and my family, everybody in my family

Sabine Wilms:

is doctors, biomedical doctors.

Sabine Wilms:

My, both of my parents, my sister went into medical school, my uncles

Sabine Wilms:

and aunts, my grandmother was one of the first practicing pediatricians in

Sabine Wilms:

Germany, female, her husband, everybody.

Sabine Wilms:

And when I was 18, I wanted to get as far away from that as possible.

Sabine Wilms:

So I w and I have a dad who knows everything because

Sabine Wilms:

he's a very famous doctor.

Sabine Wilms:

So it was like, okay, I'm going to do Chinese because he doesn't

Sabine Wilms:

know anything about China.

Sabine Wilms:

And I love traveling and I, and for whatever bizarre

Sabine Wilms:

reason, I love dead languages.

Sabine Wilms:

Actually started out studying Latin and Greek, and then I just, there's

Sabine Wilms:

been so much research done in Latin and Greek and everything is translated.

Sabine Wilms:

So classical Chinese is just a wonderful field and I absolutely love

Sabine Wilms:

translating reading, understanding, engaging with the classical texts.

Sabine Wilms:

So I guess I'm a nerd, total nerd nerd, and it's okay.

Sabine Wilms:

It makes me, me, me, me, me happy to spend 12 hours sitting

Sabine Wilms:

there and reading the nudging.

Sabine Wilms:

So, and then I, I got into east Asian studies and then I had this wonderful

Sabine Wilms:

professor in medical anthropology who was just fascinated with the fact that

Sabine Wilms:

I can speak Chinese and I have access to, to these, these medical texts.

Sabine Wilms:

And he really opened my eyes to how medicine can be such a

Sabine Wilms:

powerful window into the COVID.

Sabine Wilms:

So that's how I got into studying medicine, really as a way of trying

Sabine Wilms:

to understand Chinese culture.

Sabine Wilms:

And then, so I got my PhD and then I started teaching at a, at a

Sabine Wilms:

Chinese medicine school in Tucson.

Sabine Wilms:

Um, and I love teaching practitioners because you guys or writing books

Sabine Wilms:

for practitioners, because compared to a normal, you know, university,

Sabine Wilms:

when you were a history professor or literature professor or something,

Sabine Wilms:

you guys actually really care about my work and you take what I produce,

Sabine Wilms:

whether it's gynecology or pediatrics, or even, you know, the, this new book

Sabine Wilms:

coming with elephants and you make a difference in, in your patient, I believe.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's the feedback I get that my work makes a difference in alleviating

Sabine Wilms:

suffering of all your patients.

Sabine Wilms:

So lucky that I'm in this field, it's like, how could I be

Michael Max:

anywhere else?

Michael Max:

I'm delighted that you're in our field because your works.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

It's the old stuff and digging things out of when you N when, I mean, I,

Michael Max:

I can speak and I understand some modern Chinese it's rough, but

Michael Max:

you get into that classical stuff.

Michael Max:

I mean, they don't even have punctuation for goodness.

Michael Max:

Say.

Sabine Wilms:

Well, they have particles.

Sabine Wilms:

That's where grammar comes in.

Sabine Wilms:

Can I make a plug for classical Chinese grammar?

Sabine Wilms:

Well, it's just that in my mind, classical Chinese is you can just do the etymology

Sabine Wilms:

and ignore the grammar, which is how I started learning classical Chinese.

Sabine Wilms:

But you know, the, the shoots of the, the, the empty words that when you,

Sabine Wilms:

when you learn classical, or when I learned classical Chinese, when

Sabine Wilms:

I lived in Taiwan, that's where I started studying classical Chinese.

Sabine Wilms:

They would just talk about the empty particles.

Sabine Wilms:

Oh, these are just the empty particles that you'd kind of wave off.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's just not true.

Sabine Wilms:

These are, these are the equivalent of punctuation marks and they give

Sabine Wilms:

you, I mean, there is a stretch there there's something where a sentence can

Sabine Wilms:

have so many different layers of me.

Sabine Wilms:

But at the same time, it's also very clear.

Sabine Wilms:

And the more you know about classical Chinese, the more you can be very

Sabine Wilms:

clear, whether something is a proper or potential interpretation or it's not.

Sabine Wilms:

And these particles are really important in, in understanding that so they're

Michael Max:

not empty.

Michael Max:

They actually are sort of like signposts.

Michael Max:

They help you to orient to the, to the text now.

Michael Max:

Well, you know, maybe it will come back at some point and do a super nerdy, like

Michael Max:

introduction to reading when Yan, when or something that would actually, oh man.

Michael Max:

You know, I don't know how many of our listeners would be into that, but

Michael Max:

I bet there'll be a few geeky ones.

Michael Max:

We could we'll come back to that.

Sabine Wilms:

And then I guess the other thing that got me interested in

Sabine Wilms:

fertility, Or young ShaoYin was that I was, I ended up being a farmer.

Sabine Wilms:

I had a biodynamic farm in New Mexico, and farming is all of your

Sabine Wilms:

doing it the way I like to do it.

Sabine Wilms:

It's all about fertility.

Sabine Wilms:

I was raising goats and apples and, and herbs, and it's, it's, you're

Sabine Wilms:

working with soil and its fertility.

Sabine Wilms:

And then I was kind of a bad farmer.

Sabine Wilms:

Right.

Sabine Wilms:

And then I was going to all these conferences teaching about young shaoyang

Sabine Wilms:

and fertility and reproductive medicine.

Sabine Wilms:

And at some point I just put the two together that nurturing life

Sabine Wilms:

and fertility in the medical sense.

Sabine Wilms:

And in the agricultural sense, it's the same.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's really where I feel like I have this life where it all fits

Sabine Wilms:

together, where everything I have had all these bizarre experiences in my life.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's, you know, part of like music, I'm talking about resonance,

Sabine Wilms:

humming, it's all about music.

Sabine Wilms:

I'm a violinist.

Sabine Wilms:

It's like everything.

Sabine Wilms:

All the experiences in my life have kind of come together in, in making sense.

Sabine Wilms:

At this point, it's been a long time.

Sabine Wilms:

Other people figure out what they do when they're 20 years old.

Sabine Wilms:

I'm

Michael Max:

not sure how many actually do.

Michael Max:

I know some folks that at a very young tender age, they knew it.

Michael Max:

I got a younger brother age, like 11 or something.

Michael Max:

I'm going to be a musician.

Michael Max:

That's it, he's a musician, you know, but most people that I know, and maybe

Michael Max:

it's just a crowd I run around in.

Michael Max:

We're not so sure.

Michael Max:

And there's, you know, there's a phase here.

Michael Max:

There's a phase.

Michael Max:

There you go.

Michael Max:

In this direction, you go in that direction.

Michael Max:

And if you're lucky to live long enough, Maybe it comes together

Michael Max:

with a certain coherence where you can look back 30 years ago.

Michael Max:

I can see how that stream from Baghdad is alive right now, but

Michael Max:

it's, it's it takes living into it.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

So resonance actually.

Michael Max:

All right.

Michael Max:

So of all the chapters of the Hong Dean aging, why this one?

Michael Max:

Oh, dear.

Sabine Wilms:

Um, well, I taught a class with, with dark, the wonderful

Sabine Wilms:

most esteemed doctor lawyer at NUNM the national university of natural

Sabine Wilms:

medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Sabine Wilms:

It was the third year in a three year series on classical texts.

Sabine Wilms:

So it was kind of the crowning achievement of their education in, in class.

Sabine Wilms:

Texts, which is the cornerstone of their doctoral program.

Sabine Wilms:

And the third year is all about the naming.

Sabine Wilms:

So Dr.

Sabine Wilms:

Long and I, and we had a classical texts committee.

Sabine Wilms:

We got together and we, we created a curriculum for, for the chapters that are,

Sabine Wilms:

that we all considered the most important in the making for beginning practitioners.

Sabine Wilms:

And it was, and then the class has kind of evolved and Sue and five

Sabine Wilms:

ended up being a class that just ended up taking an entire semester.

Sabine Wilms:

An entire course of 12 weeks to cover.

Sabine Wilms:

And originally I was going to do well originally I was going to do, I think,

Sabine Wilms:

textbook for classical Chinese, and it was going to have Sue one, one from five and

Sabine Wilms:

then a bunch of clinical chapters in it.

Sabine Wilms:

And then I was like, okay, this is way too much.

Sabine Wilms:

It's going to get way too long.

Sabine Wilms:

So we're just going to do Sue and one through five.

Sabine Wilms:

And then I ended up just doing soup and five because I just kept going back to

Sabine Wilms:

it and quoting it in all my teachings.

Sabine Wilms:

I just refer to it over and over and, you know, really the

Sabine Wilms:

resonance of, of yin and yang.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, that's that's, to me, that's the, so the foundation of the medicine that

Sabine Wilms:

kind of makes sense to be a much bigger

Michael Max:

project.

Michael Max:

It still might be.

Michael Max:

You never know because plenty big enough, but there's other books.

Sabine Wilms:

It's just such a rich chapter and it has a history

Sabine Wilms:

of wonderful commentaries.

Sabine Wilms:

So what do

Michael Max:

you particularly love about this chapter?

Michael Max:

I

Sabine Wilms:

think it's the ideal, it's the perfect introduction to the,

Sabine Wilms:

to the foundations of our medicine.

Sabine Wilms:

It just, you know, it, it's about, you know, young and it's about the correlation

Sabine Wilms:

between the macro, the resonance.

Sabine Wilms:

And it's more than a correlation.

Sabine Wilms:

It's really about the real, the interrelationship between the

Sabine Wilms:

macrocosm and the microcosm.

Sabine Wilms:

And it just lays it out.

Sabine Wilms:

It starts with the very simple thing where it talks about the weather, about

Sabine Wilms:

the clouds and the rain, and then it brings it to the level of the flavors.

Sabine Wilms:

And, and then it goes into the body.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, it just covers everything.

Sabine Wilms:

In very, in a very succinct way.

Sabine Wilms:

And it's, it's just to me, it, this chapter is so deep and that's why, why

Sabine Wilms:

have, I mean, I've camped this, I've been working on this book for like

Sabine Wilms:

five years and I've candid so many times and said, I'm not touching that.

Sabine Wilms:

And you know, I don't think anybody can ever create a perfect

Sabine Wilms:

translation of and five because it's, so it's kind of like the loud.

Sabine Wilms:

So it's so deep and complex that I'm going to give you one perspective on it.

Sabine Wilms:

And one possible way of reading it and you can create another way.

Sabine Wilms:

That's just as beautiful and profound and accurate as mine.

Sabine Wilms:

There is no right and wrong, or maybe they're there.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, no, there are ways that you can read it that are,

Sabine Wilms:

that are grammatically wrong.

Michael Max:

So there are ways of doing it wrong.

Michael Max:

And there's also many ways of doing it right.

Sabine Wilms:

There's no, I don't think one English version can ever,

Sabine Wilms:

and that's why I ended up with all these commentaries and all these

Sabine Wilms:

discussions and all these, like in my book, I have all these notes where

Sabine Wilms:

I'm choosing to translate it as this.

Sabine Wilms:

Right.

Sabine Wilms:

But it could also be read as this.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's based on, you know, 1500 years of commentary tradition.

Sabine Wilms:

And I believe that I'm not smart enough with a blank slate

Sabine Wilms:

to go and read the naming.

Sabine Wilms:

It's a text.

Sabine Wilms:

That's very corrupted.

Sabine Wilms:

That's from a really ancient time.

Sabine Wilms:

That's really, really difficult.

Sabine Wilms:

There are passages in there that, that I really don't get.

Sabine Wilms:

So I'm not an enlightened Sage.

Sabine Wilms:

So I think it's crazy for us or maybe not crazy, but I think it's arrogant

Sabine Wilms:

to throw out 1500 years of commentary.

Sabine Wilms:

And I really wanted to give readers a sense of the depth and, and the

Sabine Wilms:

contributions that generation after generation, after generation of scholar,

Sabine Wilms:

physicians of these incredibly educated wise experienced people have added

Sabine Wilms:

to, to an understanding of the aging.

Sabine Wilms:

Because I think a lot of times that gets lost in the English translations.

Michael Max:

Well, one of the really delightful things, I remember

Michael Max:

when I was first in acupuncture school and reading through, I

Michael Max:

mean, we had unsold at that point.

Michael Max:

I remember the, the Nanjing in particular you'd have each of the

Michael Max:

difficulties and then you'd have pages of commentary, pages of commentary.

Michael Max:

And there were people that were talking to each other across the centuries.

Michael Max:

In fact, they were not just talking to each other.

Michael Max:

Sometimes they were arguing with each other, vehemently arguing and

Michael Max:

disagreeing across the centuries.

Michael Max:

And I love.

Sabine Wilms:

And I think that the Nanjing is actually insurance.

Sabine Wilms:

Nanjing translation is a wonderful contribution and of all of his books.

Sabine Wilms:

That's my favorite book, I think.

Sabine Wilms:

And it is, you know, the language is not that easy to, it's not pre

Sabine Wilms:

digested to make it appealing to modern clinical practitioners.

Michael Max:

You're looking for the answer.

Michael Max:

You're not going to find it in there.

Michael Max:

I'll tell you that it's a hard book to read.

Michael Max:

It requires attentiveness.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Sabine Wilms:

It, it, it requires a really great interest and nerdy bend.

Sabine Wilms:

And part of what I'm hoping with my book is that it's a little bit that

Sabine Wilms:

I'm, I'm a writing for practitioners.

Sabine Wilms:

That's with this book, my other books, it was like, you know, my

Sabine Wilms:

pediatrics, I know it's it's for really advanced practitioners and

Sabine Wilms:

I don't sell a lot of those books.

Sabine Wilms:

And I know I don't try and push it on people.

Sabine Wilms:

I'm very clear that my pediatrics book is not appropriate for a

Sabine Wilms:

beginning practitioner because I know it's not pre digested there.

Sabine Wilms:

Nobody's holding your hand.

Sabine Wilms:

It's just seems to me, Meow is throwing these formulas EDU, and they're very

Sabine Wilms:

powerful formulas and they would be really dangerous to apply if you, if

Sabine Wilms:

you don't have the proper training.

Sabine Wilms:

But what I'm hoping with this book is I really want to show a broader

Sabine Wilms:

audience of Chinese medicine practitioners that the classics are

Sabine Wilms:

relevant to contemporary Chinese man.

Sabine Wilms:

Because I believe they are.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's what I get in my, you know, many, many years of teaching at these

Sabine Wilms:

conferences or when I do these one day or weekend seminars is, is, you know,

Sabine Wilms:

an, uh, work like insurance is, is so it's so academic and it's scholarly.

Sabine Wilms:

And it's just, if you don't have the proper academic training, it could turn

Sabine Wilms:

you off just because it's so thick.

Sabine Wilms:

And like you said, there's commentary and then there's the next commentary.

Sabine Wilms:

And it, it, so I was, I was really struggling and that's kind of how I

Sabine Wilms:

started out with this book and, and then I just completely scrapped it all

Sabine Wilms:

and started from scratch and rewrote.

Sabine Wilms:

I rewrote that book like five times in the way that I hope that it makes

Sabine Wilms:

it, I want it to be, I want to show a normal Chinese medicine practitioner

Sabine Wilms:

that the classes are relevant.

Sabine Wilms:

Well,

Michael Max:

I think you have a very interesting way of

Michael Max:

showing that it's relevant.

Michael Max:

You use the term pre-diabetic.

Michael Max:

And I would say your book is completely non pre-digested.

Michael Max:

It's more like a prebiotic

Sabine Wilms:

in this

Michael Max:

crazy bubble.

Michael Max:

No, no.

Michael Max:

I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's a phenomenal bubble.

Michael Max:

Your instructions in the beginning about read it slowly along with

Michael Max:

naps and walks and cups of tea and, you know, walking by the water.

Michael Max:

So, I mean, I think of it as like sipping whiskey and talking to friends, I think of

Michael Max:

it as something that I come back to really like a book of poetry, there are ways that

Michael Max:

you have in there of giving us something, but you don't nail anything down.

Michael Max:

It's not like, oh, here's the thing.

Michael Max:

And here's what it is.

Michael Max:

And you read this and get it.

Michael Max:

And now you're going to understand it.

Michael Max:

It's more like you weave these questions.

Michael Max:

You bring in these various influences, you hint and tease

Michael Max:

at different kinds of things.

Michael Max:

You're bringing some comments from people across the ages.

Michael Max:

I find that I get done reading a section, you know, and it's only a couple of pages

Michael Max:

and it's like, that's enough for today.

Sabine Wilms:

So that's, that's that makes sense to me.

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

And sometimes I go back the next day and reread it again.

Michael Max:

Or sometimes I'll pick it up a week later and read certain

Michael Max:

portions of it again, because it leaves me with a sense of inquiry.

Michael Max:

It leaves me with a sense of, I mean, I feel like my perceptual

Michael Max:

field is a little bit different.

Michael Max:

My thinking process is a little bit altered after reading.

Michael Max:

Good.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, I, I, I don't like giving lectures even though

Sabine Wilms:

that's, that's what I, you know, do a lot of the time for living.

Sabine Wilms:

I, my favorite classes are, and the, in a way, the book is a way to

Sabine Wilms:

replicate this wonderful seminar.

Sabine Wilms:

That was like, that was the treat for me to get, to teach these Neijing

Sabine Wilms:

classes at NUNM because I put the students through such a hard time in

Sabine Wilms:

the first year of study, memorizing the characters and learning the

Sabine Wilms:

grammar and, and, you know, and we read Confucius, we read the great learning.

Sabine Wilms:

We read louds and drums and poetry.

Sabine Wilms:

And I, I throw all the stuff at them and I make them struggle

Sabine Wilms:

very hard with classical Chinese.

Sabine Wilms:

And then in the second year they get the Shanghai , um, which is more clinical and

Sabine Wilms:

it's much easier and more straightforward.

Sabine Wilms:

It is right.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, there are formulas, there there's symptoms.

Sabine Wilms:

And then it's, it's that one, the grammar is fairly straightforward,

Sabine Wilms:

but in the third year you get to the Neijing and it is such a, it

Sabine Wilms:

is such a fun book to explore in a class over the course of 12 weeks.

Sabine Wilms:

And the idea, you know, that we had a different student prepare section

Sabine Wilms:

each week and then we would get together and discuss it together.

Sabine Wilms:

And it was just such a fun class.

Sabine Wilms:

I love doing it.

Sabine Wilms:

So in a way, the book is a way to, is about replicating that format of doing

Sabine Wilms:

an advanced seminar, where everybody comes, where you bring your experience and

Sabine Wilms:

your knowledge and you, your work to it.

Sabine Wilms:

And, and then I engage with you.

Sabine Wilms:

And, and I don't think it can be a one way street where I know everything

Sabine Wilms:

because we're, we're, we're talking about literature that was created.

Sabine Wilms:

I believe.

Sabine Wilms:

Bye enlightened beings.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, by say the sages, right?

Sabine Wilms:

This is what the, the yellow emperor was the Sage.

Sabine Wilms:

And he's talking about these teachings from this ages that were

Sabine Wilms:

thousands of years before that.

Sabine Wilms:

So who am I to tell you?

Sabine Wilms:

Well, it's over my head.

Sabine Wilms:

It's over your head.

Sabine Wilms:

We don't, I firmly believe that we don't have the understanding of, we

Sabine Wilms:

don't live integrated into the macrocosm the way these people did, because we

Sabine Wilms:

are separated through central heating and air conditioning and electricity.

Sabine Wilms:

We don't grow our own food.

Sabine Wilms:

We, we don't have the connection to nature.

Sabine Wilms:

We don't have the knowledge of the stars that the cycles of the stars.

Sabine Wilms:

I'm trying to understand tides here.

Sabine Wilms:

Cause I live on a beach and I can only do this walk that I love to

Sabine Wilms:

do when the tides are certain.

Sabine Wilms:

When they're are low and they have to be incoming or outcoming.

Sabine Wilms:

So I am trying to wrap my head around stars and moon and, and

Sabine Wilms:

tides, and it's just mind boggling.

Sabine Wilms:

And I think there's just so much that we don't know that they knew

Sabine Wilms:

they had a different kind of wisdom.

Sabine Wilms:

And I

Michael Max:

think that books like this, they're not how to manuals.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

I mean, they really are looking ISIS spec to crack our perception open in

Michael Max:

a certain way, because then you can start to learn some things, but it, it

Michael Max:

requires a different stance so to speak.

Michael Max:

Does that make sense?

Sabine Wilms:

I love the crack open our perception.

Sabine Wilms:

It's about cracking open the idea.

Sabine Wilms:

And we know what's right and black and right and wrong, and this and that.

Sabine Wilms:

And yes and no, I love drones.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, drugs is my hero.

Sabine Wilms:

And I just, I think that's the piece, which is really challenging for a,

Sabine Wilms:

for a medical practitioner, right.

Sabine Wilms:

To be in the face of not knowing

Michael Max:

because yes, exactly.

Michael Max:

This is a very curious paradox.

Michael Max:

I was going to say, especially for Chinese medicine practitioners, but

Michael Max:

that, that, that may not be true.

Michael Max:

It may be for any medicine practitioner.

Michael Max:

We do want to know there's a lot that we should know.

Michael Max:

We should be very schooled in what, the stuff that you're

Michael Max:

supposed to be schooled in.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

And people expect to get some help from us.

Michael Max:

And, you know, we better, we better show up with some goods.

Michael Max:

That's only fair.

Michael Max:

And at the same time, so often patients come in.

Michael Max:

And the truth is we don't know, and that that's not a stopping place.

Michael Max:

That's the starting place.

Michael Max:

And how do you navigate when you don't know that?

Michael Max:

To me is a very profound and powerful question that I suspect

Michael Max:

all practitioners have to face in being any kind of a doctor.

Sabine Wilms:

And it's some, it's one that I have thought about very hard

Sabine Wilms:

because my dad was the first person in Germany who did, who treated aids?

Sabine Wilms:

Who did he went to Seattle to learn about bone marrow transplants?

Sabine Wilms:

I, all the stuff that I know nothing about, he was a director of an

Sabine Wilms:

internal medicine hospital and he did all these cutting edge things.

Sabine Wilms:

And a lot of his patients must have died and right, because he, he

Sabine Wilms:

was doing things that they didn't know what they were at the time.

Sabine Wilms:

And I had.

Sabine Wilms:

Uh, boyfriend and I was talking to my boyfriend's dad who was also a doctor.

Sabine Wilms:

And I was telling him that my dad drives me crazy because he knows everything

Sabine Wilms:

and he has this and it is so hard.

Sabine Wilms:

My, I am totally like my dad, my dad and I are like, we are, so I am so close to

Sabine Wilms:

him and we drive each other nuts, but he is so opinionated and he knows everything.

Sabine Wilms:

And it was another old retired doctor who had to point out to me

Sabine Wilms:

that, that, that is that's that generation of biomedical doctors.

Sabine Wilms:

They have to know everything because if my dad started questioning his

Sabine Wilms:

treatments, he, and, and you know, the doctor, biomedical doctors have

Sabine Wilms:

a really high rate of substance abuse and suicide and, and all of the stuff.

Sabine Wilms:

So I think in Chinese medicine, we, I'm hoping we are much more honest about.

Sabine Wilms:

That we don't know because in Chinese medicine, there are so

Sabine Wilms:

many ways in which you can address.

Sabine Wilms:

There is no one right way, and that's so hard for students.

Sabine Wilms:

And I think it's really dangerous this in biome, it's one of those things and I,

Sabine Wilms:

I'm not an anti biomedicine person at all.

Sabine Wilms:

I think all medicine, all doctors are healers and do the best they can.

Sabine Wilms:

And, and, but in biomedicine, there is this, this huge pressure

Sabine Wilms:

that the doctor is the authority and the doctor has to know.

Sabine Wilms:

And because of that, I think it closes inquiry.

Sabine Wilms:

And it's really hard on people's heart and mind, because if you're a doctor, you must

Sabine Wilms:

know that you don't know, but you can't doubt yourself if you're a very famous

Sabine Wilms:

biomedical doctor and in a way, and I'm not a practitioner, I don't see patients,

Sabine Wilms:

or I say I'm a practitioner of Chinese medicine, but I'm not a clinical practice.

Sabine Wilms:

I do practice Chinese medicine every day, all day long, just in a different way.

Sabine Wilms:

But, um, in a way, if you're a doctor and a patient comes to

Sabine Wilms:

you, you have to be the authority.

Michael Max:

Yes.

Michael Max:

And sometimes that authority sits or stands with you at the

Michael Max:

edge of, well, we don't know.

Michael Max:

And then how do we find out where do you move?

Michael Max:

What's the next step after?

Michael Max:

I don't know.

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah.

Sabine Wilms:

And how do you make, how do you make peace with

Michael Max:

that?

Michael Max:

I think that's a great question.

Michael Max:

How do you make peace with that?

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's where, to me the classical texts, that's the big contribution

Sabine Wilms:

in the classics and also in the philosophy that the true knowledge is

Sabine Wilms:

in not knowledge, the Dow that can be Dowd the way that can be walk is not.

Sabine Wilms:

Constant doubt, right?

Sabine Wilms:

The Dao that can be taught anytime you've seen.

Sabine Wilms:

That's not the real doubt.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

From the very beginning, we're in deep water with this stuff.

Sabine Wilms:

I see it as my job to just kind of open the curtains, be like,

Sabine Wilms:

well, and part of it is that I've spent the last five years teaching beginning

Sabine Wilms:

Chinese medicine students and kind of really opening their eyes day one.

Sabine Wilms:

They had me for the beginning, Chinese history and culture class

Sabine Wilms:

for beginning classical texts.

Sabine Wilms:

We did a Chinese culture, immersion retreat.

Sabine Wilms:

They got a whole lot of Sabina.

Sabine Wilms:

And, and part of that is embracing this, this other way of thinking and honoring.

Sabine Wilms:

You know, and you have to have knowledge and you have to have

Sabine Wilms:

systematized textbooks and you have to have licenses and board exams,

Sabine Wilms:

and you have to have exams if you have an institutionalized medicine.

Sabine Wilms:

So we are Tiny's medicine is in this weird place where at least at NCNN

Sabine Wilms:

or NUNM it was, it was, it was always this tension between on the one

Sabine Wilms:

side we teach, you know, what they need to know and what can be tested.

Sabine Wilms:

And the board exams, we teach them knowledge.

Sabine Wilms:

That's that's graspable, and, and you need to be able to communicate

Sabine Wilms:

to patients and to colleagues.

Sabine Wilms:

You have to know.

Sabine Wilms:

And at the same time, when you are more advanced at.

Sabine Wilms:

When you know enough, you have to know that you don't know

Michael Max:

we're going to take a short break here and find out

Michael Max:

from Toby how you can nourish yin at the same time that you've got

Michael Max:

dampness there's foods to do that.

Sabine Wilms:

Hi Toby here again.

Sabine Wilms:

I hope you're enjoying the conversation in the show.

Sabine Wilms:

I used the Chinese nutritional strategies app to answer the question, what

Sabine Wilms:

single food can I recommend for my patients in order to nourish kidney in

Sabine Wilms:

supplements planche and drained dampness.

Sabine Wilms:

The answer drawn from the Chinese medical classic texts is millet.

Sabine Wilms:

The Chinese nutritional strategies app has diagnosis patterns for millet

Sabine Wilms:

as well as more than 300 common foods, along with their temperature,

Sabine Wilms:

flavor actions, indications, notes, and seasonal recommendations.

Sabine Wilms:

This database is searchable by any of these criteria and sorting through

Sabine Wilms:

it allows the practitioner to compile a list of recommended foods and then

Sabine Wilms:

share those recommendations via email.

Sabine Wilms:

Whereas a hard copy with her.

Sabine Wilms:

More information is available at chase nutrition, app.com.

Sabine Wilms:

Now let's listen to this next half of the show

Michael Max:

at a certain point.

Michael Max:

All of the knowing that we've acquired.

Michael Max:

And it's very helpful because we do get to pass the exam.

Michael Max:

We get to get a license we get to get started.

Michael Max:

I often think of that stuff is scaffolding.

Michael Max:

It's the stuff that lets us get started.

Michael Max:

It's this stuff, especially as Westerners, that allows us to have a different way

Michael Max:

of viewing the world, having a different way of viewing the body, having a

Michael Max:

different way of viewing physiology.

Michael Max:

We can begin to see into this other thing, but at a certain point, all that

Michael Max:

stuff that we learned and all those great things, our teachers told us, maybe not

Michael Max:

all of them, but many of them scaffolding that gets taken down at a certain point.

Michael Max:

And we're left with our experience and we're left with our inquiry and

Michael Max:

we're left with our not knowing.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's where you have, you're gradually replacing

Sabine Wilms:

maybe that institutionalized knowledge with another scaffolding,

Sabine Wilms:

which is your clinical experience,

Michael Max:

which of course changes over the years as well.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

And

Sabine Wilms:

I don't have that and that's where I, you know, bring in all

Sabine Wilms:

the commentaries from the histories.

Sabine Wilms:

But on the other hand, I have learned that my understanding of farming of

Sabine Wilms:

irrigation of, and you're laughing, you're laughing, but I'm not kidding.

Sabine Wilms:

I, I think that my, my experience flood irrigating and.

Sabine Wilms:

Over many years and managing waterways.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, that's perfect for, for, for understanding T flow.

Sabine Wilms:

It's exactly the same.

Sabine Wilms:

They use the same language books and streams and Springs

Sabine Wilms:

and blockages, congestions draining, overflowing spilling it.

Sabine Wilms:

It's it's the same language.

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

Microcosm, macrocosm.

Michael Max:

There you are.

Michael Max:

Hey.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

I want to jump into a couple things from the book if we can.

Michael Max:

Okay.

Michael Max:

So I've got just enough Chinese to be dangerous.

Michael Max:

Oh no, no, no, no, no.

Michael Max:

I'm not going to be speaking Chinese, but I just, I mean, there, there are some

Michael Max:

things that I read them and they just, man, it, it was like, uh, I don't know.

Michael Max:

I can remember when I first started studying Chinese and I had this incredible

Michael Max:

epiphany one day, I'm not kidding you.

Michael Max:

You're going to think this is hilarious.

Michael Max:

But the truth is I had this incredible epiphany one day when I took this piece

Michael Max:

of Chinese that I was given in school and I realized that I had it right side up.

Michael Max:

Right.

Sabine Wilms:

What

Michael Max:

was it?

Michael Max:

I don't remember.

Michael Max:

It was just, you know, some basic terminology.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

But no, no, no.

Michael Max:

It was like, it was like a sheet of paper with a bunch of characters on it.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

And I just, I mean, just remember at one point going, oh, this is right side up.

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

Silly.

Michael Max:

But I can remember this incredible delight that ran through my entire body.

Michael Max:

When I recognized I have the paper, the right side up, it's a good place to start.

Michael Max:

So I was reading,

Sabine Wilms:

I know, I love taking the students to the guard.

Sabine Wilms:

There's a wonderful Chinese garden in Portland and, and I love

Sabine Wilms:

taking the students there and they would recognize characters fun.

Sabine Wilms:

Isn't

Michael Max:

it?

Michael Max:

It's so fun.

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

Anyway, so you've got this lovely little riff on change, BNY.

Michael Max:

Yes.

Michael Max:

And, and you talk about, I mean, BNY means change, but then you go

Michael Max:

into each one, you go into PN as being a certain kind of change.

Michael Max:

And why is being like the transformative, you know, rug pulled out from under

Michael Max:

your feet transformative kind of change for the listeners' benefit.

Michael Max:

Can you talk to us a little bit about the, what a BN type change looks like

Michael Max:

and what a Huang type change looks like.

Michael Max:

And maybe there's some suggestions from the book about how you deal with each

Michael Max:

of those particular kinds of processes.

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah.

Sabine Wilms:

That's a deep question.

Sabine Wilms:

I should've never agreed to this interview.

Sabine Wilms:

Um, and, and really, you know, I, I struggled with translating these two

Sabine Wilms:

characters forever and ever, and ever, because I used to have, I think, BN

Sabine Wilms:

transformation and highest change.

Sabine Wilms:

And it was just like, I just picked, I don't know if Wiseman picked them shoulder

Sabine Wilms:

or somehow I just, and I always was, was kind of like, I know they're different.

Sabine Wilms:

They're used in different contexts there.

Sabine Wilms:

I know.

Sabine Wilms:

It's so often that it's like, it's like DJing and my for check and vessel.

Sabine Wilms:

We have these characters that, that they're different characters.

Sabine Wilms:

And in English, they're translated with words that are kind of have the same

Sabine Wilms:

meaning, but there is a real difference between using Jing and Mike, there are

Sabine Wilms:

associations, you know, whether it's the flesh radical that the it gene versus

Sabine Wilms:

the water radical and, and there, and you can go into all these examples where

Sabine Wilms:

two characters mean the, or they're translated in English with one word, but

Sabine Wilms:

they're really two different concepts.

Sabine Wilms:

And if you translate them with one word in English, at some point, the reader gets

Sabine Wilms:

confused because they're like, wait, this doesn't make sense because they're there.

Sabine Wilms:

There's contradictions where in Chinese, there is a layer of specificity that.

Sabine Wilms:

It's really hard to express in English and change is one of those concepts

Sabine Wilms:

where the classical Chinese were really hung up on change because everything

Sabine Wilms:

is cheap and she is always changing.

Sabine Wilms:

And this appreciation for change.

Sabine Wilms:

If you understand change, that's the key to being a doctor, a Sage, a farmer,

Sabine Wilms:

a ruler, knowing change is no stock

Michael Max:

broker for that matter.

Sabine Wilms:

Everything sourdough baker.

Sabine Wilms:

You have to know.

Sabine Wilms:

I love to bake a cheese maker.

Sabine Wilms:

I love to make fermenting things.

Sabine Wilms:

You have to be able to look at your sourdough and read where the bubbles

Sabine Wilms:

are at and know what the temperature of the room was when you started it.

Sabine Wilms:

What kind of grain you used?

Sabine Wilms:

If you use rice versus wheat versus white flour versus course meal versus

Sabine Wilms:

flat ground flour, blah, blah, blah.

Sabine Wilms:

It all, you might get a, the bubbles might look the same, but depending on the, all

Sabine Wilms:

these other things, it completely changes how you're going to treat that sourdough.

Sabine Wilms:

When you're going to, how much you're going to need it, how much liquid,

Sabine Wilms:

how much other stuff you're going to add to it when you're going to

Sabine Wilms:

put it in the pan, how warm you're going to bake it, does that make

Michael Max:

sense?

Michael Max:

Which is why I'm so interested in the difference between Ben and at this point.

Michael Max:

I mean, it's really got me thinking, wow, we're always looking at change.

Michael Max:

I mean, eating right book.

Michael Max:

It changes.

Michael Max:

We know nothing stays the same, but you know, the question is it's like, what's

Michael Max:

the pace or the tempo or the quality or that's hype, because it's just my sense.

Michael Max:

If we've got a sense of what kind of change we're looking at, we can tune

Michael Max:

our treatments, match what that is.

Michael Max:

Yep.

Michael Max:

Okay.

Michael Max:

That's what, it's

Sabine Wilms:

all about that as a clinical practitioner or a ruler or

Sabine Wilms:

whatever it is that you're doing, you're looking at the present.

Sabine Wilms:

You're looking at what you got.

Sabine Wilms:

You've got, you're taking a history, you're looking at the past and what

Sabine Wilms:

makes a good doctor or a good ruler or a good farmer is to know the

Sabine Wilms:

direction where the arrow is, where the dynamic, the dynamic that the shoe.

Sabine Wilms:

The force, you know, whether it's going up, you you've got your present place,

Sabine Wilms:

but it's really, if you know where it's coming from, you know, whether it's

Sabine Wilms:

going up or it's going down and you also know how fast it's going, and then

Sabine Wilms:

you know how you're going to interfere.

Sabine Wilms:

If you need to do anything, maybe, maybe the body's on its

Sabine Wilms:

way already to establishing this, this dynamic equilibrium.

Sabine Wilms:

And if you're gonna introduce a really strong down draining formula, you're

Sabine Wilms:

going to weaken a body in a way that's going to turn it into the other extreme.

Sabine Wilms:

So, yes, so back to B.

Sabine Wilms:

So I think that's that, that's the trick to being a good, a good doctor or good

Sabine Wilms:

anything is, is, is understanding, change and knowing how to read the present.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's what the Dow is.

Sabine Wilms:

That's that's the core of the doubt is it's all change.

Sabine Wilms:

So.

Sabine Wilms:

I ended up, let's see.

Sabine Wilms:

And I actually took notes because I knew you were going to ask me this

Sabine Wilms:

and it's like there being a crop.

Sabine Wilms:

But what I ended up for the book, I believe is alteration for

Sabine Wilms:

being, and for transformation and transformation is a little bit of

Sabine Wilms:

a, not the perfect translation.

Sabine Wilms:

Maybe it is if you're a nerd.

Sabine Wilms:

And if you read my commentary because literally transformation

Sabine Wilms:

means you are transcending the form.

Sabine Wilms:

Another way you could put it as metamorphosis.

Sabine Wilms:

It's quiet as it is a sudden change.

Sabine Wilms:

That is irreversible.

Sabine Wilms:

And Ben, just, this is just in general, if you're trying to tease apart, the

Sabine Wilms:

difference between these two characters, of course, knowing that in modern

Sabine Wilms:

Chinese being a quad just means change.

Sabine Wilms:

And to a certain extent they can be sometimes used

Sabine Wilms:

interchangeably depending on.

Sabine Wilms:

If you have a poem where one of them sounds better than the other, or you

Sabine Wilms:

have a sloppy writer or, you know, just like in English, sometimes

Sabine Wilms:

words are used very specifically.

Sabine Wilms:

And my belief is in medical, technical literature.

Sabine Wilms:

A lot of times this language was very, very specialized and it was used

Sabine Wilms:

classical Chinese is so condensed that people used words very, very carefully.

Sabine Wilms:

And we owe it to them in translation to not be sloppy and

Sabine Wilms:

not to say, oh, it's troubled.

Sabine Wilms:

Or, you know, it's like, it's whatever, it's a title.

Sabine Wilms:

It's in the

Michael Max:

ballpark.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Sabine Wilms:

Curious is that, that, that they are very conscious.

Sabine Wilms:

And when they use a word, like what they had, the association, which any person.

Sabine Wilms:

Who has a PhD in Chinese studies or any traditional scholar physician

Sabine Wilms:

will know, John's talking about why.

Sabine Wilms:

And when you open a big classical Chinese dictionary, the first thing

Sabine Wilms:

you get about the first definition you get about why is the way it is used in

Sabine Wilms:

Johns and Johns, it was so important because John's is kind of the gold

Sabine Wilms:

standard for beautiful literature.

Sabine Wilms:

So John's had talks about, um, the transformation from the, from the big

Sabine Wilms:

fish to the bird, which is a total change.

Sabine Wilms:

That is that it's a transformation.

Sabine Wilms:

There's something that happens that is irreversible.

Sabine Wilms:

And a lot of times in the nature thing, why is used in a sense where

Sabine Wilms:

there is with something is created?

Sabine Wilms:

So it is, it is creative.

Sabine Wilms:

It is it's, it's a kind of changed that that creates something new.

Sabine Wilms:

And Ben is used.

Sabine Wilms:

In the sense of day and night altering low and high tides, the changes

Sabine Wilms:

of the seasons gradual change,

Michael Max:

the more comfortable kind of change, maybe the kind of change.

Michael Max:

Oh yeah.

Michael Max:

This again, I feel like I'm getting nowhere kind of change, but you're

Michael Max:

like incrementally drip by drip getting somewhere for as often people

Michael Max:

come in, you know, with some horrible thing that happened and it's a ho

Michael Max:

you know, it's a hot type change.

Sabine Wilms:

This is where you come in with your clinical experience.

Sabine Wilms:

And this is why I love having these conversations with practitioners

Sabine Wilms:

with clinical practitioners, because you can take what I just told you.

Sabine Wilms:

And I love team teaching that this way, where you take what I just said.

Sabine Wilms:

And you're you come up with an example from clinic.

Sabine Wilms:

So it gives me an example for where the real clinical difference.

Michael Max:

That's a great question.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

Oh man.

Michael Max:

Wait, the tables just got turned on me.

Michael Max:

Exactly.

Michael Max:

Yes.

Michael Max:

Very good.

Michael Max:

Very sneaky, Ms.

Michael Max:

Well, okay, so let's, uh, let's take fertility for a moment.

Michael Max:

Fertility is often a situation where someone's actually looking for a wall.

Michael Max:

They're actually looking for a while.

Michael Max:

They want to transform from not, not pregnant to pregnant, right.

Michael Max:

That that's a type of a metamorphosis, but they're making

Michael Max:

this slow, incremental change.

Michael Max:

Right?

Michael Max:

I mean, maybe their periods are really a mess and you've got to get

Michael Max:

that cleaned off and, and maybe, you know, there's issues like, well,

Michael Max:

actually where the woman's fertile.

Michael Max:

I mean, the guys traveling all the time, they don't even have a chance to have sex.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

So small and incremental BN type changes.

Michael Max:

Like, well, maybe the husband gets a different job so they can actually be

Michael Max:

together enough to create a family.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

And of course, people go to IVF looking for a type treatment, right?

Michael Max:

So there there's situations where people are wanting it.

Michael Max:

There's something they don't have.

Michael Max:

They desire to have it.

Michael Max:

And they're looking to get in a hot type way.

Michael Max:

They call that success and we call ourselves good practitioners.

Michael Max:

When we give it to them, then there's the opposite.

Michael Max:

There's a person that's gone through a hot type experience and whatever they've

Michael Max:

gotten at whatever they have transformed into whatever they have metamorphosized

Michael Max:

into irreversibly turned into.

Michael Max:

They'd like to get rid of it.

Michael Max:

And so I have found in my clinical practice, it's helpful to know.

Michael Max:

Number one, what kind of change are they looking for?

Michael Max:

Are they looking for a BN type change or a water type change?

Michael Max:

Secondly, what kind of change are they actually in the midst of?

Michael Max:

Because that tells me something about their cycle of motives.

Michael Max:

So I've started taking this from reading your book.

Michael Max:

I started taking these two and, and bringing them into the clinic in a way

Michael Max:

where I just, I leave myself open to, I mean, to bring it in as a question

Michael Max:

really, is this, is this a BN process or a process that they're in and what's,

Michael Max:

what's called for, to help them with that.

Michael Max:

Does that answer your question?

Michael Max:

Does that help?

Sabine Wilms:

Does it, does.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, you readers are the ones that I think so.

Sabine Wilms:

And, and I think that the example of pregnancy is a perfect example for it

Sabine Wilms:

is a com and every process of change in a way is a combination of BNN.

Sabine Wilms:

Absolutely.

Sabine Wilms:

And that's where, and this is kind of what I love about this book is

Sabine Wilms:

you talk about yin and yang and then there's young within yen.

Sabine Wilms:

And then there's the yin within the young, I mean, there there's.

Sabine Wilms:

You can talk about it at a, at a really simple level where,

Sabine Wilms:

why is the creative change?

Sabine Wilms:

So giving birth or getting pregnant that's conception.

Sabine Wilms:

That's a, that's a quiet, that's a creative irreversible change, but

Sabine Wilms:

at the same time, you're right.

Sabine Wilms:

You can also see it in terms of all the little incremental BN

Sabine Wilms:

changes that are taking place throughout this whole process.

Sabine Wilms:

And what is the appropriate role of, of, of you in interfering,

Sabine Wilms:

supporting, manipulating that

Michael Max:

process?

Michael Max:

I'd love the way, use the word interfering.

Michael Max:

I don't often hear practitioners talk about interfering.

Michael Max:

I hear them talk about treatment.

Michael Max:

I talk to them, I hear them talking about helping their patients.

Michael Max:

I'd love that you use the word interfere, I think.

Michael Max:

And why do I enjoy that?

Michael Max:

Because it really makes me ponder for a moment about.

Michael Max:

What is it that I'm going to be doing with this person?

Michael Max:

Because if I'm interfering, I want to make sure I'm interfering on some

Michael Max:

sort of beneficial way, hopefully with as lad to touch as possible.

Sabine Wilms:

And I think my thinking on that has evolved based

Sabine Wilms:

on studying since meals so much.

Sabine Wilms:

Tell us more about that.

Sabine Wilms:

That seems to me, I'll talks about this in, and of course I've had my

Sabine Wilms:

head in gynecology and pediatrics, but also in his volume on dietetics, he

Sabine Wilms:

talks about how food is just another kind of medicine it's it's it's drugs.

Sabine Wilms:

And if you take any substance, even a cup of tea and introduce it to your body,

Sabine Wilms:

unaware, you are, everything is CISO.

Sabine Wilms:

Everything that you introduce into your body changes the dynamic of

Sabine Wilms:

tea, the equilibrium, it's a dynamic equilibrium, and it's not a static.

Sabine Wilms:

Perfect.

Sabine Wilms:

Balance.

Sabine Wilms:

It's, it's this, it's this.

Sabine Wilms:

And I love that, that fluidity and that's changed and it's always, sometimes there's

Sabine Wilms:

more young and sometimes there's more yin and that's the way it's supposed to be.

Sabine Wilms:

And, um, sometimes it's appropriate to interfere.

Sabine Wilms:

Maybe sometimes it's not because it's just that pendulum going back and forth.

Sabine Wilms:

Um, so he talks in the volume on dietetics.

Sabine Wilms:

He talks about how drugs are like soldiers.

Sabine Wilms:

And sometimes we need to release the soldiers to the

Sabine Wilms:

borders to protect the country.

Sabine Wilms:

But a lot of times there is a risk when you release soldiers that they, then you

Sabine Wilms:

let them loose and then they turn around and they, they run out of control and they

Sabine Wilms:

might do more damage in your own country.

Sabine Wilms:

Or they might do more damage than they might do unanticipated

Sabine Wilms:

damage after they have protected your defenses from the outside.

Sabine Wilms:

So, you know, you, you don't want to give somebody some really intense

Sabine Wilms:

treatment, if you can just tell them to warm their feet at night or, or,

Sabine Wilms:

you know, you, I mean, the idea is you want to create this equilibrium.

Sabine Wilms:

And, and to me, that's really, that's what I love about, about the

Sabine Wilms:

classics that there is this, it's not just about treating illness.

Sabine Wilms:

And of course I have a privileged perspective because

Sabine Wilms:

I don't treat sick people.

Sabine Wilms:

So you deal with situations.

Sabine Wilms:

People don't come to you generally, I assume.

Sabine Wilms:

Um, they come to you when their equilibrium is pretty much out of whack.

Michael Max:

So yes, I would say that's true.

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah.

Sabine Wilms:

So you need to, and they have certain expectations.

Sabine Wilms:

Of course they do to do something to make them feel better.

Sabine Wilms:

Whereas I have my head in the classics and it's all about two-way being,

Sabine Wilms:

you treat what is not yet diseased.

Sabine Wilms:

You, you, you dig where you're thirsty and you are dealing with

Sabine Wilms:

situation where you're in the middle of a warfare, the bore.

Sabine Wilms:

And then, and this is a quote from that two and five to you.

Sabine Wilms:

You're in the, you don't forge your weapons while you're in the

Sabine Wilms:

middle of the war and you don't think you're well when you're

Michael Max:

thirsty.

Michael Max:

So what that says to me is even when someone comes in and for them, it's

Michael Max:

some kind of an emergency or they wouldn't be coming in to see me.

Michael Max:

It's still really important not to forget that there's an equilibrium that can

Michael Max:

be found and to attend to the dynamic.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

Attend to the dynamic because if the equilibrium can come of its

Michael Max:

own accord, or if it can be enticed in a, in a more gentle fashion.

Michael Max:

Well, I mean, there's a line to, you know, what is that line?

Michael Max:

I think it's from, uh, the day June, right?

Michael Max:

That, you know, the, the best rulers are the ones where the

Michael Max:

people say we did it ourselves.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

All right.

Michael Max:

I've got so much more.

Michael Max:

I want to ask you.

Michael Max:

So I'm probably just going to invite you back for another time, but troll

Michael Max:

now you gonna have to start sending me, you know, I was just thinking

Michael Max:

I could send you some check, some great stuff from Taiwan recently.

Michael Max:

I'll send you some you'll love it.

Michael Max:

Oh, I'm totally drivable

Sabine Wilms:

with tea.

Michael Max:

Okay, good.

Sabine Wilms:

You said you will.

Sabine Wilms:

You were going to be up here.

Sabine Wilms:

So, so we can do this in person.

Sabine Wilms:

We can toddy by the beach.

Michael Max:

Well, hello.

Michael Max:

Hi, Todd.

Michael Max:

You by the beach and I'll bring you some tea as well.

Michael Max:

Anyway.

Michael Max:

One more question before we get off here, we can have

Sabine Wilms:

the whales.

Michael Max:

Um, I'm all for

Sabine Wilms:

it.

Sabine Wilms:

It won't be humming with elephants.

Sabine Wilms:

It'll be the spouting of the way.

Sabine Wilms:

Oh one like a week ago.

Michael Max:

Lovely.

Michael Max:

All right.

Michael Max:

I want to get back to your book again for just a second.

Michael Max:

I love the way that you work with the language.

Michael Max:

You're so thoughtful with it.

Michael Max:

You know, again, I know enough Chinese to be a danger to myself.

Michael Max:

And so sometimes I look at the words that you work with or the, or the, some of

Michael Max:

the ideas that you are knocking, right?

Michael Max:

You're like manipulating.

Michael Max:

And I just find it enticing.

Michael Max:

So I want to ask you, and it's

Sabine Wilms:

based on five years of rewriting and rewriting and rolling.

Sabine Wilms:

Oh

Michael Max:

yeah.

Michael Max:

Well, in all the years I came before that too.

Michael Max:

So let's not forget that

Sabine Wilms:

I love this chapter and I have so much respect and I really

Sabine Wilms:

had a hard time publishing this book.

Sabine Wilms:

It was very stressful because I just feel like it is so deep and it requires

Sabine Wilms:

that kind of respect from anybody.

Michael Max:

So you should drink it with a hot toddy or it read it with a hot toddy.

Michael Max:

Anyway, I want to get back to this question.

Michael Max:

So you were talking about the elements and you were talking about too, right?

Michael Max:

Like usually gets translated as earth, but in your book you say that you rather enjoy

Michael Max:

thinking of, to not as earth, but as soy.

Michael Max:

Right.

Michael Max:

And when I think his soil, I think it's something that's like

Michael Max:

something simultaneously in the process of rotting and generating

Michael Max:

new life at the very same moment.

Michael Max:

I'm curious.

Michael Max:

I just, I would just like to hear you riff a little bit more about what if instead

Michael Max:

of calling to earth, we did call it soil.

Michael Max:

What if we thought of it as soil?

Sabine Wilms:

I would've loved to do that.

Sabine Wilms:

And it's kind of a perfect example for my struggles with terminology in this book.

Sabine Wilms:

I don't want to have the book use foreign language.

Sabine Wilms:

It was really important to me that this book is readable to your average, or maybe

Sabine Wilms:

not your average, your average classically inclined Chinese medicine practitioner.

Sabine Wilms:

That's I w I can't say.

Sabine Wilms:

Even though that's the standard term.

Michael Max:

I know it's so totally

Sabine Wilms:

wrong.

Sabine Wilms:

I, I think I did dynamic agents.

Sabine Wilms:

Five phases works better.

Sabine Wilms:

The elements, I that's one where I've kind of, I'm on this mission where

Sabine Wilms:

I just, I cannot get myself to say elements, even though I know that's

Sabine Wilms:

what everybody uses with earth.

Sabine Wilms:

The problem with earth is that in English earth has so many different meanings.

Sabine Wilms:

You know, as in the planet earth, soil is much more specific and the meaning

Sabine Wilms:

of that dynamic agent, it should be.

Sabine Wilms:

So I love the fact that you picked up on that and that that's exactly

Sabine Wilms:

the association that he should have.

Sabine Wilms:

It's it's dirt.

Sabine Wilms:

It's, it's, it's black, rich, fertile.

Sabine Wilms:

It's th the stuff where, you know, a little bright green sprout comes

Sabine Wilms:

out of, and it's alive with earth firms, and it's what feeds everything.

Sabine Wilms:

It's it's the spleen and earth it's.

Sabine Wilms:

I mean, the spleen stomach it's right.

Sabine Wilms:

It's but I, I decided to stick with earth because that's just

Sabine Wilms:

the way we know the five elements.

Sabine Wilms:

And I felt like if I changed it to soil, it would, it would make, it would force

Sabine Wilms:

people who are just in their training.

Sabine Wilms:

They're they're just, so everybody's used to using earth as the, as

Sabine Wilms:

the earth element, you know?

Sabine Wilms:

So I just didn't want to be too

Michael Max:

radical.

Michael Max:

Yeah.

Michael Max:

So you just, you just stayed with the, uh, the, the standard and

Michael Max:

that, but I got to tell you when, when I read it, when I read that.

Michael Max:

And you called it soil.

Michael Max:

The first thought that came to my mind was dirt and I, and I just laughed out loud.

Michael Max:

I was like, oh man, that's great.

Michael Max:

It's so humble.

Michael Max:

It's like, you know, it's like, yeah, no, it's dirt

Sabine Wilms:

and it's everywhere.

Sabine Wilms:

And it is, it is what grows our food.

Sabine Wilms:

It's it's, you know?

Sabine Wilms:

Yeah, exactly.

Sabine Wilms:

That's

Michael Max:

really important.

Michael Max:

Okay.

Michael Max:

Well maybe people listening to this podcast will start calling

Michael Max:

the earth phase dirt or soil.

Michael Max:

I don't know.

Michael Max:

We, we, we might've started something here or not at any rate.

Michael Max:

I so appreciate you taking the time today and sitting down from me with

Michael Max:

a cup of tea and, uh, talking about this stuff, that's in your book again.

Michael Max:

I'm I'm going to plug it.

Michael Max:

I can't help myself.

Michael Max:

It's an exquisite read.

Michael Max:

It sits on my poetry's shelf, actually not my Chinese medicine shelf.

Michael Max:

Just, just so you know, it's gorgeous.

Michael Max:

It will mess with your mind in really delicious ways.

Michael Max:

So I encourage you guys to go buy a copy.

Sabine Wilms:

I'm getting feedback.

Sabine Wilms:

And it was not an easy book.

Sabine Wilms:

It was a lot more personal than my other books, which

Sabine Wilms:

were mostly just translations.

Sabine Wilms:

And I didn't know if it was gonna be.

Sabine Wilms:

You know, useful.

Sabine Wilms:

I don't know how, because I am in my world.

Sabine Wilms:

I'm in my crazy bubble of classic.

Sabine Wilms:

So it makes me

Michael Max:

really happy.

Michael Max:

All right.

Michael Max:

Well thank you.

Michael Max:

And, uh, all right, so we'll do part two when I come out to Seattle.

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