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Home >> Chinese Medicine

Doctor and Fate
- The Story Told by A Chinese Doctor (3)

16 April 2009
 

1) Greeting at Ghost Gate
2)
Pulse Reading

3) Doctor and Fate

In the early last century, there was a wealthy man surnamed Guo living in the west district of Beijing. Guo believed in fortune telling and befriended a Daoist. One day when the two discussed about fate and destiny, Guo asked the Daoist to calculate when he would die. The Daoist replied that fortune telling focus on one's life not death, and now as Guo talked about death, it might not be a good sign; however, since Guo had already asked this question, he would help him to find the answer.

After a complicated reckoning, the Daoist told Guo he was going to die in three years of time at the hand of a doctor surnamed Wang. But Guo still had time to alter his fate by negotiating with the related parities. On hearing that, Guo gave a dismissive laugh. "Big deal! From now on I just won't consult any doctor surnamed Wang."

Returned home, Guo ordered that under no circumstances a Doctor Wang should be allowed to step into his household, and no family member should go to see a doctor surnamed Wang.

Later, Guo suffered a severe asthma attack. By then there was an asthma specialist from southern China paid working visit to Beijing and his surname was not Wang, so Guo invited the doctor to see him. After diagnosis, the doctor informed Guo that his illness was not as serious as it appeared, and that as long as he stuck to the doctor's prescription and followed the directives, he should be fine.

Soon, the doctor returned to the south and Guo slowly recovered from the illness. But when the summer season arrived, his asthma worsened, and even after taking 20 packs of the prescribed medicine, the condition did not improve. In fact it is common for asthma symptoms to appear more severe during the summer, since the Five Agents for the hot season is Fire while lung belongs to the Metal category, and Fire conquers Metal. But Guo didn't know that, and when he realised the time was fast approaching to the end of the third year since the Daoist predicted his death, he was alarmed. Still, for fearing he might meet a doctor Wang, he decided to stick to the old prescription and sent his son to get more packs of medicine.

In those days, prescriptions were all written on thin rice paper, and after being passed through many hands, the paper were easily got damaged with holes. So the son asked a duty doctor in the medicine store to hand copy the prescription, as Chinese prescriptions normally contain characters and marks that are not intelligible to layman.

The doctor read the prescription, and raised doubt about an ingredient that is classified as being warm in nature. "How can your father keep taking this hot element in the summer?"

The son explained to the doctor that his father believed in no one but that particular doctor from south, so insisted to stick to his prescription. "On the whole it's a good prescription," the doctor told the son. "Your father can keep using it. I just make a few minor changes with some ingredients."

The son was very happy and brought the medicine to his father. However, four or five days after taking the medicine that was modified by the duty doctor, the old man's condition suddenly deteriorated, suffering from short breath with his face turned purple. Within just one day, he died.

Later the son discovered with horror that the duty doctor's surname was no other but Wang.

Lao Tze noted in The Book of Virtues: "Heaven and Earth remain unmoved, regarding every thing as part of illusive games". Doctor Wang was merely sent by fate to end the old man's existence. In this regard, all doctors play a role in their patients' life assigned by destiny, and they can only save people who are fated to be saved.

That rich man did not really believe in destiny, nevertheless, which is why he thought he could avoid the doomed outcome by not to consult Doctor Wang. But in the end he still died at the hand of Doctor Wang no matter how hard he tried.

In fact, the Daoist had advised the rich man to negotiate with the parties involved, sadly the rich man rejected the idea, thus lost the last chance to escape the fate.

A wise way to deal with our destiny, I think, is to acknowledge its existence, to face up to the consequences of our past actions and to do things differently so as to create a more desirable future.

In the past there was a man named Yuan Kunyi (袁坤仪) who lived a life that was predicted by a Daoist master down to tiny details including the date of his death. When he approached the end of his year, he met a Buddhist monk called Cloudy Valley Zen Master (云谷禅师) who taught him how to change his fate. Yuan faithfully followed the monk's advice and eventually amended his own destiny, as well as his life expediency. Before his death, he wrote a book telling his fate-altering story titled "Liaofan's Four Lessons" (《了凡四训》).

Excerpt of original Chinese text by 池草
(tianya.cn/techforum/content/16/624158.shtml):

九、医患缘

北平西城有一个姓郭的寓公,平时特别喜欢占卜算命,与一位占卜灵验的道士交好。有一次俩人讨论卜算技巧的时候,郭寓公很高兴,对道士说:你帮我算算死期吧。道士说:卜生不卜死,你突然之间说这样的话,恐怕不是吉祥的预兆啊,不过既然你说了,我就帮你算一下吧。

经过复杂的运算之后,道士说:你三年之后,死在一个姓王的医生手上,你还是早做些祈禳之术,看能不能延长寿命吧。郭寓公哈哈大笑,说:这有什么难的,我以后看病绝对不找姓王的不就得了?

这个寓公回家之后立即下了命令,以后遇见姓王的医生一律轰走,不光他自己,全家人都不准找姓王的大夫看病。

后来这个郭寓公得了哮喘病,非常厉害。当时正好有位南方的名医在北京坐诊,他对治疗哮喘病简介非常独特。郭寓公就派人把这个大夫请来看诊,当然,人家不姓王的。医生看过之后,说你的病情还不算严重,我很快就要回南方了,这样,我给你写一个方子,你十副十副的吃,吃到什么程度的时候你可以休息几天,吃到什么程度的时候你就可以把药停了,你的病也就好了。

郭寓公一直吃这个药,效果确实不错。吃了一阵子,情况大有缓解。到了初夏的时候,病情突然又加重了,那方子连吃了二十副,效果也不是太明显。其实,这是很简单的中医常识,夏天属火的,哮喘病是肺病,火克金,肺病在夏天肯定会反复一下。等到秋天金行正令的时候,就容易痊愈了。郭寓公很忧愁苦闷啊,因为现在正是三年前预定的死期,他想我不会没死在姓王的手上,就死在哮喘病上了吧。但是对再找医生这个事情有很敏感,况且南方医生的方子,一直吃的不错。于是决定坚持吃,就又让儿子去抓药。

那时候处方用的就是宣纸,时间久了,拿来拿去就容易破了。寓公的儿子就请坐堂的医生给重新抄一遍方子。中医处方里有些字是内部的符号,外行看不懂也不知道什么意思,所以方子还要由医师来换抄的。

这个医师一看这张方子,说:哎呀,现在天气这么炎热,怎么还能大量用这种温热的补药呢!寓公的儿子一听也有道理,谁说不是呢,难怪父亲的病最近严重了很多呢,于是跟这个医生巴拉巴拉说一通。然后说,父亲不相信别的人了,就信这个医生云云。坐堂的医生说不要紧,这个方子还是不错的,框架我不改,你多用点这个,少用点那个,再把这一味去掉换成另一味就可以了。令尊吃过以后,病情肯定就有所好转了。

公子欢天喜地的把药拿回去给他爹吃,连吃了四五天,寓公的情况突然急转直下,出现了呼吸困难,面色紫绀这样的病危状况,从发病到气绝身亡还不到一天的时间。

公子料理完父亲的后事,托人一问,才知道,那天帮父亲修改处方的医师正是姓王。

道德经说:天地不仁,以万物为刍狗。王医师不过是命运为了结束郭寓公的生命,被上天安排在那里的刽子手罢了。这样想来,病人能够遇到治好病的医生,不过是他所受的痛苦应该被结束罢了;而医生治不好病人的疾病,也可能是因为病人还有需要接受的折磨。

寓公后来就不信命了,觉得不找姓王的看病就可以改变命运,结果还是死在那人手上。所以对命运首先我会承认和接受,好吧,会死在姓王的手上,那就死在他手上咯,前生的孽债,今世的恶缘躲不过的。然后,我就会想怎么能够 改变命运的进程。道士让寓公去禳解他偏不去。禳解就是祈求鬼神,请求化解冤孽,原谅过错的方式了。

历史上歹命化好命比较成功的一个人是袁坤仪,他之前是个卜算大家,梅花易数玩的相当厉害的。有一次他遇见一位老和尚叫云谷禅师的,教他一套改变命运轨迹的办法,于是袁先生的生命似乎重新变得有意义了,他很开心的去做,最后真的改变了很多东西。后来他写了一本自传叫《了凡四训》的,把他的技巧和经历将给别人听。

4) Cosmic Rays

Prev: Men of Bronze
Next:Cosmic Rays - A Doctor's Story (4)

 
 
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Doctor & Government

A good doctor addresses problems in your body;
A better doctor addresses problems in your heart;
The best doctor addresses problems in your fate.

良医医病;
中医医心;
上医医命。

A good government relies on the law;
A better government appeals to the ethics;
The best government leads to the enlightenment.

良治治人;
中治治国;
上治治理。

A Portrait Made of Crops

This is a portrait of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao crafted by 15 villagers in Qingchuan, the centre of the Sichuan earthquake last year. The whole picture measuring 1.83m high and 3.05m wide was entirely made of 25 kg crops in five different colours, including green beans and white sesame. In the background are the images of new houses built under the assistance of the government. The villagers used this way to show their appreciation for the jobs done by the current Chinese leadership.

(Source of info & photo: 王向华, 裴蕾 and 覃丹, from 四川在线/四川日报)


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