Nowadays, we always feel surprised and amazed when a person’s age is over 100 years old. Even though our life span seems longer than compared to that of hundreds of years ago, people’s happiness and quality life are not as good as we expected. However, both Chinese ancient document and The Old Testament of the Bible describe that people can live life up to 800 years old.
The reason is now we do not realize the importance of balance and harmony between human beings and the environment. Modern science and technology have brought a lot of convenience and changes to this world, and it will continue to produce advances. In the meantime, it also disturbs all life’s natural way on earth in some way. Chinese philosophy is all about harmony and moderation. This philosophy is also what the Chinese medicine is based on. The Western philosophy focuses more on practical and logical details, but, if you disregard the larger scale of the universal law, without harmony and balance we might create a black hole for ourselves. This is why I tend to favor Chinese medicine.
In the ancient Chinese medicine book “Huangdi Neijing” (黃帝內經), it teaches how to have a healthy and happy holistic human life. It describes how external changes, such as geographic, climatic, and seasonal, for instance, affect human being’s internal changes, such as emotions and organ responses to the changes. It also tells how our way of life and our environment affect our health.
How did ancient people live that long? In the “Huangdi Neijing” book, it explains ancient humans lived so long because they practiced Dao. Dao is the way of life. People have to understand the principle of balance as represented by the transformations of the Qi in the universe. People have to follow the law of the universe, such as eating a balanced diet at regular times, waking up and retiring with sunrise and sunset, avoiding over-stressing their bodies and minds, and refraining from overindulgence of all kinds. People have to know how to maintain wellbeing of body and mind. If people understand and practice all of the above, then they can live over one hundred years.
However, in the present world, people have changed their way of life. People drink wine as though it is water, indulge excessively in destructive activities, and drain their Jing (精). Jing (精) is the body’s essence which is stored in the Kidneys. People nowadays deplete their qi rather than store their Qi. They do not know the secret to conserving their Qi and vitality. People are seeking emotional excitement and momentary pleasure while disregarding the natural rhythm of the universe. People fail to regulate their lifestyle and diet and seldom sleep properly. Therefore, it is not surprising that people start to look old at the age of fifty and die soon after 70 or 80 years old.