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The Workings of Nature

The Cyclic Nature of Everything

Yasoda Mensah

There are no straight lines in nature only fractals; pieces of a greater whole a way to organize chaos, or from our limited perspective what appears to be chaotic. In the same light what appeared to be a simplistic and irrational view of medicine abound in ancient cultures; the modality of Humours, the three qualities of Prakruti in Ayurveda is fundamentally a way to express the inner micro-universe of the body in terms applied normally to the larger outer universe. A way for the common person to articulate not only what they know to be wrong with their body, but by default provide insight as to how they can go about correcting the imbalance. This idea of balance permeates all ancient systems and can be seen in the way all things are classified be they food, medicine, plants, body types, climate, soil, geographical zones etc. Thus we have spices that are hot or cooling or astringent, food that is moist, dry or bitter, medicinal plants that can ‘ground’ a person that is too ‘airy’, or rekindle the ‘fire’ of digestion. Constitutions that are fiery and heavy, cities that are cold and moist, and soils that are hot and dry.

Spelman states that a complex system is so dependent on its environment that it cannot be seen separately from its environment. One of the characteristics of an energetic system of medicine such as those practiced by non-western cultures is that the state of the body can be assessed by monitoring or reading certain indicators of the body, such as the iris of the eyes, the colour of the tongue, the colour of the stool, the colour, taste, and quantity of the urine. Similarly, separate parts of the body can affect the whole, often called microsystems; as in auricular acupuncture or reflexology where applying needles to the ear-lobe, or massaging certain parts of the soles of the feet or the palms of the hands can stimulate and trigger the self-healing of internal organs. Perceiving the cyclical nature of Nature expands our ability to experience varied ways of knowing and offers us in the end a more thorough and efficient mode of treatment.


Spelman, K, The Fractal Nature of Energetic Models of Medicine, Unified Energetics (Spring 2006) Vol. 2

Whitehead A.N., Science and the Modern World, Lowell lectures, (1925) Macmillian Company, New York

Vasant Lad and David Frawley, The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, (1986) Lotus Press, New Mexico


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