The Heart Official is known as The Supreme Controller. This Official is akin to an enlightened Emperor or Empress, who leads the people with love, compassion, fairness, wisdom, and unselfishness – one who places the welfare of his subjects first and foremost.Realizing the innate unity of all, the Supreme Controller is at one with his people, loves his people and truly wants the best for them. As an enlightened ruler, he knows what that best is – full realization of their spiritual potential and the joy and peace which it brings. In return, they love him - not out of blind obedience, but precisely because of the love and guidance he provides.
Following the Leader
We would all willingly and enthusiastically follow and serve a leader who truly embodied the qualities of an enlightened Supreme Controller. In ancient China, as well as in many ancient cultures, the Emperor was considered to be the representative of the Divine on earth. Consider the Dalai Lama, both the temporal and spiritual head of his people, the European "Divine Right of Kings," the Pharaohs of Egypt, the Caesars of the Roman Empire. The Supreme Controller ruled with Divine authority because he was connected to that to which all religions, philosophies, and mystical traditions aspire. His love and fairness was extended equally to all: rich and poor, young and old, man and woman, to those who agreed with his policies, who donated money and troops to his cause, as well as to those who held differing opinions, or had nothing to donate. Such love and fairness does not mean rewarding or ignoring imbalance and bad behavior. The Emperor, in his wisdom, also metes out justice and discipline for the greater good.
Being connected to the Divine means recognizing that the Divine exists in all beings, whether those beings realize it or not, agree with us or not, are sick or well. When we are in the awareness of the one consciousness that unites us all, we are in a state of love. The Heart Official enables us to open to such love.
Everything and Nothing
The enlightened Supreme Controller also recognizes the impermanence of everything in the material world. With the help of his brother the Small Intestine, the Sorter of the Pure from the Impure, he knows the difference between the eternal: pure consciousness itself, and the material: in a process of movement, change, and eventual dissolution. Thus, he understands the proper priorities in the world of relativity and how to manage them in a way that best serves the health and awakening of love and pure consciousness in all. He understands the nature of the spiritual path – including its pitfalls and temptations, as well as the goal – having attained it. Who better to lead and help others than one who has made the journey?
We all have such a wise and supreme being within ourselves. Connected to that being, our lives acquire a profound sense of purpose. Even the most mundane or difficult of tasks can become a source of joy. Connected to the Supreme Controller, our acts are infused with the intention of working and sacrificing self-interest for the good of all, and with sincere gratitude for the opportunity to be of such service. Such intention brings forth our deepest feelings, sincerest endeavors, and profoundest commitments. In colloquial English, we refer to these as "heartfelt" or "whole-hearted."
Within us, the Heart organ dispatches its influence via the blood to every organ and cell and receives it back. The Emperor must be aware of the needs of all, as all must be aware of his influence. As Supreme Controller, his word is true and absolute. He makes the final decisions, sets limits, establishes and dissolves boundaries. He receives help, protection, and advice from his ministers – the remaining 11 officials. When all is in balance, each official does the job Nature ordained it to do, with the Emperor securely on the throne, then joy, peace, harmony, and prosperity exist throughout the land. Within us, in such a state, health and happiness prevail.
However, illusion arises. Trauma occurs. We are born with propensities toward imbalance in an element that will affect the functioning of all elements and Officials and is bound, directly or indirectly, to affect the Supreme Controller. If he becomes sick, love, peace, and oneness tend to vanish. Instead, we may feel separate, alone, isolated, depressed, and anxious, out of control, as if there is no one to guide or lead us. With no one keeping order, issuing wise commands, or assigning boundaries, chaos may result, as the other Officials scramble to take charge. Unfortunately, no one can do the job of the Emperor, but the Emperor.
Imagine what would happen if, for example, there were no leader to set limits on the Liver's plans or the Gall Bladder's decisions – to make sure these were aligned with the needs of the Spirit: the big picture, with one's true and righteous destiny. Plans and decisions could easily be misdirected and oriented to evil, as we have seen in the fall of once-great empires as their Emperors degenerated into egotistical tyrants, more interested in conquest and amassing power than serving the good of all.
Within us, when the Heart becomes sick, there may well be physical symptoms such as palpitations, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, sweating, arrhythmia – any of which can be seen as expressions of the fear of having no one reliable in charge. In time, every Official will cry out in its distress, each displaying its own array of symptoms. Emotionally, there will be no joy, warmth, or enthusiasm - just a boring pointless routine, often accompanied by apprehension. In the face of illness or trauma, the Emperor may resign, may be displaced, exiled, and simply give up. In another scenario, in his panic, he may become over-controlling, micromanaging, taking everyone's tasks on himself until he collapses under the strain.
All of the acupuncture points along the Heart meridian can aid in restoring the health of the Supreme Controller. Each will assist in the healing of the Heart in unique ways, providing unique gifts to the body, mind and spirit, suggested by the point names. The names are translations of the Chinese characters and are used based on the individual expressed needs of the patient. As practitioners, we perceive these needs by reaching the mind and spirit of the patient with our own mind and spirit. The emptier we are within ourselves, the more we are able to resonate with patients and perceive their needs directly.
With the exception of Heart, Utmost Source (which can be conjoined with the treatment of any element), in the Five Element tradition, we would treat points on the Heart meridian only if, through traditional methods of diagnosis: odor, color, sound, and emotion, Fire was determined to be the patient's primary elemental imbalance or "Causative Factor" (aka "CF"). Though all of the point names sound inviting, in this tradition, we trust that, generally, Nature has provided the most appropriate and effective points on the meridians which correspond to the patient's CF. A number of specific points and their uses on the Heart meridian are discussed in my previous article, "Using the Spirits of the Points: The Heart Meridian."
A Fire CF will manifest a scorched or burnt odor, the color red or ashen gray (lack of red) lateral to the eyes, the sound of excess or lack of laughing, and the emotion of excess or lack of joy. Further, as there are two pairs (4 Officials) in the Fire element, it must be further determined whether to treat the "organ side" (Heart/Small Intestine) or "function side" (Pericardium/Triple Heater) of Fire. Rarely do we treat both sides on the same patient. Treating the most affected side will almost always benefit the other side of Fire, as well as all of the Officials in other elements who have been distressed by the malfunctioning Heart and Small Intestine. When treating one side of Fire, we do treat points on both Officials. Thus, if we were treating the Heart, we would also treat its brother, the Small Intestine.
Diagnosing which side of Fire to treat is determined mostly by interacting with the patient and sensing which side is most challenged on an ongoing basis. There will be no difference in terms of odor, color, sound, and emotion as relates to one side of Fire or the other. These vitally important sensory perceptions tell us that we have a Fire CF, but not which side is most affected. The following is a short, and by no means exhaustive, list of things to consider in making this determination.
On the Heart/Small Intestine side, the patient will be more concerned with issues of control, order, and sorting - separating the pure from the impure, good from evil, truth from confusion.
On the Pericardium/Triple Heater side, the patient will be more concerned with being liked/loved, with issues of relationships – trust, boundaries, vulnerability, and attunement (warming) to the surroundings. (These Officials will be the subjects of future articles.)
When we have reached an accurate diagnosis and treated appropriate points, we will feel an immediate positive pulse change on all Officials (as if they are communicating, "Yes, that's it!"), as well as a change in the intensity of the patient's odor, color, sound and emotion. Thus, a Fire CF will, after treatment, tend to smell less scorched, manifest a healthier color red (instead of ashen gray or excess redness), and more appropriate expression of laughter and joy. As practitioners, there is no greater joy that we can experience than helping to open the Heart of a patient to the gifts that the Supreme Controller can bring.
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