The Large Intestine is the Official in charge of drainage in dregs. It supports us in letting go of all that is not useful to the body, mind and spirit. It removes the waste from all of the other Officials. Just as autumn leaves let go, coming off the trees, the Large Intestine let’s go. The leaves let go of all that is no longer useful in that form. We let go for transformation into the richness for the next cycle. The leaves become a rich compost of nutrients for the return to the essence and eventual growth/rebirth. The climate associated with the Metal Element is dryness, things began to dry out after the moist late summer. This keeps the whole body mind and spirit clean and pure, removing the rubbish and filth and preparing it for transformation into quality and worth. The Large Intestine is also known as The Great Eliminator. Its serves this purpose on the physical level with the food and drink we take in. The large intestine is also responsible for letting go of everything we don't need in our mind and our Spirit. From our class notes, “One dies to something only to be reborn in a new way. Letting go of mental rubbish allows it to become mental fertilizer, the place for new ideas form. Rotten becomes rich.” The Large Intestine helps us to release and let go of all of the things we see and experience within the world through the media and news. The Large Intestine is associated with morality, integrity, and quality on all three levels of body, mind and spirit.
The essence of the Large Intestine teaches us about breathing out and keeping an emptiness to allow new things that are nourishing to come in. Letting go is the way of the Tao. Life is about change and resisting change causes us great pain.The Large Intestine teaches us about balancing right and wrong. It allows us to refine and finish by tidying up loose ends. It teaches us to see quality in and others. The Large Intestine helps us to make good judgments just like the merchant. It helps us to know what is important. The Large Intestine gives us a sense of quality which leads us toward a sense of worth or worthiness, within and without. The Large Intestine itself is where precious metals and minerals are reabsorbed. When the Large Intestine is in balance, we can be like a child, fluidly moving, open and receptive from one toy or topic to another. The idea of letting go can be likened to the sun setting in the West, the direction associated with Metal, as the sun sets, there is the promise of a new dawn.
Neil Gumenick talks about the relationship of the Lungs and the Large Intestine and brothers within the Metal Element. He notes specifically the relationship to letting go, “Thus, every breath is composed of a taking in and a letting go. Letting go is essential to life. If we could not exhale, we could not take another breath and would die within minutes. If we could not eliminate toxins from the body, we would die of poisoning.”
When the Large Intestine is out of balance, we may experience grief, which will be accompanied by the sound of weeping. Grief is a product of not being able to let go or not fully going through the grieving process when we lose someone. We may develop difficulty letting go of past memories or physical attachment. However, without letting go, as your life evolves, you become stuck and stagnant. Evolution requires us to let go. The Large Intestine supports us in clearing out impurities, allowing for evolution and change. When we get rid of the old stuff on the body mind spirit level, new stuff comes right in. Keeping things that have sentimental value is okay as long as we don't have to carry these things as a burden. We may choose to keep things that have quality. But, we may also keep things in order to fill a void. We may be unwilling to let go because there's nothing good coming in. We may perceive that it's better to hold onto the rubbish than to have nothing at all. We may struggle differentiating what's needed and what's not needed. Just as with the Lung, flashy on the outside can hide the emptiness inside.
When out of balance we may experience constipation, being full of rubbish which leads to the system getting bogged down with too much trash. Eventually, this can lead to the poisoning of our own system from our own trash. On the contrary, we can experience diarrhea, which is letting go before the body can take out the goodness of the nourishment. Eliminating too soon can lead to a lack of nourishment. Constipation and diarrhea can occur in the levels of body, mind and spirit. When out of balance, we may be unaware that we are unkempt or dirty or on the contrary, we may be obsessed with cleanliness, trying to compensate for the dirt within. We may carry grudges resentments or doubts. We may have poor worse insecurity and overcompensation. We may be stuck in the past and reference the ‘good old days’ or the memories of when we were child. We may let go of things too soon, before being able to pull the ideas out of them.
The Large Intestine out of balance might pooh-pooh the idea before letting it sit and percolate. We may make the same mistakes over and over again, leaving a void in our lives. We may be left with despair self-doubt mistrust for self and others. We may be unable to discern quality. When inner quality is missing, we search outside of ourselves for answers because we crave respect and appreciation so desperately. When we are filled with junk on all levels of body mind and spirit it is difficult to see the good which can lead to skepticism criticism and negativity. We may even trash talk ourselves or others. We can take in complements but can't do anything good with them. The value of money can escalate to a reasonable proportions. The Large Intestine meridian ends at Welcome Fragrance, on either side of the nostrils, thus sinus blockages can be related to the Large Intestine out of balance. When rubbish isn't taken out, it is reabsorbed into the system which is where the rotten smell comes from, which is associated with the Metal Element. JR speaks to the Large Intestine CF, “The mess around them is something they may not even be aware of because it is no different in quality from the mess within themselves.”
A cloudy, constipated spirit does nothing for our personal growth and awareness leading us to sink into an abyss of negativity. We lack spiritual inertia, develop apathy and resignation. We can be cut off from ourselves and cut off from the world because we don't acknowledge what we feel inside. Once full of grief, we cannot take new stuff in. We are already too full of emotion. We can become so tightly attached to our beliefs and ideas that we cannot see any new possibilities or forms of inspiration. Large Intestine Causative Factors may develop habits of trashing everything, nothing being good enough and negating much of what comes to them. When something that comes in, the body wants to get rid of it entirety, let go of all of it, hold nothing. There is no absorption and there's a lack of retention minerals and nutrients. JR says, “Nothing can prosper and nothing can grow on any level while the rubbish gathers and rots where it lies.”
White is the color of morning and death according to the Chinese. it is also the color of light and pure essence. Despite our resistance to it, change is actually a good thing even though the process can be challenging. White is the reminder that death heralds new life and without it there is no evolution. The Nei Jing says, the “Large Intestine is responsible for transit. Residue from transformation stems from it. The large intestine is he official who propagates the right way of living. The large intestine generates evolution and change.”
The correspondences of the Metal Element and hence the Lung and Large Intestine Officials are:
Fortification: Skin and Hair
Classical Five Element Acupuncture, Volume 3 by JR Worsley
Personal Class Notes ITEA 2019
The Large Intestine Official by Neil Gumenick