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In this article we will explore the role of the kidneys and bladder in our health, mastery and evolution and you will learn to assess the state of your kidneys.
This article is the fifth in the series about organs and emotions.
The kidneys are very important organs but often forgotten. Except from measuring the blood pressure that can involve the kidneys, we do not take much consideration for their function. After having read this article you will be able to tell yourself the state of your kidneys.
The relation between organs in Chinese medicine is sometimes not so obvious. The relation between kidneys and bladder is well known also in western medicine and does not need much explanation. In Chinese medicine and organ is regarded more like a function than a structure, while in western medicine the focus is more on the anatomical structure. We will focus on the same approach of the function, as a kind of energy and its analogy in the soul life.
There is a phenomenon in life. Some people live a long life and are healthy throughout. There are others that are prone to one challenge after the other with a weak immune system and ending up just getting a short life.
I like to think about it like God`s clapping hands. If he takes his hands far a part before clapping, it takes along time before they clap and the bang is strong. If he hardly separates them, the clap comes quick and is weak. Some people seem to be born with God holding his hands far apart. They have a vitality that will last long and they have a strong polarity between birth and death. They appear to be born with a fully charged battery with a high voltage. They have the power to what ever they want. Their resources can be compared to a huge lake high up the mountains delivering endless water to the waterfalls. They have a life-battery that can make them drive, run, work, over-work, exercise and do what ever they would like and keep going and going during a long life. After a strain they quickly recharge like a fresh battery and again last long.
Other people need to take care of their resources to get enough rest. They cannot go to bed too late, not party too frequently or have too much sex, or work late nights. They need to avoid straining themselves or they will have to pay with suffering, need for rest or become ill.
Ear, listening and wisdom
The first kind of people mentioned above, tend not to listen to their body. They are used to run it hard without having to pay for it. It takes time for them to learn to listen. After years of misuse they might be forced to listen. The second kind, have no choice but to listen.
This explains how the kidneys in oriental medicine are related to the ears, listening and wisdom. If you have learned to listen, you are wise. If you still are working on wisdom, you might end up again and again saying: I should have listened! I should have listened to that inner voice or to the advice of someone (Read about silence here).
The person that has learned to take care of his kidneys are gentle, receptive and listening to what life around them is telling them, they are in tune with the need for rest and sleep. They hear what is about to come to happen around the next corner. They listen to the sign and symptoms of their own body or the message from the subconscious (More about silence here).
Squeezing or loosing the grip
There is a state of being prepared as opposed to always be squeezing and performing and using your self. Being prepared is like keeping the sponge wet and ready for use. If you do not listen, you forget to dip the sponge in the water and it gets dryer and dryer. You are a squeezer, you try to wipe the blackboard with a dry sponge. You just keep going and going without giving yourself time to rest, to refill, to load the battery. This is an attitude where you always squeeze out a few more drops so the sponge gets dry. You stay up a little later, you browse some more, you take another drink, you work late one more evening etc. etc. If you do not let go of that hold on the sponge, it cannot refill and get wet. In the same ways the kidneys need rest to perform. In modern society the focus is on performing, being industrious or benchmarking. That is all a misuse of the kidneys. They need rest, sleep and an awareness of how to restore yourself.
Sometimes the squeeze comes all in one big blow. That is what we call a shock. It could be the results of sudden fear. Peeing your pants from being scared is a good example. It is a sudden squeeze, rather than little by little. Fear and shock is like the circumstances take a sudden squeezing grip upon you, as opposed to a situation where you can chill an feel completely relaxed, so relaxed that you fall asleep or almost seem dead.
The bigger circle of the starry night
The kidneys need to connect with a bigger circle, like the change of the limited daylight into the vast universe you connect with at night. (Here you can read about the different worlds we live in) Day light and summer are active times, of full presence in the world. The circle is concentrated, the focus is here and now. You concentrate, constrict and squeeze to perform. Night, winter and death are about letting go of the hold or grip, to float into a bigger space a higher holon and deeper rest. To restore your kidneys you need your sleep, your rest or your meditation, you doesX “little death” practises where you let go of the presence into the performing day life.
If you are aware of the value of rest, sleep and meditation chances are high you have good kidneys. If you live in the illusion of having to perform and squeeze one more drop out of the sponge, you are squeezing your kidneys.
The bladder meridian in Chinese medicine runs from the foot all the way up the back and over the head. It is the vertical principle in the body. It connects top and bottom like no other meridian. Verticality as opposed to horizontality is the awareness of time as opposed to space. Verticality is about climbing or going down. Horizontality is about relating. The bladder represents the yang aspect in the relation between kidney and bladder. (Here you can read about verticality and horizontality)
Yin and yang
There are many polarities in life, but we all have a major one that runs throughout life as our main theme (This polarity is expressed in Archetypes, read more here). That is the driver in our life and closely related to the kidney energy (You can read more about the driver as a healer here). The kidney-bladder relation is yin and yang of that drive that runs us in the destiny in our life. When we consume, or use our battery, we limit our perspective to the now and then. To a short time goal, satisfaction or performance that is the bladder. It is a yang quality it concentrates, squeezes, is impulsive but is always limited, fragmented and short lived. When we take a bigger perspective, lean back, listen to the surroundings, listen to the wisdom and take consideration for the bigger whole, then we are in the kidney and yin part of the kidney-bladder relation. As we have seen with all this connected organs the yang part is reducing the perspective focuses on our selves the ego or organs, while the yin perspective enables us to connect to a bigger whole, a bigger holon and the perspective of what is good for more people than only me.
The kidneys are the battery in your life and the bladder is the wiry network. The kidneys like a battery decide how long you will live, and how much you can perform. The bladder is the wire that connects all the bulbs and electric points in your house.
What kind of battery you are given at birth decides how long you will live, that is called your Jing in Chinese medicine. (You can read more about the Jing here). The Jing is the battery and its voltage, if the voltage is high it will drive you though your evolution in due time (Read about the clapping hands of God here) (Read about the driver in life here) if the voltage is low or the battery needs to be loaded you will struggle with the transitions in life and have a slow or late development.
Developing, evolving, lifting your self through the stages of life is closely related to your kidney energy. Strong kidneys also help you to lift physically or lift others, or help others to take a step forward. If your kidneys are weak you get dependent of others to advance and progress in life.
Night, winter and death
If you understand the value of the kidneys you understand the importance of sleep and rest, of looking inwards in the winter as well as the value of death as a spiritual birth. Good kidneys reflect a good connection with your source with the spiritual world of endless resources.
There are many connections and analogies between different parts of our bodies. If you look at the structure of the ear and mouth, it has some interesting similarities to the kidney and bladder.
Chinese medicine has a saying; the kidneys opens into the ears (each of the five main organs opens into one of the senses). The ear has a tube called the Eustachian tube going into the mouth cavity that adjusts the internal and external pressure when we fly in an airplane or dive. It also opens when we swallow. You could say it adjust to external pressure. A parallel is that the internal pressure, the blood pressure is often linked to the kidneys. Pressure, squeezing, performing or using your resources is a strain to the kidney energy and function. They need you to let go of the grip, to stop performing and give the sponge time to refill. You need to load the kidneys as batteries regularly. That is done in the night, rest, sleep and deep meditation.
When you use the battery, you consume, you exchange, you commute and you are active. At night you reload the kidneys during the day you spend the energy, or in a broader perspective you could say on the other side of the flood you load your kidney energy during your whole life you spend it to the end, when you stop dying (See poem in the end of the article about the lungs).
When the bladder is suffering, the most common symptoms can be understood from this perspective. It is too much exchange and fragmented. You run frequently to urinate and it is just drops and the feeling of not being finished. You could say it is almost like the bladder got mouth diarrhoea, chatting superficially.
To keep your mouth shot is sometimes a sign of wisdom, to be able to listen is often wise. That is to take all aspects into consideration before your actions and sayings and see if it is for the good of the all. As we say; speech is silver; silence is golden.
Impulsive actions, decision or answers are always too fragmented, take too little aspects into consideration and hence become egoistic and reflect the yang or bladder aspect of these two organs. The kidneys wait, consider, listen, measure and find a balance between yourself and the others. The wise person acts for the bigger good not the ego.
In astrology the kidneys are related to Libra the sign of balance, to the ability to adjust to “the other” to take consideration. This is the opposite of the Aries in the beginning of the zodiac that often act out of impulse like a child takings its first step in the zodiacal journey. As we grow and mature we learn to take the consequences as we have passed Libra on the road of the zodiac we have started to act out of the bigger holon, not only I, me, mine but me, us and ours. The kidneys are related to our ability to connect with a bigger holon a bigger common whole and to take consideration for the consequences of our actions on the community. The play between Aries and Libra is the play between I and You, ego or care for the other. It can even go as far as being a narcissist just of for their own gratification compared to the person that fraternises and even takes care of its enemy. (The last also touches the Leo-Aquarius theme)
Talking about astrology we have to mention the next step in the zodiac after Aries which is Taurus and the step after Libra which is Scorpio. Both these opposing signs carry the polarity of Mars and Venus in them. The female-male polarity illustrated with green for Venus and red for Mars (Read more about this female-male polarity here). In the same way as Libra has learned to listen also Taurus are great in consideration and listening, both have Venus as their planet. A planet associated with beauty, care, harmony and balance. It represents the feminine aspect of sexuality. The other side, the side of the warrior or masculine sexuality is Mars and is reprensented by Aries and Scorpio. The sign of Scorpio is intense it focuses on the here and now with its sharp attention and need for energetic activity, sex or intense exchange. Both Scorpio and Aries represent Mars or the yang aspect, while Taurus and Libra represent Venus or yin. While the polarity of Aries-Libra is about I or You, the polarity of Taurus and Scorpion is about personal resources or shared resources. To get the picture we have to see that these two polarities are in the middle of the zodiac dividing between upper and lower and representing the far left and right of highest polarity. There are no other polarities in the zodiac with more tension. This is the voltage of the battery. The tension between female and male is strongly related to the kidney energy.
Sexuality and sublimation
The Scorpio is intense and sexual, the Taurus is relaxed and considerate. Masculine sexuality is when man or woman only aim for selfish needs and forgets the other, when the hunt for an orgasm or own satisfaction is the focus. The feminine sexuality is about connection and exchange, or even being able to envelope the other. It is about the ability to surround and enwrap even on a non-physical level.
Sexuality can be a very lonesome thing even during intercourse when one person is just reducing the circle and contracting the attention to their gratification. Instead one should aim at the balance between I and You (Aries-Libra) and the balance between the sexual energy of one person (Taurus) with the common sexuality (Scorpio). When there is a balance the kidneys are happy. Then the person can use his or her own resources to increase the other persons feeling of value (Taurus) and security (Taurus). The other side is when the shared time, exchange and resources are used for self-interest gratifying himself or herself (Scorpios) again and again without concern for the other, or to manipulate, control or misuse power (Scorpio).
Again we can see it is a question of holding, grabbing, consuming, spending resources and squeezing as opposed to let the grip loosen and fill the sponge from the bigger space of a common merged soul-state and load the batteries.
The whole question of sublimation or expressing sexuality in a more subtle way, from physical to emotional from emotional to spiritual is strongly related to the kidney energy.
The process is expressed in the old famous Qi-gong maxim;
Refine the jing to create qi; refine qi to create shen; refine shen and return to the Void.
You can read more about Jing, Qi and Shen (The three treasures) here.
The ability to circulate the vital and sexual energy from the lower back up has been the focus both of old Chinese as other oriental cultures. The old book The secret of the golden flower is about the sublimation process.
In Indian culture this was explained through the chakras.
The throat and sacral chakra corresponds to a lot of what we have covered here. The throat is the area of Taurus and the sacral area, is governed by Scorpio. Also these chakras have opposed colours; the throat being blue and the sacral being orange. The sacral chakra is also related to the survival not only of yourself (root chakra) but also of the shared resources to cover common needs (Scorpion), the throat is related to communication and exchange. Again we see one side of exchange and consuming resources and the other of sharing resources and expanding the focus.
Kidney energy reflects your life span, your vitality, virility and strength. Your kidney energy reflects your ability to connect with a bigger holon, your unconscious and the ability to let the extended you becoming the we or us. Letting go of the sponge and letting it fill up with anything from resources, vitality, information or awareness on one side or squeezing it into performance and consuming the energy on the other side. Either letting the circle becoming bigger as you rest and float out into the universe or deep unconscious or constricting the circle to squeeze out some more drops in a limited focused smaller circle of performance.
The kidney story is the road to wisdom. It learns you to listening to the deep voice of the universe and realizing that life is wise and carrying, you only have to pay the consequences of not listening until you listen. The lesson of the kidneys is that most of what we do in life is noise from a cosmic perspective, when you stop it, you start to listen and return to the void.
Thank you for your time.
You can read more in my blog holonity.com
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Here are other articles related to this:
•The Liver & Gallbladder and anger
•The Heart & Small intestine and joy
•The Spleen & Stomach and worry
•The Lungs, large intestine, grief and separation
•God`s clapping hands
•The different worlds we live in
•Verticality and horizontality
•Read about Archetypes here
•You can read more about the driver as a healer here
•Read more about this female-male polarity here
•The three treasures