You can listen to an audio version of this article, look further down.
In this article we will continue to explore the connection between organs and emotions. We will see how lungs and large intestine are connected with separation and grief but also with our immunity, allergy and sensitivity as well as our ability to eliminate, letting go and finish things off, or completing things. This is meant to be of value for anybody, not just therapists.
- The Liver & Gallbladder and anger
- The Heart & Small intestine and joy
- The Spleen & Stomach and worry
Lungs and large intestine
The lungs and large intestine are related to sadness and grief. It could be grief over a lost friend, a deceased family member or a deeply loved pet that has died. It could also be of the lost childhood or a period in life that never will return. In that sense it is also a grief for the future that will never come. It could be any kind of loss.
It is a question of being able to let go. Like when the lungs take the last breath or the large intestine eliminate the waste we do not need anymore.
To be able to let go gives us freedom, a relief. Sometimes it takes a bigger perspective of understanding to let go. It could be the understanding that what once was a part of your life will always be there in your memory as your experience, you never lose it. The world famous Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen in his play Brand says it beautifully; “Eternally owned is but what’s lost!”
Yin and yang – up or down a holon
In Chinese medicine, the organs are coupled two and two, one yin together with a yang as you can see in the illustration. They are allocated to five elements according to their qualities. The lungs are the yin and the large intestine the yang of the metal element (See illustration). So how can you use this in your life?
The lungs wants to connect and long for new encounters, new experiences and to include them into our life. The large intestine is about elimination and purification. The lungs open you up to a bigger circle of more people and new experiences. When part of your circle is lost the lungs suffers with sorrow, grief and sadness. How do you connect to your circles? The first is the close family, then the extended family, the community etc.
The large intestine is about not holding onto things but letting them go and eliminate them, literarily to get the shit out. How is your ability to let go, say bye, finish things off?
All the yin organs expand your circle and connect you to a bigger whole, a bigger holon. Yang organs close you off from the bigger unit; separating, discriminating, selecting, eliminating thing. (You can read more about these yin-yang relations in the other articles too, see links above)
When you evolve and expand your awareness to a higher holon, the quality of the functions of your lungs is what helps you realize that you never lose any persons or loved animals they are always there on another level together with you in the higher holon. In the worlds of energy or awareness they are never lost (Here you can read about different worlds).
When you go down a holon from the body level it will tend to afflict the organ level, the smaller holon compared with the whole body. If unbalanced the colon instead of elimination, accumulates, gets constipated, react with intolerance to foods or develops cancer. You can improve that by letting go of things in your life that you do not need anymore, or that you are holding too much on to.
The lungs with their breath open and close you to the air that connects you to all other breathing beings, sharing the same air like a “sea of air“. The lungs represent the entrance into life as well as the exit, with our first and last breath. In profound meditation as the breath becomes slow and deep, you can feel the connection with your surroundings from within and can connect with others in such a way that you realize they will always be there, dead or alive. The connection you feel with a person from inside yourself can be closer, more profound and untouched, undisturbed by outer circumstances. In the same way, it is the lungs that connect every part in your body, the whole of you, through the vital prana or qi as well as connecting you with the whole human kind and the whole earth. To rest in the awareness of the whole you as a unit, or the whole humanity is good for your lungs.
The large intestine separates fluids from the stools, before the stools are separated from the body. The large intestine is basically an organ of elimination. The balance between wet and dry is important for the large intestine but also for the lungs. How is your climate? How is the air in your house? How big is your need for water?
The lesson for large intestine is to get rid of the bad stuff within, negative reactions, negative thinking, negative attitudes.
As for the large intestine you realize that it is your own limited tolerance or demands on others that might be challenged, if you are being too stuck, demanding neatness and perfection. Let go, let them be themselves as they are.
Many acute conditions like colds, flu and allergies are the domain of the lungs. Intestinal infections like diarrhoea, are the domain of the large intestine. Both represent the issue of things from the environment challenging us. A big part of our immune system is related to these two organs. The immune system is a question of what is “you” and what is “not you“. It works to keep “you” as “you“, and not to be invaded or disturbed. To be able to keep yourself as “you” and not be invaded, but also to be able to let new things influence “you” so “you” can evolve and letting stuff getting out, so “you” can purify yourself. Again the play with the surroundings is crucial to these two organs. To adapt to another country sometimes you get a loose stool of elimination having names like; Delhi belly, Bombay quickstep, The runs, Beaver fever, Niagara falls, Shanghai surprise, Sicilian spray, Bali belly ++
Immunity is the balance between keeping yourself and adjusting so you can evolve.
Getting new things in is something young people are good at, good at adapting. When you get older it also is important to learn to eliminate all that holds you back, what pulls you down and makes you older.
Allergy – Intolerance
Another aspect of the relationship between you and your surroundings are allergies and intolerance. Allergies are overreactions as when you react to a small thing like it was a huge challenge. You exaggerate your reactions, and are over dramatic. The lungs are related to allergy and over-sensitivity. The large intestine on the other side is related to intolerance. When you cannot handle things, when there is a system overload, when you need to eliminate. Allergies and intolerance are related as over and under reaction to the surroundings. With allergies you are challenged to accept a bigger circle, with intolerance you are challenged to eliminate things.
The skin is what separates you from the surroundings, and are often called the third lung. If you have good lungs, you often have nice skin, if you have allergies you often also had or have atopic eczema. The skin is an underestimated organ of elimination. Brush your skin, change your shower between cold and hot water to stimulate your skin. Let your skin enjoy the sun!
People with good lungs and large intestine functions are good at perfection, finishing things and putting all in place. Being able to finalise things is helping you on the way to perfection.
Nose and justice
The lungs are opening through the nose, and the nose is related to justice a question of giving and taking in a fair way. The lesson of lungs and large intestine is to take in and let go, to take and give in a balanced way, so you can learn to discriminate what a just conduct is.
If you hold on to more than you need, having more cars, more houses or storing lots of things or money, you are indirectly stealing from God. In the first place no humans owned anything before somebody said; this land is mine. Also, if you let people take from you what is yours there is an imbalance of injustice. Again the relationship between you and your surroundings is the issue.
Life and death
Letting something die in you, gives room for life of something else. Throughout life, we die a bit each day until we stop dying at death. And death is a new life, the same life that did end when we were born. This balance between life and death, this side and the other, the winter and summer on earth, is all about the lungs and large intestine. Even the earth has a breath of winter and summer, death and life. This shows how interconnected they both are. As winter comes on one side, the summer starts on the other, the breath of the earth.
Ask yourself how free you are to let go or how much you hold on to. What can you bring with you to the life on the other side? The things you are holding on to are holding you as much as you are holding them. The ability to let go of things and to connect and disconnect freely with nature or other people is what you need to be able to cultivate the optimal lungs and large intestine functions. Connect and disconnect as you breath the breath of life! The magic happens now!
Bob Dylan says “That he not busy being born is busy dying” (It’s Alright, Ma /I’m Only Bleeding)
Grethe Risbjerg Thomsen also says it nicely in her poem:
Perhaps a March night
I´m dying just a little
As time by seconds strife
Within me death I carry
Throughout the years of life.
A night – perhaps a March night
As mild as rain that pour
Into the dark I´ll wander
To die again no more.
Måske en Marsnatt – translated by Andreas N. Bjørndal
You can read more articles like this at my blog: holonity.com
Lean back and listen to the AUDIO version of this article: