Story 7 Omimi in Saarland
Speaking of kidney chi depletion which Tetsu was unable to treat himself for despite being able to cure congenital deafness and lameness in others reminds me of something I witnessed years ago in Saarland, a special province in Germany on the border with France halfway between Paris and Frankfurt.
Kidney chi has to do with water and is the battery of the life force determining how long we live. It is balanced with the heart chi which has to do with fire and radiance and determines our general level of intelligence, connection with others and warmth. It is said that kidney chi governs short-term memory and heart chi holds long-term memory. You may notice very old people sometimes not knowing why they are walking across the room. This is a sign of kidney chi weakening. This is also why sometimes older people experience a certain amount of dementia: as the kidney chi loses hold keeping the energy going down as water does, the heart chi lifts up a little too much and since this is where long term memory is managed sometimes you see older people having more connection with things which happened decades ago than things which happened five minutes ago. In the Chinese medical lingo this is explained as a ‘deficiency of kidney chi causing an excess in heart chi’ making short term memory weak and longer term memory more vivid.
So now follow three little stories, one of which I witnessed myself in Saarland, illustrating how these rather strange notions actually play out in real life. First, the story from Saarland:
In German, a grandmother is Oma and a great-grandmother is Omimi, so the Omimi in this story was my ex-wife’s grandmother. She was born and lived in the small but vibrant province of Saarland all her life. They have Celtic blood and the Romans had to go around them to get into deeper Germany further north. They have a very strong sense of community and their accent is a combination of normal German and an old river language similar to those found in Belgium such as Flemish. An ancient people. Sometimes reminiscent of hobbits, truth be told.
At the time of this story, Omimi was about 93 and a year later she would die. My ex-wife and I walked into her small house on the same property as the main family house and she was standing in the living room looking a little absent-minded. She responded to our greetings in a vague way and then started moving her hands repetitively but to no apparent purpose. At first my ex-wife was alarmed but I suggested she look closely at what Omimi was doing with her hands to see if she could make sense of it, since clearly Omimi’s mind was not in the room with us. After watching carefully for a minute or two – which is a long time – suddenly it became clear: ‘Ah! I see! She is handing out movie tickets to the people coming into the movie theatre! She used to do that when she was a young woman before the war.’
So our living presence in the room with her held less weight in Omimi’s mind than memories of past activities six decades earlier. This is a good example of deficient kidney chi with correspondingly excessive heart chi. Years later I was studying daoist medicine and when I read about all that I immediately remembered that day with Omimi and was surprised at how straightforward and clear an example it was of the material I was reading in a text whose theories were first being systematized into medical protocols centuries before the Christian era. Neat.
The following two stories I picked up somehow over the years and are also fun examples of how kidney and heart chi work.
The first is extraordinary and I’ve no idea if it is true or not, but it was presented as true. During the Napoleonic wars the French army were about to execute some captured Italian soldiers for some reason, a group of one officer with his squadron of men lined up against a wall about to be shot by firing squad. The Italian officer responded to the traditional ‘any last words’ query by offering a deal: ‘please kill me by slicing off my head with a sword; then any one of my men I can touch after you have removed my head you will not execute.’ The deal was accepted and the officer’s head was quickly sliced off with a single blow. The headless officer then walked calmly along the line touching each of his men with his hand before finally falling to the ground after completing the task.
This story exemplifies the power of kidney chi, which is the source of strong will – including fearlessness in battle – and short term memory. Even bereft of eyes, the officer’s kidney chi and enteric brain served to help him fulfill his final commitment to saving his men’s lives so he was able to walk headless and touch various of his men before finally collapsing. Extraordinary and again: presented as a true story.
The second example is from one of the first heart transplant patients somewhere in the US. Before writing this story out I wanted to see if I could find it on the internet, but couldn’t. However there are many similar ones, apparently, and the following article features a few of them. Here is its introduction:
“There are many irrefutable accounts of heart transplant recipients acquiring the memories and traits of their donors. Reports suggest that heart transplant recipients have hesitated to share their cases as their stories do not fit the mainstream worldview of human potential and nature. The same applies to their friends and families and more so with surgeons and health providers. In all the cases below, recipients did not have prior information of their donors as such information is kept confidential.”
The story I remember from over thirty years ago goes as follows: after receiving a heart transplant a man had a repeating vision of a violent murder by stabbing. By law recipients are not allowed to know anything about their donors but some of the medical staff knew the background story which indeed involved the donor being murdered by stabbing and since the recipient was seeing the facial features of the murderer they brought in a police sketch artist who reconstructed a face based on the recipient’s description later used by detectives to apprehend the donor’s murderer.
This is a straightforward example of heart chi storing long-term memory. Elementary, Dear Watson!
Now all these things echo one of the recurring themes in this blog having something to do with invisible powers. The reason I find such matters of interest is not because am into la-la land fantasies necessarily, rather it’s push-back against the overly materialist emphasis we have collectively generated in the past century or so, partly due to the advent of the Machine Age and partly due to the decline of conventional faith-based spiritual traditions, no doubt the excess emphasis on physical materialism of the former contributing to a deficiency of emphasis on the spiritual side of things which are not so materialistic.
PS. After writing the above I read through the entire linked article (also above) and found the following gem. Admittedly this goes into territory beyond simple heart and kidney chi memory since it involves a poem foretelling a future event with astonishing accuracy, but it still fits in with this post quite nicely, so:
“Donor had visions of her recipient before his death
The donor was an 18-year-old boy killed in a car accident. The recipient was an 18-year-old girl diagnosed with endocarditis and subsequent heart failure.
The donor liked to write poetry. A year after his death, the parents decide to clean-up the room and find a collection of poems. Among them there was a poem that spoke of him seeing his own sudden death. The parent went on to discover lyrics of a song the deceased son had written titled “Danny, My Heart Is Yours”. The song described how he felt about being destined to die and give his heart to someone. Furthermore, he had decided to donate his organs at age 12.
After the transplant, the recipient felt more energy. It was verified that her name was “Danny”. She was drawn towards playing music (picking the guitar; the instrument played by the donor boy) and singing. When she wrote her first song, she sang about her new heart as her lover’s heart. She believed that the donor was her lover from a previous life that had come to save her life.”