The Muscular System

The muscular system in the Taoist tradition is related to the concept of the Alchemical body. The muscular system is in fact the whole body. In the modern world this system is — from the very beginning — subjected to unsystematic and unnecessary (above all for the system itself) development both by the people who strive for physical development, and by those who neglect it completely.

In both cases the bonds in the muscles are disrupted and as a result (since this system is the largest in our body) we become victims who are dependent on this disruption. Why this happens is very easy to understand.

We are built out of water. One can easily understand that water can fill both regular and irregular volumes. Hence, the idea of proportion is above all related to the muscles, or the Body of volume and the Body of rotation, that represent the muscular system.

In fact, nothing in our body can be seen as superfluous, therefore we should not view any singular muscle as insignificant. We should be able to sculpt our bodies. A large number of bodily functions are held together by the muscles and their task is to unite the body. This very principle determines the connective tissue framework of the muscles.

The second task of the muscles is to nourish the tissues. Any uncontrolled development of the muscles takes away the energy of the tendons. The way our muscles are located in our body strictly agrees with three dimensional space, so the muscles are subdivided into three types – vertically oriented, horizontally oriented and diagonally oriented tissues. However, irrespective of the orientation of the muscles, the most important aspect is their bonds with the sheathes of tendons, the fascia (connective tissue fibers) and the bursae, which help the muscles to nourish the bones and the skin.

In other words the development of the muscles must be viewed from the perspective of the whole muscular system and not in relation to the functions of certain muscles. Any excessive development causes disruptions in the circulation system, which varies according to the body mass and its density.

Certainly, the attitude to muscles must vary with one’s age and the activity the muscles can have at a given period of one’s life. We must know that after the age of 32 the muscles start dying, which is simply part of human nature. Therefore any uncontrolled development of the muscles after the age of 32 actually takes energy away from other body systems. On top of that, if your muscular group is erroneously built you lose this source (the orientation of the muscle fibers), which leads to a number of additional complications.

During our growing period, our muscles are developed at the expense of the basic energy. And when this energy is no longer produced the muscles cannot develop without it so they start using up the finer and better quality energy. Our muscles start taking away the energy of the other systems for the sake of a system that is in fact no longer necessary, from the viewpoint of development, and is actually dead.

In order to make a definitive conclusion we must certainly take into account the initial state of the person and above all how badly he or she has disrupted the work of the muscles during the course of his life.

Generally, I can state that 90 percent of the people who are professional sportsmen are actually killing themselves. Why 90 and not 100 percent? Because 10 percent of these people are by birth endowed with so much energy that the structure of their body is not disrupted by physical activity.

If we take, for example, the leading sportsmen we’ll see that those who achieve high results are not the ones who train day and night. The achievers are people who were born to be Olympic champions. The ones who spend their days and nights training become disabled or even die. Because they simply burn too much energy.

Why do people strive for physical activity then, you might ask, and they even become dependent on it? It’s very simple! It’s a fact that each muscle has its significant volume of energy that can — by the laws of the long energy (transformation) or short energy (injection) — cause certain emotional experiences. From the viewpoint of Taoist alchemy muscles are important and must be well understood and developed so that they can be built in the finer energy and not lead to energy burning.

People who learn to burn energy quickly, which involves an accelerated oxidization process, experience quite an emotional release although temporary in effect. Imagine sit by to a fire, which is hardly burning and does not get you too warm, yet you can stay beside it for a day, or two, or three, or even a week, and this fire will keep you warm and sustain your life. Or, reversely, you pour a container of gasoline on top of it and boom! — you’re hot and it feels nice but then the fire burns out and you get cold again. The same applies to your muscles.

The main function of the muscles is to help support certain body systems however their most important task is to serve as a nourishing element for the other body systems. Their objective is essentially to nourish all body systems and reinforce them. Misdeveloping the muscular system before the age of 30 is very risky. We must understand that by misdeveloping the muscular system we take away the energy of the other body systems. What is especially risky is that in this case we extract the energy of the tendons. And tendons are the longest living system in our organism. If someone loses his flexibility and resilience, this would be the first sign that his muscles have taken away the energy of his tendons.

Therefore we must examine muscles not from the viewpoint of development of the triceps or biceps but from the perspective of analyzing the nourishing factors of certain muscular groups. This is a crucial aspect that we must understand if we want to study the body from the perspective of the Taoist alchemy.

The first mistake people do in developing their muscles is that they start doing it without first regulating the work of the meridians. Thus the muscles become separate objects inside which energy is formed and that energy starts living a life of its own. So we do not fill the muscles from the inside, rather they start filling themselves the way they choose. This whole system starts growing independent of the person and, reversely, the person actually becomes dependent on the muscles. Such a dependence is very hard to deal with since the disruption affects not only the muscles but all body systems.

Most importantly, this misdevelopment causes disruptions in the spirit, which is linked to the basic energy of the liver or, speaking in simpler terms, man starts burning up his own will. As a result, he loses his spirit and at the age of 40 he’s stripped down to nothing. When the disruption happens at the level of the spirit, the person can hardly be restored, this is why most contemporary people have no expressed will or human functions, because they cannot express such by definition.

Man’s true power lies not in his muscles but in the tendons since they make up the strongest and most long-lived system. The muscles are the largest nourishing element of our tendons. And if muscles are developed in an incongruous and incompetent manner, this affects most destructively the whole body. It also disrupts the functioning of the circulatory system. Imagine an increase in the volume of an uncontrolled circulatory system!

Hence, the maintenance of the muscular system and the ability to develop this muscular system are not simply among the most important skills one has to acquire. We are faced with a global problem — our preservation as human beings. Instead of the motto ‘develop your muscles’ we must accept the motto ‘free yourself from the muscles’, in other words we must not let our muscles drain out our body and our brain. Consequently we should not focus our attention on developing the muscles but rather on maintaining them in a good condition.

Every movement, every exercise helps nourish the muscles and does not develop them. Thus we do not really develop the muscles, we structure them instead. In this way we collect the body and shape it. We need to be ‘well-built’ on the inside and not ‘designated’ on the outside.

In Taoist yoga the art of muscle development is part of the knowledge of proportions. We should not turn ourselves into beings covered in meat that will later simply sag and be in the way. In other words this is a simple pleasure that lasts 10 years and provides you with certain emotions yet, just like the case with fire described above, you have to make a choice: either spend 10 years burning up your spirit or acquire real power. We must never forget that our real objective is to restore and improve our original nature which can be developed infinitely.

The most important time for interacting with one’s muscles is in the first two ‘muscular’ periods, i.e. when people grow with the help of their muscles. The first of these two periods is up to the age of 14. During this time parents destroy their children because children live according to the ideas of their parents. The second problem occurs in the period between 14 and 22 years of age when people live according to the laws of their surroundings. This is especially risky for boys because their minds are physically fully formed at the age of 28. By the way girls, whose minds are fully developed at the age of 21, are also at risk because they often become victims of muscular development and bear all its consequences (disruption in their cycle and the normal functioning of the uterus).

The misdeveloped muscular system causes, naturally, huge problems in one’s life — it deprives the person from the ability to think properly, and takes away one of the supreme functions of man’s experience — analysis. The increase of uncontrolled processes in our body leads to an increase of uncontrolled blood-infusion in our brain.

 

24 march 2012

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