The quest for a general information gathering process for diagnosis at the macroscopic level and the microscopic level - the Traditional Chinese Medicine eight principle differential diagnostic-cure process
keywords: Buddha, Taichi Yin-Yang system theory, information gathering, Traditional Chinese Medicine, differential diagnostic-cure process, health and system thinking, macroscopic, microscopic, thermodynamics, entropy, Superficial and Internal spectrum, Cold and Hot spectrum, Deficient and Excess spectrum, observer.
Reductionism analyse things through breaking them down into small parts and look at them microscopically. System theory analyse things through interconnections and relationships of different parts and look at them macroscopically. However, reductionism has not gone to the most microscopic level yet (complete disorder and impermanence) and system theory has not gone to the most holistic macroscopic level yet (complete order as unity). Therefore, any part is still a system, and any system is still just a part of the whole. That is, macroscopic level systems are just microscopic level systems with added complexity or organization. Even though microscopic level systems cannot represent macroscopic level systems and vice versa, it is believed that there exists a common theory that can be applied in the whole macroscopic-microscopic spectrum formed by the two Yin Yang forces in the universe: Taichi[disorder force, organizational force].
System theory sees the world composed of the observer, the decision maker, the system, the environment, the boundary and the relationships between them. And it is believed that there are two opposite forces in the world that constantly interacting with each other, creating the flow of energy, matter and information between systems and their environments. On one hand we have the disorder force governed by the second law of thermodynamics that drive everything into a equilibrium state with a maximum entropy. On the other hand we have the organizational force governed by the constrains of a system that drive the system into a particular steady state with a low entropy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using the eight principle differential diagnostic-cure process for analysing human body system for over 2000 years. The simplicity of the process allows the practitioner to analysis the human body system in the same manner regardless of the cause of the disturbance, whether it is external or internal, physical or mental, viral or immuno etc. In this paper we investigate the nature of the eight principles and translated them in terms of system theory.
It is believed that the eight principal are the fundamental three log2 information gathering process that can be applied to the whole macroscopic-microscopic spectrum of systems. It is because the process asked the most basic question required in order to gather the most important information of any system.
The Yin and Yang are the fundamental components of any system, forming spectrums. The Superficial and Internal spectrum gathers the information between the boundary and the system. The Cold and Hot spectrum gathers information between the form and function, or matter and energy within the system. The Deficient and Excess spectrum gathers information between the environment and the system. With these information, we can determine the current state of the system and compare it with the desired steady state of the system. Strategy can then be formulated to regulate and maintain the system. Note that these three spectrums are fundamental and complete.
Note that even a closed system should include the observer and decision maker in the analysis of the system. In this eight principal analysis process, the observer(s) determine the acceptable balance range of these three spectrums. Therefore the observer(s) are already considered in the process.