biāo (標)

literally means “the topmost branch;” so, by extension, biāo (標) means “a mark, beacon, signal, flag, streamer, or signboard; a notice or warrant;” frequently used in Chinese medicine in contrast to lǐ (裏), where biāo (標) refers to what is showing on the exterior of the body and lǐ (裏) refers to what is not showing; so, in the interior. While biāo (標) and lǐ (裏) may simply refer to the exterior and interior of the body, and Wiseman and Ye translate them, in regard to pathological process, they have a somewhat richer meaning: biāo (標) refers to what is expressed or manifest, and lǐ (裏) to what is still not manifest or at least not showing outwardly (i.e. dormant).
In Língshū 52, 標 (biāo) is juxtaposed with běn (本), which literally means the root of a tree, and can refer to the root or origin of any process. Each phrase of Língshū 52.4 and Língshū 52.5 discuss the origin (běn (本)) of 衛氣 (wèi qì) for each of its six fundamental movements, as differentiated by the 六合 (liùhé), and expressed through the leg or arm, and then where that 衛氣 (wèi qì) shows itself — biāo (標). In Língshū 1.1, I’ve chosen to render biāo (標) as “to expresses outward,” rather than the common (an static) “exterior.”

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