è (惡)

in common language, è means “evil,” and it is used that way many times in Nèijīng. In such circumstances, I’ve rendered it as “malign,” as it is a weaker judgement of evil than xié (邪), which is used throughout historical Chinese medicine to refer to what we now call “external pathogenic factors.” In most such cases, xié (邪) is rendered as “perverse,” rather than “evil” to avoid the moral overlay on factors that challenge an individual’s vital flow (as in Lingshu 1.1.6). However, in Lingshu 1.1.2, is used differently and is pronounced wù (惡) rather than è (惡); in this case, it indicates a question, essentially meaning “how…?”

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