fǔ (府)

literally means “a seat of government, government office, official residence, treasury, palace, or storehouse;” fǔ (府) is also frequently used as a shortened form of fǔ (腑) — with the ‘flesh radical’ on the left, which is specifically the fǔ (腑) used in Chinese medicine; Fǔ (腑), and consequently fǔ (府), are often rendered as “bowels” or fǔ-organs. Wiseman and Ye render fǔ (府) as “bowel,” which is accurate in a sense, though like “viscera” as a translation for zàng (藏), the English projects modern ‘physical bias,’ which distorts the classical Chinese idea. I’ve chosen to simply use the pinyin (fǔ), and refer to various passages in the classics, such as in Sùwèn 11 and Língshū 52, to clarify its meaning; one of the key differences between the zàng (藏) and ordinary fǔ (府), as discussed in Sùwèn 11, is that the zàng (藏) ‘store, treasure, and conceal’ the shén (神), and the fǔ (府) ‘move, transform, and exchange’ various influences, which we frequently conceptualize as various physical materials.

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