sè (色)

literally means “color, beauty, appearance,” though also “lust, lewdness, kind or quality;” within Chinese medicine, it is generally translated simply as “complexion,” though it refers to more than just the individual’s color. It includes a sense of the individual’s presence, specifically the relaxed profusion of wèi qì; it includes an aspect of charisma, which is generated by the combined qì and blood (wèi (衛) and yíng (營)) that spreads through them (Sùwèn 56 tells us this is specifically into the floating luò (絡)), radiates from them, and can be discerned as part of an individual’s dynamics by exemplary practitioners.

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