yīng (應)

literally means “ought, should, or must;” or something that is “suitable, right, proper, fitting, or necessary;” pronounced slightly differently yìng (應), it means “to respond, comply, consent, adapt, cope with, or apply;” while I’ve rendered yīng (應) or yìng (應) as “respond” (as a verb) or “responsiveness (as an adjective); its significance throughout the end of Língshū 47 combines several of these meanings to various degrees; in many contexts within Chinese medicine, Unschuld and others render yīng as “correspond,” “correlate,” (as verbs) or “correspondence,” (as a noun) or “correlative” (as an adjective). When understood within the context of classical Chinese thought as an active relationship or resonance, these communicate its sense well enough. However, these renditions have also led to the unfortunate modern tendency to simple render such relationships into charts of information, which degrades the rich idea of resonance implied by yīng (應).

« Back to Glossary Index