Reflections on the Dao: Practical Philosophy and the Art of Medicine

With Guest: David Marks

Episode Qi185

I rather enjoy the idea of our medicine being a sort of applied philosophy, that there is a way of looking at the world that has such coherence and connection that it not only helps us to make sense of this moment, but to bring healing as well. 
David Marks set off on the path of medicine through his interest in philosophy, which in turn has guided him through a life of practice, inquiry, filmmaking and writing. 
Listen in to the conversation on how receptivity and curiosity can take you a long way. 
In this conversation we discuss:
  • Reason in the moment, reason in retrospect 
  • Chinese medicine as applied philosophy
  • Committing to not finding fault
  • Van Buren and Worsley
  • Intuition vs wishful thinking
  • Organs and psycho-emotive function
  • Empathy and identity
  • Ancestral energy
  • History of Chinese medicine
  • States of trance and healing
  • The story of SP17, Food Drain
When I completed my initial studies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I recognized that I had gained a special tool that might assist others in recognizing and changing their symptoms and suffering. I have endeavored to help people help themselves, giving support and guidance that I would want in their condition; identifying with those who asked for treatment, and providing what I could to catalyze and resolve their energetic challenges.
David Marks

I do many things and have a variety of experiences, including; writing, photography, documentary filmmaking, and gardening. I also have practiced Traditional Chinese Medicine for nearly fifty years.
As a volunteer fireman, I trained as an EMT and for a few years was the chief medical officer and CPR trainer for our small rural department. And I’ve built some homes gaining experience in carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. Suffice to say, this has brought me a fascinating perspective, recognizing that the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.
Having studied philosophy as a college student, I recognized that the questions I had in my own mind from my youth, were the subject of perennial debate. What is our place in the world? What is important? And what is the source of life? These, along with other thoughts and inquiries guide my quest.
A long time ago, a friend with some humor and a touch of criticism, called me an incurable romantic. I embrace this evaluation in every sense of the term.
Links and Resources

David recommends Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy 

David has long thought about and engaged with the Dao De Jing, read his version of The Way. 

Thank you for listening to Qiological, and if you would like to support the show so it has more resources to continue to expand and evolve, then please join and become a member of the community.

Support Qiological with a monthly or yearly membership.
I’ve heard it said that for something to be heard — it takes someone to speak and another to listen.

Michael Max

Acupuncturist, Podcast Host
About me
I've always been more drawn to questions than answers. And the practice of medicine seems to more lively when infused with a sense of curiosity and inquiry. It's been delight and honor to be able to discuss our medicine with so many thoughtful and skilled practitioners.

Created with