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Deeper into Yin + Yang

Shuiwudao Yin Yang by Peter Patrick Barreda

Shuiwudao Yin Yang by Peter Patrick Barreda

The Yin-Yang is not just for Hippie Jewelry, and it’s definitely not one of your anatomical parts (as in “I have problems coming out the Yin-Yang today”).  It’s not as banal as explaining Yin and Yang as opposites, either. No the Yin-Yang is a complex, yet beautifully simple concept that explains the relationship of everything in this incredible universe. Yes, really! Yin Yang Theory can be applied to everything.

Once again, The Web That Has No Weaver explains the theory brilliantly:

Yin-Yang Theory is based on the philosophical construct of two polar complements, called Yin and Yang. These complementary opposites are neither forces nor material entities. Nor are they mythical concepts that transcend rationality. Rather, they are convenient labels used to describe how things function in relation to each other and to the universe. They are used to explain the continuous process of natural change. But Yin and Yang are not only a set of correspondences; they also represent a way of thinking. In this system of thought, all things are seen as parts of a whole. No entity can ever be isolated from its relationship to other entities; no thing can exist in and of itself. Fixed essences are abstractions; there are no absolutes. Yin and Yang must, necessarily, contain within themselves the possibility of opposition and change.

The [Chinese] character for Yin originally meant the shady side of a slope. It is associated with such qualities as cold, rest, responsiveness, passivity, darkness, interiority, downwardness, inwardness, decrease, satiation, tranquility, and quiescence. It is the end, completion, and realized fruition.

The original meaning of Yang was the sunny side of a slope. The term implies brightness and is part of one common Chinese expression for the sun. Yang is associated with qualities such as heat, stimulation, movement, activity, excitement, vigor, light, exteriority, upwardness, outwardness, and increase. It is arousal, beginning, and dynamic potential.

From this basic concept, 5 principles developed:

  • All things contain both Yin and Yang aspects
  • Any Yin or Yang aspect can be further divided into Yin and Yang
  • Yin and Yang mutually create each other
  • Yin and Yang control each other
  • Yin and Yang transform into each other

So you can see the depth and breadth of the Yin and Yang is so great, intricate and ever-present, that a lifetime could be spent studying and discovering what lies within. Fortunately, great Chinese minds have done this for us already over the course of thousands of years. Next time I’ll begin to elucidate how this relates to you and your health.

Emily PetersComment