In Chinese the literal meaning of the word yin is shadow and the literal meaning of the word yang is light. The yin and yang symbol is often illustrated in black and white showing the greatest extremes co-joined in a balanced duality. The symbol is perfectly contained yet implies movement. It is supposed to represent the elements of nature, opposing yet not in opposition, rather interconnected. Human beings are animals and evolved from nature and have literal and figurative elements of shadow and light in their make-up as does everything in our world. This experience of contrasts is how we sense, and make sense of, ourselves and our environment. We see the difference between sunlight and shadows or we feel the difference between the warmth from the sun and the coolness of the shadows. These contrasts, and all the subtle ties between them, make for the profound richness of our lives. Continue reading “Understanding Yin And Yang III– Balancing the Duality”
Though Yin and Yang can be understood individually, they cannot exist separately. They might seem like opposites and do typically represent two different sides of one coin but their properties are actually complementary and dependent on one another.
This indivisibility is a central aspect of Yin and Yang. Without Yin, Yang cannot exist. Without Yang, Yin is not present. Yin and Yang are inseparable; just as we cannot have only sunny days throughout the year, we will not only have cloudy either. Continue reading “Understanding Yin and Yang II – Opposite yet Complementary Energies”
When we hear the phrase ‘Yin and Yang’ many of us may first think of the Yin Yang symbol so ubiquitous on key chains or a symbol which represents Chinese/ Tibetan culture. The theory of Yin and Yang is much more profound than an image carved on key chains. This ever-present symbol is called the Taijitu. It’s the universal symbol for the theory of Yin and Yang and of Taoism.
Ancient Chinese people were greatly interested in the relationships and patterns that occurred in nature. Instead of studying isolated things, they viewed the world as a harmonious and holistic entity. In their eyes, no single being or form could exist unless it was seen in relation to its surrounding environment. Yin Yang is perhaps the most known and documented concept used within Taoism. Continue reading “Understanding Yin and yang I – The Theory”