Meaning of yin yang

What is yin yang:

Yin yang is a philosophical and religious principle that explains the existence of two opposite but complementary forces that are essential in the universe: the yin, associated with the feminine, darkness, passivity and the earth; and the yang, linked to the masculine, the light, the active and the sky. According to this philosophy, both energies are necessary to maintain universal balance.

This concept comes from the Yin yang school, one of the so-called "100 schools of thought", a series of philosophical and spiritual currents that emerged in China between the years 770 and 221 BC. C.

Later, Taoism, a philosophical and religious doctrine of Chinese origin that emerged in the same period, absorbed the principles of the Yin yang school to argue that everything that exists has a counterpart that is necessary for existence. There is no immutable, static, but everything is continually changing, in an infinite flow, harmonious and balanced by the forces of yin and yang.

The yin and yang symbol used as a decorative element.

Although there is no consensus on the origin of these terms, the oldest records that have been found so far suggest that as early as the Shang dynasty (1776 BC-1122 BC) there was a graphic representation of two opposite and complementary forces, which has been interpreted as an antecedent of the concept, which would later be expanded in Taoism.

See also Taoism.

Principles of yin and yang

According to Taoism, yin and yang respond to certain universal principles:

  • Yin and yang are opposites: however, they are not absolute, since for this philosophy everything that exists is relative.
  • There is yin within yang, in the same way that there is yang within yin: this complements the previous principle, by stating that its opposite is present in each force, even in potentiality, therefore, they are not absolute.
  • Both forces generate and consume each other: an increase in yin energy implies a decrease in yang energy, but this is not considered imbalance, but part of the vital process.
  • They can be subdivided and infinitely transformed: yang energy can be divided to create yin and yang energy (and vice versa). Similarly, one of the forces can be transformed into its opposite.
  • Yin and yang are interdependent: each of these forces needs the other to exist.

Yin yang applications

The concept of the two essential, opposite and complementary forces, known as yin and yang, has been applied in other realms that go beyond the spiritual.

EI I ching, an oracular book of Chinese origin, is based on the belief of a fluid and changing universe, in which each situation has its opposite, which will give rise to a new circumstance. Winter, for example, is yin (darkness) energy, but it potentially contains yang (light) energy. Therefore, the change of season brings spring with it.

Some martial arts include stretching exercises that "draw" the taijitu, the most popular graphic representation of yin and yang.

In traditional Chinese medicine they treat ailments with their opposite energy. In this way, a fever indicates excess yang (heat) strength, and remedies based on yin (cold) energy are applied to cure it.

For its part, feng shui (a discipline of Chinese origin that seeks harmony and aesthetic and energetic balance in environments) is based on yin and yang to determine if a place has a deficiency or excess of any of these energies, and work on a reorganization of the space to achieve balance.

See also Feng shui.

Yin yang symbol

The graphic representation of the yin and yang forces is known as taijitu, in Chinese, and it is a diagram represented by a circle divided through a sinuous line, in the colors black and white. One of the first such diagrams was created by Lai Zhide (1525-1604), a Taoist practitioner from the Ming dynasty.

What we know today as the symbol of yin and yang is the so-called "taijitu of the early days" and it is mentioned for the first time in the book. Discernments on the diagrams of mutations, written during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912).

In this diagram, the opposing forces are shaped like fish (one black, representing the yin force, and the other white, representing yang). Each one has a dot of the opposite color to symbolize the presence of the opposite force.

Tags:  Religion-And-Spirituality Sayings And Proverbs Science