Yin and Yang

hehe 3 is my fav number too.

when i think of yin and yang i dont really think of the facts about it and all that but rather I see many different examples through it. Its basicly a tool for me to ask and answer questions. I use the yin and yang to explain good and evil yes. only because they are opposites and they do contrast eachother. They are both relative to what each individual defines them as but none the less they are still opposites. something neat to look at that will explain my ideas of what yin and yang mean. if you a piece of white paper and were drawing with a black pen a circle... how would you be able to see it? the black lines. without the black lines you wouldnt see its shape. same goes as if you had a black piece of paper.
its just and example.

For some reason, I trust in the number three. It is my favorite number and I always try to do tasks in three steps.
I remember seeing a t-shirt once that had 2 simple words that really made me think.

"Why 3?"

Everyone loves 3... Why?
You have a way with words sly1 :bugeye: .I can see where your coming from Lao but i am of the opinion that humanity explores the world and eventually it will (as it has done) find something that has 2 ends to a scale i.e. cold and hot, good and evil, light and dark etc. Humanity did not make these things it merely named them and so hot and cold are the 2 ends to the scale of temperature and good is one end of the scale of morality while evil is at the other end. What gets me thinking is how were these linked together in the first place?? I mean if any of us were around 1000's of years ago how would you recognise that hot is on the same scale of cold. it is obvious (if it is indeed true) now but i dont think it would have been if the link had not been made for us.
What I see the yin and yang to mean is that everything exists because of its opposite. Nothing can exist without something to use in reference when studying it, or else it would be extremely hard to grasp the concept of it. The Yin and Yang says that everything exists because of its opposite. For example, and I know this example is used a lot, if we were always happy and did not sorrow and sadness, we would not know nor appreciate happiness, because we would think its all that exists. The existence of sorrow gives us a point of reference for happiness and vice versa. This is what the Yin and Yang is symbolizing, the two dots prove that in everything, the opposite exists in order to give it meaning.
EXACTLY DaMenace123 .......EXACTLY..........:D

glad you see it the same way I see it.
Wow thats very interesting fraggle rocker! I didnt know any of that. I find it incredible that those you named have identified 23 different components to the human spirit I think it would take a great deal of wisdom to find that out. Are you sure shakespeare did this independently of the others though? (given that the others were around a considerable time before him)
Every human culture in every era and every location has the same paradigm of images that turn up in their dreams, stories, art, and religion.
Like what fraggle rocker? I have heard of the collective unconscious. Ive experienced the 'old woman' thing which is supposed to come from this.
Originally posted by Empty Dragon
Fraggle Rock have you ever studied the I-Ching. I think you would find it interesting.
My wife does all the heavy reading in our family, her degree is in lit. I learned a lot by typing her college papers. Enough of it rubs off on me to feel blessed.

But I understand what you mean about the I Ching. Most of the earlier schools of spirituality that didn't decay into monotheism present much richer and more useful models of the human spirit than the dominant ones of our era.

And unfortunately, people who instinctively recognize the fatal flaws in the Mideastern faiths react by rejecting the concept of spirituality entirely. To say that we have a "spirit" doesn't even require accepting the validity of any supernatural phenomena. It's just a good model of how we organize our thoughts and choose our behaviors, giving proper credit to those who came before us and showed us the way.
But I understand what you mean about the I Ching. Most of the earlier schools of spirituality that didn't decay into monotheism present much richer and more useful models of the human spirit than the dominant ones of our era.

No I would disagree I think there has been times of great understanding and times of darkness. Right now this very well may be one or the other. But usually if it has no use then it won't last.

Though I speak of the I-Ching (Book of Changes) on a different note then literature. It is not simple literature, it is more like a well despensing an in exhustable source of wisdom. I have developed great respect for the I-Ching. It has help me in many ways at many times. Whether you believe it is an oracle or not is completly subjective.
in a triality all three would be relative to eachother and it would be much complex i guess. so a triality can still exist, but yin and yang is only two colours. however yin and yang could as well be a quadality, because it has two white and two black, so in that way it is a quadality too.

a duality is comparison. a duality is binary. u can represent binary with octagonal if u want, but u can still put it in binary form. logic doesn't need more than binary components.
Condensing Yin and Yang into a simple duality, a balance between good and evil, is to smash the square peg of the Dao into the round hole of the patriarchal, monotheistic Western philosophies.
Someone suggested earlier that nothing can exist in the absence of its opposite. This seems right, at least as far as our ability to conceive of anything is concerned (think of something that does not have an opposite which defines it).

The message of Yin and Yang is the same as the 'one hand clapping' koan in Buddhism. Everything must have its opposite in order to exist (thus virtual particles have to 'borrow' energy to exist).

However dualism does not work if you take a reductionist stance. As someone pointed out above good and evil, up and down, space and time, mind and matter, etc, are opposite poles on their 'dimensions'. When you ask what they reduce to the answer is the third thing that others above have suggested is necessary. As all real dualities are direct opposites this third thing must (ultimately) be nothing. It is for this reason that some philosophers advocate 'ontological monism coupled with epistemological dualism' as an explanation of existence - in other words the idea that everything we know of is dualistic in nature but ultimately there must be just one thing (beyond even virtual particles, superstrings or whatever) that 'really' exists. Logically speaking this 'one thing' must be something that is non-dual and does not have an opposite. It seems to follow that this one thing cannot be matter or energy.

Science generally accepts the truth of the message of Yin and Yang since it is intrinsically dualistic. Yet it struggles with the logical consequences of this view.
It is concieved as dualistic. Because one can say that hot is the opposite of cold. They are different manifestations of the same phenomena. They are only perceived to be different. The yin yang is the grand ultimate, an example of seperation and ultimate unity. Look at the older version of the yin yang that I posted. You can trace the path of yang by watching how yin moves, is that dualisme or unity?
From my understanding of studying Taoism and Eastern Philosophy........

The Universe came into existence spontaneosly due to the interaction of two opposite, yet complementary forces known as Ying and Yang. The Yin the female aspect; receptive, weak, receiving, and the Yang is the male aspect, giving, strong, active.

Through the constant interaction of these complementary elements, balance and order is maintained throughout everything in the Universe. Also each time Yang or Ying goes to the extreme of one another, it returns to the opposite. For example, some that is real angry will eventually calm down. This balance between the two forces creates harmony. These concepts can be applied to your everyday life and even major events of the world.

Look at Gandi and his philosophy of non-violence. He believed that violence can only be stopped through peace. Martin Luther King used this same approach in the Civil rights movements of the 1960's. Both of their philosophies were based on the ancient concepts of Hinduism, Buddism, and Taoism.

I almost forget. Ying and Yang applies to all aspects of creation.

Man/woman= new life

Hot/Cold water=warm water

Hot/Cold air= rainy weather

I also related Ying and Yang to human relationships.

For example, western society has sexism, racism, and materilism.

All of these beliefs are extreme in concept according to Taoism and the ideas of ying and yang.

Sexism oppresses women and emasculates the male. Men repress their feminine side and never realize their full nature.

Racism is an extreme belief in the superiority of another human being over another based on skin color. This belief creates violence, bad attitudes, and ignorance. Lack of openness.

Materialism emphasizes the cultivation and value of owning as many material goods as possible for happiness in life. Happiness is measured by externally inside of internally. That's why their are a lot of unhappy people in this country.
I have trouble with understanding this kind of explanaition of Yin and Yang because its so metaphorical in this scientific age. Why would the cosmos have a male and female aspect and how would that lead to existence? I'm not saying that it is wrong, just that I cannot drop the scientific view sufficiently for it to mean anything to me.

However I do think you are wrong in saying:

"Man/woman= new life

Hot/Cold water=warm water

Hot/Cold air= rainy weather"

If there is no hot water and no cold water then there is no warm water. In other words if you cannot distinguish between hot and cold then there is no such thing for you as temperature, the duality does not exist, and it is not one of the dimensions on which you notice the world. It seems to me that all dualities can be reduced, or reconciled, in the same way.

Similarly new life arises from man and woman as you say, but man and woman reduce to an absence of gender in the same way that matter and anti-matter reduce to an absence of matter.
I had trouble understanding these ideas when I first came across them because I had a modern western/scientific view of the Universe. But after awhile, I understood it. They is a dualism in all of existence. Nothing can't exist without the other. You define something based on what its not. For example, you couldnt describe anything as evil unless you compare it to something good. I do agree with you on the basis that if there was no cold or hot water, there would be no warm water. But without cold or hot water, there wouldn't be ANY water cause the character of water is either/or. This metaphorical way of viewing the world was a result of how the Chinese viewed the world. They saw the world and everything in it has a duality. They understood how this duality maintained balance and created constant change.

Here's a quote by an ancient greek philosopher, I forgot his name, his beliefs were similiar...


He meant that the river and the conditions within it are always changing. The temperature,sediments, and the chemical makeup is in a state of flux. So therefore, each second, the river changes.

Here are some other dualities....





thesis/antithesis= two opposing views unite to create a new idea.


You cannot define anything without defining its opposite.

You cannot say someone is rich without saying others are poor, since both are opposites and depend on each other for meaning.
Ok - I agree with all this completely. However to me this is physics and metaphysics. I have trouble when it gets tangled up in mystical talk of 'male and female natures' and discussions of sexism , racism etc. which I feel confuse the issues.
Originally posted by Canute
Ok - I agree with all this completely. However to me this is physics and metaphysics. I have trouble when it gets tangled up in mystical talk of 'male and female natures' and discussions of sexism , racism etc. which I feel confuse the issues.

but if you have a dark room, and then turn on a light, the light is coming from the bulb, and penetrating the darkness, pushing it into corners and crevasses. It is the creation of something, and could be called "Male" because of it's penetrating aspect, or "ffemale" because the light has created a viable room for you to see. It doesn't make the light male or female, it just has similar aspects to the sexes in humans. Depeding on how you look at things, everything could be said to be "of female" or "of male", similar to one or the other.

Rain falls form the sky to the ground, plants grow from the ground after the rain. so the sky is male, and the rain is it's fertilisation agent. the Earth is female, and once fertilized, brings forth life.

It's just a title and description to explain phenomena. Just how calling a person "male" or "female" is a description of their physical phenomina. If the events are similar, the descriptions can be cross- applied.

I like the Yin Yang symbol because it fits well w/ logic, and does not require any amount of faith for it to make sense. I don't see why haveing a balance triad or quad wouldn't be impossible, in fact IIRC, I've seen versions of the double-fish yin yang w/ four "sides" to it. If things are in balance, then the number of elements is just a part of the balance- fire burns wood and is put out by water. it also creates water through combustion. water comes from the air (rain and condensation), and is made up of air (O2 and H2), wood is a mixture of air, water, and other minerals and sunlight (fire). air can be created by the breakdown of water, can be poisons by the burning of wood....blahblahblah. all connected and all in balance while life exsists, but four sided.

there are many self-regulating systems and attractor points (chaos theory) in the world - the double fish yin yang is just a simple symbol which represents one of those self-regulating systems. you could have more, but it's not as simple- the message would more likely get lost the more facets of the analogy you have.

as for the female side being dark, keep in mind that we, heavily influenced by western thought, have an idea that dark=evil. In hinuism, and many eastern religions, dark=ready for rebirth. Think about a burned down forest. the blackened, charred remains could either be looked at as alot of death, or as a perfect place for new life to take root. devoid of compitition, and full of nutrients. What is a female than a perfect place for new life? safe, full of nutrients, and ready for new life.

thank you for reading my semi-coherent ramblings. You get a cookie. It's in the mail now, please wait 6-8 weeks for delivery :D