what is yin-yang »definition and concept

The Yin-yang symbol features a circle with two S-shaped parts, one white and one black. In the white part there is a black point and in the black part there is a white point. This symbol refers to the balance of forces. In simple terms we could say that in everything good there is something bad and in everything bad there is a part of goodness. In this sense, yin-yang recalls the idea of ​​balance between opposites, since for there to be one thing (for example, light) there must be the opposite (darkness).

The yin-yang in Taoism

While the yin-yang symbol is an icon of the global world, it is actually a concept from Chinese Taoism.

Yin and yang are two complementary forces or energies. In the Taoist tradition the yin is linked to the passive, the feminine, the night and the soft. At the same time, yang is precisely the opposite, that is, the active, the masculine, the day and the hard.

The concepts of yin and yang remind us that everything is changing and therefore we must observe reality not in a static way but in a dynamic way, something that is manifested in the Book of Mutations or the Ching.

The Yin-yang in Taoist philosophy is the symbol of the connection between body and mind and, on the other hand, the symbol that connects the human being with the entire universe.

These two concepts also communicate that we are energy with two forces, one physical and the other spiritual, but both are united in a single body.

Yin and yang should not be confused with the western parameters of good and bad, but should be understood as synonymous with balance between the two parts of a whole. Thus, this approach to Taoism expresses the need to understand reality and life itself beyond rational and objective ideas, since what is essential in the human being is the search for harmony.

In the western world

In the western world, yin and yang have become popular in Feng Shui, which in Chinese means wind and water. In its original sense, Feng Shui is an idea of ​​Taoism and refers to the harmony that must exist in space, specifically the harmony between yin and yang.

This Taoist philosophical principle has been adapted by the Western mentality to seek a balance in the distribution of the home (furniture distributed in a certain way and according to the orientation of the cardinal points).

The Yin-yang symbol also has a decorative dimension, as it is a very common drawing in the world of tattoos.

Finally, it must be remembered that yin and yang have a certain resemblance to some western philosophical approaches (Heraclitus' struggle of opposites or the concept of dialectics in philosophers such as Plato or Marx).

Photos: iStock - JakeOlimb / Rike_

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