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Yin and Yang... What are they and what do they do in life, the world the universe?

mikestice 2009/02/07 06:40:25
Buddhists4SodaHeads
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The early Han dynasty (207 B.C.-9 A.D.) devoted itself to regaining the same level of central government as the Ch'in (221 B.C.-207 B.C.) and the Legalists had so ruthlessly accomplished. This ideology of central government, along with the Legalists' attempts to standardize Chinese culture and Chinese philosophy, led thinkers of the Han to attempt to unify all the rival schools of Chinese thought and philosophy that had developed over the previous three hundred years.

The Legalists attempted to standardize Chinese thought by burning the books of rival schools and by making it a capital crime to speak of Confucius, Lao Tzu, or Mo Tzu. The Han thinkers, who thoroughly despised the Legalists and their methods while adopting many of their goals, took a different approach; rather than reject alternate ways of thinking, they took a syncretic approach and attempted to fuse all the rival schools of thought into a single system. This syncretic project of the early Han is known as the Han synthesis.

Chinese Philosophy
Pre-Confucian China and the Five Classics
The Han philosophers concentrated specifically on the Five Classics, attempting to derive from them, particularly the I ching , or Book of Changes, the principle of the workings of the universe, or Tao. This new theory of the universe they appended to the I ching ; this appendix explains the metaphysical workings of the entire universe and is the origin of what is called the yin-yang or Five Agents school of Chinese thought.

Chinese Philosophy
Wu-hsing
The essentials of the yin-yang school are as follows: the universe is run by a single principle, the Tao, or Great Ultimate. This principle is divided into two opposite principles, or two principles which oppose one another in their actions, yin and yang. All the opposites one perceives in the universe can be reduced to one of the opposite forces. The yin and yang accomplish changes in the universe through the five material agents, or wu hsing , which both produce one another and overcome one another. All change in the universe can be explained by the workings of yin and yang and the progress of the five material agents as they either produce one another or overcome one another. Yin-yang and the five agents are, I need to stress, a universal explanatory principle. All phenomena can be understood using yin-yang and the five agents: the movements of the stars, the workings of the body, the nature of foods, the qualities of music, the ethical qualities of humans, the progress of time, the operations of government, and even the nature of historical change. All things follow this order so that all things can be related to one another in some way: one can use the stars to determine what kind of policy to pursue in government, for instance.

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  • Silky pal of Jesus 2009/02/07 14:26:21
    Explain what you feel the Yin and Yang do...
    Silky pal of Jesus
    +3
    I was always of the impression that Yin Yang were the male/female balancing energies of the universe which permiates into every nook and cranny of the universe.

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  • WORLDPEACE 2009/05/10 02:28:17 (edited)
    Explain what you feel the Yin and Yang do...
    WORLDPEACE
    +1
    Balance the male/female as ONE. Positive/Negative, all aspects of the Whole. Water/Rock. Circle of Life. Just glad the chicken and the egg figured it out! Are the five agents 99, FBI, CIA, or ???! Sensate/Intuitive. I do not know yet. I only do philosophy! I am not a believer in anything and yet I do believe. Tao is....
  • mikestice WORLDPEACE 2009/05/10 08:39:03
    mikestice
    +1
    The Tao, or Great Ultimate is the principle that is divides into two opposite principles, or two principles which oppose one another in their actions, yin and yang. All the opposites one perceives in the universe can be reduced to one of the opposite forces. The yin and yang accomplish changes in the universe through the five material agents, or wu hsing , which both produce one another and overcome one another. All change in the universe can be explained by the workings of yin and yang and the progress of the five material agents as they either produce one another or overcome one another. Yin-yang and the five agents are, I need to stress, a universal explanatory principle.
  • WORLDPEACE mikestice 2009/05/11 01:42:09
    WORLDPEACE
    +1
    Exactly and all thought concepts hold these with different words. Nice! In semantics we learned about the concept of "What Is" and in the Philosophy of Science we learned that the idea of constant change had some origins from Heraclitus who explained it the terms of the Water rushing from change to change, moment by moment. Thanks for the explanation in other terms, mike. How is your lady doing?
  • mikestice WORLDPEACE 2009/05/11 04:41:16 (edited)
    mikestice
    +1
    She is doing well. She misses me, but the feeling is mutual. I can't wait for August. Getting back to it, the more perspectives you have at your finger tips the more ways you can address an issue of this nature and permit someone to understand how you see things.
  • WORLDPEACE mikestice 2009/05/12 01:59:38
    WORLDPEACE
    +1
    Agree. Give her my regards and August is not that far off!
  • mikestice WORLDPEACE 2009/05/12 04:40:09
    mikestice
    +1
    You know it... But i'm like a kid in a candy store... I want it NOW! Thanks for the words... it means a lot.
  • postmamy 2009/04/13 11:10:11 (edited)
    Explain what you feel the Yin and Yang do...
    postmamy
    yin (shade) yang (light) always goes with magnet symptoms of both sides,,,,,,,,,,,
    there is night and noon and heaven and earth and fire and water and let me see,,,,,,,,,,,,
    yes ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...
    health and ill and also human and animal that includes all of it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...
    when we're even born with it and then we close near to coffin ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    even the battery we use even have a (plus) and -(minus) not to mention male or female ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    even our whole lives depend on it though,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    if the thunder is a plus then the showering is a minus,,,,,,,,,,,,
    scientifically we have seen it all ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    nature has it all,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...
    but did we know it?
    battery mention male female lives depend thunder showering scientificaly nature
  • Silky pal of Jesus 2009/02/07 14:26:21
    Explain what you feel the Yin and Yang do...
    Silky pal of Jesus
    +3
    I was always of the impression that Yin Yang were the male/female balancing energies of the universe which permiates into every nook and cranny of the universe.
  • mikestice Silky p... 2009/02/07 17:11:04 (edited)
    mikestice
    +3
    They are much more than that. It is like the question which came first the chicken or the egg. Yin is the emptiness of yang and the opposite is true. these two facets of understanding are quite foundational. They are greatly layered and go very deep. They go as deep as a person wishes to take them i would say. As stated in the explanation above, it was the Han dynasty trying to undermine the teachings of Confucian to establish standards that brought the Yin and Yang into existence... or were they already there, waiting to be labeled? undermine teachings confucian establish standards yin yang existence waiting labeled
  • Silky p... mikestice 2009/02/07 22:54:35
    Silky pal of Jesus
    +3
    Okay, so is it like the yin, (the more empty half) is where life springs from and the yang is where they migrate to?
  • mikestice Silky p... 2009/02/07 23:19:22 (edited)
    mikestice
    +2
    Yes and no. Consider the water wheel. Every circular round each bucket is empty while the opposite bucket is full. Now putting it into yin and Yang... Yin and yang is an empty circle. They, Yin yang, are opposing, they are bound together as parts of a mutual whole, Like an undertow in the ocean, every advance is complemented by a retreat, and every rise transforms into a fall and because they arise together they are always equal: if one disappears, the other must disappear as well, leaving emptiness. When the yin begins to rise it becomes the yang and the yang begins to lower it becomes the yin... and the cycle continues as a ripple in the water would continue. So when they assume the other's role they become the other and take over its duties. Such is the cycling of existence for instance and the only way to wrap your head around it is perhaps to think heavily or meditate on the actions of the two in synchronicity with let's say Life, or the world or even the universe. It is not a difficult concept, yet it is deep and controversial because the writings were accomplished in the Han dynasty... therefore, it is up to each of us to place yin and yang appropriately into our existence. They hold universal truths and then they are very personal. I hope I am saying this correc...



    ""
    Yes and no. Consider the water wheel. Every circular round each bucket is empty while the opposite bucket is full. Now putting it into yin and Yang... Yin and yang is an empty circle. They, Yin yang, are opposing, they are bound together as parts of a mutual whole, Like an undertow in the ocean, every advance is complemented by a retreat, and every rise transforms into a fall and because they arise together they are always equal: if one disappears, the other must disappear as well, leaving emptiness. When the yin begins to rise it becomes the yang and the yang begins to lower it becomes the yin... and the cycle continues as a ripple in the water would continue. So when they assume the other's role they become the other and take over its duties. Such is the cycling of existence for instance and the only way to wrap your head around it is perhaps to think heavily or meditate on the actions of the two in synchronicity with let's say Life, or the world or even the universe. It is not a difficult concept, yet it is deep and controversial because the writings were accomplished in the Han dynasty... therefore, it is up to each of us to place yin and yang appropriately into our existence. They hold universal truths and then they are very personal. I hope I am saying this correctly. There is no one answer to yin yang and it purpose or its meaning, but their meanings are unmistakeable and without measure.

    I am not trying to be obfuscatious.

    To see it best a person needs to see it through "Eastern" eyes...
    (more)
  • Silky p... mikestice 2009/02/07 23:27:13
    Silky pal of Jesus
    +3
    Obfuscatious, I thought that was only a word that lawyers used when opposing counsel leaves out critical evidence during the discovery period of the lawsuit.

    The Han dynasty, is that the Emperor whose tomb is protected by the Terra Cotta Army?
  • mikestice Silky p... 2009/02/07 23:41:45 (edited)
    mikestice
    +2
    You are funny, I am not trying to purposely obscure things... my understandings to these things and yin yang, particularly, is that it is a deep well and many trips must be made before your pitcher has begun to fill.

    Qin Shi Huang the First Emperor of China. The terracotta figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by several local farmers near Xi'an, Shanxi province, China near the Mausouleum of the First Qin Emperor. (Chinese: 秦始皇陵; pinyin: Qín Shǐhuáng Líng). The figures vary in height (183–195cm - 6ft–6ft 5in), according to their role, the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits.

    130 chariots 520 horses 150 cavalry horses majority buried pits
  • WORLDPEACE mikestice 2009/05/11 01:47:45
    WORLDPEACE
    Thanks, you REALLY know this teaching. I love it so much. I have just learned this in different words and from other sources of knowing. You said this quite well. It is NOW, too. The empty space between Light and the space between. This is how don Miguel Ruiz speaks on this teaching from the Toltec Eagle Knight Order of his birth. don miguel ruiz speaks teaching toltec eagle knight order birth
  • mikestice 2009/02/07 06:48:06 (edited)
    Explain what you feel the Yin and Yang do...
    mikestice
    +2
    Yin-yang is an active concept: yin and yang are thought to arise together from an initial quiescence or emptiness (wuji, sometimes symbolized by an empty circle), and to continue moving in tandem until quiescence is reached again. For instance, dropping a stone in a calm pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in the water will radiate outward until the movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin-yang, thus, always has the following characteristics:

    Yin yang are opposing

    Yin yang describe opposing qualities in phenomena. For instance, winter is yin to summer's yang over the course of a year, and femininity is yin to masculinity's yang in human relationships. It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite.

    Yin yang are rooted together

    Since yin and yang are created together in a single movement, they are bound together as parts of a mutual whole. A race with only men or only women would disappear in a single generation, but men and women together create new generations that allow the race they mutually create (and mutually come from) to survive.The interaction of the two gives birth to things.

    Yin yang transform each other

    Like an undertow in the ocean, every...







    ""






    ""''





    Yin-yang is an active concept: yin and yang are thought to arise together from an initial quiescence or emptiness (wuji, sometimes symbolized by an empty circle), and to continue moving in tandem until quiescence is reached again. For instance, dropping a stone in a calm pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in the water will radiate outward until the movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin-yang, thus, always has the following characteristics:

    Yin yang are opposing

    Yin yang describe opposing qualities in phenomena. For instance, winter is yin to summer's yang over the course of a year, and femininity is yin to masculinity's yang in human relationships. It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite.

    Yin yang are rooted together

    Since yin and yang are created together in a single movement, they are bound together as parts of a mutual whole. A race with only men or only women would disappear in a single generation, but men and women together create new generations that allow the race they mutually create (and mutually come from) to survive.The interaction of the two gives birth to things.

    Yin yang transform each other

    Like an undertow in the ocean, every advance is complemented by a retreat, and every rise transforms into a fall. Thus, a seed will sprout from the earth and grow upwards towards the sky - an intrinsically yang movement. Then when it reaches its full height, it will begin to weaken, and eventually will fall back to the earth in decay - an intrinsically yin movement. Yin always contains the potential for yang, and yang for yin.

    Yin-yang are balanced

    Yin-yang is a dynamic equilibrium. Because they arise together they are always equal: if one disappears, the other must disappear as well, leaving emptiness. This is rarely immediately apparent, though, because yang elements are clear and obvious while yin elements are hidden and subtle.

    Yin-yang is not an actual substance or force, the way it might be conceived of in western terms. Instead, it is a universal way of describing the interactions and interrelations of the natural forces that do occur in the world. It applies as well to social constructions - e.g. value judgements like good and evil, rich and poor, honor and dishonor - yet it is often used in those contexts as a warning, since by its principles extreme good will turn to evil, extreme wealth to poverty, extreme honor to dishonor.

    The concept of "unity in duality" arises in many faiths and philosophies, from the philosophy of Heraclitus, to the nondualistic philosophies of Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, and Buddhism, to Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism and New Thought. Yin-yang is unique, however, both in its dynamic nature and its broad application to the natural world.

    Yin-Yang symbolism (taijitu)

    Chinese Symbolism
    The Taijitu of Zhou Dun-yi

    The Taijitu or Taiji diagram is a well known symbol representing the principle of yin and yang, introduced in China by Ming period author Lai Zhide. The term taijitu (literally "diagram of the supreme ultimate") is commonly used to mean the simple 'divided circle' form, but may refer to any of several schematic diagrams representing these principles, such as the one above, or below.

    In the taijitu, the circle itself represents a whole (see wuji), while the black and white areas within it represent interacting parts or manifestations of the whole. The white area represents yang elements, and is generally depicted as rising on the left, while the dark (yin) area is shown descending on the right (though other arrangements exist, most notably the version used on the flag of South Korea). The image is designed to give the appearance of movement. Each area also contains a small circle of the opposite color at its fullest point (near the zenith and nadir of the figure) to indicate how each will transform into the other.

    In the I Ching, yin yang are represented by broken and solid lines: yang is solid (⚊) and yin is broken (⚋). These are then combined into trigrams, which are more yang or more yin depending on the number of broken and solid lines (e.g. ☰ is heavily yang, while ☷ is heavily yin), and trigrams are combined into hexagrams (e.g. ䷕ and ䷟). The relative positions and numbers of yin and yang lines within the trigrams determines the meaning of that trigram, and in hexagrams the upper trigram is considered yang with respect to the lower trigram, allowing complex depictions of interrelations.

    hexagrams upper trigram yang respect trigram allowing complex depictions interrelations
    (more)
  • WORLDPEACE mikestice 2009/05/11 01:51:34
    WORLDPEACE
    I did not read this and you mentioned the same guy I did above. Cool. I do know some of this, but just not the Buddhist words for some, but I like it and am drawn to this before other ideas. much is very wise which is what is...

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