• jackharrel
    The old Chinese, like their up-to-date countertypes, were looking for one way to try to comprehend and describe everything that was around them, The main ideas and the goals of every situation happens around us, because everything has a reason and they wanted to figure out what that reason was for everything. Plus, they wanted to put the chaos of our existence in a ideal order. They wanted everything to be perfect.
    The most important and forceful idea that was to describe the reason and the result of the situations, different kind of situations was that of the relation between the Yin and Yang, which were two different, contrasting but at the same time very harmonious forces, that fulfill and complete each other. The relationship and interdependent reign between theses forces are changing all the time.
    Yin is a negative force, it is very passive, it is not strong and it receives. Yang, on the contrary, is a positive force, is very active, powerful and very creative. None of them may exist without each other and each of them has in itself a little part of another one.
    Source: http://gowingchun.com/main-idea-and-philoshophy-of-yin-and-yang-and-key-points-of-chinese-therapy.html
  • Mongrel
    An accupuncturist told me that yin is expanding outward. Yang contracts in. Hip hop is yin. Soundgarden is very yang. But the two are aspects of everything. Consider the yin aspect of authority. Contrast that to the yang aspect of it.
  • Cavacava
    . Yin sounds feminine and yang masculine.

    Weakness and strength are part of the same continuum, but they apply variously depending on the topic. Is the creative strength of the feminine superior to the physical force of the masculine? Perhaps this not a well formed question, since both are conjoined in us and may or may not be in balance.

    Perhaps strength lies in the balancing of strength/weakness, the masculine/feminine, yang/yin.

    Like the idea about music genera supporting such notions. Could be interesting way to characterize music, I'm not sure, but worth thinking about.
  • Mongrel
    Men are externally yang, but internally yin. Women are externally yin, internally yang.

    Femininity is like the earth. It freely gives itself up. The passive, feminine part of creativity is a willingness to serve inspiration... just become transparent to its light... give it what it needs to clothe itself in earth. The masculine side decides. It's self expression. Too much masculinity can result in infanticide because ultimately there aren't really any right answers when it comes to creation. Too much femininity, and the ultimate result is fragmented like a painting that has no coherent composition. So yea.. I agree with the balance idea.
  • Ying
    Yin and Yang refer to "heaven" and "earth", "the creative" and "the receptive", chapters 1 and 2 of the "I Ching". Ancient Chinese cosmology was based on that text. People like to act like the yin/yang symbol just stands for duality. Those people are wrong. Those people have too many dragons up their yin/yang.

    "The master said: 'Ch'ien and K'un may be regarded as the gate to the I Ching'.
    Ch'ien represents what is of the yang nature (bright and active); K'un what is of the yin nature (shaded and inactive). These two unite according to their qualities, and there comes the embodiment of the result by the strong and weak lines. In this way we have the phenomena of heaven and earth visibly exhibited, and can comprehend the operation of the spiritual intelligence.
    -Ta Chuan, section 2, chapter 6, "On the General Nature of the I Ching".

  • javra

    In your view, is all this talk about strength/weakness—as the terms are interpreted in western cultures—historically accurate?

    For example, just because Earth is receptive I wouldn’t call Earth weak.

    As to the “we all have some masculine and feminine within us” motif … our perceptions are all receptive; our tongues are creative. Yet I wouldn’t consider perceptions a weakness, for example; nor does a guy who never stops talking represent strength. Rather, imo, strength emerges from a proper balance between listening and talking.

    I esthetically prefer the view that yin and yang represent different strengths, and simultaneously different weaknesses.

    It’s how I then come to interpret the balance between the two to be strength; imbalance between the two as weakness, regardless of which of the two the imbalance favors. This perspective also to me chimes true with many Eastern appraisals of the Middle Path.

    But I lack knowledge of how accurate this perspective I’ve just expressed is historically. (The perspective that men are the stronger sex and women are the weaker sex can certainly be found in many cultures both Eastern and Western, for example.)
  • Ying
    In your view, is all this talk about strength/weakness—as the terms are interpreted in western cultures—historically accurate?javra

    "This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken lines represents the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth. It is the perfect complement of THE CREATIVE--the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does
    not combat the Creative but completes it . It represents nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal as against the male-paternal. However, as applied to human affairs, the principle of this complementary relationship is found not only in the relation
    between man and woman, but also in that between prince and minister and between father and son. Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses.
    But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles. In itself of course the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and led by the Creative; then it is productive of good. Only when it abandons this position and tries to stand as an equal side by side with the Creative, does it become evil. The result then is opposition to and struggle against the Creative, which is productive of evil to both.
    -"I Ching", Wilhelm translation, hexagram 2.
  • javra

    As regards the historicity of the yin/yang, this makes sense to me. Thank you.
  • Agustino
    Thanks for sharing, great exposition! (Y) The Chinese have indeed a hidden fountain of knowledge and wisdom that is little known in the rest of the world. This has been the secret to their advantage - the Chinese are humble, but they have always won in history, yet no one knows this. China has been the world's largest economy by GDP for most of human history, and now occupies that position once again... Study of Chinese philosophy has made me realise that virtue and success aren't separate - they are one and the same in the sense that there is no real success without virtue.
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