Interpretations - Spiritual Elements - The Concept of the Yin and Yang
concept of Yin and Yang is one of the most fundamental
and profound theories of Feng Shui. It is the Chinese
perspective of balance and continual change. Many
Feng Shui practitioners claim they have a deep understanding
of this concept, yet some of them have difficulty with representing the image
correctly. In fact, this is a good indicator of the
depth of knowledge a "master" possesses. Many
times these practitioners call themselves masters, yet
their printed materials contain an incorrect Tai-ji (The
name for the Yin and Yang circle) representation. How
can one call themselves a master of Feng Shui and not even
understand the basics of this deep and extremely significant
Yin and Yang is a foundation theory for
Feng Shui that supports many other theories including the
Five Elements theory and the Environment. Hopefully by
reading this, you will be better informed on what Yin/Yang
theory is in Feng Shui.
and Yang are dependent opposites that must always be
in balance. The opposites flow in a natural cycle always
replacing the other. Just as the seasons cycle and create
a time of heat and cold, Yin and Yang cycles through
active and passive, dark and light, etc. Yin and
Yang evolved from a belief of mutually dependant opposites
that cannot live without the other. The Eastern
view of opposites is, if you will excuse the pun, opposite
of a Western view.
in the West tend to look as things as black "or" white,
right "or" wrong, etc. There is separation
and unrelatedness in the Western perspective. Whereas,
the Chinese view opposites as evolving and cycling. There
is neither right or wrong, but rather there is balance,
transformation, interaction, and dependent opposition. We
need both to maintain a balance.
and Yang can further be explained as a duality that cannot
exist without both parts. The chart below shows some
of the many opposites that are contained in such a simple
the Yellow Turban rebellion (184 A.D.), the Han
dynasty emperors commissioned scholars to re-examine
the ancient texts. The principles of which Dong Zhongshui
(?179-104 B.C.) and others interpreted the ancient texts
were derived from the early philosophy of nature, the
complementary alternating forces of Yin and Yang, dark
and light, female and male, which maintain the balance
of the cosmos, and which had been a thought pattern of
the Chinese before any philosophical schools came into
being. Meaning, that Feng Shui and Yin and Yang
concepts were evolving from cosmological and environmental
sciences before Daoists philosophy adopted it. Many people
believe that it was a Daoist invention.
Within Yang, there is a small piece of Yin. Within Yin, there is a
small piece of Yang. Just as in the heart of winter, a seed
lays in wait to become life, so is Yang waited within Yin for its
turn. In a hot summer, a sudden desert storm can bring coolness.
This too is an example of how Yin is found in Yang. Again,
there are no absolutes, just cycles in time.
Understanding a small piece of the true nature of the Tai Chi symbol
These Han dynasty scholars examined the ancient texts and discovered
that their forebearers already had a logical and cyclical explanation
for the Yin and Yang beyond the morality and philosophy. The first
initial observations were of the changes of the seasons. Then
expanding these observations the directions were explained. Then
cycles in nature were further explained as the cycle of the Five
From a solar perspective, the Sun rises in the East, reaches its peak
overhead and sets in the West, then the symbology of the Tai-ji
can be represented as right. Furthering that; Spring gives way
to new wood, Summer brings fire and heat, Autumn cools like metal,
and lastly snow (frozen water) brings the coldest time or Winter.
It can also be seen that heat rises and coolness settles.
From a directional perspective, in the Northern Hemisphere (and from
a Chinese perspective) the hottest direction is the South and the coldest
is the North. Meanwhile all of this occurs with Earth being the center
elemental perspective is a productive cycle of five
elements. Creating this productive cycle of
elements we see that:
• Wood burns producing Fire.
• Fire leaves behind Earth.
• Earth is the source of Metal.
• Metal liquefies into flowing liquid like Water (or another explanation
is that Metal when cooled it creates condensation, such as a car left out on
a cool night).
• Water then becomes the nourishment for the Wood.
Now you see that there is a lot of depth and meaning to this simple
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