I had always heard the words Yin and Yang knowing that they had something do with the Chinese philosophy and they represented the opposites.But today while reading the Tao of Physics I understood the meaning in depth and was overwhelmed by the profoundness of thought and its representation in our everyday life.The principle characterstic of the Tao is the cyclic nature of its ceaseless motion and change.”returning is the motion of Tao”says LaoTzu,and “Going far means returning”.
The idea is that all developments in nature,those in physical world as well as those of human situations,show cyclic patterns of coming and going,of expansion and contraction.It is deduced from the movement of sun and moon,change in seasons to be ultimately taken as a rule of life.Whenever a situation develops to its extreme ,it is bound to turn around and become its opposite.Thus it is better to have too little than to have too much,and better to leave things undone than to overdo them.Just as the man who travels farther in the east will end up in the west,those who accumulate more and more money will end up being poor – not necessarily in the same dimension.Modern industrial society which has continously aimed at improving the standard of life for all its members has finally ended up in leaving us all at the brink of an environmental disaster.
The idea of cyclic patterns in the motion of Tao( the energy flow)was given a definite structure by the introduction of polar opposites yin and yang.The original meaning of the words yin and yang was that of the shady and sunny side of a mountain.Thus :
That which lets now the dark,now the light appear is Tao.
In the realm of thought yin is the complex,female,intuitive mind,yang the clear and rational male intellect.Yin is the quite,contemplative stillness of a sage,yang the strong,creative action of the king.
Linking it with my personal experience I found the premise to be true in almost all that one experiences during a lifetime.There is joy and sorrow,success and failure,love and hate,agony and ecstasy,ignorance and knowledge,hope and despair…………Life and death.
And if you examine it carefully it is one that lets us appreciate the other.If there was no sorrow in failure we would not know the joy of success.If we did not go through the agony of hate we would not know the ecstasy of love.If we did not feel the despair of death we would not hope for a life well lived.