Lataif

Making sense of "Yin" and "Yang" . . .

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I notice that many people seem to think that "Yin" and "Yang" are simple and obvious to understand.


But I spent years practicing QiGong without being able to make consistent sense of them -- it wasn't simple or obvious to me.

 

I've now come to an interpretation of them that seems to work for me . . . and even has the approval of my QiGong teacher.  

 

So here it is, in case anyone else might find it helpful . . .

 

***

 

(1) Everything that appears in reality is a process.

 

(2) The nature of every process is unique, but all processes follow a similar general pattern:
appearance==>arising==>declining==>disappearance.

 

(3) Or you can think of processes as having a life arc:
birth==>growth==>decline==>death.

 

(5) So basically there are two phases to each process:  arising and declining.

 

(6) The first meaning of "Yang" refers to the arising phase of a process.

 

(7) The first meaning of "Yin" refers to the declining phase of a process.

 

(8) But processes do not exist in isolation.

 

(9) Every process interacts with multiple other processes -- affecting them or being affected by them.

 

(10) This leads to the second meaning of "Yin" and "Yang".     
    
(11) If the Yang phase of a process (A) is made LONGER or STRONGER by interaction with process 
(B) . . . then process (B) can be said to have a Yang affect on process (A).

 

(12) If the Yang phase of a process (A) is made SHORTER or WEAKER by interaction with process
 (B) . . . then process B can be said to have a Yin affect on process (A).

 

***

 

(13) Examples (selective aspects):

 

-- The process of writing this post is now in its Yin phase -- as it's almost complete (from temporal perspective).
-- Which in turn is interacting with the process of my day -- which is also in its Yin phase (9:00pm).
-- Which in turn is interacting with the process of my life -- the phase of which is unknown (probably Yin).
-- Which in turn is interacting with the process of this planet (phase unknown).
-- Which in turn is interacting with the process of the universe (phase unknown).

 

If I were to put a gun to my head and pull the trigger:

-- the bullet process would probably have a Yin affect on the process of my head
-- likewise, the process of my head would have a Yin affect on the process of the bullet

   (which would otherwise continue Yang across the room)

 

***

 

(14) Everything is in process . . . either short or long.

 

(15) Every process has a Yang phase (short or long) and a Yin phase (short or long).

 

(16) All processes interact and affect one another . . . to greater or lesser degree . . . in either

of two ways (Yang or Yin).

 

(17) Daoism/QiGong includes cultivating as good an understanding as possible of:

 

-- processes
-- their potential and actual patterns and phases
-- their potential and actual interactions   

  

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when every sense is made, life becomes dull and boring.

 

yin and yang are both utterly sensible and amusing at the same time. 

 

No need to measure the feet each time prior to slipping into one's favourite pair of loafers. 

 

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On 10/17/2017 at 10:59 AM, Lataif said:

I notice that many people seem to think that "Yin" and "Yang" are simple and obvious to understand.

 

They are easy, very easy. Living by them is not easy.You and the rest of us are constantly breaking their rule hence you are ageing slowly and soon will physically cease to exist.

 

But can you stop this from happening, no need, it's the nature of reality and you and the rest of us are like small fish in the pond ---> Yang-life, Yin-death (macrocycle), 

 

Going with the flow (middle path/yin and yang harmony is maintained most of the time) is NOT EASY but it's the best/wisest way of living. :)

 

Yang ---> one side, it is light, stays on top

 

Human (and the entire reality) is in the middle, subjected to the push-pull of the two

 

*Yin ---> the opposite, it is dense, sits at the bottom

 

*This one stores everything: karma, emotions, mind-body blockages, it's the hardware. The Yang is the software.The aspect that requires most of the attention, it takes a huge effort and discipline to get rid of the gunk that the Yin stores, which is passed on from lifetime to lifetime. One grows slowly as a result since the more gunk one removes the closer is one moving to the Source...but then everything else also moves, together in unison ---> you and everything else, the totality as an entire aspect of you and vice versa.

 

 

 

Edited by Gerard
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I often speak of observing the "processes" of Nature.  I will continue to do so.

 

I prefer Yin as "rest", though, not "death".

 

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YinYang is a preliterate concept.

 

It is not a dualism, but a dualistic monism.

 

It isn't about "things". 

 

And since yin and yang always together, we do not say yin and yang like two things are there, but YinYang of anything or anywhere.

 

Same thing with Qi. Qi is not a thing. That is why they never find "meridians" in phsiology.

 

Qi is the relative potentials of YinYang at any given point in any spectrum of matter or energy.

 

Not a "thing". It is potentials. Polarity.

 

I Ching is not the book of things. It is book of change.

 

5 phases is also YinYang - how the transitions or movements happen.

 

9 palaces also YinYang.

 

So by these (and more) we are seeing the movements of YinYang.

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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I think the subject of the YinYang is one of the fundamental aspects of Chinese culture that most people assume they understand and therefore spend the least time on.

 

For me, Chapter 2 of the DaoDeJing is certainly provides inspiration and is one to spend some time mulling over...

 

The Divide...

 

"Tits or Destiny?" to quote Tenacious D...

 

Perhaps not as polar as "beauty and ugliness", "difficult and easy", or "long and short" but the message is there, somehow...

Edited by XingLik

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I breath in.. yin

I breath out.. yan

 

I accept.. yin

I oppose.. yan

 

I spice up the stew.. yan

I compliment it with simple peas.. yin

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Sorry thelerner, I can't agree on this :(

10 minutes ago, thelerner said:

I breath in.. yin

I breath out.. yan

 

I see Yin as resting, falling to nothing, this to me is exhalation with no physical effort, whilst yang is from nothing to something; inhalation, effort.

 

However, when I concentrate on exhalation, inhalation takes care of itself; yang within yin?

 

 

 

 

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We're both sat at home breathing like invalids :D:D:D

 

... I am anyway...

Edited by XingLik
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Hi,

 

Yin Yang or YinYang is difficult to understand because it is a concept that is untrue - in a way :)

 

If we look at the symbol we also see that the two are present within a single circle, they are contained by it. Now this is all metaphor - we are in a manner of speaking, discussing the problems of something that does not exist, like arguing about the issues a unicorn is having.

 

Not-Two!

 

Is what Daoists say.

 

So where does Yin & Yang fit in not-two?

 

If we say YinYang then if they are both one, why bother saying YinYang? To name it one or the other is to be making a distinction.  It is like saying BlackWhite - we are still seeing the difference but making them one.

 

It is simple.

 

Yin is Dao, Yang is Dao.

 

How can the Dao be in or out of balance with itself? If we are attempting to harmonise then we overlook the very fact that there is no harmony - there is only One.

 

Yin is the energy of Dao expressed as Yin things

Yang is the energy of Dao expressed as Yang things

 

By looking at Yin and Yang we overlook the Dao.

 

The Dao is stillness, undisturbed, endless, untroubled, infinity - and all its opposites.

 

There "appears" to be opposites because of the fact that the One has energy and the energy is vibrant - the energy arises in the "circle" of the Presence of the One, it only appears one way or the other.

 

This is why things appear to oppose each other - but they do not - they are not "they" but IT.

 

You are this IT.  So, forget about harmonising as it is all in perfect harmony anyway. Forget about coming and going because IT goes nowhere.  It is all a load of tosh that the mind gets caught in.

 

Now return to settledness and you will be like the Root (Dao) and not like the Traces (10,000 things)

 

...but the extremes of Root & Traces (a Chongxuan concept) are still the One - this is the Way of Middle Oneness - to forget both extremes and be at the "still point at the center, seeing the infinite of all things" - Chuang Tsu

 

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On ‚Äé10‚Äé/‚Äé18‚Äé/‚Äé2017 at 6:26 AM, Marblehead said:

 

I prefer Yin as "rest", though, not "death".

 

Come to think about it, I think that Yin could be referred to as "return" as well.

 

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On 10/16/2017 at 7:59 PM, Lataif said:

I notice that many people seem to think that "Yin" and "Yang" are simple and obvious to understand.


But I spent years practicing QiGong without being able to make consistent sense of them -- it wasn't simple or obvious to me.

 

Chi Kung isn't supposed to teach you about yin and yang, it is a mental concept and applies to all things and processes.  Tai chi has strong elements of yin and yang that would apply much better than chi kung.

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On 11/16/2017 at 1:18 AM, Wayfarer said:

It is simple.

 

Yin is Dao, Yang is Dao.

 

I think the I Ching says something similar:  One Yin and One Yang is Dao.

 

Quote

Yin is the energy of Dao expressed as Yin things

Yang is the energy of Dao expressed as Yang things

 

I might say it like this:  Yin is the energy of Dao expressed/interpreted/experienced in the manifest world as Yin Things

 

Quote

By looking at Yin and Yang we overlook the Dao.

 

The Dao is stillness, undisturbed, endless, untroubled, infinity - and all its opposites.

 

This, to a degree still sounds like duality trying to resolve Not Two.     To me, Dao is even Not One.  One is One.  So Dao closer to emptiness.

 

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On 18.11.2017 at 0:57 AM, dawei said:

 

I think the I Ching says something similar:  One Yin and One Yang is Dao.

 

 

I might say it like this:  Yin is the energy of Dao expressed/interpreted/experienced in the manifest world as Yin Things

 

 

This, to a degree still sounds like duality trying to resolve Not Two.     To me, Dao is even Not One.  One is One.  So Dao closer to emptiness.

 

 

It is a bit more simple than that.

 

There is nothing that Dao is not.  If we then say the Dao is stillness, this implies it is not its opposite.  It is both because all things are Dao, they are manifest out of its own energy but they are not a "they".

 

So, the Dao cannot be closer to emptiness because they are one and the same.  Emptiness and fullness, yin & yang.  Hence the "middle way" or "Dao of middle oneness" is not to seek the point in between emptiness or fullness because that is also making a distinction - it is to realise that emptiness and fullness are the same - then there is no extreme and no middle either.  This is what the final lines of Verse 1 of DDJ refer to as being the mystery.

 

Our nature is not even know of a mystery, to not have a concept of emptiness or fullness - not-two or not one.  In "returning" to our nature we hold no concept of anything and there by simply observe, without a sense of being aware of something.

 

Hope that gets across what I was hoping to convey.

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An important feature of... [Chinese internal alchemy]¬†is that it is only concerned with True Yin, which is the Yin enclosed within Yang, and with True Yang, which is the Yang enclosed within Yin. These are the concealed core, the hidden internal truth; they are the materials or the ‚Äúingredients‚ÄĚ of alchemy. The goal here is to bring the internal and the hidden toward the external and the visible.

 

Two trigrams are at the origin of all others, their father and mother. They are Qian, which is related to Heaven and is made of three Yang solid lines, symbolizing pure Yang; and Kun, which is related to the Earth and is made of three broken lines, symbolizing pure Yin. Qian and Kun joined and gave birth to the other trigrams, two of which are especially important for the alchemist: Kan and Li. The inner line of Kan (a Yang line enclosed between two Yin lines) and the inner line of Li (a Yin line enclosed within two Yang lines) are True Yang and True Yin, respectively. Their multiple meanings and functions cannot be fully described here. Let it suffice to say that they represent the trace and the union of the father and the mother; and that they express above all a fundamental principle of interdependence: there is no Yin without Yang, and vice versa, or there would be sterility.

 

https://thekongdanfoundation.com/lao-tzu/2199-2/

 

 

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IMO an 'oppositional' dynamic exists between yin and yang, by revealing the hidden core of true yin and true yang a new creative dynamic can be generated that can fulfil an individual's human potential. 

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What about the difference between what you have to do..like eat, think etc...and then sending a line into the future which encompasses all the times you eat, sleep and think...

 

Then the other line is one where you have choices..to do new things..or the same things in the future...but it is a projection from the now..

 

The yin is that which we are receptive to because we cant do anything other than that..its a "must have" or "must do"

 

Yang is the other type of action..which is actually choosing to do something in this moment..as your being..which is open ended and free...and takes pure freewill to complete...

Edited by Boundlesscostfairy
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The six yins and six yangs are separated and need to be united.

There is a dark (hidden) secret, remote and slight, that separate they are yet joined together. -- Wei Boyang (Canton Qi - Triplex Unity)

Master Shangyang explains the meaning of the above two lines:

In just these two lines is the most perfect and complete summary of what is meant here. Separate they are yet joined together meaning that the two objects yin and yang are 10,000 miles apart in their activity - but if they gain the old Yellow Woman to act as match-maker, although far from each other, they come very close together. And then the two materials respond in due measure, bearing as a seed ‚Äėthe primacy of yin and yang.¬†-- Master Shangyang, The Secret of Everlasting life, Commentary on the CanTong Qi (Triplex Unity)

If the six yins and the six yangs gain the Yellow Wife, they will unite and bear a seed.

The true seed is the point of spiritual light which is prior to the separation of Heaven and Earth. -- Li Dao Chun, The Book of Balance and Harmony

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5 hours ago, scribe said:

Are you breathing because you're alive, or alive because you're breathing?

Yes, I think I am.

 

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On 11/20/2017 at 4:27 PM, Wayfarer said:

 

It is a bit more simple than that.

 

There is nothing that Dao is not.  If we then say the Dao is stillness, this implies it is not its opposite.  It is both because all things are Dao, they are manifest out of its own energy but they are not a "they".

 

So, the Dao cannot be closer to emptiness because they are one and the same.  Emptiness and fullness, yin & yang.  Hence the "middle way" or "Dao of middle oneness" is not to seek the point in between emptiness or fullness because that is also making a distinction - it is to realise that emptiness and fullness are the same - then there is no extreme and no middle either.  This is what the final lines of Verse 1 of DDJ refer to as being the mystery.

 

Our nature is not even know of a mystery, to not have a concept of emptiness or fullness - not-two or not one.  In "returning" to our nature we hold no concept of anything and there by simply observe, without a sense of being aware of something.

 

Hope that gets across what I was hoping to convey.

 

Sorry to have missed this so long ago.

 

The point I meant to convey is that Dao is not a 'thing'... but by extension of a linear concept, it give the impetus to the arising of the ten thousand.

 

I'm glad you mentioned not-two and not one... I've said the same here.   

 

Thanks for conveying your point  :)

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Yin Yang is the engine of the universe.

 

Spring : Yang

Summer : Harvest of Yang work

Autumn : Yin

Winter : Harvest of Yin work

 

Positive and negative experiences are required for the growth of intelligence, which is the ultimate direction of growth of all that lives.

 

God entered this plane of existence and deposited a very large engine Yin-Yang, that begin turning and cascading throughout this plane, the turning of the seasons bears fruit, and creates order.

 

Yin-Yang reflects the fundamental duality of existence, to exist something has to be occurring (even if it just recognition) and for something to happen there has to be 2 things, male and female.

 

One thing would be non-existent and is not possible.

 

In this plane yin-yang is coarse because that is the nature of this plane.   In higher planes it is subtler.   The difference between planes is the level of intelligence.

 

The engine as it cascades through this plane creates pockets of energy called beings, some develop intelligence and internalise the yin-yang cycle in their identity, as the energy of the source flows into them, so they flow back into it, completing the cycle in their  identity and so their identity because a permanent circle and they live for ... a long time.

Well, that's an attempt;.

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