yin and yang

September 14, 2009

while i was in hong kong, i had a lot of time to myself especially after i lost my phone halfway through the trip in thailand. the only way friends could get a hold of me was through facebook or by calling my dorm phone and that was never a guarantee. but instead of wallowing in lonely-land, i went on walks by myself, i sat in coffee shops listening to music and watching the locals, i exercised, i shopped, i read. and that leads me to the subject of this post.

one day, i was sitting in my room alone and was bored of being on the computer. there was a mall close to my dorm so i thought i would go for a walk, see what i can find. i ended up going to a bookstore. browsing the books, i picked up a non-fiction book with this short description: “a chinese daughter reflects on happiness, spiritual beliefs and universal wisdom.” i’ve always been interested in eastern thought and i read further, “she (the author) shows us how those in the west can benefit from the teachings of the east.” and i bought the book. $96HKD. i ended up reading the book super fast — unusual for me — because i just couldn’t put it down.

she gives a lesson about the meaning of yin and yang and i think these forces are something that we should all know about … “yin/yang or the ‘dualist theory’ … according to this theory, everything in the universe is divided according to the yin and yang. however, yin and yang are neither competitive nor exclusionist. on the contrary, the two are complementary, interdependent and eventually transform into one another. they are each other’s universal counterparts. this notion may have been derived originally from the experience of ‘day and night’ as well as ‘winter and summer.’

yin means ‘shady side of a hill,’ and is associated with such words as female, moon, darkness, night, spirit of earth, water, absorbant. yang means ‘bright side of a hill,’ and is identified with such words as male, sun, light, day, spirit of heaven, fire, creative power.

yin cannot exist without yang and vice versa. without night there can be no day. without black there can be no white. inside every yin there is a little bit of yang. inside every yang there is a certain degree of yin. yin and yang are everywhere. in front and behind. to our left and to our right. above us and below us. darkness is the same as diminished light. light is the same as diminished darkness. they are complementary.”

i will leave you with that and in case you’re interested in the book, here’s the info: author Adeline Yen Mah, title Watching the Tree.


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