What are yin and yang and why are they important to me?
If the universe is an ocean of energy, then it is made up of two fundamental forces: the yin and the yang
The yin is the energy that is passive and negative, and the yang one that is active and positive. They are in every existence of the universe, so they can be found everywhere and in everything.
Night is yin and day is yang, woman is yin and man is yang, sadness is yin and happiness is yang, tail of a coin is yin and head is yang. Anything that you can think of, you can find in it the polarity. Although you cannot see literally the energies, they are there.
The two energies co-exist with each other. Yin cannot exist without yang, and yang without yin. When there is no day, there is no night. When there is no man, woman does not exist. When there is no happiness, sadness is hard to envisage. When a coin has no head, it has no tail.
There is a spectrum where the yin energy progress to become the yang energy. That explains why a man can be tough and yet soft, in between of day and night there are dawn and dusk. Yin and yang vacillate. Happiness can turn sour, and set back can seed success. The progress can be abrupt and, in some cases, disruptive. A simple act of tossing a coin, for example, can turn the yin energy to yang in split second.
Knowing the existence and vacillation of the yin and the yang energies helps you to understand how things function, so that you can manage them to the best of your ability.
For example, it can help you to manage your personal strengths. Taking the yin-yang perspective, you weakness can be your strength. On the other hand, no matter how powerful you are, you have your weaknesses and you must know what they are. Never lose faith in yourself because of your weaknesses, as they could very well be a strength that you are yet to recognize and have the potential of being transformed into strengths. So never give yourself up!
For the same token, there is no reason that you can be arrogant because of your strength. The very act of conceit can without you knowing turn your strength into a weakness.
Management of the yin yang energies is at the core of Tao Te Ching. In Chapter 2, Lao Tzu says,
“When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created.
Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other.”
Translated by J H McDonald
Thanks to Katina Rogers for the picture.