What is the theory of Yin and Yang?

What is the theory of Yin and Yang?

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Yin Yang is perhaps the best known and documented concept used within Taoism.

The symbol of Yin and Yang goes back to ancient China and represents the belief that everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposite but at the same time complementary.


  • 1 The basic philosophy of Yin Yang
  • 2 Symbolism of the parts of Yin Yang
  • 3 Yin Yang Means: Harmony and Balance
  • 4 Basics of defining the nature of Yin Yang
  • 5 How Yin Yang flows

The basic philosophy of Yin Yang

According to Yin Yang and his philosophy about the universe, everything that exists is constant and at the same time cyclic. When a force dominates, then it is replaced by its opposite force. This activity continues and repeats constantly over time.

Some examples that illustrate Yin Yang's philosophy are:

  • Life and death
  • Night and day
  • Sky and earth
  • Health and disease
  • Darkness and light
  • Poverty and wealth
  • Seasons cycle: cold to hot
  • Yin Yang symbol

The Yin and Yang symbol, also known as the Chi Tai or Taiqi symbol, consists of a circle equally divided into two sections, one white and one black, by an inverse S. Inside the black section there is a small white circle. Inside the white section there is a small black circle. Each of the individual aspects of the Yin Yang symbol has a specific meaning that we explain below.

Symbolism of the parts of Yin Yang

Outer circle

The outer circle of Yin Yang represents everything in the universe and the universe itself. It covers the duality of everything that exists.

The Black section

The black area represents Yin with the following characteristics:

  • Female
  • passive
  • Intuitive
  • Moon
  • Dark
  • Cheated
  • Cold
  • Submission
  • Ease
  • Downward movement
  • Night
  • Soft
  • Stillness
  • River

White section

The white area represents Yang, and has the following characteristics:

  • Male
  • Active
  • Logical
  • Sparkly
  • Sun
  • Light
  • Creation
  • Domain
  • Upward movement
  • Strong
  • Hot
  • Expansion
  • Hard
  • Movement
  • Mountains

Black and white sections together

On the whole, black and white areas represent the interaction of the energies found in all things. Both illustrate the cyclical nature of Yin and Yang and all that it represents.

The small black and white circles

Located in the areas of their opposite colors, the little circles show that nothing is absolute. In each of the opposing forces there is a small part of the other. In all the Yin there is a part of Yang and vice versa.

This is valid for everything in the universe, for example, in every woman there is a bit of male sex and in everything good there is a bit of evil. Nothing in the universe or in life, is simply black or white. Each one exists in the other and each one needs the other to exist.

The S form that separates the two areas

Instead of a straight line that divides the two halves, there is a line in the form of a smooth inverted S that flows. Both sides give each other and push each other, illustrating each other's dependence on each other. Where the Yin swells in size and height, the Yang begins to emerge. Where Yang continues to grow in size and height, the Yin emerges once again showing that each one holds the other in its endless cycle.

Yin Yang Means: Harmony and Balance

So, according to Taoist principles, the forces of everything in the universe are in constant motion. As the movement continues, each of the energy forces gradually changes to the other, from Yin to Yang and from Yang to Yin.

Yin and Yang are two halves that together complete a whole. Yin and Yang are also the starting point for change. When something is a whole, by definition, it is immutable and complete. So when divided into two halves as in the Yin Yang, the balance of the whole is disturbed. This causes both halves to "chase" each other while seeking a new balance with each other.

The word Yin comes to mean "dark side" and Yang "sunny side."

Basics of defining the nature of Yin Yang

Neither Yin nor Yang are absolute

Nothing is completely Yin or completely Yang. Each aspect contains the starting point towards the other opposite. For example: day becomes night and then day becomes night ... Yin and Yang are interdependent with each other, so that the definition of one requires the definition of the other to be completed.

Yin and Yang are not static

The nature of Yin and Yang flows and changes over time. A simple example is to think about how the day flows slowly towards the night. However, the duration of day and night are always in change. Day and night are not static entities. Sometimes the changes in the relationship between Yin and Yang can be dramatic, where one aspect can literally transform into the other. For example: some species of fish have females that quickly transform into males when the population of males is not enough.

The sum of Yin and Yang form a whole

One effect of this is: when one aspect increases the other decreases to maintain the overall balance of the whole.

The balance of Yin Yang can be biased due to external influences. There are four possible imbalances:

  • Yang deficiency
  • Yin deficiency
  • Yang's excess
  • Yin excess

These imbalances can be matched: so an excess of Yin can also simulate a deficiency of Yang and vice versa.

An example of this concept is especially important in Chinese healing practices. For them an excess of Yang leads to fever. An excess of Yin could mean the accumulation of fluids in the body. Thus, Chinese healing studies a person's health in terms of the eight principles: internal and external stimulation, deficiency and excess, cold, heat and Yin and Yang.

Yin and Yang can be subdivided into additional aspects.

For example, the Yang aspect of heat can be further subdivided into a hot Yin or a burning Yang.

It may interest you: What is the Zen?

How Yin Yang flows

Finally, all descriptions and classifications of Yin and Yang can be understood according to the following passage from Tao Te Ching:

The road begat one,and one to two;Then the two begat the threeand three, everything else. 

Definitely, Yin Yang is a recognition system of how to separate patterns in our lives and at the same time relax to accept the global set and the complete nature of the Tao.