Y is for Yin and Yang

Yin-Yang is a well known concept world over of Chinese philosophy. It is used to describe how opposite forces are both interconnected and dependent on one another within the natural world. Examples include light and dark, hot and cold, male and female, sun and moon, and life and death. The one cannot exist without the other – if we do not know that something is hot, how can we be sure that something else is cold? The two forces must work with one another and not as oppositions. The concept is prevalent in not only Chinese philosophy but also Chinese science and medicine, and can be seen at work in nature where yin and yang are always opposite, equal and whole – understandably, morality is attached to the concept of yin-yang.

From its nature, yin-yang supports the idea of an afterlife and some even go as far to suggest the concept explains the universe and existence itself. It is suggested that the soul too shares the balance of yin-yang which during life are whole but upon death they separate into the hun (the yang part of the soul) which is the spirit of the ancestor that is revered and abides in heaven. Life-force and vitality are associated with the hun. The yin part of the soul is the p’o. This is associated with the burial and preservation of the body – if this is not done properly then the p’o could become a malevolent spirit (the art of feng shui is a vital element in the positioning of graves).

Life and death are seen as a continuum where nobody disappears – something the yin-yang symbolises very neatly. They cannot exist without one another and must remain whole and equal.

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2 thoughts on “Y is for Yin and Yang

    • Thanks for all your comments. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I have definitely learnt a lot this month! I wish I could have covered more but at least I have food for thought for more blog posts over the next few months.

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