Yin and Yang
In Chinese culture, Yin and Yang represent the
two opposite principles in nature. Yin characterizes the
feminine or negative nature of things and yang stands for the
masculine or positive side. Yin and yang are in pairs, such as
the moon and the sun, female and male, dark and bright, cold and
hot, passive and active, etc. But yin and yang are not static or
just two separated things. The nature of yinyang lies in
interchange and interplay of the two components. The alternation
of day and night is such an example.
The concept of yinyang has a long history.
There are many written records about yinyang, which can be dated
back to the Yin Dynasty (about 1400 - 1100 BC) and the Western
Zhou Dynasty (1100 - 771 BC). Yinyang is the basis of Zhouyi
(Book of Changes), the jing part of which was written during the
Yinyang became popular during the Spring and
Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC) and the Warring States (475 - 221
The principles of yinyang are an important
part of Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine),
the earliest Chinese medical book, written about 2,000 years
ago. They are still important in traditional Chinese medicine
and fengshui today.
Here is a summary of the characteristics of
yinyang. Yin and yang are opposite in nature, but they are part
of nature, they rely on each other, and they can't exist without
each other. The balance of yin and yang is important. If yin is
stronger, yang will be weaker, and vice versa. Yin and yang can
interchange under certain conditions so they are usually not yin
and yang alone. In other words, yin can contain certain part of
yang and yang can have some component of yin. It is believed
that yinyang exists in everything.