Yin And Yang


I found myself in a philosophic mood this morning thinking about the Yin and Yang symbol, and what it means. The symbol has its roots in Chinese Taoism/Daoism, and the meaning behind it can become quite complicated and I only know a little about it. The meaning is quite profound though, and I’ll share what I do know about it. The dark swirl on the right of the symbol represents negative or dark energy. The light swirl on the left represents positive or light energy. The white circle inside the dark swirl represents the light or positive within the negative and the dark circle within the light swirl represents the negative or dark within the positive. The two swirls fit together to become one whole circle representing all of life.

But what does it mean? I see it as meaning that the forces of good and bad are equal throughout life. As the symbol is usually shown in black and white it shows that there is some white in the black and some black in the white. What I think this represents is that nothing is just black and white, good or bad. No situation, no person, no event, no thing, is all good or all bad. There’s always a little of both in everything.

Whether or not this has any meaning is up to the individual. As with anything, it can be taken as a philosophy or completely disregarded. I see it as meaningful because I believe that there is a little good and a little bad in most things. Here’s an example: Your child colors on the wall with crayons. You see this as a negative thing. Now, not only do you have to correct your child but you have to wash the wall as well. Extra work that you didn’t need. Yes, these are negative things. But being able to show your child what’s good and what’s not is a positive thing. Teaching is good. The physical exercise of scrubbing the wall is good. So there is good within the bad. Too often we only see good or bad and not shades of each. We have a tendency to see the world in black and white. But I don’t think the world is just black and white. It’s all shades of gray. There’s a little good and a little bad mixed into everything. We just need to learn to see it.

If we can see the world we live in in this way it will help soften the bad times and brighten the good times. If we can see something bad that happens as a learning opportunity we’re seeing the good within the bad. It makes sense to me anyway, but it might just be nonsense to you. This is an example of the kind of stuff that swirls around my head. I think I need a vacation!

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