Yin and Yang




Yin and Yang:
From ideas inherent in ancient Taoism, it seems possible that centuries before the birth of Lao Tzu (sixth century BC) , the Tao had been conceived of as operating through the interaction of yin and yang, the one negative, passive, female; the other positive, active, male. Speaking of this, "The Tao gave birth to One, the One to Two, the Two to Three, the Three to all the myriad objects, which carry the yin and embrace the yang harmoniously intermingled" (Tao Te Ching ch. 42).
This seems to mean that the Tao, in giving birth to the potentiality of forms, produced the One; that the One's passive and active principles, yin and yang, are the Tao; that these Two in combination produced "three treasures: namely the Three; and that from these are born all the myriad objects in the universe.
Everything being imbued with the wholeness of the One, there are at the ultimate level no you and I, not this and that, whereas at the level of relative truth there are innumerable seemingly separate objects. That the One can simultaneously be one and many points to two levels of apprehension, the ultimate and the relative.
"This fundamental postulate i the great primal beginning of all that exists, t"ai chi (supreme ultimate). Later Chinese philosophers devoted much thought to this idea of a primal beginning. Under this conception, t'ai chi was represented by the circle divided into the light and the dark, yang and yin". - Richard Wilhelm, I Ching.
Sometime during the third century, BC, still another philosophical school developed an indigenous and probably very ancient dualism into a more or less systematic purview of nature. They became known as the "Yin-Yang experts". Yin and Yang are the famed cognates of Chinese thought about nature. Generally speaking, Yin stands for a constellation of such qualities as shade, darkness, cold, negativeness, weakness, femaleness etc; while yang denotes light, heat, strength, positiveness, maleness.The Yin-Yang philosophers regarded the interaction of these cognates as the explanation of all change in the universe.