The Concept of Yin & Yang in Chinese Culture

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    Identification

    • Yin and yang have their own kanji (the Chinese writing system) characters, but they are most widely recognized by a circular symbol, divided in half with an "S" shape. Each side has two smaller circles in it, one of which is black and the other white. The rest of the half is colored black or white, whichever the color circle is not (Black with a white circle, or white with a black circle).

    History

    • The origin of the yin-yang school of thought can be traced back to the Han Dynasty, when philosophers took the teachings found in Taoism and created an explanation as to the workings of nature and the universe.

    Function

    • The yin and yang describe dualism in nature and the equilibrium that exists between man and the cosmos, man and nature and man and himself. It says that everything has its opposite and that the perfect life can be lived if every aspect is kept in balance.

    Features

    • The yin represents the feminine aspects of life, such as the moon, darkness, silence and the earth. The yang is masculine and represents the sun, light, heaven and movement.

    Considerations

    • Yin-yang philosophy states that all phenomena in the world not only have opposites but the seeds of opposites within them, such health bearing the possibility of sickness, and vice versa. By saying this, it suggests that nothing occurs on its own, and therefore no one thing (even heaven or hell) can control anything else.

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