Discover the real meaning of one of the most sported tattoos: the yin and yang symbol. Being sacred in Asia, these 2 entities represent all the extreme elements of the universe.
Everything you need to know about the Yin and Yang symbol
Do you know the true meaning of this symbol found on the Korean flag? True emblems for Asian religions, the yin and yang both have several symbolisms. For philosophers, this symbol would be the very foundation of life, because it would represent all the existing contradictory but complementary aspects.
The history and origins of Yin and Yang
The story of Yin and Yang would have started around the 3rd century BC, but the exact time has never been defined. In order to explain the natural cycles of existence, the cosmologist and philosopher Zou Yan used Yin and Yang. Then, the design of this symbol evolved over time. According to Chinese doctrine, it represents all the opposite poles of life which remain complementary and can only live in symbiosis. Often, we refer to day and night, light and darkness, or even abstract things like submission and domination.
How to translate the Yin and Yang drawing?
Of oriental origin, this very famous symbol which represents Yin and Yang is called the taijitu. This drawing is composed of a duality of colors: black and white. However, on the Korean flag, black is replaced by blue and white by red. Yin and Yang are thus represented by a circle divided into two parts by a curved line, with two small points in each section.
The outer circle: A representation of the universe
The large outer circle symbolizes the “whole”, which can be compared to the universe, with all the elements it contains, including us. Inside this circle reigns the balance which governs our entire existence. Inside there are two shapes which symbolize two energies totally opposite forces reacting with each other. Their equal surfaces illustrate harmony. These two forms, one white in color and the other black in color, can combine into a single force that gives rise to everything that “is” in our life.
Yin and Yang: The colors that form a whole
THE Yin, represented by the color black, would symbolize everything that is negative and dark, namely the feminine, the passive, the night, or even the moon. On the other hand, the symbol of Yang illustrates everything that could be positive, including the masculine, the active, the strength, the light and the sun. The list is not exhaustive because all the opposing constituents of our universe having complementary characteristics can be represented by this circle.
The curved line: A sign of continuity
The 2 opposite colored sections are separated by an S-shaped line which would allow endless movement between the two. In fact, a black part interferes with the white section, and vice versa. This means that as Yin disappears, Yang will expand to fill the void. Yin would not exist without Yang and Yang would disappear in the absence of Yin.
The two little dots: The symbols of complementarity
Concerning the two points housed in each part, they show that the absolute does not exist. Nothing is absolutely positive and nothing is truly negative. There is always Yin in Yang and conversely, a part of Yang will always remain in Yin. Moreover, this can be explained concretely.
Yin and Yang: Discover the meaning of this symbol
Even if we find Yin and Yang in all opposing aspects of the universe, Chinese philosophers and other religious people have all had their vision of this symbol. This concerns both concrete and abstract things.
The Taoist point of view
Following the tradition Taoist, Yin and Yang are comparable to the “Big Bang”. In fact, these two poles were born from an energy that disrupted the Tao. The latter would be the source and content of the universe. Since then, all extreme natural potentials are represented by these entities. THE Yang symbol illustrates the exteriorization of all forms of energy, while that of Yin relates to their reception. It is from this principle that the potential of movement appeared, the origin of all the phenomena that govern our lives. Even the water cycle has been associated with this symbol because of the movements of ascent and descent.
Yin and Yang are sacred to Buddhists and the Taoists to the extent that they would allow the Five Elements to move. They would thus provide the energy necessary to regulate the different natural flows of life, negative as well as positive. These Five Elements are the fundamental patterns that breathe life.
Yin and Yang according to medicine
In Occident, Yin and Yang are neither forces nor physical materials, but rather labels with which we associate the different phenomena of life. If science had always been based only on analyses, it integrated the principle of Yin and Yang in his conception of human life. In the biological domain, everything could be explained by the balance of Yin and Yang. The most concrete example is the cardiovascular system. When the heart beats, its contraction is represented by Yin and it is illustrated by Yang when it expands.
By analogy, inspiration can also be symbolized by Yin, while the movement of Yang would explain expiration. All body mechanisms can therefore be associated with movements of Ying and Yang, even the smallest, such as the balance of red and white blood cells. The regulation of body temperature could even be explained by the balance of these two entities, our body liking neither cold nor heat. When all this was proven, scientists became less skeptical of the sacred symbols of Asia.