This weekend I spent some time exploring the philosophical tenants of Yin Yang. Now, I won’t pretend here, I did find it more than a little disconcerting. If you are unfamiliar with this worldview, let me share with you some of what I read (I have chosen to include a lengthier portion of the Wikipedia article so that you may be as informed as is immediately possible):
the concept of yin yang…normally referred to in the West as (yin and yang) is used to describe how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only exist in relation to each other…
Yin yang are complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, but either of these aspects may manifest more strongly in particular objects, and may ebb or flow over time…
There is a perception (especially in the West) that yin and yang correspond to evil and good. However, Taoist philosophy generally discounts good/bad distinctions and other dichotomous moral judgments, in preference to the idea of balance. Confucianism (most notably the philosophy of Dong Zhongshu, c. the 2nd century BCE) did attach a moral dimension to the idea of yin and yang, but the modern sense of the term largely stems from Buddhist adaptations of Taoist philosophy.
In Taoist philosophy, ying and yang (☯) arise together from an initial quiescence or emptiness (wuji, sometimes symbolized by an empty circle), and continue moving in tandem until quiescence is reached again. For instance, dropping a stone in a calm pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in the water will radiate outward until the movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin and yang thus are always opposite and equal qualities. Further, whenever one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally begin to transform into the opposite quality: for example, grain that reaches its full height in summer (fully yang) will produce seeds and die back in winter (fully yin) in an endless cycle.
It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite, since yin and yang are bound together as parts of a mutual whole (i.e. you cannot have the back of a hand without the front). A way to illustrate this idea is to postulate the notion of a race with only men or only women; this race would disappear in a single generation. Yet, men and women together create new generations that allow the race they mutually create (and mutually come from) to survive. The interaction of the two gives birth to things. Yin and yang transform each other: like an undertow in the ocean, every advance is complemented by a retreat, and every rise transforms into a fall. Thus, a seed will sprout from the earth and grow upwards towards the sky – an intrinsically yang movement. Then, when it reaches its full potential height, it will fall. (emphasis mine; material cited: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang)
As interesting and plausible as any of this may seem, it does not agree with the witness our Creator has given us of this world we dissect. This theory is surely a comfort for those of us who have no frame of reference for why evil exists and how we are subject to it. So long as we are in confusion we will seek for ways to simplify. What gore threatens us we will subjectively redefine. Without the keys to engaging these mysteries we will consistently manifest fictitious realities that we can approach with confidence.
The problem with each of these approaches is that they never free us to fully investigate life. Ignoring the Cause of things forces us to covering up mystery does not make it less of a reality, it just reinforces our fear of the truth. There is no question the truth is unnerving and sometimes exactly what we don’t want to hear, but it can never be said to bind us. Truth leads to more truth, freedom to more freedom, while lies and half truths keep us bound in a specific pattern that we might not disturb the whole.
We were meant to be free and unfettered. Although some will say that God is the Only One who can keep us from such an existence, quite the opposite is true. In fact, without God the idea of someone having any freedom at all is a myth.
Then what is the truth and how does it free us…
and how does it contain God all at the same time?
The truth tells us that we are broken,
that this world is to hard and evil for us,
but even though we are part
of the problem,
the first time
we don’t have to
Forever God —
who is good and
Oh, so full,
full of mercy —
is reaching out to us;
He wants to calm our fears
to bring to us healing help
known to us
the residence of His presence
claims our hearts today.
He will hold nothing of
peace and grace
back from us,
so long as we
open our souls
up to Him —
our Generous Father…