Monday, November 30, 2009

Yin and Yang: World of Opposites

Yin & YangImage via Wikipedia

A much maligned and misunderstood symbol is that of the Yin and Yang. You see it on posters, buttons, T-shirts and dangling from the necks of obscure, long-haired youth.

Before I ever understood it, I saw it from an artist's perspective. a beautiful and powerful design, stunning in its simplicity.

To learn that it symbolizes two fish, one white and one black and that each form defined the other was eye-opening.

That it represented a view that life is created of opposites, night and day, up and down, love and hate, right and wrong, good and evil, Satan and God, justice and injustice, negative and the positive and that one could not exist without the other was dumbfounding.

The Western view of life is that we must suppress the negative forces in favor of the positive ones, that they are mistakes and have no place in our lives. How can we re-learn that to completely know love, we must also embrace hatred, that these opposing forces are inextricably bound to one another, each with equal value?

Dualism is embraced by many cultures in the world. There is no place for the Third Eye, I would suppose.


#167 Dad said...

I've always been interested in zen concepts. I guess the concept of accepting the good with the bad is a key component to happiness.The Peaceful Warrior is one of my favorit books.

Rick Rivers said...

Me too. Zen painting is fascinating. An old flame gave me a book of Zen Short Stories years back and the stories are enlightening.

#167 Dad said...

A man dreamt he was butterfly and awakened to learn he was butterfly who dreamt he was a man.
far out...

Rick Rivers said...

I love this story. Do you remember the line from an old 60's song (forgot who sung it - was it Donovan?) "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is?" Or how about the classic Koan" "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

rebecca said...

I found you by way of another blog. I've always believed in the yin and yang - one cannot exist without the other and this spans all areas of life. It is the way one evolves and grows - how will one ever learn and truly value the light of life if one never walks thru the dark?

Rick Rivers said...

Rbecca: Thanks for visiting and for your comments. Don't get much of these so I really appreciate it.
Your blog is beautiful and will return to check it out some more.