What is Yin and Yang?
If you read about these terms in most books they will tell you that it is about duality. Yang is hot, active, masculine, Yin is cold, passive, feminine. Some books will give you long lists of opposites and will classify them as Yin or Yang. But this is only half of the picture. If the male and extrovert are Yang, and the female and introvert are Yin, then what is a male introvert? or a female extrovert? Yin or Yang?
Let me make some statements about my perception of Yin and Yang, and then give you an example to explain them. Yin/Yang do not exist unless there is someone there to perceive it. It exists in the perception of the beholder. In all situations there are two extremes. To gain a true insight into Yin and Yang you need to have a perception of the middle point between the two extremes.
Try this experiment.
Get three bowls and fill one bowl with very hot water, one with warm water and one with very cold water:
Place one hand in the hot water and one in the very cold water. After thirty seconds place both hands in the warm water.
To the hand that was in the hot water, the warm water feels cold, but to the hand that was in the cold water the warm water feels hot. Is the warm water Yin or Yang? The answer is that it can be either. If you ‘stand’ in the middle ground between the hot and warm water bowls, the hot water is Yang and the warm Yin. If you ‘stand’ in the middle ground between the warm and cold water bowls, the warm is Yang and the cold is Yin. You see it all depends on where you stand.
This is the wonderful thing about Yin and Yang, it is totally non-judgmental. You just stand in the middle and look at the two extremes. Gain a true insight into Yin/Yang and you gain an insight into life. People who are prejudiced (we all inherit some prejudice against something) tend to be judgmental and can only react against those prejudices. Learn to view things from the middle ground, perceive what is either side without prejudice, and you turn prejudices into choices. Rather than giving into involuntary reaction, you can choose what to do and so have control over your life.
Originally published by Andy Baggott
Posted with permission of Master Michael Tse, Qi Magazine Issue 4