Friday, May 20, 2011
The first two hexagrams are indicative of pure yang and pure yin. Each of these forces have definite essences assigned to them, and yet it is important to understand that it is really only one energy. There is no distinction or separation. They operate together as one. As such, these two energies normally complement each other and work together as one pure force, but they, in the course of the creation of the universe get divided into two different but equal, (yet still actually united) forces that while supposing to complement each other, being equal but opposite, end up contrasting oropposing, or competing with each other. The problem is that when one force becomes too great, it starts to change into its opposite. (Throughout the universe there is always an equal amount of yin and yang because they are really one undivided force.) Each force contains the other within it, and the extreme of each force becomes the opposite force.
The Wilhelm Baynes commentary says of pure yang, first that it is "consistently strong." Now to digress just for a moment, for both yin and yang, there is false yin and false yang. The false yin carries the negative aspects of yin and the false yang carries the negative aspects of yang. But we will ignore that for the moment and get into it later. Nevertheless, understanding false yin and false yang explains why the book of changes appears to extol yang energy while the tao teh ching appears to extol yin. They are both essential, but they must operate in their positive forms. Yang, being consistently strong, therefore has the attribute of movement. Strength in order to manifest itself must do something. It must take on activities. Otherwise its strength is wasted. Therefore it moves either itself and/or objects. It's value is in activation, or as Alfred Huang says, "Initiation." For anything to happen energy must create action, or things remain in a state of inertia. And since yang is movement, it correlates with the concept of time.
The Wilhelm Baynes version also says, "Its essence is power or energy." That has already been mentioned, but to add to the previous, without any power, there can be no accomplishment. Therefore, being power or energy, it is also spirit. Yang is the essence of heaven or spirit. It is therefore the essence of the unseen world. In contradistinction, yin, being receptive, receives the yang power or energy, and becomes the physical manifestation. In other words, it becomes the material world. By becoming the material world, it corresponds with space rather than time.
The entire multiverse, the entire cosmos, everything seen and unseen are made of these two energies as they interact and complement each other. Without space there can be no time. Without time there can be no space. The third aspect of yang energy, (and the only ones we will cover today, there are more) is that yang is "unrestricted by any fixed condition in space." In other words, it is unstoppable. But that is only possible because yin energy is receptive to yang. Without the receptivity of yin there can be no movement in space. Yin is also yielding, (which also allows yang energy to be unstoppable.) But it is important to understand on these two forces that without the possibility of unrestricted movement, there could be no time. Time by itself implies movement. Without movement there is no time. So these two great forces come into being. The movement of yang in space creates the concept of time.
These are very general discussions on the concepts of yin and yang. It is absolutely essential to understand that one cannot exist without the other. Take away one force and the other disappears forever as well, and time and space itself cease to exist. A deeper and more down to earth discussion should follow soon.