Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yin and Yang Everywhere

Throughout the world it seems as though nature itself is screaming at us to look at and understand the nature of yin and yang. For example, the world is divided between east and west. The east has been traditionally associated militarily speaking with passive aggressiveness, using subtlety in battle. The west has been associated more with the use of brute force. Personally speaking, the east has been concerned with the evolution of the person through meditation and quietness. The West has been oriented toward outward expansion and conquest. The east goes to war but it has traditionally been more concerned with inward struggles, with the possible exception of world war two, and China seems to becoming more aggressive, but still the emphasis is on secrecy and subtle warfare. Granted the west has also become more secretive and strategically oriented over the last few years. Nevertheless, there is a big difference between the orientation of east and west.

We see this same division as well in the separation of the two worlds, with the Atlantic ocean on one side and the Pacific on the other, the former having the reputation of being more stormy and the latter having the reputation of being more peaceful, although that too is changing.

In the book of changes we have the separation between the upper canon, and the lower, the upper covering hexagrams one through thirty, and the lower hexagrams thirty one through sixty four. Supposedly the lower canon relates more to the affairs of men, and the upper to the affairs of heaven, although from a modern western perspective it is harder to see. I am sure that the ancient Chinese understood more in the terms of its separation.

In the west too, the considered holy book called the Bible is divided into two halves, the first half depicting an angry God who will not tolerate sinners, and the second half depicting a loving non judgmental God who's sun shines on the righteous and the evil.

In ancient times the Egyptian nation was divided into upper and lower Egypt and later the Hebrew nation was divided into the northern kingdom and the southern. There was considerable tension between the two groups as they both had different versions of the meaning of their God. They had several names for their "one and only" God, but there were two primary parts to the name of God, some having the prefix EL, and some having the suffix AH. These two designations related in many ways to the conscious and subconscious minds. Most of the prophets had names that started or ended with EL, showing their relationship with this form of their God, and others had names that ended with the suffix AH. Others had names with both aspects which referred to their familiarity with both aspects of God. Names such as Elijah or Elishah fit this category.

There is also in sacred literature a division between soul and spirit, the spirit seeming to relate more to the thinking aspect of mankind, and the soul relating to feelings. If we take the garden of Eden story, and replace the female Eve with the subconscious mind, or the feeling nature, and replace the male with the conscious mind, or thinking nature, we get a much bigger view of the allegorical meaning of the story.

Finally, life shows us the division through the concept of life and death itself. And life can be associated with the conscious mind, death with the unconscious, for the unconscious tends to hide itself from view and works in the dark.

One more point, in the early days of the church, the orthodox church, which became the Roman Catholic, was in conflict with the gnostic church which it eventually repressed, and the gnostic church became almost non existent. In other words, hidden from view just as the subconscious is. In many ways, yang, being powerful and forceful, tends to bully the yin force, forcing it into darkness, (which is an attribute of yin) and becomes dominant. The yin force is forced to hide, which is its nature anyway, and becomes manipulative and uses subterfuge to fight back. As such man and woman is at war with him or herself.

In the gnostic tradition, it is only when male and female stop the war, stop opposing each other, and start complementing each other, that mankind ends the war within, allows the subconsciousness to become conscious, the male becomes as the female and the female as the male, that mankind makes peace with itself, and enters the "kingdom of heaven." Then there is no more "death."

Why is this important? Because it is only in changing the opposition into complementary energies that anyone can ever escape the cycle of death and rebirth without any remembrance of former lives and therefore never gaining ground.

More on this later.


1 comment:

Kelly said...

Another brilliant post, corresponding directly with my own current preoccupations and studies; I'm looking forward to reading more.