A Short Concept of Yin and Yang in the Doctrine of Taoism (道教)

Taoism (Chinese: 道教 or 道家) also known as Daoism, was initiated by Laozi (老子: pinyin: Lǎozǐ) since the end of the Chunqiu Period which lived in 604-517 BC or the 6th century BC.

Taoism is the Laozi doctrine according to Daode Jing (道德 經, pinyin: Dàodé Jīng). The famous Laozi follower is Zhuangzi (莊子) who is the author of a book entitled Zhuangzi.

Taoism is a school of philosophy originating from China. Taoism is a year old, and the roots of thought have existed before the time of Confucius. This can be called the initial stage of Taoism. The more systematic form of Taoism and the form of philosophical flow was present around the 3rd century BC. In addition to the school of philosophy, Taoism also appeared in the format of popular religion which began to develop 2 centuries after the growth of Taoist philosophy.

Taoism is often called Tao. Tao is the leading force in the universe that is in all things, in the core of all things in heaven and on earth, eternal and can not change. The Taoist name is taken from Chinese letters which, in other words, the road. According to written sources, it is common for Taoism to be believed to have originated from the Yellow Emperor (Wang).

The Taoist founder was an experienced person who thought that China was familiar with the name “Lao Tse” (old gurub) which was allegedly born in 600 BC to coincide with the third year of King King Ting of your dynasty. He served as Superintendent of Archive Affairs at the Imperial Library. Lao Tse with his diligence in studying ancient books and then formed his own opinion about religion and philosophy which at the time was unique in the attention of those who studied it. When he was 90 years old, he concluded to leave the activity as an official employee of the kingdom to then travel to all countries to avoid the actions of the king whom he considered dalalistic and cruel.

The Concept Of Yin Yang

Yin and that is a principle of polarity that moves cyclically and progressively in developing life in this world. The Taoists illustrate this principle with an exciting story about a farmer who lost his horse. At dusk, a farmer was met by a neighbor after he lost his horse. The neighbor told the farmer that he felt lousy luck.

The farmer wrote, “just maybe.” The next day the lost horse returned, and he took with him six wild horses. His neighbor saw the affair by writing that the farmer was feeling good fortune. The farmer wrote “maybe.” The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to climb among the wild horses that had belonged to him, but he fell and broke his leg.

His neighbor came home again and expressed his sympathy for the tragedy that had befallen his son. The farmer back wrote “maybe.” The day after, the military officer had to come and bring all the boys to become soldiers, but the farmer’s son was not taken because he broke his leg. The neighbor came home and revealed what was happening to the farmer. The farmer also said “maybe.”

From this story, it is clear that there are luck and misfortune that flow without having to be thought out or planned. No one can be sure whether or not tomorrow will feel bad luck or luck. Everything Tao regulates.

In ancient Chinese customs, the principle of polarity is yin and that are the basic principles of their lives. The power to be able to maintain growth and then develop it comes from empirical processing with that principle. Times full of suffering that occurs never create them disappointed or frustrated but makes them cling to the more certain desires that someday there will be happiness. Their purpose in developing this principle is merely to explore their livelihood, namely the calculation in farming and fishers.

This calculation in subsequent growth developed into a knowledge of counting days, horoscopes, and so on. Many teachings, especially Taoism have not little developed the principle that has been very fundamental in Chinese culture. Lao Tzu without knowing the law of yin that would not possibly invite people to go home united with nature. Yin Yang and Taoism, philosophically and practically, have complementary properties.

Yin and that means the dark side and the bright side of a hill. The hill that is illuminated by the sun in the morning and afternoon will cause a bright and dark side. Yin and yang are two life principles that are complementary, interdependent, influence each other, and give each other harmony in each living space that is not often the opposite. Yin and that is often associated with feminine and masculine principles, weak and strong, dark and light, falling and awakening, earth and sky, and the like.

The Yin-Yang Principle is also the art of living for Chinese people. This art lies in trying to maintain one with different equilibrium which is naturally opposite each other. Alan Watts, in his book Tao: The Watercourse Way, knows this principle as negation and not a contradiction or conflict.

This principle always disputes differently and not fighting. Chinese people can live up to this principle when they know the motion of the wind, tides, waves, weather, and many other natural principles. This is a balanced life trailing nature. Humans cannot fight nature, but can only follow and obey it. In this matter, the Tao principle, with lias the pattern, becomes a way.

The central relationship between yin and what is called Hsiang sheng is a pattern of mutual development that cannot be separated from one another. Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching 2 also revealed it.

… which exists and which does not create each other.
It’s hard and easy to support each other …
Before and after following each other …

Adi, exists and is absent, ambiguous and comfortable, before and after it is different, but cannot be separated. They are interdependent entities. Also, there won’t be an end where one will win from the other. Yin and yang for Alan Watts are connoted as ‘lovers wrestling’ rather than ‘enemy fighting.’

This means yin, and that is not at all empty spaces, but an area that has different points that meet and complement each other. Yin and those who never lose each other defeat, but negate each other like the two opposing individuals love each other. So then, yin yang is not an empty principle at all, but a king, a void that has meaning.

This kind of understanding is the same as in Tao where “tangible” and “intangible” play a role in developing life.

Humans around the fingers of a wheel,
and that is the center
who can create a walking train

we work with existing,
but none that you use

Alan Watts also added that the principle of yin and that could not be called a dualism. This principle is an implicit expression of the duality of unity. The unity of these two principles is not contradictory, but there is an attachment of love. Then with this principle, people can increasingly realize their weaknesses and advantages.

Humans must know and learn to collaborate with nature if humans want to live and develop. The principle of yin and that creates awareness of the person that man and nature are one and have the same path, namely the Tao.