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The theory and concepts underlying the Taoist notion of yin and yang are the most sophisticated and distinctive ideas that differentiate Chinese medicine from all other philosophies of life, health, and environmental science. Yin and yang expresses the perpetual movement, change, and imperative of balance.
The beauty of the yin-yang concept is that it accepts and promotes the idea that balance is not static or stagnant. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Balance is continuous movement from consumption to creation. Balance can be achieved by non-stop change or there can be no life, health, or a sustaining environment.
If the hot summer sun and daytime never ceased, the earth would become parched, crops would dry up, rivers and rivers and lakes would evaporate. Intense light, extreme heat, and lack of water can have only one outcome. Not only would the environment suffer, all living forms and creatures would die if only yang chi infused the world.
If night were to prevail endlessly, rain never stopped, and cold ruled our world, what would happen? Not good! There would be no light and warmth for the crops to grow, and the fields would be flooded. Nothing could survive under the harsh conditions of extreme yin.
When extreme conditions of yin and yang exist, nothing can survive!
The concept of the dynamic balance of yin and yang is really about is survival. All living beings are completely dependent of the health and survival of the earth we inhabit. Look throughout history and see the ebb and flow of both human and animal migration. Life can only occur in a relatively favorable environment.
When the sun shines during the day and the cool, damp of night follows, crops will grow and nourish humans and animals alike. The light, bright, warmth of yang chi promotes the movement of germination, growth, and the flourishing of life, while the yin chi provides the nourishment of water, nutrients, and balance of cool. The yang energy of the day and the yin energy of the night must be in constant dynamic balance for the earth and all living things to survive.
In Part II of Survival: Yin-Yang Theory we will go more detail about the nature of yin and yang energy. Each segment of this series will step more deeply into understanding and appreciating the brilliant ideas of the Taoist concept of balance, yin and yang chi.