As I discussed in my last post, “What are Yin and Yang?”, the concepts of yin and yang are difficult to impossible to define. The best anyone has yet come up with to teach these concepts is to provide examples of each.

Here are some classic examples of yin and yang to help illustrate the distinctions:

Yin Yang
cold hot
female male
dark light
hard soft
low high
winter summer
matter energy
structure function
inner outer
descending ascending
accretion expansion

These are all complementary pairs. Each defines and contrasts the other. Without the one the other has no meaning.

It’s also important to realize what yin and yang are not. Not all pairs of concepts we generally hold to be opposites in our society are examples of yin and yang. For example, absent from this list are such pairs as “good” and “evil” or “right” and “wrong”. These concepts, while very important, are created by humans in order to establish order in our society. Nature has no need for concepts like right and wrong.

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4 replies
  1. Lindsay Graham
    Lindsay Graham says:

    Wow, this is great stuff. I am so Yang it is scary. I am so glad for acupuncture and the opportunity to become a Balanced Being. As it was, after acupuncture today with you, the MASTER Jon-Erik Lido, I demolished the competition at 6-2, 6-0 my win on their home turf. It is NOT coincidence. Whoa! Thank you!

    • Jon-Erik Lido
      Jon-Erik Lido says:

      Glad you like the list, Lindsay.

      Also, congratulations on the dominating win! Acupuncture is not banned by any sports associations or leagues as a performance enhancing technique… Yet!

      It is, perhaps, an unfair advantage for athletes, though.

  2. Smarty Pants
    Smarty Pants says:

    Okay, so Yin and Yang are opposites that were basically CREATED by nature, and there is no thinking involved.
    I really hope that this helped!!!

    • Jon-Erik Lido
      Jon-Erik Lido says:

      We’re starting to stray outside my area of expertise, however as far as I understand these notions and the Taoist perspective on the origin of the universe, I’d say that your statement is backwards.

      Yin and yang emerge from Wuji. “Nature”. According to verse 42 of the Daode Jing, yin and yang give birth to “the three” (Heaven, Earth, and the Hinge between the two). It is “The Three” that causes the “The Ten Thousand Things”, or what we might call “Nature”.


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