InnerNet Weekly: Meaning of Yin and Yang

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
Meaning of Yin and Yang
by Masahiro Oko

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Everything has a right to live. Everything wants to exist and we have to respect that. The weaker side in any relationship naturally demands things, because of the need for mutual balance. War, sickness, unhappiness is imbalance. You can get sick from either over-eating or under-nourishment; excess yin or excess yang. Peace, health, happiness, is balance. The same for justice. In this restaurant, for example, justice in business exists if the owner can make a living and if you also feel that the price is right. Both sides of the picture are satisfied and stabilized.

Many people don’t understand that neither yin nor yang exists by itself. Yin and yang means communication. Communication breaks down in two ways. For example, if I communicate with someone by touching his arm, my hand moves, so it is yang, while his arm is motionless, or yin. If neither of us moves, or if both of us are in motion, no communication can occur.

Its the same thing as dancing. One partner usually leads, and the other follows. Both have the right to exist; the leading depends on the following and the following depends on the leading and both recognize that. That point of it, the communication, is the transfer of energy taking place between the two. The purpose is not superiority or inferiority of one or the other individual, but the flow between them. In a ballroom stance, for example, the woman’s hand goes on the man’s shoulder and the man’s hand is on her back. For a different partner, his hand is higher or lower and the elbows are at different angles. If we don’t understand the most suitable position for our partner-beings in life, war occurs.

We must learn the purpose the dance: not playing roles, such as leader and led, for their own sake, but to understand each other. In this kind of cooperation, the minimum effort gives maximum result. The basis of peace is not an abstract quality, but cooperation, seeing each other as human beings. We must recognize our wonderful differences, without discrimination or value judgements. Discrimination makes war. For me, the meaning of yin and yang is the power of that respect for everything’s nature.

–Masahiro Oko

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Meaning of Yin and Yang
What does yin and yang mean to you? How do you reconcile “discrimination makes war” with the need to discriminate between that which is wholesome and unwholesome? Can you share a personal story where you were able to co-create “this kind of cooperation,” where “the minimum effort” gave the “maximum result?”
Madhu wrote: नमसà¥à¤¤à¥ रà¥à¤à¤¾-à¤à¥ हमारॠसब à¤à¤¿ तरफ सॠ… बहà¥à¤¤ बहà¥à¤¤ शà¥à¤à¥à¤°à¤¿à¤¯à¤¾…
Kokil wrote: For me Yin and Yang also means a balance between the Masculine and Feminine. Every human being has both the qualities – that of a provider and a nurturer and that is why its the coming together …
Conrad P. Pritscher wrote: Thank you for the opportunity to respond. As I read Oko, I have mixed feelings (yin and yang). I do believe balance is crucial in every aspect of living. As an educator who has witne…
david doane wrote: Yin and Yang means to me that everything is relational. Nothing is individual or isolated. Every action takes two or more parties to allow, create, arrange it to happen. Discri…
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