Yin Yang Principles – Learning Daoism Part 2

Bagua Symbol

The order of creation is: First, Wuji, and if there is one, there must be two and three – this is the result of Yin and Yang – the opposites and the cycle of transformation of the five elements. This is the Daoist understanding of creation – moving and destruction – returning to stillness. Yin Yang includes everything and is a simplified understanding for all of the 10.000 things (infinite). Each one has its opposite, and each one has its producing and destructing counterpart.

The Supreme Ultimate (Taijitu) Diagram is a fancy word often used in modern Tai Chi schools. The meaning is a tiny part in Daoism with the Yin Yang theory and what the five elements actually offer; Daoism mentions the Taijitu as a basic doctrine in the I-Ching and gets much more complex and mathematical later on. Hence the Taijitu is often referred to as something universal and fundamental; that is true, but it is more because the further knowledge is rarely understood by westerns and often goes not deeper than the basic understanding of Yin Yang – the opposites. The orientation is also something most westerns hang themselves up with – but as long as the cardinal points, elements (Trigrams), or anything else is not defined, you can rotate the Taijitu any way you like.

Let’s go a little deeper – the Two Extremes.

The lineage of Sanfengpai goes deeper into the Yin Yang doctrines – also known as the doctrine of the Two Extremes (Liang Yi). Liang Yi hangs its principles on the creation and transformation cycle that results from the Yin Yang principles. Think about it like this: the body is working in the rhythm of Yin and Yang – because we breathe, we use power and have a state where there is no power, this is a constant transformation, the overall condition changes constantly physically and mentally. We have two glasses in our hands, one is full, and one is empty. For our body to function efficiently, we need to constantly fill the full cup into the empty one and repeat, as long we keep the water flowing – we can use the cycle of creation and destruction in our body. One could say that the Two Extremes drive the whole thing with Yin and Yang. Subconsciously we always have lived with this relation of Yin and Yang, but the practical work with this rhythm is called internal alchemy in Daoist terms.

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