Duality, an excerpt from our Tantric Qigong for Self Mastery Course
The entire universe is based on the balance of polar opposites, you can think of this in terms of the physics of matter: protons and electrons, matter and antimatter, perhaps even in the different expressions of matter: waves and particles.
In the macro-world we can see the dualistic cycles of nature; night and day, summer and winter, earth and sky, while in the Tantric paradigm the dualities of Shiva and Shakti, male and female can be united through the ritual performance of Yab Yum in Maithuna. Vedic Hinduism sees Brahma as the force of creation and Shiva as the destructive agent of change. Vishnu and his many incarnations and aspects brings the balance of preservation. In religious and moral dualism philosophies, there tend to be judgments and dogma about the polar opposites of good and evil, and the physical and spiritual worlds. Taoism considers the Ten Thousand Things as being generated through the principals of yin (passive- receptive) and yang (active) with the perfectly balanced unity represented by T’ai Chi: the Supreme Ultimate complement.
The Taoist Model
Taoism looks at the world as a blend of black and white opposites yielding infinite shades of grey, of balance and duality. As expressed by the I Ching, the basic 2 lines, one yin, one yang, can be combined in 8 kua (gua) or trigrams) These 8 basic combinations themselves can be combined into 64 hexagrams consisting of a total of 384 lines: 192 yin lines and 192 yang lines. The relationship and juxtaposition of these lines create the infinite and subtle dance of creation: the balance and flow of Tao.
The yin and yang (T’ai Chi) symbol represents the philosophy of balance, where opposites co-exist in harmony and balance and transmute into each other. Taoism states that within every independent polarity lies a seed of its opposite. In the yin-yang symbol there is a seed of yin in the yang half and a seed of yang in the yin half. This symbolizes how the opposites are woven together as different aspects of the Tao, the Supreme Ultimate.
Because all polarities are manifestations of the unity of Tao, they not truly independent manifestations, but rather are expressions of the same unified energy within all of nature. What we perceive as the separate principles of yin and yang are actually different views of the same underlying unity. Think of a pot of boiling soup. Bubbles float up to the surface where they express themselves as distinct and unique bubble-entities. Yet they are composed of soup, the same as the soup in the pot underlying the bubbling surface. Bubbles and soup, yin and yang: two expressions of the same thing.
This complementary blending of the yin-yang dualism can be seen as a kind of feedback loop where balance and harmony are created by the exchange and interaction of complementary energies. The balance achieved is a kind of third state, a kind of homeostasis or continually active process of balance.
So far, so good. The theory of Tao is immensely attractive and demonstrably occurs in nature. However, humans are enormously complex systems gifted with self awareness and free will. We certainly have the ability to will ourselves out of balance, out of flow, out of the Tao. © 2013 Keith E Hall & Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.
See the CBS WUSA TV 9 interview with Keith Hall, Andrea Roane, and Jeff Besougloff about T’ai Chi for stress reduction and self-mastery here.
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