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Thread: The Yin Yang sign - What do you know about it?

  1. #1

    The Yin Yang sign - What do you know about it?

    Last edited by PHILBERT; 08-30-2006 at 07:59 AM.

  2. #2
    cjurakpt Guest
    interesting question (oh no, the stalker! ), worthy of some discourse

    well, first off, to call it the "Yin Yang" symbol is a misnomer - assuming that you are purposefully dumbing it down for the hoi polloi, you certainly know it's correctly called the Tai Chi symbol; so let's start there, calling it what it should be called...

    as far as what the symbol itself means, I would first challenge you to provide an accurate translation of the term Tai Chi (sorry, "Supreme Ultimate" doesn't cut it - it's a much more specific allusion); if you want to have a productive discussion about it, knowing what it means is useful (knowing a little bit about Taoist cosmological tradition should help you get started; I'll give you a hint - where does Superman live?);

    don't worry, if you can't figure it out in a few days, I'll post it, since I don't want to be labled as a dangler as well

    as far as something "useful" about the symbol, it is one of the oldest examples of binary code in existance (a correlate would be the broken and unbroken lines of the I Ching); as far as the other stuff, describing the dynamic interplay and continual self-transformative nature of polar dialectics, that's all been done to death

    also, the symbol doesn't exist in isolation - it's the second step in the Taoist creation "flow chart" after primordial chaos (Hun Dun), indicating that from this miasma of non-diferentiation/unity (subjective) there then arose differentiation/polarity, (objective); this can also be used as a metaphor for many other things: societal development, individual consciousness, etc.

    BTW, I am curious as to how the above is damaging my health, fueling the war in Lebanon and erasing information in the Akashic Record...

  3. #3
    Well, I speak from a non cultured person and I don't expect to be someone who knows something, thus don't be afraid of doubt my words.

    First of all the word Tai Chi. In the past I studied a little of Japanese and in Japanese writing there are words with double reading: Japanese and Chinese. Not all the Chinese readings are still a match with the actual Chinese language, but I was curious about the word Tai. Everybody says Supreme Ultimate Fist, but what I managed to find through dictionaries online it is more like "Big=Tai Chi=Spirit, thus it should be the Fist of the Big Spirit...but I might be wrong.

    By what I read years ago, and might not remember well, the simbol of Yin-Yang should resemble (and here bear with me, English is not my language so I try a literal translation) the "void into everything and the everything into the void". It means that everything is "complementary" (not as in free hee hee). Everything has an opposite and that opposite is necessary to complete it. For example you can't have Good without Evil, as you said Hard without Soft or Full without Empty.
    I guess this my interpretation of what I read sometime ago would work perfectly with Tai Chi if you think of the Duei La, the inside balance of the energies. Everytime your energy moves to one arm, leg, hand or any other part of the body you have to "compensate" in other part of the body, emptying one side means loading another side.

    As I said feel free to doubt my words....coz I do hee hee.

  4. #4
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    Greetings..

    Taiji symbol... most people overlook its unity, the representation of change within a unified symbol.. contained within a circle.. implying two sides of the same coin.. i speak only of my own experience, but.. for me, it represents change.. (lengthy discourse not needed)..

    Be well...
    TaiChiBob.. "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"

  5. #5
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    http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/yinyang.htm

    "By observing the sky, recording the Dipper's positions and watching the shadow of the Sun from an 8-foot (Chinese measurement) pole, ancient Chinese determined the four directions. The direction of sunrise is the East; the direction of sunset is the West; the direction of the shortest shadow is the South and the direction of the longest shadow is the North. At night, the direction of the Polaris star is the North.

    They noticed the seasonal changes. When the Dipper points to the East, it's spring; when the Dipper points to the South, it's summer; when the Dipper points to the West, it's fall; when the Dipper points to the North, it's winter.

    When observing the cycle of the Sun, ancient Chinese simply used a pole about 8 feet long, posted at right angles to the ground and recorded positions of the shadow. Then they found the length of a year is around 365.25 days. They even divided the year's cycle into 24 Segments, including the Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, using the sunrise and Dipper positions.

    They used six concentric circles, marked the 24-Segment points, divided the circles into 24 sectors and recorded the length of shadow every day. The shortest shadow is found on the day of Summer Solstice. The longest shadow is found on the day of Winter Solstice. After connecting each lines and dimming Yin Part from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice, the Sun chart looks like below. The ecliptic angle 23 26' 19'' of the Earth can be seen in this chart.

    http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.co...arCalendar.htm

    By rotating the Sun chart and positioning the Winter Solstice at the bottom, it will look like this . The light color area which indicates more sunlight is called Yang (Sun). The dark color area has less sunlight (more moonlight) and is called Yin (Moon). Yang is like man. Yin is like woman. Yang wouldn't grow without Yin. Yin couldn't give birth without Yang. Yin is born (begins) at Summer Solstice and Yang is born (begins) at Winter Solstice. Therefore one little circle Yin is marked on the Summer Solstice position. Another little circle Yang is marked on the Winter Solstice position. These two little circles look like two fish eyes.

    In general, the Yin Yang symbol is a Chinese representation of the entire celestial phenomenon. It contains the cycle of Sun, four seasons, 24-Segment Chi, the foundation of the I-Ching and the Chinese calendar."

    by Allen Tsai
    ___________________________________

    Interesting read but don't know its references.
    "Its better to build bridges rather than dig holes but occasionally you have to dig a few holes to build the foundation of a strong bridge."

    "Traditional Northern Chinese Martial Arts are all Sons of the Same Mother," Liu Yun Qiao

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyMnemonic
    OK. Now that I have determined that YiLiQuan1 is a hopeless case, I can stop wasting time on him and hopefully deal with the rational and curious people.
    Interesting how you start a new thread and fire away at me behind my back... That's a very "enlightened" thing to do, Tai Chi Peaceful Master Mnemonic.

    People who can write 5 inches of sentences per post.
    And then there's you, writing long posts, saying nothing, dangling carrots in front of others here in an effort to set yourself up as some kind of authority figure. Yeah, you're the better man, for sure...

    To prove my point I have a very simple question or challenge. Say something useful and meaningful about the Yin Yang sign. You cannot say "Yin is soft and Yang is hard". A gradeschooler knows that. You must provide some honest kind of insight into what the Yin and Yang sign signifies or teaches or implies.
    Who are you to challenge anyone to provide information? Why do you think you have the authority, right, position, or need to make others provide you with answers? Who made you Super Teacher Guy?

    Don't be afraid. Put your reputation on the line. I am. You have nothing to lose if you really do know kung fu. You only have something to lose if you have self doubt about your own knowledge.
    Same back at you... Don't be afraid, put your knowledge and reputation on the line instead of dancing around, claiming to be psychic, claiming to see "energy vampires" and zombies wherever you go, claiming that others follow you around because they're "drawn to your energy," and actually put out something useful for a change...

    Come on. Don't be shy. Let's stop all the name calling and game playing and get down to the interesting stuff. Say something simple but meaningful about the Yin Yang sign in plain english that anyone, even a teenager, can understand.
    You first John-John...
    Matt Stone

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    Smile The Yin Yang Sign ...

    Indeed the Yin Yang Sign is not known as Taiji Diagram (Taiji Tu) or Taiji for that matter traditionally. I simply translate the term Taiji as Grand Ultimate. The Yin Yang sign is traditionally known as Hei Bai Yin Yang Yu Tu (black white Yin Yang fish diagram) or Yin Yang Yu Tu for short. This sign, according to Yijing (classic of change) researchers, is rather a spin on Xian Tian Tu (primodial diagram) by an exceptional scholar, Shaw Yong (1011-1077 CE), during the Northern Song dynasty. The spin was made possible by the Southern Song scholar Zhu Xi, who created his "reasoning" approach and interpretation of Shaw's work that is pragmatic in nature. A lot of the "misconception" and misinterpretations" today about the Yijing concepts (Yin yang, Bagua and all) are caused by Zhu Xi's Confucian school of thoughts.

    The Yin Yang Sign is about 2 archetypes (ie Carl Yung's work) in the west since it is based in reasoning. But the original "message" was that it is about the Liang Yi - Heaven and Earth - the pragmatic approach of Shaw Yong. It is of note that Yin Yang are attributes or rather mental concepts. They are not real objects. You can not see, taste, smell or touch Yin Yang but you certainly can conceptualize Yin Yang. Yin Yang are attributes of Heaven and Earth not the other way around! This must be understand clearly before working with Shaw's Xian Tian Tu study.

    Yin Yang Sign is at best a simple visual aide to convey the rendered message (not the actually knowledge in proper form) IMHO. But then modern concept such as Quantum Hologram could be represented by it. So... it serves some purposes.

    Mantis108
    Contraria Sunt Complementa

    對敵交手歌訣

    凡立勢不可站定。凡交手須是要走。千着萬着﹐走為上着﹐進為高着﹐閃賺騰挪為
    妙着。


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    Smile ...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyMnemonic
    I disagree with that statement completely.

    I think I worded my challenge poorly. The man responding with the lunar calender stuff posted something interesting. I did not know that and it looks interesting. I cannot reject it for not being something worthwhile to know about the Yin Yang Symbol.
    The article concerning the lunar calendar and the Yin Yang symbol is nice and all. No doubt it is interesting way of looking at it. But it also err IMHO in that it appears to have jumped into conclusion and presenting information as facts. Any one who studies the Yijing understands the importance of solar terms, moon phase, etc. can be link to the Yin Yang symbol. The method or rather the equipment of which it claims that Yin Yang symbol derived from is know as Hua Bui. It's a season dial that could theoretically be where the Gua (trigrams) came from. There simply is no prove that the Yijing trigrams was developed from observing the Hua Bui although we could "deduce" or theorize that Hua Bui method could have contributed given its function evidently.

    As theory, it's fine but as proofs and facts. There are much work to be done. I am not saying the article is not good. It's a place to start but that's not the full story.

    What I was hoping for was something more concrete and useful to someone on a personal basis. The lunar calender might help an astrologist or be interesting to an intellectual. I think most regular people would not be interested.
    Well, no offense, I believe that's rather selective. We know that being selective and taking information out of context could lead a powerful nation such as the USA to go into a war (ie incomplete report of WMD in Iraq). So no serious seekers of truth should take any kind of information out of context. Personally, if one were not prepare to disclose the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then it's better to leave the subject untouched or sealed for a time. Inaction is an action too.

    I want something about the Yin Yang sign that you could tell to a 15 year old kid and, if they are bright and curious, would help them understand why martial arts are performed the way the teacher tells him to perform them.
    I see where you are coming from. But then if the pupil is ready, the master will appear. May be it's not time for him/her to begin the journey.

    I think that TaiChiBob's mention of change would be too nebulous for a 15 year old kid. I don't think they have the ability to think that deeply at that age, do they? I think a 15 year old kid would respond similarly to the Lunar Calender material, or the material that describes Tai Chi as an intermediate symbol that is part of a larger theory. For a 15 year old kid, that is too philosophical or intellectual. None if it would help the kid understand something about his martial arts forms.


    Did I do a better job of defining this time?
    Age and wisdom is not always parallel. The other factor is how you transmit the info. If you are a knowledgeable teacher and have thorough understanding of the subject whatever that may be, you would have many interesting ways to impress the young and hungry mind. If you tried your best and they still don't understand, well it not meant to be.

    Just my opinions on the matter. I am not saying in any way form or shape that I know any better or more than anyone.

    Regards

    Mantis108
    Contraria Sunt Complementa

    對敵交手歌訣

    凡立勢不可站定。凡交手須是要走。千着萬着﹐走為上着﹐進為高着﹐閃賺騰挪為
    妙着。


    CCK TCPM in Yellowknife

    TJPM Forum

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    Its everything and its nothing!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyMnemonic

    I think that TaiChiBob's mention of change would be too nebulous for a 15 year old kid. I don't think they have the ability to think that deeply at that age, do they? I think a 15 year old kid would respond similarly to the Lunar Calender material, or the material that describes Tai Chi as an intermediate symbol that is part of a larger theory. For a 15 year old kid, that is too philosophical or intellectual. None if it would help the kid understand something about his martial arts forms.


    Did I do a better job of defining this time?

    Ah... .so what you want is a dumbed down answer.

    Silly me, I went and gave a serious answer. But the irony is that the Taiji symbol is just that. The symbol IS the simple explanation that you can give to someone with more limited abstract imaging capabilities. In relation to MA, it represents how fullness of extreme anything, gives birth to it's opposite and how opposites work in cycles.

    You push. I pull. We form a whole. As your push grows and develops, my ability to pull contracts and shrinks but as the pull contracts it creates the conditions for my own push and as you extend your push, you create the conditions to pull. Taijiquan, is based on the recognition of the interplay between these kinds of opposing and mutually creating pairs of actions.

    Wether it's pushing and pulling, inhaling and exhaling, to people flanking each other, changing levels, any change at all that happens in a relationship (which is to say any change at all) this dynamic, extremes giving birth to opposites and the mutual relationship between the 2 participants in the "equation" can be roughly symbolized by the "double fish" symbol aka the "taiji-tu".

  11. #11
    cjurakpt Guest
    as for the translation of tai ji, as I understand it, and not withstanding the above post, it would be given as Great Pivot (or Polarity, which can be construed as extreme, as in that polarities exist at two extremes); basically, the "ji" character, at least in its original inception, refers to the axis around which the heavens rotate - from earth, it looks like that happens at, you guessed it, the point of Polaris, the North Star; for the Taoists, this was cosmologically very important interms of their longeviy/immortality ractice, since seasonal changes were incorporated into their practice in various ways; there is a great deal of focus on the Polaris star in meditative Taoist practice, and the tai ji form in particular is a shamanistic ritualistic representation of "returning to the source" (old style anti-aging therapy), with the north star being the point of origin (it's at the end of the form - Stepping up to the Seven Stars - = Big Dipper / Great Bear); in another part of the form there is the Bear Walk, which is typically translated as Cloud Hands, which is done in a pattern representing the seven dipper stars...

    so that whole article on the lunar/solar cycles was actually very relevant to the issue (another interesting thing it mentioned was that the I Jing is at times referred to the Book of Ease (as opposed to changes); one reason for this is thtat, not that the book itself is easy to use or not, but that if you can use it correctly your life will be one of relative ease because you wil always be able to appropriately adapt to the many changes that come about in life...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by omarthefish
    Ah... .so what you want is a dumbed down answer.
    The fact that JohnnyMnemonic sets up Q&A sessions like this, ever asking and never providing worthwhile content, combined with what appears to be a lack of information regarding simple material that, during a 10 - 15 year period of training in Taijiquan, he should already have, leads me to believe that his "trolling" is more to bolster his own information base than it is to impart any information on others...

    I've been involved with online forums since 2001, and in the intervening 5+ years I've found that it's not always the best idea to give out too much info... It's spoonfeeding the good students by handing them information I've worked to earn, and it's handing potential legitimization material to the hackers, slackers, and frauds who don't know the real deal in the first place.
    Matt Stone

  13. #13
    cjurakpt Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyMnemonic
    I must not have been clear. I was hoping that you would provide some of your insight into what you think the Yin Yang sign is about. I did not ask for people to issue me a challenge. If you have a challenge, you can start your own thread also. Nobody is stopping you. If it is interesting, people will respond to you.
    well, you used the word "challenge" first - it's a pretty strong opening, so if you get it back atcha, that's life;

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyMnemonic
    I suppose I could see that.
    well, if you read Master Jou's book on I Ching, you'd be seeing it without the supposition...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyMnemonic
    Does that knowledge, that the Yin Yang sign could be a binary code, help you in performing or understanding the martial arts?
    not per se - when I am toouching hands with someone, it doesn't really pop into my head at that moment; actually, I don't hink that the point of the symmbol is to imrpove fighting skill by simply contemplating it - it's a hermetic for all the varied possibilites that exist in a fight (or social interaction) that guide training in MA and life;

    but if you are really interested in the direct aplication to MA, let me ask you, if you look down from a birdseye view at two people setting up for double-handed push-hands, what shape do they make?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyMnemonic
    I do not understand the question. My guess would be that sarcasm went over my head.
    must have...

  14. #14
    cjurakpt Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by YiLiQuan1
    The fact that JohnnyMnemonic sets up Q&A sessions like this, ever asking and never providing worthwhile content, combined with what appears to be a lack of information regarding simple material that, during a 10 - 15 year period of training in Taijiquan, he should already have, leads me to believe that his "trolling" is more to bolster his own information base than it is to impart any information on others...
    well, that's what it certainly seems like - it sounded like a fish for info, since he did the whole "don't be shy, put yourself out there like I'm doing" and then he didn't contribute anything - ha!he's pretty transparant; but that's ok - it stimulated some interesting responses, the link to the lunar / solar cycle thing was a neat find and some of the other posts were informative;

    Quote Originally Posted by YiLiQuan1
    I've been involved with online forums since 2001, and in the intervening 5+ years I've found that it's not always the best idea to give out too much info... It's spoonfeeding the good students by handing them information I've worked to earn, and it's handing potential legitimization material to the hackers, slackers, and frauds who don't know the real deal in the first place.
    while I take your point of concern, but, TBH, I think it's minimal, the potential for harm - I mean, you can just google tai ji and get enough info to bamboozle the unsuspecting public forever; besides, the only real "info" IMHO is what you get when you and your teacher interract directly / touch hands, etc. - all the other stuff is nice and useful, but in terms of one's own internal transformation, not really necessary...but, I do take your point about giving something away too easily that you've worked hard to discover - I guess I focus on the people on the forum like Bob and Scott (and based on what I've read of yours, you would fall into that category) who are obviously dedicated, knowledgeable and can contribute as much if not more than myself to a discussion - a lot of what we share is stuff we've learned by the sweat of our collective brows, which could be coopted by any lurker, so what are you gonna do?

    but then again, why should I talk to you, as you are a hateful, evil man who, despite all JM's best efforts, succumbed to the lure of the Dark Side (I mean, what was that all about anyway? is he like, Yoda?)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjurakpt
    well, that's what it certainly seems like - it sounded like a fish for info, since he did the whole "don't be shy, put yourself out there like I'm doing" and then he didn't contribute anything - ha!he's pretty transparant
    The collective sum of his posts that I've read thusfar lead me to believe he doesn't know half of what he'd have others believe. He's like so many other Keyboard Warriors, making claims that he can't substantiate, getting upset when he's called out, and then running for the hills when more than one person realizes he's full of it.

    while I take your point of concern, but, TBH, I think it's minimal, the potential for harm - I mean, you can just google tai ji and get enough info to bamboozle the unsuspecting public forever
    True. I guess it's a bit of "I refuse to be a party to his actions" just as much as it is an issue of "I'm not going to make learning easy for anyone." My teacher taught me that you give out 100% of your knowledge to 100% of your students. The ones that are going to use it, will; the ones who would abuse the information, won't have the discipline to train it in the first place. Normally I'll put everything I have out there, but not for this guy...

    besides, the only real "info" IMHO is what you get when you and your teacher interract directly / touch hands, etc.
    I agree entirely. JM can read all the books he likes, read all the posts he likes, and gather information from as many movies as he likes, but he fails to realize that the only real learning takes place during physical training. He apparently spends his time cultivating all the non-physical aspects, but does so without employing the means that gave rise to those aspects in the first place, thus hamstringing any attempts to develop at all... It's like trying to learn to swim on dry land, or to ride a bike without ever getting rid of the training wheels. But he doesn't get that part of it, nor do I hold any hope that he ever will...

    but then again, why should I talk to you, as you are a hateful, evil man who, despite all JM's best efforts, succumbed to the lure of the Dark Side (I mean, what was that all about anyway? is he like, Yoda?)
    Yeah, I'm a regular Darth Somebody, ain't I? I've run into people like JM all too often over the years... He's swallowed the stories, movies, and myths, and can no longer differentiate between fantasy and reality. His teacher(s) has/have done poorly by him by allowing him to believe he's gotten that kind of guidance from them... If they really did teach him the things he spouts, more's the pity.

    Ah well... I'm off to build a Death Star to spew my evil, vile hatred around the galaxy...
    Matt Stone

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