Yin + Yang = the Force

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25 Apr 2012 14:46 - 25 Apr 2012 14:47 #57754 by
Yin + Yang = the Force was created by
In Taoism, the symbol of the Yin & Yang is quite popular. The most important aspect of this I'd like to open to discussion is the interplay between Light and Dark. We don't call ourselves "Light" Jedi here at TOTJO, merely Jedi. Many have opted to take up the title of Gray Jedi, a mix of Light and Dark. This is fairly similar to the concept of Yin and Yang, in that it emphasises the fact that there cannot be Light without Dark, and vice versa. We would have no concept of one without the other. But the huge (and awesome) bit is how in Taoism, the symbol of Yin & Yang shows the balance between the two, that they complete each other, and that together they make the whole.

IMHO, no one can be wholly Light or wholly Dark, no matter how Jedi/Sith they claim to be. For the Harry Potter fans out there, "The world isn't divided between good people and Death Eaters. We all have Light and Dark within us" (Sirius Black). Life requires this balance, to be both Sinner and Saint, both Good and Evil, or whatever terms your faith uses to differentiate the Yin from the Yang. And this is the Force, this balance between the two that maintains life.

"If you do not cast a shadow in your wake you are not in the light."
Last edit: 25 Apr 2012 14:47 by .

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25 Apr 2012 21:56 - 25 Apr 2012 21:57 #57815 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Re: Yin + Yang = the Force
An old Taoist Chinese alchemist, Wei Boyang, pointed out that "Things of a similar nature will cause changes in each other.", and one of my QiGong books says that "Qi is the energy produced from the balance of two complementary but polar opposites when they are harmonized.".

So I tend to look at the visual image of the Tao and clearly see the similarity of the objects (shape), but they are presented in such a way so that they complement each other (combined form, dots) despite being the polar opposite (color).

I think its important to differentiate modern concepts of light v dark from the imagery of Taoism because for me at least the symbol isnt meant to explain Yin and Yang, it just uses a knowledge of Yin and Yang to explain concepts of harmony and balance in better understanding Qi or the Force.

Therefore perhaps if harmony and balance cannot be achieved, then items may not be complementary enough to be considered equivilant for comparison as being Yin and Yang. As a result I do not consider relationships like evil and compassion as examples of Yin and Yang - because whilst they might be polar opposites I don't consider them complementary.... and therefore not in need of balance with each other as equals.

Good and bad seem to be more subjective terms then evil and compassion so I have a harder time working out if they could as a rule be considered a Yin Yang relationship, it might depend on what is being talked about for those terms!?

Maybe of interest also is that Chinese medical tradition lists 5 principles which might help define Yin and Yang;

1. all things have 2 aspects - these qualities are opposites but relative aspects of the same phenomena.

2. any yin or yang aspect can be further divided into yin and yang - allowing infinite subdivision, it seems to be a model of logic.

3. yin and yang mutually create each other - they cannot be seperated.

4. yin and yang control each other - they seek balance with each other.

5. yin and yang transform into each other - harmony as a measure of balanced transformation between them.

So I guess its a fair question to ask what is the polar opposite, complementary and similar aspect of the light side of the Force, which also meets the above criteria!!!?

For me it comes down to external and internal focus of awareness/mindfulness, external being the light and internal being the dark. These paths then become different journeys to the same destination but in different contexts of the self. Lol, I do not know if that makes sense to anyone other then me, but maybe some food for thought.

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Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
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TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 25 Apr 2012 21:57 by Adder.
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24 May 2012 12:08 #61671 by
Replied by on topic Re: Yin + Yang = the Force
Adder's use of the term "polar opposites" reminds me of something I learned about magnets. You have your north pole, and your south pole, but if you try and cut a magnet evenly down the middle, you're not left with a "north magnet" and a "south magnet." You're now left with two magnets, each with a north and south.

This is a bit like people who try to "purge the evil" from them. It's never going to go away. It's best to make peace with it, and I guess... just not get so carried away by it, or even the thought of it.

I suppose the only way to actually make yourself whole is to allow both traits to neutralize one another. No longer aggressive, or passive, but... I guess firm. Not fire or water, but stone. Or perhaps a free-spirited wind, I don't know... I think I'm losing the point of my post...

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24 May 2012 13:08 #61674 by
Replied by on topic Re: Yin + Yang = the Force

Xiam wrote: I suppose the only way to actually make yourself whole is to allow both traits to neutralize one another. No longer aggressive, or passive, but... I guess firm. Not fire or water, but stone. Or perhaps a free-spirited wind, I don't know... I think I'm losing the point of my post...


Actually, you had something interesting going there :) Neutralization is what Zen people call non-duality. Not dark, not light, not even grey, just....(fill in the blank)

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12 Aug 2012 04:34 #70031 by Lykeios Little Raven

Streen wrote:

Xiam wrote: I suppose the only way to actually make yourself whole is to allow both traits to neutralize one another. No longer aggressive, or passive, but... I guess firm. Not fire or water, but stone. Or perhaps a free-spirited wind, I don't know... I think I'm losing the point of my post...


Actually, you had something interesting going there :) Neutralization is what Zen people call non-duality. Not dark, not light, not even grey, just....(fill in the blank)

I agree, Xiam made good points in his post and that one is indeed interesting.

I don't know much about Zen Buddhism, but Taoists even have a concept similar to what you are talking about here. The two halves of the taijitu (the Chinese word, unless I remember incorrectly, for the yin yang symbol) are, as I understand such things, used mainly as teaching tools. Once a Taoist realizes and fully understands the dynamics between "light" and "dark" (OR "yin" and "yang") the concepts can basically be left behind as "top of mind" perceptions. I believe, though I can't say I know from experience, that once one is truly aligned with the(ir) Tao the idea of "grayness" (while still a good description for one not aligned with the Tao) is rendered obsolete.

Taoists would likely fill in that blank with something similar to "being." A person "aware of" and "following" the Tao just IS. He or she leaves any concept of needing a label for what he or she believes in terms of yin, yang, and their combinations/relatipns and just lives in accordance with their "inner nature" and therefore the Tao.

“Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.” -Zhuangzi

“Though, as the crusade presses on, I find myself altogether incapable of staying here in saftey while others shed their blood for such a noble and just cause. For surely must the Almighty be with us even in the sundering of our nation. Our fight is for freedom, for liberty, and for all the principles upon which that aforementioned nation was built.” - Patrick “Madman of Galway” O'Dell
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12 Aug 2012 08:45 #70049 by
Replied by on topic Re: Re: Yin + Yang = the Force
Any relationship can be described in these terms but a more accurate use would be "more Yin than", etc. For example, 9am is more Yang than dawn but less Yang than midday. There is always something different to compare to and the terms Yin and Yang can only describe what is occurring to a certain situation at that moment.

This leads into a key aspect of Yin and Yang: the fact that there is always movement. The taijin symbol demonstrates that "flow" from one state into the next and everything is constantly changing. That's why it's important to live in the moment because the past and the future are different states that have already bee, or are yet to be, experienced. This echoes with Jediist principles such as the 2nd Basic Teaching: "Jedi live and focus on the present; we must neither dwell on the past nor be overly concerned about the future."

Of course, the entire nature of Yin and Yang and it's opposing characteristics can be reflected in the Jedi Code:
Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet the Force.


I personally incorporate a lot of Taoism into my personal path as a Jedi and find that it fits so nicely with our teachings! Thank you for sharing this discussion everyone :)

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12 Aug 2012 11:50 - 12 Aug 2012 12:02 #70062 by Alexandre Orion
"albeit fascinating rhetoric, still is true the taoïst devise : he who speaks knows not, he who knows speaks not"

-- From a conversation with Daniel.

.... of course, one has to understand what that means. ;)

Be a philosopher ; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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Last edit: 12 Aug 2012 12:02 by Alexandre Orion.
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