As much as the universe can be said to be all-encompassing, the beings, worlds and laws which work within it are in a constant state of flux. We live as binary beings within a unity existence, and as with anything which exists in twos, if we don’t seek balance which we inevitably exist in chaos.
Now, chaos itself isn’t such a bad thing; it’s pretty central to the way the universe works, when you look at the sheer complexity of everything. It is when we neglect to understand that we exist in a state of perpetual ambivalence that this chaos begins to erode what little control over ourselves we actually assert. There are many kinds of balance, and in this article we’re going to be looking at how achieving these states is important not only to the spiritual community, but to everyone in the world.
The ancient Chinese symbol of “Yin” and “Yang” is a perfect allegory for all systems of binary balance, and is incredibly popular as an idea not just in the East, but here in the West. The theory goes that there are two equal and complimentary forces at work in the universe: Yin and Yang themselves. One is incredibly male, and the other is incredibly female, and the areas of life which each reside over correspond directly to the “gender” of the item.
Yin, the female energy portrayed by the symbol stands for everything which we regard as feminine: Creativity, love, art, spirituality and emotion are all encompassed by this force. Yang, the male energy is understood to encompass all that is male, and indeed all that isn’t in Yin. Mathematics, logic, action and the more assertive emotions are all understood to be parts of Yang.
Neither part is regarded as superior to the other, and neither can exist exclusively without the other, which is to say that the Yin and Yang of the universe are codependant, and even symbiotic. The same is true of humanity in the theory of YinYang; all people encompass both male and female ideas, feelings and elements regardless of their physical gender. This is overwhelmingly pertinent, and science has proven the validity of this ancient, and apparently prophetic philosophy.
The theory of homoeostasis typically refers to a need for balance within a physical organism, and is achieved through correctly providing an organism with the nutrients and activities which it requires to survive. What has this got to do with YinYang? Well, humans require a diet which encompasses a balance of food-groups which have to be consciously selected and ingested to maintain physical health. We get sick, and our bodies heal themselves, but without the proper balance of physical needs the human body grows weak, and eventually dies.
Of course the theory of health is a state not simply the concept of physical well-being, but also of homoeostatic balance within the body. pH levels of stomach acid have to be maintained, temperature and fat levels have to remain under control, and the vast majority of this is controlled by simple instinctive intuition of what we should and should not do. The same can be said for the human mind, and in turn for the human spirit which resides in each of us. This is where the relation of physicality to YinYang comes into play.
Humans are intellectually some of the most complex creatures on the Earth- or at least this is the common understanding of our comparative place on the planet. As such we have complex needs, not only physically but also emotionally and intellectually and require a certain amount of intellectual and spiritual stimulation to grow physically and remain happy. As proved by Dr. Kurt Gray (viewable in my article on the practical application of Karma) the actions we take are more than capable of physically altering the parameters of the human body, and of course balancing these actions is just as important as anything.
Thanks to the actions of a group of irritating ancients we are plagued by negative emotions, and as such these emotions cause a lot of problems still observable in the world today. When the book of Revelations talks about the four horsemen of the apocalypse, perhaps what it’s talking about is the prevalent negative themes which have always plagued humanity: War, famine, pestilence and death.
If we are to ever achieve true balance then it is important that we exercise our will to counter these themes, perhaps not globally (as that is an endeavour for all humanity), but on a personal level. To my mind, war is a personal wrath and hatred of others, pestilence is the degradation of morality and personal ethics, famine is our inability to feed the mind soul and death is akin to ignorance. Meditation, excercise and thinking are equally important when it comes to this, as without the processes of introspection, physicality and philosophy we are, without a doubt, a species of unspeakable savagery and are incapable of clearing the metaphysical hurdles that we as a species face each day.
In short: It’s not only important to take care of your body, but to exercise your mind and spirit too!
Now, to blow your mind about YinYang with the application of modern neuroscience! The human brain is divided centrally into two hemispheres, which in itself isn’t that interesting. When you consider what modern science has determined about the way in which thought is governed by our physical bodies though, the results are not only incredible, but make the ancient Chinese look like Nostradamus.
Wait what?! The human brain’s two hemispheres react differently and govern conscious understanding of the themes discussed directly by the theory of YinYang?! The Chinese understood this duality in human ability and behaviour thousands of years ago and we now understand the electrical impulses which underline this theory?! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?
So, we now understand that the human mind is, in essence, divided into two parts which directly contradict each other. We are the mirrors of ourselves- capable not only of analytical thinking, but also of love and compassion, and this is a direct result of the way in which we have evolved. The human brain calculates using each hemisphere, and each lobe is pretty much universal to both sides, so the only way in which information is divided is by the way we perceive and think about things.
Modern science has determined through observation of individuals (the evidence of which is widely understood to not require direct citation here) that people are either more inclined to think with their left brain or their right brain. This is directly observable when you consider that most writers hate mathematics, or that a physicist has no understanding of art.
It’s a simple and ancient theory which has governed the path of human development for millennia, and is only now beginning to be completely understood. It is only when we combine the utility of both halves of our brains, however, that we become ‘complete’ people.
The right-brain is practically incapable of analytical viewing of an environment, and yet every human being can navigate their way around their location. The left brain cannot comprehend the intangible nature of beauty, and yet we all know what beauty is, to us. Indeed, there is beauty in both ways of living, whether we find it in a perfectly executed linear equation or in a sunrise is irrelevant, because as YinYang states:
Both natures are equally important, relevant and neither one has any claim to superiority.
In the last twenty years or so there have been some fascinating changes to the physical brains of humans being born, and this is a topic for another time, but even in adults who have no experience of the spiritual are beginning to have dormant connections in their brains activated. We are told that we use only 10% of our brain’s current potential, and that is a fallacy- it is only now that we have the conscious ability to differentiate between that which we know and that which we feel.
I cannot wait to see what the awakening of these dormant neural links will bring us. Hopefully we will finally achieve the unity for which we have striven, and simply be, rather than struggling as the distorted mirrors of our broken selves.
Crash and burn, people. Crash and burn.