The Concept of Yin-Yang

The Yin – Yang symbol is a circle divided, by a serpentine line, into two equal parts which form two fish-like figures curving into each other. One half of the area is white and the other is black. Within the white area is a small black circle. Within the black area is a small white circle.


The Yin, the black area of the circle, can represent anything in the universe as female, passive, negative, night or soft. The Yang, the white area of the circle, represents the opposite as male, active, positive, day or hard. At first glance, Yin and Yang seem to be pairs of opposites that are dualistic, contentive and conflictive. If one looks closer, one can see that line dividing the two areas is not straight, but serpentine. That curved line signifies the flow and eventual synthesis of one area into the other. The black spot in the white area and the white spot in the black area indicate that everything includes its own opposite and that nothing can be so completely itself that it does not contain something of this opposite.

Yin and Yang are a pair of complementary forces that act in the universe unceasingly. They indicate that everything appears to be one-half of a pair of opposites: left and right, up and down, forward and backward, yet is impossible to have one without the other. The balance between opposites indicates their essential interdependence and the existence of a common ground upon which they stand. This common bond is the circle, representing the whole that contains and gives birth to the parts: Yin and Yang. This whole is Tai Chi.