Yin and Yang, to me, means balance... keeping a balance between feminine and masculine, work and play, awake and sleep, etc. I don't always achieve the balance I seek (particularly not with sleep ;-), and yet I keep the yin and yang image with me to remind me of balance. So this page has some things specific to yin and yang, vs. how it relates to my transgendered experience. If you'd like more thoughts on the latter, please see my thoughts on Gender, Sexuality, or maybe even More on Kim or my thoughts in my Diary
If you're interested in a definition of yin and yang, The Free Dictionary defines it as "(Chinese philosophy) the two fundamental principles, one negative, dark, passive, cold, wet, and feminine (yin) and the other (yang) positive, bright, active, dry, hot and masculine. The interactions and balance of these forces in people and nature influence their behavior and fate."
The Wikipedia definition is similar: "...two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things in the universe. Yin, the darker element, is passive, dark, feminine, downward-seeking, and corresponds to the night; yang, the brighter element, is active, light, masculine, upward-seeking and corresponds to the day. Yin is often symbolized by water, while yang is symbolized by fire. The pair probably goes back to ancient agrarian religion; it exists in Confucianism, and it is prominent in Taoism. Though the words yin and yang only appear once in the Tao Te Ching, the book is laden with examples and clarifications of the concept of mutual arising. Yin and yang are descriptions of complementary opposites rather than absolutes. Any yin/yang dichotomy can be seen as its opposite when viewed from another perspective. The categorisation is seen as one of convenience. Most forces in nature can be broken down into their respective yin and yang states, and the two are usually in movement rather than held in absolute stasis."
So, to me an important reminder is that yin and yang are in movement and flux; as nature is not always one thing or the other (day or night, hot or cold, dry or wet), neither are people. If we all had more room to recognize we are not always masculine nor feminine, perhaps everyone would have more room to express their gender as it suited them at the time.
From a postcard I picked up somewhere along the way, and other sources on the Web... The Tao stresses a oneness in nature of all things. :)
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This page last updated on 02 November, 2003.
©1964-2003 Kim McNelis. All Rights Reserved (No images, text, etc. that are Kim's may be copied w/out Kim's consent. Thank you).