The Ins and Outs of Yin and Yang

While growing up in the west, we may have heard spoken the ancient Chinese terms yin and yang and gleaned from their contextual use a vague sense of their meanings, as is often the way we learn idioms, slang or regional turns of phrases.

Below is merely a sampling of descriptors commonly attributed to yin and yang:

The list above explains how we have come to associate ‘yin’ with a Pulling force (an attraction or passive receptivity) and ‘yang’ with a Pushing force (a fierce or passionate exertion of energy).  Also it shows how yin and yang got identified with the Female and Male genders.

Quadernity broadens our scope, demonstrating that the archetypal Female and Male both Pull (yin?) and Push (yang?) while enacting their universal dynamism in every entity/system throughout the cosmos.  Within ourselves, for instance, we have the Pull  * Transition * Push * Rest of our Corporeal bodies as well as the PTPR of our Conscious psyches.

The Female is our embodiment and the Male is our enmindedness.  Inseparably unified, the entwined couple’s interactivity is the Uni-verse, the one sound, the primal OM in which all notes are played and enjoyed.

Please resist the idea that women should exemplify the characteristics of only yin, and men only those of yang.  Where has this notion brought us?  Anyone exhibiting opposite gender-related traits or demonstrating behaviors related to the opposite gender risks evoking consternation, if not repugnance.  Easily disturbed are those whose minds have been set by a culturally-inherited misunderstanding of a simple pair of Chinese words.

Offered again here is the related Aside: Gender Roles.  

Niels Bohr offers this pertinent paradox:

A simple truth is a truth where the opposite is not true.  A deep truth is a truth where the opposite is also true.

In this chapter, we will explore how the original meanings of yin and yang remain true, even though they are widely misinterpreted.

Yin and Yang and Quadernity’s PTPR

Below is an array of four Pragmatic Schematics (PS).

  • The uppermost PS is a Venn Diagram.  In it we see four possibilities for arranging two opposites: (Either ((Both)) Or) and Neither.
  • The PS in the bottom row has Quadernity’s PTPR labels (Pull * Transition * Push) and Rest in the four stations.
  • The middle two schematics expose the perplexity one encounters when trying to make sense of BOTH and NEITHER yin and yang, or BOTH and NEITHER Female and Male.

Regardless of our own personal gender identity, each of us enacts both the Female and Male PTPR (Pull * Transition * Push * Rest).  All female and male persons Pull and Push; however, as this chapter will reveal, it is the Female Pull that is called yin and the Male Push that is called yang.

System’s Transition vs. the Female and Male Transitions

Never will an exhalation immediately follow another exhalation, nor will an inhalation immediately follow another inhalation.  Never will dendrites connect to each other, nor will axon terminals connect to each other.  Alternation is essential.  The binary structure is essential.  The Female and Male are essential.

Never can magnets be connected north to north or south to south.  However, magnets may be endlessly aligned, connecting the north pole of one to the south pole of another.

Also, magnets may be divided into smaller magnets, each having their own south and north poles.  There is no point along the length of a bar magnet that, if split there, would not reveal the presence of both north and south poles!

Between split magnets or between combined magnets (both represented by the lower image above) the effect is the same as the Transition in the single magnet (top image above).

In the PS below we see the labels BOTH and Transition aligned in the central space that is called the mandorla, or the vesica piscis.

In the chalkboard model below, locate the terms Rest and Transition on the vertical white line.  Rest is in the Metaphysical Domain (upper quadrants) and the system’s Transition is in the Physical Domain (lower quadrants).

We know from studying Quadernity that the Female and Male relate to each other in two ways: the ‘Private Nighttime Relationship’ (transcendence in the metaphysical domain: yin and yang in the upper quadrants) and the ‘Public Daytime Relationship’ (transference in the physical domain: Pull and Push in the lower quadrants).

In the lower-quadrant/physical domain, the Female Object is Pushed and the Male Subject Pulls.  This lower-quadrant relationship is equivalent to the Transition of the coupled system, which is shown in the central space of the Pragmatic Schematic below.

With careful observation of the graphic above, we discover that all three spaces within the PS contain the label Transition.  The outer crescents show Transitions for the Female and the Male, while the mandorla is labeled Transition for the combined system, which includes both Female and Male cooperatives.

The persistence of dynamical entity/systems (E/S) implies the presence of two Subjects (archetypally acting as equal opposites: Female and Male) interacting across dual domains.  The coupled-system’s dynamics originate with a Female Pull (yin), endure a Transition, and terminate with a Male Push (yang).

Within the coupled-system, the Female and Male originate their own actions with a Pull, follow through with a Transition and finish up with a Push.  Notice the fractal nature of PTPR between the whole system’s PTPR and its interrelated agents’ PTPRs.

Rather than the invisible exchange of charges that occurs between adjoined magnets, or the fleeting change of direction and exchange of gasses occurring between an inhalation and an exhalation, the distinct Transitions of the Female and Male are more like extended processes.

Quadernity calls the Female‘s Transition OUTforming and the Male‘s Transition INforming.  (Click on each of the chalkboards to enlarge for reading.)

Both the Female and Male process one thing (INput) to produce another thing (OUTput):

  • Female example: between the reception/Pull of sperm and the birth/Push of a baby, the process of gestation/development/anabolism/putting-together occurs.
  • Male example: between the extraction/Pull of a valuable resource (such as meaning from a communication, or nutrition from food) and the discarding/Push of excess/waste, the process of sorting/differentiation/catabolism/taking-apart occurs.

As Quadernity models, both the chalkboard quadrants and the Pragmatic Schematic (both reprinted below) show exactly the same thing, while giving two different ways to look at it.  The former ranks the dimensions: upper/beyond is for metaphysical potentialities that lack space-time configuration and lower/within is for physical actualities that present in space-time.  The latter emphasizes the significance of spaces relative to the system: the transcendent/beyond/outside-space is contrasted with the transference within/inside-space.

In the chalkboard model the Female Subject Transitions diagonally downward between Pulling INput from the metaphysical domain (upper quadrants) and Pushing OUTput into the physical domain (lower quadrants). The Male Subject Transitions diagonally upward between Pulling INput from the physical domain (lower quadrants) and Pushing OUTput into the metaphysical domain (upper quadrants).

In the PS, the Female Subject Transitions horizontally between Pulling INput from the metaphysical domain (outside-space) and Pushing OUTput into the physical domain (inside space).  The Male Subject Transitions horizontally between Pulling INput from the physical domain (inside-space) and Pushing OUTput into the metaphysical domain (outside-space).

The momentary equilibrium between the Female Push and Male Pull is represented by the Transition in the lower quadrants of the chalkboard model above.  It is also represented within a bounded inside-space of the PS below:

Both the Female and Male PTPR; however, the Female Pull is yin, and the Male Push is yang.  It is from the Rest state that the Female Pulls (yin), and it is into the Rest state that the Male Pushes (yang).  Rest is the metaphysical Ground state represented as upper quadrants in the chalkboard model above.  Yin and yang refer to the alpha and omega of Creation as a whole.

Yin and Yang, the Alpha and Omega of Dynamic Circuitry

In the graphic below, the activity within the quadrants is laid out across a PS so we can follow along from left to right.  The full cycle of an E/S originates in the metaphysical domain, where the Female Pulls (yin).  The cycle is completed by the Male Push (yang), which ends up back in the metaphysical domain.

Yin and yang include the concepts of Pull and Push; however, the gender aspects of yin and yang tell us that they are applicable only to the alpha and omega of a dynamical circuit: the initial Female Pull (ULQ) and the final Male Push (URQ), both of which are upper-quadrant phenomena, meaning they are metaphysical, not physical.

The Story of Adam (Yang) and Eve (Yin)

The receptive Female Pull in the metaphysical realm (Quadernity’s upper quadrants) is well beyond reach of our sensory perceptions.

In the images below are iconography of Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible.  We see Eve always with one arm up-stretched and Adam with one hand touching the ground below.  The symbology shows that they are Subjects of different domains.  The Female is Subject of the metaphysical domain (upper quadrants) and the Male is Subject of the physical domain (lower quadrants).

Eve is receptive to a mystical creature, usually depicted as a serpent or a cherub.  This same story is mirrored in the New Testament as Mary is inseminated by the “spirit of God”, not by Joseph who Observes the birth and fathers Her Christ-child/Offspring/OUTput.

Adam is receptive to Eve.  Occasionally, but not always, She offers Him fruit.

In the two pictures below, notice Adam scratches His head or holds His chin.  This symbology indicates He wants to make meaning of what He is receiving from Eve.

The Female brings to the physical realm of Corporeality some Patterned Matter.  The Male realizes the Matter at hand as His Pattern of re-cognition returns to the metaphysical realm of Consciousness.

Compare these two images:

From the Upanishads:

Thou indeed art the undifferentiated first cause, the highest Prakriti.  Oh, Divine Mother!  Thou art that supreme science of power, inconceivably immense.

In the painting to the right above, Prakriti offers Purusha Her lotus bud.  Purusha shows Her how His flower has fully bloomed.  The most ancient culture of India has artfully symbolized the understanding that the Male completes the cycle that the Female initiates.

In modern physics, the same conclusion is evident in this quote from The Bit and the Pendulum: From Quantum Computing to M Theory, the New Physics of Information by Tom Siegfried:

You simply cannot say, or even calculate, where an electron is in an atom or where it will be.  You can only give the odds of its being here or there.  And it is not here or there until you look for it and make a measurement of its position.  Only then do you get an answer, and all the other possibilities just disappear.  This is a difficult point to grasp, but it needs to be clear.  It’s not just a lack of knowing the electron’s “real” position.  The electron does not have a real position until somebody (or something) measures it.

The INformable Observer completes the cycle of Creation that was initiated with a Female Pull.

The Chinese Creation Story includes Yin and Yang

Chapter 42 of the Tao te Ching begins like this:

The Tao begets One.

The Tao is the Rest, within which a single disturbance occurs.

One begets two.

For every movement there is an equal and opposite movement.  The One becomes two, a dynamic interplay.  As cooperative functionaries, the Female and Male are a singular dynamic duo, representing the One.

The fractal nature holds across infinite scales as the universe divides itself into smaller and smaller versions of itself, all while remaining One in and of itself.

Yin and yang, the Female Pull and the Male Push, transcend the limitations of the inside-space dynamic.

Together, they are the firmament that divides the Waters above/beyond/outside (the Tao, the ultimate Rest) from the Waters below/within/inside (the dynamic interactivity, or cyclic feedback, between the Female and Male).

Two begets three.

There is only one Virgin Birth, initiated as the Female receives “the first seed of mind” from a genderless, metaphysical Spirit.

The Female’s subsequent OUTformation re-Minds the Male who then Observes and accepts/receives Her Offspring as His own.

Alfred North Whitehead says in Process and Reality,

Though mentality is non-spatial, mentality is always a reaction from, and integration with, physical experience, which is spatial.

Now there are three: Female, the Spirit who disturbed/seeded Her, and the Father/Observer.

The three beget the ten thousand things.

The Male/Observer then makes from His INput an OUTput, which becomes INput for the Female‘s second round.  The Male’s INformation (His reaction to Her OUTformation) is what re-Members the Female.

The first cycle folds back on itself, forming a feedback loop that persists, producing the ten thousand things*.

*At the time this was written, the number, ten thousand, was equivalent to today’s “gazillion”.  It was a number meant to encompass everything you could think of.  The word myriad also means ten-thousand, which is a stand in for infinitely many.

The ten thousand things are the entity/systems generated by the dynamical engagement of the  Female/Mother and Male/Father.

The ten thousand things carry yin and embrace yang.  They achieve harmony by combining these forces.

Yin is the inherent Female receptivity borne by all entity/systems.  What She receives, or embraces, is that expressed (yang) seed, derived from either the genderless Spirit (the initial round of pure creativity) or by the Father’s INformation (which re-Members a version of His past into a present recollection/manifestation).

In either case, the ten thousand (countless) things are an harmonious combination of forces.  The Female OUTforms Corporeality and the Male INforms Consciousness until eventually the original disturbance has been exhausted by all their vollying.  Finally they reunite in blissful quiescence; mingled-in they mutually enjoy their Rest.