Friday Night at 8: Yang

Wrote an essay a while back entitled Yin.  Definitions:

Yin originally meant “shady, secret, dark, mysterious, cold.”  It thus could mean the shaded, north side of a mountain or the shaded, south bank of a river.

Yang in turn meant “clear, bright, the sun, heat,” the opposite of yin and so the lit, south side of a mountain or the lit, north bank of a river.

From these basic opposites, a complete system of opposites was elaborated.

Yin represents everything about the world that is dark, hidden, passive, receptive, yielding, cool, soft, and feminine.

Yang represents everything about the world that is illuminated, evident, active, aggressive, controlling, hot, hard, and masculine.

Everything in the world can be identified with either yin or yang. Earth is the ultimate yin object. Heaven is the ultimate yang object. Of the two basic Chinese “Ways,” Confucianism is identified with the yang aspect, Taoism with the yin aspect

I think we are now in yang time, hard power, conflict in activity, aggressiveness, and most of all a fight for control.

Control of the narrative, we are seeing that both in the blogs and in the media.  Control of our national priorities.  Control of the moral high ground.

We’re receiving a great wave of information about torture, but that information is also about how power was exercised and control taken in the most brutal fashion.  The information we are receiving illuminates far more than the past eight years.  A lot of chatter has resulted.

Hard power.  Yin and yang are not separate, cannot be separate.   As the image shows:


Yin contains the seed of yang, yang the seed of yin.  There is no right and wrong to this, no morality.  But I think it’s instructive to know which is ascendant at any given moment and in any givern circumstance.

Why the desire for control?  Why the fierce political infighting on the liberal blogs?

Why not?

After years of secrecy and repression, finally an outburst.  And folks who are passionate about the political conclusions they have arrived at over the past eight years will find much of what they suspected not only confirmed but exceeded in pure awfulness.  This evokes a desire for action, a yang quality.  This evokes the desire for power and control to execute those actions.

Obama, of course, is the big screen all this is projected upon and we are all his proxies, trying to parse what he’s doing, what he means, what he’s going to do.  There’s a great deal of yang warrior power going on in trying to control that narrative as well.

We want a piece of the action, damnit!

Won’t last, of course.  Decisions will be made and the fluidity of the present moment (which, ha ha, is a very yin thing) will not stay so fluid.  Then will come the time for responses, for thoughtfulness and adaptation.

But now, oh boy … at least from my perspective (and I freely admit I don’t have a panoramic view), it’s yang time, baby.

Happy Friday to all.  I’m beat but happy the weather is getting warmer here in the Big Apple.


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  1. … of torture to illustrate my essay, but I think something similar will happen when the “stress test” results come out for the banks.

    My inner yang warrior isn’t too energetic these days, but my inner yin warrior is really really sly!

    So watch out!

    Mwoo ha ha ha ha.

    • Edger on April 25, 2009 at 02:06

    Yeah, but… we wouldn’t have these problems if everybody else would just STFU and listen to you and me and do what’s good for ’em, now would we? 😉

    • Alma on April 25, 2009 at 02:12

    Obama can, and should, stay out of the debate on what to do about torture investigations and prosecutions, but when we get the bank stress tests back, that is in his court.

    I myself have been quite energized the past few days.

    Nice piece at dkos today.  I felt like you must have been in my head.  

  2. Photobucket

    Yep, it is a hard power kinda time alright!

    Especially at Orange!

  3. my tattoo… not sure where, ankle maybe. This phot is of a piece of silver jewelry actually, ha ha.


    might have more to say after a bit …

    • Robyn on April 25, 2009 at 02:48

    tao te ching: chapter 6

    The valley spirit never dies

    Call it the mystery, the woman.

    The mystery,

    the Door of the Woman,

    is the root

    of earth and heaven.

    Forever this endures, forever.

    And all its uses are easy.

    –trans. by Ursula LeGuin

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