What is Yin?

Yin is not yang, yet both are necessary for wholeness. Yin is feminine energy, though not exclusive to females. Yang is masculine energy, though not exclusive to males.

Yin_yangYin is, among other aspects, collaboration, cooperation, nurturance, integration, kindness, compassion, softness, sensuality, flow, flexibility and intuition. It is our connection to our heart, the heart of others and to Earth. Yin can only be experienced and felt. It is unseen, unmeasurable, untouchable and is the “beingness” of our reality and is dominated by the right hemisphere of our brain.

Yang is, among other aspects, independence, strength, manipulation, alteration, force, governance, separation, hierarchy, rigidity, and logic. Yang helps us to change the physical world in which we live in ways that can be measured and detected by our five senses. Yang is the “doingness” of our reality and is dominated by the left hemisphere of our brain.

Ideally, each person, family, society, and culture would be balanced in their yin and yang aspects. Imbalance toward yin or yang sets a system up for failure. Cultivating yin attributes in each individual and pairing them with yang actions leads to purposeful changes infused with integrity, authenticity, power, and health.

Early societies were peaceful, goddess-based, hunter-gatherer in nature and egalitarian, though progress and development were slow for tens of thousands of years. About 5,000 years ago humans started to domesticate and own animals. The “capital” in capitalism means “head” as in head of a sheep, cow, or goat. Progress and development during this period increased significantly.

In fact, anthropologist John Hawks estimated that positive natural selection (the tendency of beneficial traits to increase in frequency in a population) just in the past 5,000 years alone has occurred at a rate roughly 100 times higher than any other period of human evolution.

I think many of us can see how using the land, eating the animals, burning the fuel, and otherwise consuming the resources while advancing in the material world at lightening speed is unsustainable. I think it’s time, and I do believe it’s already starting, to take the best of the early egalitarian societies and the best of the capitalistic societies to create a new society that will evolve both in the spiritual and material worlds, the seen and the unseen, the measurable and the unmeasurable, the doing and the being.

How do we do this? Not by women becoming more man-like or men becoming more women-like, rather each of us becoming  whole and balanced in our yin and yang: pairing, appreciating and using both our masculine and feminine energies.


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