One of the foundational concepts of Taoism is the concept of Yin and Yang. Yin represents the Divine Feminine, Yang represents the Divine Masculine. These aspects are at the core of Taoism, and at the heart of Classical Chinese medicine. The Yin state is the state of rest, receptivity. The Yang state is the state of doing, of action. One is positive and electric, pulsating out, the other is negative and magnetic, drawing in, the inhale and the exhale. Both are essential for all life, and for our well-being. To be healthy, we need both the Yin and Yang organs of the body to be strong. Neither is superior to the other, they are all manifestations of energy.
We have 12 meridians in the body, 6 are Yin, 6 are Yang. They are partners with each other. We have the stomach and the spleen, the Earth Element, with the spleen being Yin Earth, and the stomach being Yang Earth. The Heart is Yin, it’s partner is the Small Intestine, which is Yang. Each is partnered, each is essential. Qi, our vital life force, comes out of Yang, while blood, which is the medium which holds on to the rest state, comes out of Yin.
When we think of Yin and Yang, the Sun and the Moon, the sunlight and the darkness, activity and rest, giving and receiving, we are looking at the cycles of life, represented in the world as well as within our own bodies. Somehow, over the course of centuries, some cultures have considered the Divine Feminine to be inferior to the Divine Masculine. Western culture is one of those. Indiginous cultures are not a part of this belief system, honoring and respecting the Divine Femine and Divine Masculine as Sacred. The Earth is seen as our Mother, the nurturer and giver of life, to be respected and protected.
I belive that the attacks on the Earth and on women are rooted in the same source: Misogyny, a disrespect and contempt for the Divine Feminine, which I find to be incredibly ironic. Ironic because we all contain the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within ourselves. The idea that one is superior to the other is ludicrous. We see this insane belief playing out on every level. Doing ( Yang ) is valued over resting ( Yin ) to the point that people work themselves into exhaustion, feeling guilty if they take time to rest. The culture tells us we are lazy if we need to stop and care for ourselves, that we have value only if we are giving. Working. Doing.
The denial of climate change and the impact of pollution on the planet is rooted in this same misogynistic contempt and cultural entitlement. It is an entitlement to be nurtured ( Yin ) by the Earth, while giving nothing back. ( Yang ). This issue is far greater than the discrimination against women. It is an all-encompassing contempt for Yin itself, which is a part of all living things. I believe this is why we have the pandemics that we do: Depression, addictions, obesity, racism, narcissism, violence, and misogyny. The cultural beliefs around the superiority of Yang over Yin are destroying the fabric of life as we know it.
Understanding this from the Taoist perspective is important, because men are equally impacted by the cultural disrespect for the Yin state. Men are made to feel guilty if they nurture themselves. ( Yin ). Men are looked up to if they are strong, if they are warriors, if they are hard workers, if they are willing to fight, ( Yang ), but if they go too far, ( not balanced by their Yin ), they become bullies and aggressors.
Our country’s propensity towards violence of all kinds, the statistics on domestic violence, child abuse, and rape, are another indication of this. Recently in the news was a report of an unconscious woman who had been raped behind a dumpster on a college campus. Two students on bicycles witnessed the attack, stopped it, and held the perpetrator until the police arrived. The judge on the bench for this case gave the rapist the lightest sentence possible, citing the effects on his swimming career. The letter the victim of the crime read to her attacker in open court has gone viral, read by millions of people, including being read on the floor of Congress. A petition to remove the judge has circulated, with over one million people signing it.
This constant onslaught on women, on the planet, on the Sacred Yin aspect of life, must be looked at from a much larger perspective. Religions that are patriarchal, that see women as inferior to men in the eyes of God, need to be seen as the danger that they are. They are inimical to life, a direct threat to our survival as a species. These are the religions that condoned and supported the genocide of Native people in this country, and around the world. We need to come back to a state of grace, ( Yin ), a state of empathy ( Yin ) with All That Is. Only by restoring and strengthening the Yin state within each of us, can we be healed, and as a group, save the planet. Walking in balance is the goal, embracing the Yin and Yang aspects of ourselves, refusing the cultural ideologies that are rooted in ignorance and fear. As each of us returns to wholeness, we can take the Race Mind and the country with us. It’s time. The future of the planet is depending on us. Both women and men need to work together to get us there. Yin and Yang, as it has always been meant to be. If we lead from the Heart, which in Chinese medicine is seen as not only Yin, but Absolute Yin, we will prevail. May this teaching bless all who read it. Judith