Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | April 20, 2009

Yin Yang Cosmology

I am wary of trading one arbitrary paradigm for another just for the sake of trading. Yesterday, I was working on a possible book on tai chi, and found myself spewing the accepted and traditional words about yin yang coming from wuju, the four things, the eight things, the five elements, earth produces this, water produces that, metal overcomes wood, the eight things combine to make the 64 things and from there is generated the ten thousand things, and all of a sudden I felt I was in the middle of a Jackie Mason joke!  It’s important to remember that a lot of this is metaphoric language attempting to describe a truth beyond understanding. Any time we get wedded to literal interpretations of  cosmologies, we get into trouble. What does it really mean to say out of wuji come yin and yang, and that in each is a bit of the other? Is it a point about the duality of nature, or that there are two energies that are part of a whole? They must work together? What are the eight things representing, heaven, earth, fire, lake, water, wood, are they archetypal images ofd the things we ewxperience in life. Are they metaphors for forces that repeat themselves, that interact with one another to give birth to everything in our world?

Well, study it, contemplate it. Just don’t let your head explode trying to get a handle on it!


  1. Hey Mike, just wanted to let you know your comment made me laugh – no froofy coffee drinks for me, either!

    PS, Love, LOVE Jackie Mason. “It huyts my back when I walk like THAT.” So the Dr. said, “Then don’t walk like THAT.”

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