Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | June 4, 2010

Tai Chi Balance of Good and Evil

The tai chi philosophy is the taoist philosophy: out of the void come the two things, yin and yang, and through the interaction of those two come the eight archetypal things, and then from there the 64 things, and finally, the ten thousand things, or everything else. It’s a fine way of understanding the universe and our lives, even if it implies the necessity of one in order for the other to exist.

But I have trouble with the concept in terms of harmony and balance if one were to think there needed to be an equal amount of evil to an equal amount of good in order for their to be harmony and balance. My personal understanding and view is that evil throws things out of whack and makes things unbalanced. When everything is “good,” the world and our lives are in harmony and balanced. When evil is introduced, it tips the scales and throws things out of whack. A lot of evil throws things way off, and good must act to counterbalance, or get rid of the imbalancing forces.



  1. I agree that each and every moment doesn’t seem to be in “balance” but if we look at the big picture of, say, our entire life, or the entire world, or even universe. (the ten thousand things) I do believe there is balance. But then those big pictures are made of the moments (yin and yang) . I think there is always balance but our monkey mind sees either positive or negative.

    I attended a funeral this past week for an American Soldier and friend who died in Afghanistan. There was great sadness but there was also great love. There was tears and sobbing because we will never see him again on this earth, but there was also laughter and smiles as we remembered our friend and celebrated his everlasting life in heaven.

    It may not always seem so, but there is balance between good and evil. Always. At least, I believe that there is.

    • I have to agree with Mike on this one, evil is what happens when the various yin and yang components become disordered or out of balance. Good and evil themselves don’t balance; good simply is, while evil is a corruption of good. Good exists independently, while evil is dependent.

      I would further add that the ongoing process of change must not be overlooked. Everything is always in the process of becoming something else. We ourselves are always changing into something else. (This idea needs to be emphasized from time to time because western philosophy tends to forget it. Plato’s ideas about eternal forms didn’t really take change into account, and his ideas influenced a lot of the philosophical thinking that came later.) The yin and yang are constantly displacing each other, and so maintaining balance requires continual adjustment.

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