The Five Elements Explored - Yin And Yang

Chapter 2 - Yin and Yang and the Five Elements

Universal Energy

Everything on this Earth can be viewed as part of a mass of vibrating particles held together by the electromagnetic field. In fact there is an even more subtle energy in the universe that connects everything by an energy field. This energy field flows through you and everything you take in - your food, drink, air and light. The vibration of this energy becomes individual as it flows through you and can change according to your current well being. It is known as chi in China, prana in India and the vital force in homoeopathy.

If the vibration of this energy becomes unsynchronised changes take place inside your body, which can then become a physical or emotional illness. Sometimes these changes are so subtle that you often don't notice them for a long time, so the external signs such as discoloration, markings, pain, discharges become more obvious. This is like a mobile phone that starts ringing quietly so as not to disturb anyone else. If ignored it rings a little louder and then louder still until you do something about it and either answer the call or allow it to be taken by the answer phone to be dealt with later.

As the energy fluctuates in your body you feel different sensations. If it decreases in any part of your body you can feel cold and a numb sensation in that area and if it rises you can experience heat and pain. The more energy you have the quicker you will respond to treatment and your voice is often an indicator of this energy level - a soft voice can show that your vitality is low and a weak voice that you need to recharge your batteries.

Energy flows through us as spirals upwards from the earth and downwards from the sun. The spirals that move upwards represent the passive female yin energy whereas those spiralling downwards represent the active male yang energy. When the two meet they spiral around each other within the human field like the double helix of DNA. The centre of this spiral is in the heart where there is the perfect balance of universal energy. This explains why the heart centre is such an important area to express yourself from and for healing to take place. These intertwined spirals of energy completely surround your body and also surround every cell and organ within it.

The yin yang symbol of energy is more generally recognised in Eastern cultures. The peoples of the East readily accept the concept of duality as the two parts of the whole - male/female, positive /negative, hot/cold. We cannot have one without the other because we need the two working in unison to maintain balance. Whatever we think of male / female relationships, the perfect union between the two produces balance and of course, the future descendants of our planet!

Not only do we need the two sides of a coin to produce the whole but also the top and bottom of a wave to see motion. Everything in nature needs times of growth and times of rest. Nothing is static, everything is constantly moving and therefore changing. In order to keep this flow of energy moving through us harmoniously we must accept and integrate the two aspects of the wave. We could not survive if we had daylight without night, summer without winter, sun without rain, action without rest.

The symbol for yin and yang represents the balanced flow of energy, which we all strive for within our environment and ourselves.
The black area represents yin - darkness, feminine and the nurturing quality. This can be likened to winter, a time for recuperation, for drawing in, hibernation, like the trees drawing back the sap. Everything draws back within its body. It is very much about nurturing and feeding the self and the planet. The larger part of the yin is represented at the bottom of the circle and as the energy flows round clockwise it becomes less yin.
So as winter ends spring blossoms and the yang begins to take over, which is represented by the white area. The yang is lighter, masculine and gives out, sharing the energy with others and the universe. It is hot, dry, vibrant, flowing like the summer - everything is moving outwards like the leaves and shoots sprouting from the roots and trunk of a tree.
But within the yin is some yang and within the yang is some yin, represented by the small circles in each larger area. This is a reminder that things can neither remain static nor can there be extremes. We need change to create and maintain life.

All of your organs are either yin or yang. If you lose connection with your grounding in the Earth it will affect the yin organs (e.g. lungs, liver, heart) and if you lose your connection with the sun and the universe, it will affect your yang organs (e.g. intestines, gall bladder, urinary bladder). When both are in perfect balance, the double helix of energy will enable all cells to reproduce perfectly.

In extreme cold or heat your body is put under a lot of stress which can then have a dramatic effect on your body. Getting cold wet feet does not cause a cold but it will put your body's immune system under a lot more stress and therefore make it less resistant to a cold virus.
Another area where it is important to maintain the neutral ground is in your diet. Your body needs to maintain the correct acid / alkaline (pH) balance of the blood, a pH of 7.4. This is slightly alkaline, neutral being 7.0. An acidic environment is the basis for most diseases so it is therefore important to maintain a slightly alkaline balance in the blood in order to prevent them.

During metabolism the by-products of food create residues; varying between acidic and alkaline. In general fruit, vegetables and millet leave an alkaline residue whereas meat, dairy and refined carbohydrates leave an acidic residue. Whole rice is a neutral substance which is probably why it is the basis for a lot of macrobiotic diets – the art of balancing the yin / yang qualities of food.

The ever-changing flow of yin and yang also affects man as he ages and prepares to re-enter the earth for his next cycle. A man, who is yang becomes more yin as he gets older, becoming less aggressive and losing his hair. A woman, who is yin, becomes more yang as she ages, growing facial hair and becoming more assertive. The ageing process occurs when there is disharmony in this flow of energy so being aware of your cycle of energy and keeping it flowing smoothly can extend your life.

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