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The hidden meanings of yin and yang - John Bellaimey

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The ubiquitous yin-yang symbol holds its roots in Taoism/Daoism, a Chinese religion and philosophy. The yin, the dark swirl, is associated with shadows, femininity, and the trough of a wave; the yang, the light swirl, represents brightness, passion and growth. John Bellaimey explains why we all contain the spirit of yin and of yang -- and how we can achieve a balance of both in our lives.

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Meet The Creators

  • Animation Artist Celeste Lai, Godfrey Hibbert, Lisa LaBracio
  • Director Jeremiah Dickey
  • Educator John Bellaimey
  • Narrator John Bellaimey

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
It's been called "The wisest book ever written," and it's very short, too. If you want to know more about Daoism (often spelled "Taioism") you should definitely check out the Dao De Jing. This excerpt attempts to define the Dao as a force in human life. Do you know anyone who seems to live this way? How so?
"The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Dao.
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you. "
(Dao De Jing 8, Stephen Mitchell Translation)
The more you know about China, the better you will understand Daoism. It's been said that Daoism is the Chinese cousin of Buddhism, which grew up in India before spreading all over Asia, and eventually the world. Here's a good website which also can lead you into Chinese medicine.
Here is an interesting article about the Daoist idea of "wu wei." It's about doing without doing, or why too much effort can be self-defeating. It's from Psychology Today, but you don't have to know anything about psychology to read it.
The founder of Daoism was Laotsi (sometimes spelled "Lao-Tzu"). He even has a facebook page!
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TED-Ed
Lesson Creator
New York, NY
Yin and Yang are, as we've seen, multidimensional. They cover direction, energy level, color, temperature, attitude, emotions, and so on.
08/02/2013 • 
 38 Responses
 / 38 Updates

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Animation Artist Celeste Lai, Godfrey Hibbert, Lisa LaBracio
  • Director Jeremiah Dickey
  • Educator John Bellaimey
  • Narrator John Bellaimey

Share

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