Transcendence is Un-Nameable
because the moment it is named or described,
it becomes separated from itself
and corresponds to form of created word and sound.
The English perception and translations of the Tao may seem to imply the Tai-Chi is Linear in its expression whereas, it is a symbol of Transcendence..
In other words, the Tai-Chi did not become the two principles Yin and Yang, but produced them, contains them and is contained by them -as a dynamic continuum or matrix.
Tai-Chi - The Eternal Tao
Tai-Chi basically transliterates into "The Supreme Ultimate" often erroneously written as the "First Cause" .. but the Un-Nameable is not a Cause but a primary principle.
- Un-Nameable because the moment it is named or described, it becomes separated from itself and corresponds to form of created word and sound.
Since the Tai-Chi or the Eternal Tao is beyond the capabilities of comprehension of the human mind and since its attributes, although we are able to describe them individually, remain in the realms of form and the formless, it naturally follows that no real name can be given to it.
"The Tao that can be stated is not the Eternal Tao"
Thus, Yin and Yang are the "Second Principles" - each again perfect and Un-Nameable as they are sources of potential in pure and undifferentiated form ...
which evolves further into yet contains
the "Passive Principle" - Yin which corresponds to Earth or Mother or Matter .. (night - moon) yet contains the root of Yang
the "Active Principle" - Yang which corresponds to Heaven or Father or Spirit .. (day - sun) yet contains the root of Yin
Thus the principle of the Un-Nameable is the originator of the principle of Heaven and the principle of Earth which can be named because they have attributes which can be known.
It is the interplay between the two "cosmic principles" of Yin and Yang that produces the "ten thousand things" .. this being nameable, is the Mother of Creation.
The Tai-Chi did not become Yin and Yang but produced them.
If it had become them, it would have disappeared. just as water disappears after being separated into hydrogen and oxygen. In producing Yin and Yang, Tai-Chi continues to exist just as Woman continues to exist long after producing babies.
Yin and Yang
- It has been written that the "Yin Yang" symbol originated from Chinese Astronomy to show the relationship between Day and Night.
In the Day, when Light exists, the Sun is dominant and, even though the Moon is existent, it is invisible.
In the Night, when Dark exists, the Moon is dominant and even though the Sun is existent, it is invisible.
This is just one possibility surrounding the "Yin-Yang" symbol and as one reads more deeply into the Tao or the Tai-Chi, one becomes aware that the Yin Yang Symbol can be a philosophy for Life, Being and the flow of Existence.
The whole of the Tai-Chi is the flow of the embrace of Yin and Yang - Day and Night .. each continually giving way to the other. The Sun gives way to the Moon and the Moon gives way to the Sun. Yet, in the embrace, neither ceases to exist, except within our perception.
Some would see
- the Sun as the "masculine" principle
and the "moon" as the feminine principle ..
one as "heat" and the other as "cold" ..
one as "Light" and the other as "Darkness" ..
one as "good" and the other as "evil" ..
Beyond Being and Non-Being
- Thus, the Yin Yang shows that, within the embrace of the Tai-Chi, both Being and Non-Being co-exist yet ..
- the root of Non-Being exists within Being and
the root of Being exists within Non-Being
andwithin the Tai-Chi,
Yin and Yang, Light and Dark, masculine and feminine, good and evil etc .. each continually gives way to the other in dominance but the root of each never ceases to exist.'
just as in any Day, the Sun and the Moon are always there.
Oft forgotten is that the writings of Lao Tzu were introduced to the Western World through the 1878 translation efforts of the Roman Catholic Jesuit Missionaries to China who tried to understand the Chinese Philosophy of Tao through their own Doctrine and Dogmatic Education - even though its use was discouraged when first taken to the Vatican for study around 1680.
It must also be remembered that even the texts that they had available for translation were many times removed from the original ordered array of brush strokes through which Lao Tzu recorded his expression. Further more, in the 5000 years since the beginnings of the Taoist tradition. Even the number of Characters (or radicals elements) was reduced in a rewrite of the Chinese "alphabet" in 1644 from 540 to 244 - a far cry from the pictographs and ideographs expressing phonetic like qualities which were in use in the earliest manuscripts written down around 1000 BCE.