In this system, Yin represents water, quiet, substance and night, while Yang represents fire, noise, function and day. As can be seen, these two entities are polar opposites, which means that in order to have one, you must have the other – in order to comprehend light, you must comprehend dark. But these definitions are misleading because they suggest an absolute measure. “Yin and Yang create each other, define each other, control each other, and transform each other. They are not absolute, but relative concepts. Each yin or yang can continually be further subdivided into yin and yang” (“The Oriental View”, 1996). This is the basic principle upon which the Dao is based, that everything is, at one and the same time, itself and it’s opposite, separate but combined, mutually exclusive wholes. Much of this understanding comes from the Daoist concepts of nature and technique and is widely applicable in fields such as today’s emerging cosmologies and understanding of ecology.
This philosophy, as might be guessed, is strongly rooted in an understanding of nature as a current event, something that happens now, at the moment and cannot be anticipated or recovered. Rather than seeing human beings as the dominant creature of the earth, Daoism holds that there is one force from which all other beings spring, whether these other beings are humans, rocks, plants or animals. “Man and all other beings are born from the same primordial Breath (Qi) so that all beings emanate from Dao and obtain their essence from Dao … All things in the world are inseparable and interdependent” (Xia, 2003). Common words of wisdom offered within the Daoist tradition include “Dao .follows nature”, the “unity of Heaven and Man,” “the Heavenly Way in Non-interference” and “the three realms exploit each other” (Xia, 2003). . These sayings illustrate the importance of nature within the philosophy, placing it above all other things and suggesting that the only way to find the true path back to unity is to follow the paths set forth by the un-coerced and unimpeded forces of nature itself. . .