Some attempt to equate the Taiji yin-and-yang relationship to that of husband and wife. Narrowly speaking, it is beyond criticism. However, broadly speaking, it is not totally appropriate. A husband-and-wife relationship is formed as a result of the
social ethical code, which is different from the product of evolution based on the universal law of change. The former is merely an artificial arrangement which could be maintained or undone at any time. However, the yin-and-yang in the taiji sense is that of a dialectical relationship which never changes in nature. Otherwise, nothing can ever evolve from that phenomenon, nor would the world eventually come into existence. While discussing Taiji, we must always bear in mind its inherent properties. We have to be clear about them when studying taiji concepts. One would be addressing the topic from a different level if the discussion foci are on Taiji evolvements and application of its concepts.
Taiji is for ever in motion and evolving, the most convincing proofs on earth being flowing water and moving qi. During the course of such movement, the molecules in the water and air keep changing position. They move either alongside or away from the neighbouring molecules, thereby, creating a highly unstable state. Similarly, if one can turn one’s body into a water-like state, he is said to have attained the state of “knowing’ his opponent while simultaneously keeping him “in the dark”. This state manifests the properties which are inherent in Taiji. In practice, when one grasps the technique of staying in balance while in a state of imbalance, one has addressed the essence of Taiji concepts in terms of their application and understanding of Taiji evolvements. In this process, whatever changes manifested by the yin-and-yang do not result in any split of what really is holistic qi. To cite another example – when we do a weighing exercise, the weight usually weighs less than the object being weighed creating a state of imbalance. To arrive at the accurate weight, one has to move the weight across the equalizing bar in search for the point of perfect balance in order to restore balance. We should not overlook such a simple exercise. It really highlights the technique of si liang bo qian jin (using 4 taels of force to affect 1000 catties), which is the essence of the practical application of Taiji techniques. When one’s body is so trained to acquire the ability of accurately weighing any object at all angles, he will become invincible.
Written by Patrick SW Chan
Translated by Vicky Wong