Is the yin-yang sign necessarily occultic?

Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by BayouHuguenot, Mar 21, 2019.

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  1. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I don't have any of them and they aren't really the type of stuff I dig, but is the symbol necessarily occultic? I understand the Taoist use of some of them (harmony of opposites), but does it automatically imply concepts of "chi?"
  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    It implies dualism. So it is wrong. But some see it as implying balance, which is not bad in some sense. I think it goes along with Chi.

    Many eastern people believe in these concepts. There is a spiritual aspect to it, but much of it is focused on mental/emotional health. I don't think all believers in chi or inner energy are believing in the occult any more than someone who believed in Galen's theory of the humors.
  3. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    My thought is that the symbols are widely recognized as part of eastern philosophy. Why make the association with yourself?
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I agree, but let's say you are a South Korean Christian, you bear the markings of something that looks a lot like it. Unless you are an Anabaptist South Korean, which removes some of the problem.
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Eternal dualism or subordinate dualism? The former is obviously off limits, but the latter isn't. Christian orthodoxy demands body-soul dualism (sorry, Dooyeweerdians).

    Of course, I don't want to read Christian categories into it, but I have studied Taoism a bit (I read the Tao Te Ching) and it admits of fluidity in interpretation.

    Further, it's harmony of opposites sounds a lot like medieval Trinitarianism, where two relations of opposition produce a new Person.
  6. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Or it sounds like Manicheanism, or the Force of Star Wars.
  7. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I like the Greek letter epsilon. ε

    It's an engineering symbol for direct strain. The goal, at least in my life, is to maintain an even strain--which implies dynamic balance.
  8. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    If the dualism is glossed as eternal. If the dualism isn't eternal, then it isn't Manichean.
  9. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    The modern Korean flag dates to 1880 and is based on the Joseon king's personal standard.

    The red and blue circle (taegeuk), representing cosmic harmony and wholeness; red means positive forces, blue negative. It is, basically, a pagan symbol. (The symbol is strongly associated with Daoism, but Daoism has historically had very little actual impact on Korea.)

    It's not the only one. Each of the trigrams towards the corners is a symbol used in divination. There are eight trigrams on the king's standard.

    But few Koreans even know about that. The flag became prominent as a patriotic symbol in the days of Japanese colonial occupation (especially from the March First Movement of 1919). The only associations it has today are patriotic.
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  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    Interesting. Yes, that is right, isn't it.

    How ancient do you think Manicheanism is?
  11. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Of course in the true Christian sense, balance is very important. See Jonathan Edwards 'Religious Affections' Part 3 sec 10 (Banner of Truth Paperback ed); also 1 Thess 5:23
  12. Andrew35

    Andrew35 Puritan Board Freshman

    No. It simply symbolizes the interconnected nature of binary opposites into which Daoists and others who share a similar cosmology believe the world is organized (e.g., patterns of light and shadow, hot and cold, etc.), arising from the one.

    In that sense, regardless of how it is used to day, it would probably be more accurate to consider it in terms of a philosophy or even a proto-science rather than something necessarily occult. Much like traditional Chinese medicine.
  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Manicheanism proper started around 230 AD with Manes. Zoroastrianism and other eternal dualisms are much, much older. The difference is that Zoroastrians don't necessarily see matter as evil simpliciter.

    So, I misspoke on Manicheanism.
  14. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    I'd say it's more pagan than occult. Regardless, it's not something Christians should associate with. Though I see nothing wrong if South Koreans use it in a purely patriotic way.
  15. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Sophomore

    Like lots of other things philosophically, it gets some of our natural realities bestowed by our Creator fairly right and some pretty wrong. Like the philosophers and cultural ideologies so prevalent in Augustine’s day who were not as hostile to true religion but ultimately man centered in their belief and understanding...
    Why do you ask? Don’t get the tattoo, lol
  16. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    That's a pretty good way of putting it. My own tentative conclusions:

    1) Although I practice Taekwon-do, I doubt I will be wearing yin yang headbands. Most of my clothing is utterly plain and boring.

    2) I don't think it is necessarily wrong. Something isn't wrong because of its tainted past. That is the genetic fallacy. In that case, we should avoid coffee because it was discovered by Muslims. Modern day space technology relies on astronomy, which wouldn't have been possible without pagan astrology.

    3) To the degree it has pagan roots, we should be cautious. Of course, I don't think it is any worse than the Neo-Platonic taints in Augustine's philosophy, and Neo-Platonism is basically Egyptian theurgic magick.
  17. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    The symbols on the Korean flag are undoubtedly pagan in origin. But what do we say when those symbols have lost their meaning? Clearly, the flag isn't being used in for pagan worship. You won't find many (except maybe the odd shaman) who actually employs the trigrams for divination. (I don't know enough about fortune-telling to say.)

    Today, shamanism and fortune-telling still have a hold over some older Koreans, but with the rise of Western-style secularism they are losing sway.

    I don't think the flag is pagan or even a stumbling block to any Korean Christian. However, I imagine the taegeuk could bother some Western Christians. For that reason it might be better to avoid it.
  18. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Is Pepsi Manichaean?
  19. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I forgot Pepsi still existed!
  20. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Perhaps Coke (red) and Pepsi (blue) are not an eternal dualism after all.
  21. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

  22. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yeah, I mean there are plenty of cultural distinctions worldwide - as long as we don’t build our faith around it and it is not an offense to God.... look at the southerners and the confederate flag... I’m not sure where I’m going with this, lol ..... can I get a Jesus fish?
  23. Andrew35

    Andrew35 Puritan Board Freshman

    Debatable! :mad: Esp. if the legend of Kaldi is accurate.
  24. Jo_Was

    Jo_Was Puritan Board Freshman

    This is an interesting thread. It intrigues me when it's so obvious to find a dubious symbol in eastern culture (or a foreign culture), yet our (USA) courthouses, cities, and money are still to this day often adorned with pagan symbols and literal statues/images of gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome but we find it easier to disassociate with our own pagan symbols in some ways, but are so clinical in dissecting another culture's situations. And I'm saying that also as an American who just had to do a double take as I was reading this thread going, "Wait a minute--we do this everywhere, and a lot!" These things have come to bother me more lately. (Perhaps it's too much of that Covenanter sympathizing!) But even the idea that we make an oath over our flag (a symbol)...makes me uncomfortable lately. It has been something I have been struggling with...whether it is lawful or right to pay homage/take an oath to a symbol with a pledge that has dubious (Deistic) undertones.
  25. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    And to make matters worse, the city of Washington DC is one whole occultic grid.
  26. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Or else laid out to provide good fields of fire for artillery.
  27. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Sophomore

    Interesting points, just this evening, prior to putting a few dollars in the collection plate, I took a glance at the symbolic figures on our dollar bill, thinking to myself, man, this is pagan to the core.... I guess if you worship money you are basically bowing to a pagan god regardless
  28. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Why do the pagans get all the good geometric patterns?

    Why call Washington D.C. an "occultic grid" - all math is God's math, right?
  29. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I think it's safe to say that any pagan religious association has been replaced by symbolism. I'd wager that a majority of those who visit the Statue of Liberty aren't there to bow at Lady Liberty's feet. Greco-Roman paganism is dead and has been dead for well over a thousand years. Were our context different, for instance if we were living in the fourth century A.D., then those statues and symbols would be better avoided. For us, a statue of Ganesh would be a problem because worship of Ganesh actually does take place, and that on a large scale. A statue of Mary, too, even if somehow not intended as worship, would for the same reason be a bad idea.

    I have no problem litening to Wagner's Ring Cycle not only because it is not intended for worship, but no one would ever even consider it in any sense religious.

    This Canadian thinks all that holding your hand over your heart looks a bit dumb.

    For my part, I won't even sing the Canadian anthem anymore. Silly song anyway.

    Is that a bad thing? :)
  30. Andrew35

    Andrew35 Puritan Board Freshman

    Don't forget days of the week. Up to this point, I've yet to meet the Puritan who refuses to use their pagan names. Is one lurking about here? ;)
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