Conceiving Yin and Yang through Western tradition

Last time I went to the AcuMedic Clinic in Camden Town (London), I noticed some piles of papers at the reception’s desk, so I picked up one. It’s the MFM E-Letter, a sort of Newsletter on Chinese Medicine. In the issue of 10 June 2011 there is a very interesting article recently written by Doctor Man Fong Mei and – though it is quite a specialistic subject – it caught my attention for its capacity of giving me a few very insightful hints of understanding.


That’s the title of the paper: “Conceiving Yin and Yang – Towards a scientific interpretation”. In the beginning, as I grabbed the paper and brought it into the kitchen to throw a look at it while preparing my coffee this morning, I thought of one of the many attempts of giving evidence of scientific proof of Eastern Medicine in Western terms. I have read many stuff like that and all seemed to me very fluffy and not at all convincing.

But this paper is about something different.

Dr Mei finds – indeed – Yin and Yang inside Western philosophy and science and goes even further, postulating that Western medicine is not “different” from Eastern medicine, but part of it. Here is how Dr Mei’s paper begins:

Returning from the East, my mind was transposed by the complex issues of East-West discourse. Recalling Nietzsche’s words, “the world is deep: deeper than day can comprehend”. I started to wonder why he used the word ‘day’ instead of night. Suddenly I realized that day represents Yang, whereas night represents Yin, and it is obvious that in Nietzsche’s philosophical mind, he represents the Yang force when determining his worldview. Through the Eastern intellectual tradition we learn that the philosophical notions in Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism tend to look at the inward journey into wisdom and the cultivation of inner human consciousness. This tradition represents an essentially Yin worldview that is in contrast to the outward, objective empiricicsm of the Western scientific worldview. To conceive East-West encounters is like conceiving  Yin and Yang and observing their opposite yet mutually dependent dynamics.


Dr Mei goes further, and quotes also the Bible, with Genesis and Christian creation of the universe and world: God pushing back darkness with light can then be seen as the Eastern concept of light and darkness of Yin and Yang, whereas Yin and Yang interactions explain the creative processes of the universe. In Eastern concept of creation, Yin and Yang elements are in a constant process of trying to find a balance and achieve harmony in our existence.


Jumping from creation myths to the latest scientific theories in Western science on the origin of the matter, Dr Mei cites Higgs Boson’s discovery of the “God-particle” upon which matter would be born: now even this theory got outdated, as new researches are talking about a technicolor force (or a ‘stream of colors’) which doesn’t fit the standard model. What’s happening – explains Dr Mei, is that “The scientific world of the West has reached the stage in which the matters are crossing from the physical world into the invisible world. The metaphysical mind of the East is also facing the dilemma of coming to terms with how consciousness is the medium between mind and matter. Human knowledge has reached the point where a paradigm shift that requires the wisdom of consciousness to progress into the next stage is necessary.

Professor man Fong Mei is Chairman of the Chinese Medical Institute and Register (CMIR) and Vice Chairman of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS). You can receive his newsletter visiting the link: or download it from


Posted by Simona on Jun 27, 2011 in Featured, Health and Medicine |