Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Build A Story World
Core Cosmos/Cosmology Cont'd
Chinese cosmology developed more as a philosophical explanation rather than religious, as the other concepts did. “It begins by saying that the universe was originally chaos, and after a period of time broke into two dynamic forces, yin and yang.” This concept of duality of two interacting, complementary energies underlies all Chinese culture, according to Moring.
It develops in accordance with a rotating cycle; when one has reached its peak then the next begins. Within the black and white symbol of ying and yang the opposite color is present in the other. The encompassing circle divides the two colors by curved shapes, not as a division but as fluid. The emphasis is on complementary: exhale/inhale, positive/negative, up/down, earth/heaven. It is recognized as a fundamental duality that orders the universe.
Without recognizing the underlying principles, a first impression might see it as opposites. However, even though opposites often do attract, and work extremely well in romance literature, they also have the potential to destroy. Think of it in terms of marriage or business collaboration where as opposites using their gifts and talents they blend into a harmonious whole, whereas if they use their abilities against each other they undermine and break.
It’s interesting that most cultures include folktales that include the need for harmony and the dangers of imbalance regardless of cosmology foundations, such as the European fairy tale of the Snow Queen where winter rules the land. The sense of nature being out of balance when mankind is out of balance is a common motif as well. Romans 8:22 in the New Testament describes the plight of nature, “that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”
The duality of yin and yang presents an example of a harmony similar to a dance.
Exercise: Choose one natural phenomena that your world experiences. Perhaps it would be a seasonal aspect such as a short summer in an arctic environment or a monsoon in a hot climate. Write up one aspect of it as a season of struggle, at war within itself. Then write it up as season of a harmonious cycle.
Share: What differences did you notice in your use of language?