Balance has often been considered a controversial subject in Chinese medicine. Like all human concepts, balance as a value may be used for good or evil. No doubt the Confucian ‘Doctrine of the Mean’ was utilized throughout Chinese history to suppress the excesses necessary to creativity, to change, and to revolution. This doctrine, which provided history with a social system of unprecedented stability, was a great levelling force. However, its creation of an unchanging society led to remarkable rigidity and mediocrity in many areas of Chinese life throughout the past 2,500 years.
According to the more ancient conceivers of the yin-
Yin and yang are two opposing forces in a constant state of tension. They are the same whole, but perceived from different directions. Together, they complement each other, and, although they will seek always to find balance in their union, their relationship is not static. It is dynamic and ever-
We have, therefore, two conflicting constructs around the issue of balance: one which extols it and the other which abhors it, but both of which are necessary. It is the opinion of some that extremes of energy imbalance are necessary for greatness. I have come to no conclusion about this point, because I have no way to test it. Some have expressed the view, for example, that Einstein could not have “sat for twelve years” waiting for the inspiration which led him to the theory of relativity, had he not had a massive excess of Kidney yin and a serious deficiency of Kidney yang. Certainly, the fact that he had enormous puffiness under his eyes supports this theory. However, I would rush to point out that many people “sit for twelve years” and accomplish absolutely nothing, and, while the capacity to wait is essential to creativity, so too are imagination, intelligence, a coherent and organized ego, a capacity for awe, and profound grounding.
Disharmony, in my opinion, is an extreme of normal function. Human beings have a limited repertoire of behaviour, so that even the most abnormal and bizarre conduct and cognition are recognizable in the most ordinary person. Hallucinations and ordinary fantasies (or daydreams) are of the same fabric. The former, however, lack the essential ingredients –