A change in the aura of the world

Where the Yin and Yang were out of balance

Dong Zongshu
  • Dong Zongshu

Dong Zonghshu

When the lesser Yin is inside, and the greater Yin is outside, frost accumulates on things and snow accumulates on emptiness. Emptiness is simply unused land. It does not reach things. After achievement is already finished and completed, and before things are born again, is when the greater Yin ought to emerge. Although we say it is the Yin, it is also the greater Yang that aids and transforms its position, and it does not know (from) whom it receives it. The sage ruler occupies a superior position (and the people) are covered by Heaven, supported by earth, commanded by the wind, and bestowed upon by the rain. The gift of the rain is a general spread of virtue, while the command of the wind is directness in the speaking of orders. The Book of Songs says: “Without recognition and without knowledge. Accord with the pattern of God.” (This) says that he is without the ability to recognize, yet he effects what Heaven (wants) done. The floods of (Emperor) Yd and the drought of (Emperor) T’ang were not regular (occurrences). It was that they met with a change in the aura of the world, and the Yin and Yang were out of balance.

– from The Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals by Dong Zhongshu

Dong Zongshu (179-104 BC) was a Chinese philosopher and one of the main promoters of Confucian philosophy as the official belief system of the Chinese imperial state, beginning with the Han Dynasty. His writings placed an emphasis on heaven worship (rather than worship of the five elements) and integrated the traditional cosmological principle of Yin-Yang (the interconnectedness of contraries) into Confucian thought. He also originated the doctrine that holds heaven’s predominant role in deciding the legitimacy of an emperor and defining the parameters of an emperor’s political power.

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