Review of The Yin Yang Complex by Brendan Foley

I have always liked the symbol of yin/ even adorns the martial art I study: Jeet Kune Do.  The implication that there could be an interdependent dependence upon which life resonates is an intriguing idea.

The author of The Yin Yang Complex sent me his book for review.  I found the passion about balance very compelling: even if I did not agree with the take on spirituality.  My review is enclosed.

Happy Friday,
Available at

The Yin Yang Complex: Create Success by Understanding the World's Oldest Dynamic Forces [Soft Cover]
By Brendan Foley
252 pages, $24.95
ISBN-13: 978-1856356527

Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd

In Asian philosophy, the concept of yīnyáng has been traditionally rendered as Yin and Yang in the West and is depicted as the complement of unity and duality. The essence of this philosophy describes how polar opposites are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites only exist, then, when it is understood that two opposites form a symbiotic relationship—a type of interdependent independence. For example, one does not fully appreciate the concept of being short unless it is contrasted with being tall. Such dualistic thinking informs many branches of classical Chinese thinking: including medicine and martial arts.  Many of the dualities occurring in nature, such as dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot, water and fire, air and earth are believed to be representative of yin and yang respectively.

In The Yin Yang Complex, Brendan Foley builds upon the centuries old feminine and masculine idea of the yin and yang.  The book is broken down into the following chapters:
·         The Yin and Yang Complex
·         Recognizing your Yin and Yang Sides
·         Creating a Personal Yin Yang balance
·         Yin Yang Relationships
·         The business of Yin and Yang
·         The Yin Yang Society
·         Yin Yang Health
·         The Yin Yang Environment
·         Yin Yang Spirituality
·         The Momentum for Change
·         The Yin Yang Future

In each section, yin and yang should not be thought of as opposing forces; rather they flow from and into each other. Tension arises when either the yin or yang is out of balance and, according to the author, achieving success occurs when individuals understand this interdependent independence and seek to harmonize the yin and yang energy in their lives.

This book can be summed up by saying that Foley believes the Yang mentality, or that which is primarily aimed at masculine energy/force, has dominated culture for far too long.  Balance will only be achieved when individuals and businesses start to consider their feminine side: or yin energy.

I would take issue with the author’s reductionist theories about Christianity, or spirituality in general, but do understand the basic theme he postulates. Remember this: God is depicted as spirit in the Bible...never exclusively as male.  In that way, God is best understood as encapsulating all that is referred to as male and/or female.

It probably wouldn’t hurt to add a little yin to your life, business, or take on spirituality.


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