Yin & Yang: A dynamic whole

Complexity and Dao Series #1

Gemma Jiang, PhD
9 min readMay 24, 2022


Taoist Yin/Yang

Two Kinds of Intelligence

By Rumi

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,

As a child in school memorizes facts and concepts

From books and from what the teacher says,

Collecting information from the traditional sciences

as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence, you rise in the world.

You get ranked ahead or behind others

In regard to competence in retaining

Information. You stroll with this intelligence

In and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more

Marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one

Already completed and preserved inside you.

A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness

in the center of the chest. The other intelligence

does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,

and it doesn’t move from outside to inside

through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead

From within you, moving out.

This poem by Rumi explains the dynamic dance between Yin and Yang with such inspiring philosophical languages. It is true that great minds think alike, ancient Taoist theory and modern complexity science are in agreement with Rumi.

Complex adaptive systems have the potential for positive sum games. Finding seemingly opposing tendencies that are in complementary relationships is key to unlocking that potential. The dynamic relationship between such pairs is what the Taoist Yin &Yang theory is all about.

This topic is important because it offers a path beyond the zero sum game as epitomized by the pendulum swings analogy. A different future starts with thinking differently.

You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. — Albert Einstein



Gemma Jiang, PhD

Senior Team Scientist, Colorado State University; Complexity Leadership Scholar and Practitioner; also at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gemma-jiang/