Yin Yang

PEACE SYMBOL: Symbol 2–BUTTON

PEACE SYMBOL: Yin Yang Symbol 2--BUTTON

PEACE SYMBOL: Yin Yang Symbol 2–BUTTON

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You just have to the symbol!  The concept of is one of the central concepts in , a symbol of the .  The idea of complementariness and of is essential to understanding and achieving tends to look toward absolutes and focuses on one or the other side of , that which is considered good.  This is perhaps the foundation of Western , which presumes an absolute good and then enforces it on the rest of the world.  also feeds off demonizing the opposite.  What I find fascinating about complementariness and the of that seems to naturally give rise to a of apparent .  Western includes the idea of some kind of synthesis arising from dialectical conditions, though I think that Westerners tend to reduce this simply to some third absolute rather than what I think is more appropriate other. I am eternally fascinated with the proposition of loving one’s , and I find is perhaps the most challenging practical manifestation of the .  My favorite simple story to illustrate this is about a farmer and his about being able to determine whether something is good or bad.  The farmer has a valuable horse which runs away, to which his neighbor comments, “that is bad.”  The farmer declares that he is not sure whether it’s good or bad.  The horse returned to the farm with a herd of wild horses.  The farmer’s neighbor comments, “this is good.”  The farmer declares that he is not sure whether it’s good or bad.  The farmer’s son, while trying to train one of the wild horses, is thrown from the horse and breaks his leg.  The farmer’s neighbor comments, “this is bad.”  The farmer declares that is not sure whether it’s good or bad.  The farmer’s nation declares against the neighboring nation and as the gathering passes through his province, they conscript many young men along the way; the farmer’s son is not conscripted since his leg is broken.  The farmer’s neighbor comments, “this is good.”   The farmer declares that he is not sure whether it’s good or bad.  Of course, this sequence of can transpire forever.  I don’t think that such a story an against whether good or bad exist, rather it reinforces a deeper that require some about affixing unmovable labels of good or bad on any given situation.  What strikes me as the deeper is that bad situations can be redeemed and bring about good, and that there is a shadow to good situations that can degrade into bad.  Appreciating and aligning oneself with this flow seems to be the purpose of the .  Of course the first line of the Te Ching, is that the way that can be described is not the way.  Then, ironically, the Tao Te Ching does it’s best to try to describe the way.  Such is the paradox inherent in .  This is probably a good reason why a more abstract symbol is appropriate for reflecting the Tao than words.  Sometimes is the best.  Or, like I like to say, sometimes buttoning up says it best!

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