Thursday, February 26, 2015

Understanding Yin and Yang

From TEdEd

Sartre said that we are our choices. To that end I found this explanation of the two-sides of the human spirit very enlightening. (No I am not promoting Daoism. However, whichever religion you  find  fulfilling (even atheism) then I hope it gives you peace.)  In truth, I have always been drawn to the Yin/Yang symbol and it is interesting to have an understanding, even a precursory one, of what it means.

It's been called "The wisest book ever written," and it's very short, too. If you want to know more about Daoism (often spelled "Taioism") you should definitely check out the Dao De Jing. This excerpt attempts to define the Dao as a force in human life. Do you know anyone who seems to live this way? How so?

"The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Dao.
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you. "
(Dao De Jing 8, Stephen Mitchell Translation)

The more you know about China, the better you will understand Daoism. It's been said that Daoism is the Chinese cousin of Buddhism, which grew up in India before spreading all over Asia, and eventually the world. Here's a good website which also can lead you into Chinese medicine.

Here is an interesting article about the Daoist idea of "wu wei." It's about doing without doing, or why too much effort can be self-defeating. It's from Psychology Today, but you don't have to know anything about psychology to read it.

The founder of Daoism was Laotsi (sometimes spelled "Lao-Tzu"). He even has a facebook page!