Yin & Yang
Duality is rooted in unity.
As we contemplate the good and the bad in our world, we naturally focus on the dual nature of existence.
Once we go deeper, however, we can see how apparent duality is rooted in unity and interconnectedness.
In a sense, we experience things in relation to their opposites. What is depends on what is not. One without the other is meaningless.
We have to know the suffering of being too cold in order to enjoy and appreciate being warm.
Light has no meaning in a world without darkness.
Being happy with what is comes from knowing that it could be otherwise.
In ancient Chinese philosophy, most notably Daoism, the concept of Yin and Yang describes how what we experience as duality is in fact interdependence.
While the philosophical notions of this worldview can be tracked in many Eastern and Western philosophies, the concept of Yin and Yang has profound implications for how we look at everyday life. You can almost always find an angle to see the positive in the negative and vice versa. Things are not as separated as they seem.
“Good necessitates evil and the two sides of that disk are not always clearly marked.”
— Ann Leckie
“Countless words count less than the silent balance between yin and yang.”
— Lao Tzu
“In the black, there is some white, in the wrong, there is some right, in the dark, there is some light, in the blind, there is some sight.”
🎥 Enjoy this beautiful Einzelgänger video about the deep meaning of the Yin & Yang philosophy.
📝 For an overview and history of the concept, check out Wikipedia.
📚 Read the Dao De Jing, the fundamental book of Daoism by Lao Tzu.
A few further resources you might like if you find above idea interesting:
📚 Hermann Hesse’s Siddharta
📚 Eric Jorgenson’s The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
📚 Alan Watts’ The Watercourse Way
📝 MindVault: Wu Wei
If you find these weekly ideas useful, consider sharing the MindVault Letter with those who enjoy deep thoughts like you do.