How One Needs The Other

It’s a fact of life that everything is relative.

About a hundred years ago, Einstein showed us that the way we see the world depends on our point of view and context.

That means ten of us could be looking at the very same thing, and each of us could draw a different conclusion about what we see.

Your experience would be unique to you, as mine would be to me.

For example, what’s cold to you may be comfortable to me. What you consider a failure may be a success to me. Just because I’m taller than you doesn’t mean I’m tall to everybody.

The theory is simple. There’s no “one” thing because everything is in relation to another thing. You can’t have “walking” happening alone because you can’t have feet dangling nowhere. There needs to be somewhere “walking” takes place—the floor.

Well, a couple thousand years ago, the Chinese expressed a very similar idea through their philosophies with the Yin/Yang symbol.

Yin/Yang is the fundamental universal energy present in all things, “Chi” (briefly discussed in my previous post), split into two equal and opposite parts.

Night/Day. Cold/Hot. Soft/Hard. Intuitive/Logical. Passive/Active. Receive/Initiate. Buy/Sell. Negative/Positive.

These are all examples of Yin/Yang.

Now, the reason we call this symbol “Yin/Yang” and not “Yin and Yang” points back to Einstein’s theory of relativity. It’s because one cannot exist without the other. And actually, one implies the other.

When I mention ‘tall’, you automatically think about height, and therefore, ‘short’. Because there is a ‘cold’, there must also be a ‘hot’, otherwise, the concept of temperature wouldn’t exist. For there to be a buyer, someone else needs to be a seller.

One opposite helps create the other. They arise simultaneously.

It’s the same thing with ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

What’s ‘bad’ today might be ‘good’ tomorrow. It’s all a matter of perspective and everything can change in a snap depending on the context.

This concept is important because the better we understand it the more we can help ourselves make sense of our experience of reality.

If you’re the type that would rather know how to fish than be given a fish, you’d probably also want to know how to think instead of being told what to think.

This concept helps with that.

“Confused by thoughts, we experience duality in life. Unencumbered by ideas, the enlightened see the one Reality.”
— Huineng

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