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April 20, 2012

Within Each Other

Where there is a yin, there is a yang. Where there is a yang, there is a yin. Such is the harmonic balance of nature. Without one, there could not be the other. The universe maintains itself through this truth. If we define something as easy, something else must be difficult. Hot gives meaning to cold. Order begets chaos. It is the existence of each that creates the other. For there will be rain and there will be sun. There will be daylight and darkness, superstition and science. When the mountain snows melt, green grass grows in its place.

In order to live in tranquility, we must learn to deal with adversity. No one can hope to avoid all unpleasantness no matter what cave we retreat to.  We are faced with that truth. The truth is what emerges from the shadows. Truth neither gives nor takes away. What we do with the truth is what defines us. For every truth then, there is also delusion, a sleight of hand, a parlor trick, the way the games at a county fair may tilt the table in their favor.  Sometimes intentional, sometimes accidental. Delusion comes through ignorance. A man may not see because he prefers not to look. He may not listen because he pretends not to hear. The truth is not a pretty package waiting to be opened. It may be unpleasant and bitter to the taste.

Yet it is the sage who experiences the truth. By doing so, she lives in harmony. One must learn to accept the ebb and flow of things. Low tide this morning, high tide tonight. If one sits on the water’s edge in the morning and does not expect to get wet at night, he is deluded. He may drown if not careful. One must also be aware that sometimes one wears the cloak of the other. What may seem like fortune may be lined with misfortune. Such is nature. The sage knows this and acts accordingly. Just as spring overcomes the winter, autumn overcomes the summer. By understanding the yin and the yang of nature, one can avoid much distress and suffering. One can live with the truth and not fear it. One can embrace the warmth of a summer sun and the snowflakes of a winter day. One can endure.