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Monday, May 2, 2016

A Wonderful Problem

I've got a wonderful problem. Some really smart people regularly read my blog.


That post - published just over a week ago - prompted one of those smart people to draw a parallel between what I'd written and Taoist teachings. That conversation inspired me to re-read the post and also re-visit the one public comment I received from a different smart reader. Though the comment did not specifically mention Taoism, it had that flavor. Both these smart people reminded me how my reflections on the interplay of comfort and fear are a classic yin/yang proposition.

The more smart people who read my blog and either talk with me about it or comment publicly, the clearer it becomes to me: Ideas are endlessly re-cycled. What was yin/yang called before the Taoist tradition claimed this universal operating principle as theirs? How did later spiritual practices re-formulate it? Where in your life does yin/yang frequently present itself?  


  1. Pat, I have the utmost respect for you and all your endeavors. But be mindful that repetitive use of the terms "smart people" and "smart readers" may alienate many worthy contributors.

  2. Pat, I'd say breathing: in -out, in -out.... For every in breath there must be an out breath to be alive. I'd like to think that may be the origin of yin/yang. In Christianity perhaps it manifests as a state of grace vs a state of sin. In Buddhism we see one of the precepts of the eightfold path is "right action' as opposed to "incorrect action". In physics, for every reaction there must be an equal and opposite reaction. Really though, I see yin/yang as a concept which permeates everything in my life and our universe.

    1. Peter: Thanks for the comment, especially since it was an earlier comment you'd made that partially inspired this post. I must admit I'd never thought of how the act of breathing in & out is itself yin/yang at its most fundamental; thanks for that insight.