Friday, April 23, 2010

Wen Tzu - Verse 178, Part I

from Verse One Hundred Seventy-Eight
When society is about to lose its essential life, it is like the arising of negative energy: the leadership is ignorant, the Way is neglected, virtue dies out.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
While Taoism posits that the essence of life contains both positive (yang) and negative (yin), we become out of balance when one rises at the expense of the other.

In many ways, this can seem counterintuitive. While most people would agree that solely negative energy is harmful, purely positive energy is seen in altogether different light. If given the false choice of one over the other, most people would choose the yang.

But just as rest is needed and not sustained action, negative and positive energy go hand in hand. Focus too much on one while neglecting the other and you end up with a distorted view of yourself and the world around you.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.


  1. I think the reason why it seems counter intuitive is that few people have the intellectual honesty to admit that darkness/evil/negativism has as much a place in Reality as goodness and light: In fact all qualities are defined in terms of their opposite. So good and Evil are not two different things, they are two different points on the continuuum of Good/evil.

    masterymistery at cosmic rapture

  2. We are most often afraid of the dark side of life because we fear pain. That's natural. What we forget, though, is that there is value in pain. When we fail to look for that value, we fail to see the gift the pain has brought us, and it remains unopened.

    Thanks for the post, RT.

    H. K.


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