Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ziporyn on Yin-Yang V: Nothing Lasts

Scott Bradley


The Yin-Yang paradigm is applicable in absolutely every conceivable context. I have been mostly using it in contrasting existence to non-existence, suggesting that to live is to Yang, and to be dead is to Yin (though a verbal Yin seems an unlikely possibility, as is the possibility of "being dead" — is anyone ever there to be dead?). This is simply the application of the Being (Yang) versus Non-Being (Yin) paradigm, the penultimate contrast possible, but certainly not the final word on Reality, a word that must always escape us. (Might we not say that the ultimate contrast is between coherence (intelligibility) and incoherence (unintelligibility)?) But we are forever Yin-ing and Yang-ing, giving and taking, asserting and yielding, living and dying.

Our favorite coat is Yin-ing and Yang-ing; our beloved cat in Yin-ing and Yang-ing (mine Yin-ed years ago); nothing lasts for long. Thus, just as we are well advised to embed our sense of Yang-ing (life) in the context of Yin (death), so too are we encouraged in our relationship to things to hold them loosely. To imbue them with a sense of non-transience is to become dependent on them.

When a "thing" is seen as Yang without Yin, we are "thing-ed by things"; the moment we make of any thing or any idea something fixed, we fix ourselves. To be fixed is to be poised to break, to be disappointed, to depend on the undependable. To depend on nothing (by depending on everything without dependence) is to "not be thing-ed by things".

It is not only our selves that are best enjoyed when unfixed, but also when everything is understood as such.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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