Dualities are not irreconcilable opposites or conflicts. Rather, they are mutual compliments of each other. TQ173
In this episode, I dive deep into the nature of dualities from a Taoist perspective and speak to the synthesis and harmonization of opposites — better expressed as dualities. I quote Wing-Tsit Chan’s translation of the second verse of the Tao Te Ching (from “The Way of Lao Tzu”).
“Being and non-being produce each other;
Difficult and easy compliment each other;
Long and short contrast each other;
High and low distinguish each other;
Sound and voice harmonize each other;
Front and behind accompany each other.”
Chan’s comments about the second verse are my starting point:
“…everything has its opposite and […] these opposites are the mutual causations of each other… Opposites are […] presented not as irreconcilable conflicts but as compliments.”
Next, I consider the relationship between our ideas and nature.
To navigate in this world, we created distinctions, labels, and categories to describe what we see and perceive. And to get along with others in ever larger groups of people — from family units to nation-states — we developed mythologies to support doctrines for how things are, or how they ought to be.
When we deconstruct our perception of reality, we realize that everything we label is a duality.
How we determine what is morally right or wrong, normal or abnormal, is again an idea, a doctrine that simply leans more to one side of the duality than the other. And we have seen through history how this “moral leaning” can relatively quickly shift from one side to the other.
The solution, I believe, is to see clearly through the illusions of socially constructed moralities that deem some humans less than others, or even morally wrong.
We need to accept the natural diversity of who we are as sapiens — without dogma or doctrine — in relation to the natural, ecological diversity that generates human beings.
Image credit: Julian Kücklich, Diversity Planet