Two parts make a whole. Yin-yang is a familiar example.
Using this concept, we move away from the quest for unitary,’one-size fits all’ universals.
For each mental operation we carry out, the ‘residue’ must be properly dealt with. Modern minds work as though there is a void into which the ‘waste’ can be endlessly consigned – and have practices which match this faulty form of reasoning.
Modern thinking suffers from a ‘one-sided’ approach. The whole planet suffers as a result – from the very real problems caused by those parts which have been excluded from our means of Being and Doing. Global warming from ‘exhaust’ gasses as one example. Nuclear ‘waste’ as another.
In lieu of two balanced hemispheres, one hemisphere attempts to dominate the other. As this is an impossible task, it sets in train a long series of conflicts. This kind of thinking places a stress on a High Low distinction, and assigns values "High = good" "Low = bad". "Owners" high :versus Workers" Low etc.
In place of high fliers with inflated incomes (based on a high-low model) the distribution of wealth needs to be shared horizontally to ensure a fine degree of balance. Otherwise disorder can be predicted.
One of the challenges of our times is to learn that life cannot be controlled and/or dominated.
We need to learn how to better relate with our true other-selves, and dance in tune with our real surroundings.
We can learn lessons from life as it is lived. Many other Ways have shown that life is viable when we use a ‘two sided’ (moiety) approach.
In these Ways a stress is placed on the importance of maintaining a balanced relationship between two complementary (but opposite) hemispheres. An inclusive both-and approach heals the divisions caused by modern exclusive either/or logic.
It will be fascinating to see what happens in China as it moves towards modernisation, based (as Western modernisation is) on the faulty modern means of thinking – and doing so from a tradition in which yin-yang have deep roots.
Modernity is said, by some leading critical defenders, to be ‘incomplete’. The Age of Reason excluded the reasons of others peoples, many of which were formed by the processes of complementary opposition.
Ideally, China could undergo a transformation which would incorporate many of the ‘miracles’ of the industrial revolution (many of which may have originated in China initially) while solving some of the associated social and environmental problems by a return of complementary oppostion to its systems of goverance.
And, in so doing, complete a process in which past Chinese civilisations played a key role.