I know people, and I’m sure you could think of a few too, who are like dogs with bones. Or 2-ton stones. I know folks who couldn’t be dissuaded by anyone; others, persuaded.
I’ve seen how this has helped them. I’ve seen how this has hurt them. And I’ve experienced it all in my own life, too.
Studying to pass the bar exam, I was a monster… a machine that had one objective: master status. I wouldn’t be moved from that track, not by my most charismatic friends, not by national holidays. And I didn’t stop until the objective was reached.
On the other side of the coin, abject stubbornness, fueled by hurt feelings, ruined relationships. That same unstoppable pursuit that primed me for high-pressure law school achievements, unchecked and unaware, also worked at the expense of relationships.
These experiences highlight the importance of awareness of being both unstoppable force AND immovable object, and when to harness the power of both. I’ve written about acknowledging and using the darker aspects of ourselves before. And, after all the reading I’ve done on all the different philosophies and religions and explanations of life, the Daoist concept of yin & yang comes to mind.
You know the yin-yang… i know I doodled about, oh, fifty gazillion in seventh grade.
Its meaning is WAY more profound than Bracesmouth Bow-head’s Lisa Frank doodlings, though.
The yin and yang are the dark and light aspects of life, respectively, and swirl around each other continuously in the symbol as in life.
They are not total opposites. Rather, they are relative to each other. That’s why there’s a bit – represented by the dot – of each in the other. Everything has the seed of its “opposite” – if you’ve seen Star Wars, you saw how Darth Vader has a seed of goodness & Luke has the potential to follow his father to the Dark Side. They are not total opposites, they are relative to each other (ha, literally & figuratively).
Daoists believe the universe is made up of all these energies and vibrations that all behave and are always interacting in this way.
The gas pedal is yang to the brake pedal’s yin. Yang is the coffee mug while yin is the space inside it. A baseball pitch is yang, and the catch is yin. They are two sides of the same coin.
There are things to be learned from both the dark and the light, the unstoppable force and the immovable object. And, since both forces are within us, we have the ultimate ability and responsibility to harness and make good use of them.
Love is knowing I am everything,
and between the two my life moves.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj