The Yin Yang Way to Deal With Adversities
Have you seen the new Marco Polo on Netflix? While I liked the 1982 version and was totally in love with the soundtrack (Ennio Morricone!), this version had my eyes glued to the screen for hours.
The episode I watched last night made me think about applying the Ying Yang theory when dealing with adversities.
Yin and Yang are the two mutually complementary forces that act continuously in this universe. One cannot exist without the other and harmony is the cosmic field in which they are eternally dancing, eternally changing.
Nearly all things can have both Yin and Yang properties; sometimes Yin and Yang can describe two relative aspects of the same phenomenon or they can describe two different objects.
Yin can be passivity (rest), gentleness, internal, female, night, moon, darkness, water etc.
Yang can be activity, firmness, external, male, day, sun, light, fire etc.
In last night Marco Polo episode, the blind martial arts master was doing his routine when his former student and love comes in quietly. She watches him and then she engages with him in a succession of fluid movements of such breathtaking beauty and elegance that illustrates the idea that one should be in harmony, not in opposition with the force of their opponent.
We’re used to reacting with violence to violence, toughness to toughness, anger to anger. And sometimes it comes with great costs. The result is rarely harmony, but a self-perpetuating escalation of violence, loss and exhaustion.
When the aim is to attain and maintain the balance between Yin and Yang, the answer to a Yang type of action is a Yin type of action, and vice-versa.
When your partner is yelling with frustration, your loud, angry reply won’t bring peace, but make things even more explosive.
Peace will only be restored when at least one of you opposes the Yang (hot, volatile, angry) with Yin (cool, stable, calm).
When your resentful friend gives you the silent treatment (Yin), a bold and direct conversation (Yang) can clear the air and end up the cold war.
Similarly, when facing an avalanche of disruptive events (Yang), maybe it’s a good idea to not give in to the first impulse (Yang), but step back (Yin) enough to be out of danger and evaluate the challenge from a more distant (and wider) perspective.
It is true, gentleness alone can’t forever dissolve away great force, nor can sheer brute force subdue the enemy forever.
To survive, in combat and life, the harmonious interfusion of gentleness and firmness is necessary. Sometimes one dominates and sometimes the other; then the defence and attack, expansion and contraction, pushing and pulling will produce one another alternately, in a harmonious wave-like succession.
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