Taoist philosophy teaches that all life contains two equal and opposite energies—yin and yang—that constantly dance toward wholeness. It is the two that becomes one only to become two again, a dynamic force whose tension is life itself. We call it by many names—stillness and action, feminine and masculine, heart and head—but regardless of the name, its energy dwells in each us. Collectively, our separate energies form the larger life that is the society we share.
Recently, I became aware of this collective force and seemingly-sleeping giant because I’ve seen it at work through my own individual actions. One of my goals this year was to boost my skills in the online learning world, to improve my yang skills, if you will. As I make my way in this technical/masculine/yang way of being, the technical people have become the client interfaces and project leads, responsible for the yin work of building relationships. They’re not very good at it, just as I am not very adept at the technical expertise that comes so easily to them. Both of us must reach out of our comfort zones and it is, well, uncomfortable to say the least.
But as a result of our efforts which our jobs demand and which, I suspect, we wouldn’t attempt otherwise, the social organism is changing right before my eyes, one individual at a time. Each of us is being called to become whole individually—to balance both masculine and feminine energies—and in that act, however unconsciously achieved, promote wholeness at a larger social level.
It is also occurring organically. I don’t have to journal about it, or work with someone to facilitate it, or sit in a circle to process it. It is happening with little effort—and often little awareness—on my part. All I have to do is be willing to reach, learn, and experience that which is opposite to my nature. And live with the discomfort of change and growth.
And so society transforms, one part of the sleeping giant awakened at a time.
Your Story: Is there a way to look at your current situation from a larger perspective, to see the play of yin/yang energies and the call to transform that energy by reaching for its opposite?