Monday, April 12, 2010

Yin and Yang

How can there be so much beauty along with such terrible ugliness in the world? On one side of the equation we have sunsets, hugs, ice cream,  and puppies, while on the other side there is war, genocide, hunger, and disease. Why can't we just have the good? Why do people suffer? And if there is an all powerful creator, then why did he/she create this dualistic universe? What is the point?

Perhaps we need both the good and the bad to appreciate the experiences we go through in life. For every new love or delicious meal, there is a breakup or someone going hungry. If it were not for bad, would the good even be good? But so much of the bad is not just bad, it is cruel, heart-wrenching, and often times intolerable. It just doesn't make sense why this is the way it has to be.

However, maybe this is the only way life could exist - with the yin and the yang. Perhaps, whoever created all this knew that this was the only way to grow, learn, experience, and live. That it would be impossible to truly have a fulfilling life without some struggle and hardship, without the bad to shine a light on the good. It still doesn't make sense however, why there would still have to be such terrible things such as cancer and prejudice. Couldn't we do without it? But maybe, just maybe, it's all a part of the contract - that there was no other way. Perhaps, it is our destiny to surmount evil and overcome its choke hold on society. Maybe this negative energy can be transferred into something else while still somehow keeping the universal yin and yang equilibrium.

With so many human beings and animals there are a countless number of experiences, situations, struggles, and difficulties, but maybe these allow us to enjoy the good, no matter how small the benefits. A young boy with cancer is in no doubt a difficult and tragic situation. But the closeness he feels with his family and friends, or the experiences he has having a catch with his father or watching his favorite movie with his sister, may be an even more rewarding experience because of his unfortunate situation.

Are we all meant to have different degrees of struggle? And why do some seem to have it tougher than others? Is it a part of our over-all purpose here on Earth? I don't know if there will ever be answers to all of these questions. However, in thinking about these issues, we have the opportunity to open up our minds, let go, and appreciate the good that we do have in our lives. I feel that there is always good to be found, and no matter the size, it has the potential to grow larger and larger, and swing life's momentum towards hope.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Josh! It's Jyothi. This was an interesting article, thanks for sharing your thoughts :) - however, I do personally feel that there are some types of suffering that are so bad there is no possible justification, there is no possible "grand design." Just my personal opinion. To share again the Elie Wiesel quote I shared earlier, on his first night at the camp, about how his faith in a grand design being utterly destroyed:

    Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
    Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
    Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.