In Chinese history, there was a story known to all. It was about a blacksmith who was trying to sell his weapons in the marketplace. Holding a pike, he declared to the assembled crowd, "This is the sharpest pike you will find. It will pierce through any shield." Then he lifted a shield and said, "This is the sturdiest shield in the world. Nothing can pierce it."
Someone asked him, "What if I use your pike to pierce your shield?" The blacksmith could not answer the question.
In Chinese characters, pike and shield together means "paradox". Thus things always come in pairs. There is neither an absolutely powerful pike, nor an absolutely powerful shield. Because of the shield, it is necessary to create the pike; likewise, because of the pike, the shield exists.
In Taoist philosophy, Laotzu said, "Tao creates One, One creates Two, Two creates Three. Three creates everything in the world". Everything contains Yin and Yang polarities. Because of the interactions between Yin and Yang, everything is created. Things can always be divided into Yin and Yang. And are thus existing together as a paradox.
For example, when we breathe in, we must breathe
out. When we walk with the left foot first, we must walk with
the right foot afterwards. Otherwise, we will lose our balance.
Keeping Yin and Yang in balance is a consistent teaching and
practice for a lifetime:
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