12/5 2018

Yin Yang of Philosophy Tristan Johns

In my recent life I have been trying to find both the Yin and Yang of a concept before overlaying an opinion on that concept. It should be noted that for a single concept, a “true Yin/Yang” is not entirely possible, as each concept could have a fractaling hierarchy of Yin/Yang pairs. It can be up to the eye of the beholder to decide which Yin/Yang pair is most relevant to their worldview. I’d like to examine the Yin/Yang pairs of Philosophy.

Before moving on, what exactly is a "Yin/Yang pair"? From my perspective, nature is balance. If a tree grows too large for its roots, it falls over and cannot reproduce. If a pack of wolves grows too big, the surrounding wildlife is hunted too quickly and the wolves starve. And though humans are a unique extension of nature, nothing is separate from nature. In trying to harmonize with this balance, we can attempt to only see things as they truly are (in balance), instead of focusing on the good or bad aspects to a concept. In accordance with this, a "Yin/Yang pair" is the evaluation of the positives and negatives that balance out a concept.

From an outside perspective, and without further inspection, Philosophy appears to be one of the more unproductive forms of human time. People see Philosophy as a Socratic circle of people thinking complex thoughts about abstract things that have no relation to real life productivity or usefulness. This is one side to the balance that nature prescribes, a balance that can sometimes appear contradictory. Upon first glance Philosophy seems to be an unproductive facet; it yields no physical material, and the content isn’t exactly enjoyable for most, so why sacrifice time for Philosophy?

The other side to the balance reveals itself only after pursuing Philosophy. Once a study is found that resonates with the beholder, that philosophical lesson stays with the beholder in all relevant scenarios. Life obstacles are presented in a different perspective, one that allows for a sort of forgiveness and agreement with the obstacle. Philosophical lessons augment and even enhance productive pursuits, resulting from clearer thinking brought by the philosophical exercise of the mind, making Philosophy a worthy addition to any long-term schedule. This makes philosophy a study with a low time preference. By studying philosophy — an act that yields no material in the present — you are priming your perception to yield maximum information from future scenarios.

This is only one possible Yin/Yang pair to Philosophy; a cove of hidden treasure that appears barren on first sight; but this is (once again) as nature requires.

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