What have yin and or yang got to do with politics, the economy and the mess left by the cat? Here be random thoughts. Almost a blog.
Yang manifests violently in war. Isis seems very yang as it seeks to impose its belief system on the people of Syria and Iraq, destroying the remains of former civilisations.
Millions flee from it. Although there are so many of them and such large groups of people have many yin qualities, in this situation they are yang in relation to the peoples of Europe whose way of life and standards of living (yin) will be affected by this yang immigration.
The tenacity, number and force of the immigrants has found a porous corner of Europe’s boundaries in Greece and across the Mediterranean to Italy.
Their plight stirs compassion, persuading Europe’s leaders to ease border controls.
Thank heavens for compassion. But as governments and some local community councils have realised, money must be found to house, feed, educate and meet the health needs of the immigrants.
That money and those resources will be diverted from current needs and projects. That means that for a while, the societies that embrace the immigrants will be poorer, meaning that their living standards and public services will suffer as yin resources are shared out more thinly.
Eventually, as those immigrants grow up and seek to better themselves, if they remain in their adopted countries the latter will prosper, and they will change. That’s because the (yin) culture of the absorbing country will change as it grows into a new form embracing elements of its own past and of the new culture brought by the immigrants. The immigrants will be yang in relation to their adopted country. As they build new lives and careers to improve their lot, the whole country benefits.
Countries that do not accept the immigrants will possibly be richer in the short-term, but poorer and less able to adapt in the long term.
It’s yang that is the entrepreneur, pushing always beyond existing boundaries but bringing back or creating riches for all.
(Current research seems to indicate that our early cells absorbed a virus now known as mitochondria. Eventually the two lived together, the immigrant providing energy and warmth – yang – for the future.)
That is, of course, assuming the immigrants don’t bring more of their destructive brand of yang with them – terrorism.
Normally a boundary (yang) is the line between one country and the next. Nowadays in the pursuit of freedom and choice we have an internet and web the borders of which are hard to police. This can lead to identity theft, and someone determined can quickly find out a great deal of private information about a country’s citizens.
So we are expecting our leaders to open our borders to immigrants at the same time as our doziness allows theft of information about us.
In both cases we are weakening our yang defences. This allows both new influences and ideas to penetrate, perhaps no bad thing sometimes. But allowing others access to our private information puts us and our countries and ways of life at risk.
We should encourage our security services in their work. (And as individuals we should take more care of our own identity: not good to expect the State to do everything! It will just take more and more of our money to do it, and never do it efficiently.)
That means we must encourage these new members of our society to adopt our way of life and not to cling on to their own culture too strongly. Yin and or yang must work together. Then yin absorbs yang and allows it to grow harmoniously within, like the mitochondria.
For those interested in the I Ching, I think the most appropriate hexagram here is number 10, Lu, lines three and four. Line three takes you to hexagram 1 Chi’en: not desirable, as too yang. Line 4 takes you to 61 Chung fu, which John Blofeld translates as ‘inward confidence and sincerity’.
10 Sept 2015
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