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A Little Bit Of Chinese Philosophy

Popularity 3Viewed 767 times 2017-7-5 09:13 |System category:Life

Chinese philosophy is amazing; it uses contradiction to understand or integrate apparent oppositions, or even to embrace clashing but instructive viewpoints.

I once read a Chinese story about an old farmer whose only horse ran away. Knowing that the horse was mainstay of his livelihood, his neighbors came to commiserate with him. Who knows what's bad or good? Said the old man, refusing their sympathy. And indeed, a few days later his horse returned, bringing with it a wild horse. The old man's friends came to congratulate him. Rejecting their congratulations, the old man said: who knows what's bad or good? And. as it happened, a few days later when the old man's son was attempting to ride the wild horse, he was thrown from it and his leg was broken. The friends came to express their sadness about the son's misfortune. Who knows what's bad or good? Said the old man. A few weeks passed, and the army came to the village to conscript all the able-bodied men to fight a war against the neighboring province, but the old man's son was not fit to serve and was spared.

This story expresses the fundamental of Chinese philosophy, specifically, Taoism. The world is always changing and is full of contradictions, things that seem to be true now maybe the opposite of what it seems to be. Yin and Yang complete each other; indeed, Yin and Yang only exist because of each other. The sign of the Tao shows that the good is in the bad and the bad is in the good, and that is life, the black swirl contains a white dot and the white swirl contains a black dot. Who knows whether it is misery or happiness? There is no certainty. Happiness hides in misery and vice versa.

If you are leading a miserable life, be positive and don't lose hope because Taoism is telling that this situation will not last forever, if you are leading a rosy life, don’t think that you are immune from living in misery because everything comes and goes. 

         

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report Jaaja 2017-7-5 20:27
The same story as slightly different version was presented in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War", to reflect future unknowns with US intervention against Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. Zen master and a boy were used in that version.
Reply Report arabchinalover 2017-7-5 20:57
Jaaja: The same story as slightly different version was presented in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War", to reflect future unknowns with US intervent ...
Yes , there are a lot of versions of this story depicted in different ways , but I believe that they all copied from this ancient story ...thank you for mentioning the movie ....
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-7-5 20:59
Jaaja: The same story as slightly different version was presented in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War", to reflect future unknowns with US intervent ...
Charlies Wilson did not foresee how things played out after the Soviets were driven out of Afghanistan. The USSR was gone, al-Qaeda rose, whose infamy culminated in bringing down the twin-towers. An irony, isn't it?
Reply Report Jaaja 2017-7-5 21:10
Indeed. It shows that war is not won when enemies are dead or gone.
Reply Report arabchinalover 2017-7-5 21:31
Liononthehunt: Charlies Wilson did not foresee how things played out after the Soviets were driven out of Afghanistan. The USSR was gone, al-Qaeda rose, whose infamy ...
al-Qaeda has always been a good friend of the US , they were freedom fighter when they fought the Soviet Union and sided with America , actually many thinkers believe that it was al-Qaeda that defeated the soviets not America ,  now they are terrorists and the evil that threatens the existence of human kind , I have written a blog about this topic before , the game is complicate but yeah they use the weapons that they got from the United States to fight America's enemies.........
Reply Report GhostBuster 2017-7-6 16:19
Clear thought and comprehension help to understand complex issue and matter. Unfortunately, there are just the gifted few. So, if they could and would willingly step forward, they will become leaders. Unfortunately, it is not easy for them and for others to identify them. This causes the world to have problems all the time. Some of these problems are as old as human beings have been on Earth!

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