Yin Yang and the Bible

A typical difference between Eastern and Modern Western thinking is about options.

Modern Western thinking believes in choosing either Option A or Option B depending on an evaluation function.

Eastern thinking believes in holding both options in balance - the concept of Yin and Yang.

In Confucius teaching, holding both in balanced, is called the dao of the middle 中庸之道 or Golden Mean - the course between two extremes.

Boldness is the middle between cowardice and violence.
Love is the middle between hatred and pampering.
Faith is between unbelief and presumption.

Christian living is holding balance between relying on God and man's effort.
We have
  • Option A: "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" Phi 2:12
  • Option B: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Phi 2:13
Option A - we do the work. Option B: Let go and Let God.

While God does the initiating, we have the responsibility of listening to God and being obedient.
If we don't spend time studying the bible and praying (talking with God), we can't hear God too clearly.
Our sensitivity to God comes from time spent in talking and studying His Word and our obedience to what we heard.

Revelation of God comes easily and frequently when we study the Bible. Revelation also comes in our worship and prayer. Take away our effort in pursuing God, and God will seem far away. On the other hand, it is always God who initiate the communication with us. Without God's initiation, no matter how hard we try, we will not hear God.

So while we need to understand the extremes, we maintain our walk in the middle. On one hand, we let God lead us and on the other hand we strife to accomplish what God has revealed and instructed us to do. Grace - God's empower only comes when we initiate actions. It takes two to accomplish the work and word of God.

Other points of balance include :
Denying oneself to follow Christ vs Prosperity & Health as one soul prosper
Salvation by Grace and Faith only vs God's workmanship created for Good-Work. see James 2:17-18 faith without work is dead.

Another point of view is "Both sides of the Same Coin".

A key point in maintaining balance is get the boot sequence right - God is 1st, Jesus is the Source and end-point and man just follows and then spiraling to greater and greater height. Yin-Yang is the 2D view of 3D spiral of growth into the image of Christ.

This duality or dichotomy can be seen in Ecclesiastes 3
 1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:  2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

For related, see Chinese Classics & The Bible.


capelinha said...

I agree mostly with, but arrived at it from another perspective. If you read the classical mytical textbook "the cloud of unknowing", you will see that the emphasis is a strong inner attitude towards contemplation of God. But because He is out of reach, our work is to keep knocking on the cloud of unknowing. The bottom line is that contemplation is directed outwards of the self. In Eastern tradition, like in buddhism or hinduism the contemplation is directed inwards the self. I believe the contemplative motion is a balance between inner and outer attention. Look inner: that's you, but at the same time you find God (as the white dot on black background). Look outwards in direction to God. But then we will find also yourself, like the black dot on the white background.
All the best for you!

Disciple said...
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