Using the Yin-Yang Thinking Framework to Discover and Learn More

The “Bipolar Yin-Yang” Thinking Framework (See Yin-Yang Thinking Framework – Innovative and Critical,) can be used to help us understand and even extend our learning from the teaching of great Teacher. Below is an illustration using a famous teaching from Zhuang Zi of the Dao School.  It was shared with me by my brother in an email. The subject title:

The Way to True Happiness in Life—8 Chinese Words 化解自我,虚而待物

Translated: Forget about oneself, handle things with humility and gentleness (as if empty).

The Illustration
子曰:有一个人乘船渡河时,被一艘空船撞上,这个人脾气再坏,修养再差,也不生气。但如果船上有个人,他就口出恶言了。前面那一次,他无所谓,因是一艘"空船"。 如我让自己处于”空船"情况,行走世间,又会与谁发生争执呢?所谓"空船"即化解自我。
有"我"的执着,就有相对的"你"。我与你总是有强有弱,有优有劣,有成有败。人若无执,则不得已化解於无形,随遇而安,见鱼而乐。 人生如何体验?只有一个办法,就是指出其自相矛盾.  (请参考 傅佩荣

Translation (in meaning only):
When on a boat crossing a river, you are hit by a boat. If the boat is empty, we will not be angry if even we are bad temper. However, if there is a person on the boat, we will break out with hurting words.
So, if only we can stay with this concept of ’empty boat’ to handle things in life, we will never have a fight with another. This is about forgetting oneself, or our self interests.

Because of the existence of me, there is therefore a concurrent existence of you. Between you and me, there always will be comparison of strong and weak, good and bad, success and failure. If we are not such self-aware and not insistence having my way, then we can make ourselves as if non-existence, no form nor shape, then we can meet up with whatever situations and be at peace, and be joyful with little things like seeing fishes and knowing they are swimming happily.

How cane will experience life? There is only one method. That is to point out the contradictions.

The question I had was whether I can build on this and discover other things.
So I apply the Yin-Yang thinking framework to see.  Yin-Yang Thinking Framework – Innovative and Critical,

Here is the Chinese Version showing the Sequence of Steps and the Thoughts:

  1. 如果’我’是阳. 我的对比不是’无我’ 而是 ‘他人’ 或简短的 ‘他’
  2. 那么更深一层的思考是 要想到’他人’的利益或好处.
  3. 把’船’ 改成 ‘车’ 来用到现今的时代. 那我们的故事可以这样:
  4. 在繁忙的马路上, 被别人的车撞上, 如果是救伤车, 里面还有病人, 我们就不会很生气. 我们会尽快解决, 或者甚至算了, 叫他们快走.
  5. 顾及他人, 损己利人 是易经 41 损卦的教导.  助人为快乐之本也!
  6. 损:有孚,元吉,无咎,可贞,利有攸往

Application of Yin-Yang Thinking Framework – The English Version

  1. We find the two poles. The opposite of ‘I’ is not “no I” but ‘others’ or at least ‘Him’.
  2. So, we do not just forget about our own benefits, we should think about the benefits of him or others.
  3. We update the means of transport from boat to car.
  4. In a busy traffic, if we are hit by a car, we will be upset. But if we are hit by an Ambulance carrying a sick person in an emergency, we will want to quickly settle the issue and get the ambulance on its way. We may even forget about the damage to our car and wave the Ambulance off.
  5. The principle for happiness in life becomes “Caring for Others. Taking from Oneself and Benefiting Others”. This is in fact the teaching of I-Ching Hexagram 41損 Decrease – Give, Invest, Less is Better(need to register). Or see ‘Less is More 41損 Decrease’ ( It is a common proverb that helping others bring joy to oneself.

If you are a Christian, then the secret of happiness is “from Me to Him”. Focusing on Him, Jesus Christ, our Savior, will bring joy to our heart. We have the famous hymn, “With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm!”.  Most of the problems and suffering in our life is the focus we have on ourselves – our needs, our pride, our face and our hurt. True joy is found is shifting our focus “from me to Him” or if you are a non-Christians, then “Shift focus from me to others”!

Lim Liat copyrighted 18 Sep 2011.

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