In Taoist (also spelled Daoist) philosophy, duality isn’t about opposition.
Opposites, like the poles of the Earth, aren’t adversaries; they coexist, naturally providing the necessary magnetism for our planet’s function. In Taoist philosophy, this duality isn’t about opposition but about how different elements support the entirety.
It’s a different perspective from the Western notion of opposition; in Taoism, it’s about acknowledging differences while contributing to the collective whole. Each part, though distinct, is essential for the existence of the other—a beautiful and symbiotic relationship. The Western mindset often gravitates towards creating adversaries, constructing a dichotomy where one side is exalted and the other vilified—a narrative that elevates one’s standing by belittling the other. Or put it another way, it’s a mechanism to self-justify the horrors of extractive mechanisms. It’s a distortion, reflecting exceptionalism and colonist thinking, and a refusal to acknowledge the interdependence of all elements.
This understanding challenges the need to manufacture enemies, inviting a shift from adversarial constructs toward a more integrated worldview, much like how the North and South Poles are opposites, but not in opposition. The light of the Yang and the shade of the Yin offer a magnetism that allows Earth to be Earth. Lore suggests that Yin was once used to refer to the shady side of a mountain, and Yang to the sunny side of the same mountain. It’s either co-existing or no one exists at all.
This view of conflict-based duality will only produce more conflict. Part of this creative writing series is to re-imagine what polarity could look like without cancelling the other, and in fact, suspending the view of ‘other’, and bringing them home as kin.
In this way, Taoist philosophy has real-world impact during a time where we see conflict everywhere we turn. Yin Yang principles can lay down the necessary foundations for decolonized perspectives, and function as a further returning to diversity in a fuller sense, in how we do everything. Through a Taoist lens, we can even decolonize our spirituality, magick, and other occultic traditions.
I’m very excited to share about my newest online writing course, Black Holes Birthing Stars, starting March 25, 2024. The 8-week writing series will encourage us all to embrace renewal and creativity with an open and willing attitude, drawing inspiration from the Spring season’s Wood Element. Engaging with these vibrant emerging aspects of the returning Yang, along with Yin, as well as our ancestors and spirit guides, writing as spiritual practice invites us to form connections and ritualize concepts of transformation, emergence, shedding duality, courage, and the imaginative realm. Reestablish a bond with your creativity through writing and words, and regain the liberty to interact with both the Seen and Unseen, shaping our stories and embracing intuition to forge new directions.
Inviting you along,
Animist spirit medium + founder of Ceremonie