Philosophy 101: Opposites and Non-Duality

Expat Journal: Postcards from the Edge

Stephen F. Dennstedt

A wonderful quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald: The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Crack-Up”, Esquire Magazine (February 1936). I’ve always loved the quote—very Zen-Buddhist in quality and form.

Another wonderful quote comes from Herman Hesse author of SiddharthaOur mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin. Hermann Hesse. I don’t know if Fitzgerald ever studied Eastern Philosophy, I know that Hesse did.

The Taoist Tai Chi ball is the perfect visual representation of Yin & Yang (non-duality and the duality it encompasses). Opposites not only attract but complement; the totality of the whole is the…

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