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This is That

leaves and butterfly
“When ‘this’ and ‘that’ have no opposites, you discover life’s very axis.”

We can’t help but take measure of the world around us. Part of learning to walk required that we develop depth perception. As we grew, it became important to identify any threat in the environment.

It is our nature to judge our surroundings, but this can continuously wear us down.

6 main elements and only 4 forces make up the building blocks of life, but our dictionaries include more than one million words. Like a kaleidoscope that splits a few sands into a myriad of shapes, we make life more complicated than it really is.

“The way is easy, yet people prefer by paths.”

Long before we arrived, nature created the perfect place for us. For billions of years, it perfected what worked and eliminated what did not. Even while we sleep, the heart beats and the breath flows. The sheer number of processes working to keep us healthy with no conscious input, leaves little room for our idea of free will.

We don’t even decide the next thought we think.

Our choices appear to be based more on genetic predisposition and can leave us prisoner to instinctual reactions. To discover life’s very axis allows us to appreciate the great turning and relax into stillness and peace.

The great turning is driving balance in all that nature has created, including us. It’s been doing this for so long, how can it be wrong?

“When anything reaches an extreme, it turns back.”

The sunrise appears to travel northward on the horizon, until the solstice, when it begins to move in the opposite direction. It is not the sun that is moving, but the earth turning and tilting on its axis.

Trees blossom in fullness until the autumn equinox ushers in decreasing sunlight. The leaves change color and drop as they prepare for the equinox of spring.

We are made of the stars and share our breath with the trees. From one end of the universe to the place where we stand, all things are a part of this turning.

We search for meaning in the transitory.

Summer has no meaning without the earth and the sun. The degree of our awareness merely captures isolated frames on an axis of change. The formation of a cloud requires both high and low pressure systems. The high is not better than the low, and nothing in nature exists independent from this axis.

The meaning of this turning is quite simple:

“The high it brings down, the low it lifts up;
It takes from what is in excess to make good of what is deficient.”

Since the earth is a sphere, the sun heats the atmosphere unevenly. Between the warm and cold air masses, nature balances the difference in temperature. Warm air rises and cold air descends, creating wind.

The wind embodies the shape of change – but we only see it in the swaying branches.

Across the earth, the high and low pressure systems will dance and flow to balance our climate. Like our heartbeat and breathing – it happens whether or not we worry about it.

This is not to say that opposites don’t exist. High, low, warm, cold, optimal, deficient are measurable differences and extremes of the axis. But like Yin and Yang, one has no meaning without the other.

We don’t need to label change in terms of good and bad because the great turning ensures wellness. The tide rolls in; the tide rolls out and while the moon appears to changes shape, it is always full.

“Tao is the One. It created the two: Yin and Yang. The three produce the 10,000 things.”

Light is Yang in the form of energy particles. They cross space because of the fields of Yin. Yang excites Yin, creating a field, and Yin coaxes Yang forward.

Yin is the cold and heavy mass of night. Yang rises as the sun, energizing and warming the air. The day can grow hot, but once the sun begins to set, Yin returns. We see Yin first take shape in the shadows, until darkness engulfs the landscape in this constant turning.

The Way turns back and we turn back with it.

We sleep and dream in the bosom of Yin. The mind wanders in Yin’s boundless field of potential. In the morning, our inspiration is given form as Yang. If it is excessive, we are turned back. If we are deficient, we are led toward greater fulfilment.

The mind can only discern what it understands. It formulates its own ideas out of the void. In a field of potential – the moment can be anything.

The three dimensions of space include a fourth dimension of time. We can move freely through the dimensions of space, but only travel forward in time. Space and time are wrapped together in a way that movement through space affects time.

Space is the shape of stillness, while time is a measure of movement.

The earth’s mass causes a drag on the flow of time around it and so, we experience time at the same interval, but it might move differently for someone on another planet. The farther from the earth, the more quickly time flows. Where gravity is stronger, time passes more slowly because gravity or the weight of a body bends space…and therefore, time.

We know space is warped by gravity because light from a star appears distorted around the heaviness of another body. Since time is a dimension of space, it is warped by gravity too.

We take time for granted, while unaware its true nature.

Although we sort life into classifications, we cannot discern the ebb and flow that unifies them. Nature sees mass and energy as the same thing. The visible and the invisible are just the two variations of the axis. Although the lighting changes, the actual landscape does not.

We learned about gravity back when we first began to walk. We may have stumbled and cried, believing something was working against us. However, gravity perfected our ability to arrive where we are.

Nothing is wrong.

Yang is the mass of the body, while Yin is the bent field of space. Yin is the magnetic field to Yang’s energetic particle in electro magnetism. We think of these behaviors as forces, but they create each other out of fields. One is visible, while the other is not and yet, each transforms the other.

Yin embodies the unseen that shapes us. Captivated by the excitement of Yang, we create a life of pushing our way into the world. But we really don’t need to – life brought us here.

Awake, asleep, the axis turns us toward what is real for us. Following a blueprint of our unique design, dreaming allow us to manifest what is deficient and removes what is in excess. This happens by day too.

“If one allows their nature to follow its own course, there will be no place for joy and sorrow.”
“Only when you stop liking and disliking will all be understood.”

Matter is equal to energy. Space is equal to time. Time is movement and is interchangeable with space. At the event horizon of a black hole, time and space reverse roles.

Time is like gravity. The fullness of the moment can plant us firmly in its center.

If we were to travel to a black hole, we'd experience extreme gravity. We know black holes exist because one was discovered 1,600 light years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus. As you would expect, near an event horizon, the gravity is so strong that it distorts the fabric of space time.

Time and space swap behaviors so that the universe is no longer a place, but an event in our past where we can never return. We are drawn to a singularity that is not a point in space, but in time. It is our future, and we have no choice but go there.

Whether looking behind or ahead, the beginning and end are a singularity.

The future can’t be anything else – why not let it surprise you?

You may live by the fallacy that you can control everything around you, but the sun is a speck of light floating in one of hundreds of billions of galaxies. You are part of the universe, not its orchestrator.

We are not going anywhere – we are already here.

In this crazy universe, this is that and that is this. Judgment serves no purpose other than rob us of the present.

Since we cannot see the true nature of what is - we might as well let our assumptions go and enjoy the ride.

Empty of questions – no complications.

This is the simplicity of Taoism.