Thursday, 25 October 2012

Great Learning from the Eastern or Chinese philosophy

I am always fond of learning eastern and western philosophy because our way of thinkings and perceiving things are completely different since our school of thoughts and guiding principles in our lives are different. We, eastern values collective actions and life whereas western values individualist action and life.

However, even in the eastern world there is an influence from Indian and Chinese philosophies. We Nepalese have been much influence from Indian philosophical thoughts. We, Nepalese believe that 8 and 12 numbers are bad luck (8, 12 Pirhaa, for example when at 8 months baby are born we consider that it not good :( because of our superstitious belief ) BUT Chinese believe that 8 number is auspicious and they are ready to pay millions and millions $$$ to buy a car, house, property, etc that has 8 number. 

It is evident that there is no absolute truth in this world since there is nothing static in this universe, everything is changing and keep moving since earth itself is moving 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and  so on. A thing that someone consider true might not be true to other. For example, day becomes night and night becomes day and likewise water, liquid can be ice, solid or gas and vice verse.

So to establish peace and harmony in this universe first we must understand that we each of us are unique and the way we think is also completely different cause we are living in two time different zones-east and west. If we learn to respect individual different then harmony and peace might be able to created in this universe. Otherwise, conflict will be continued till the human beings remain in this universe. 

At the age of around 23 when I first time with campus friends came to Kathmandu unknowingly my hand went to catch "Yin and Yang" symbol ear ring because I like its symbol but actually I didn't know its real meaning. Many year after I explored about it and came to know that it is a Chinese Philosopher of Buddha, Plato, Socrates and Confucius time, Lao Tzu created symbol that has deeper meaning of dynamic force in the universe and human life that is governing it. 

About "Yin and Yang" Famous Chinese symbol and its meaning!!!

Yin and Yang are famous symbols of the Tao & Taoism. They are the dynamic force of the Tao, constantly interacting with one another

Yin and Yang characteristics
Nature: Famine, passive, receives, soft, dark
Symbols: Moon, Tiger, North
Color: Black
Number: Even (Jodi number)

Original Meaning: North side of a hill (i.e. away from the sun)

Nature: Masculine, active, creates, hard, bright
Symbols: Sun, Dragon, South
Color: Red
Number: Odd (Bijodi number)
Original Meaning: South side of a hill (i.e. facing the sun) 
"Fame, wealth, power and being number 1 are costly (for your humanity) to obtain, impossible to keep."- Lao Tzu , Chinese Philosopher 
Eastern, Western Thinking as per Taoist Logic 
The Tao makes an interesting focus point for a discussion of Eastern and Western  ways of thinking.  To summarise 2,500 years of thinking into 2 sentences:
1. The History
Greek and especially Socratic ideas were passed on to the early Christian Church and thereafter both strongly influenced the development of Western thinking and value systems.  Meanwhile in the East, Chinese and Indian philosophy created a slightly different way of seeing life. 

2. Subtle Difference
These differences are often overemphasised.  For example, have you heard of a  country where ordinary people didn't want to be rich, didn't try to prove their point in an argument or try to look fashionable, (whatever that meant for their peer group)? 
Nevertheless, broadly speaking, Western society strives to find "the truth", while Eastern society is more interested in balance.  Westerners put more stock in individual rights; Easterners in social responsibility.

The symbol of the Tao (above) is an affront to the idea of truth in the common Western way of thinking.  White lies inside black, black inside white.  They are part of one another, constantly changing (indicated by the swirling shape), interdependent.   There is no clear truth and therefore opinions have little value.
A Western version might look more like this: White circle - black circle.  Static, separate.  It is hard to say how much Eastern thinking was influenced by the Tao and how much the Tao was a product of a pre-existing thought.

In the last 40 years, scientists  have become increasingly aware of the idea of uncertainty.  Chaos Theory, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and Fuzzy Logic all  helped destroy the earlier mechanistic view of the universe, that God created a universe that ran on tightly define principles that could be measured and predicted by science.

Generalisations are necessarily inaccurate for individuals.  Eastern countries and people don't all think alike anymore than Western people do.  Modern communication has eroded both ways considerably, so the above generalisations are increasing invalid.

1. About the Tao, accessed on 25 Oct 2012

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