Friday, 9 June 2017

Two equilibriums

Many years ago, my kung fu teacher tried to explain to me the difference between Yang (Fire) and Yin (Water) method in Taoism. 

Taoism teaches the way to achieve balance, equilibrium. There are two ways to achieve this balance, equilibrium: the fire method and the water method. 

People who practice the fire method, arrive to the point of balance, equilibrium, by pushing upwards and burning their ego. This way of achieving balance is fast, hard, dangerous, and the balance achieved is short lived.

People who practice the water way, arrive to the point of balance, equilibrium, by letting go of, dissolving their ego. This way of achieving balance is slow, soft, not dangerous, and the balance achieved is long lived. 

Interestingly, physics also teaches us that there are two types of equilibrium points. 

One is the point on top of the curve, the top of the hill. To reach this equilibrium point, we have to push upwards, work hard against gravity. Once we reach this point, even the smallest knock will push us off the equilibrium point, and we will tumble down into the state of unbalance. From there we have to push upwards again and work hard to reach the equilibrium point. 

The other is the point at the bottom of the curve, the bottom of the valley. To reach this equilibrium point, we have to make the initial small push "in the right direction" towards the edge of the curve. From there on we just have to let go and let the gravity do its work. We will roll down the curve and after a series of oscillations we will eventually settle in the equilibrium point at the bottom. Once  we reach this point, a knock, even a strong knock will push us off the equilibrium point, but only for a short period of time. After a series of smaller and smaller oscillations, we will naturally settle back into the equilibrium point.

I think this is quite interesting...

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