Chapter 5: A World inside You
Science means the search for truth in the objective world; religion means the search for truth in the subjective world. Just as there is a world outside you there is a world inside you, too. And, of course, the inside world is far more significant because it is your inside, it is your very being, it is your subjectivity. But about the inner world we are still very unscientific - we still live through beliefs. About the outside world we have become a little more mature; we are ready to drop any belief. If a certain fact is discovered which goes against our older theories, we discard the older theories in favor of the new discovery. But the same is not true about the inner; to the inner we have a very deep clinging.
Tao is in that way a scientific approach to the inner - you can call it the science of the subjective, the science of being. This is one of the most significant things to remember while we will be meditating over these sutras of Ko Hsuan.
The second thing to remember is that Tao is the first revelation, realization, of the fact that existence is polar. No other religion has been so clear about this tremendously significant fact. “Existence is polar” means that existence is not logical, it is dialectical; it is not Aristotelian, it is Hegelian.
Logic is simple, logic is linear; dialectics is a little more complex. It is not simple because dialectics is possible only if the opposite is also involved in it; if the opposite is not there, there will be no dialectics. There can be no electricity without the two poles, the positive and the negative. Electricity is not logical, it is utterly illogical - it is dialectical. There can be no humanity without the masculine energy and the feminine energy. Just think of a humanity consisting only of men or women: it will die, it will not be able to live - it will not have any energy to live. Energy is created by the friction with the opposite.
The Hegelian formulation is: thesis needs antithesis. Unless there is a thesis opposed by an antithesis there is no dynamism; life becomes stagnant. Matter is possible only if there is consciousness, and vice versa. The sky and the earth, God and existence, the day and the night, summer and winter, birth and death, these are polarities opposed to each other. But the opposition is only apparent; deep down they are complementaries.
What Hegel discovered just two hundred years ago Taoists had discovered almost five thousand years before. They were the pioneers of dialectics; they were the first dialecticians of the world. They contributed one of the most important insights to existence: you will find it everywhere.
Life cannot exist even for a single moment without its opposite because it depends on the opposite. The opposition is only apparent; deep down they are complementaries. They have to be - they depend on each other. Man is not man without a woman, woman is not woman without a man; they depend on each other.