Duality & Opposites

Diagram of Yin and Yang

The Chinese symbol for duality: Yin and Yang. Yin contains a spot of yang and yang contains a spot of yin.

Yin & Yang, Dualism, or Polarity

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” —Aristotle

“The essence of balance is detachment.” —Chinese proverb

“This is the ancient Chinese symbol for depicting the nature of duality. It is a perfect representation of the polar nature of verbal knowledge. For our purposes, the black dot in the heart of the white half represents the nexus, the link, the connection to the opposite black thought. Likewise, the white dot in the heart of the black half represents the black’s permanent connection to the diametrically opposed white half. In order for any thought to be verbalized either internally or externally, it needs to be connected to another thought.

And for anything but simple identification using thoughts about reality thoughts, there will be a dichotomy. That is, as soon as we make distinctions, judgments, evaluations, preferences, choices, etc., there will be a dualistic thought experience. Even if we completely accept one half of the dichotomy and deny the other. We will still have a verbal connection to the denied half being verbalized right along with the accepted half. Hide or deny that part of the accepted as we may, it will still be there.

One example of how this nature of knowledge can work to our disadvantage is the concept of self-esteem. Since we teach people to seek self-esteem more and more, and at ever younger ages. Depression had rapidly increased for adults and occurs more frequently with youth than ever before. This is because as we seek to be the knowledge of good, the knowledge of evil as self is also sought. We may focus on the good, but the evil is there in spite of our denial. And those who are at all honest with themselves will often wind up depressed; as they find they can’t escape the low self-esteem that results from seeking high self-esteem.

For how the dilemma of self-esteem is managed by some, see the discussion of the four basic strategies in chapter “Reason Five” that occurs early under section “Becoming”, and also see the discussion on how mystics seek to escape in chapter “Sanity” that occurs about three-fifths of the way down under section “Knowing, Being, And Doing”. Positive self-esteem is always found at the expense of others, just as negative self-esteem is always found at the expense of self. For you to be high, someone must be low.

Unfortunately, the yin and yang symbol is used incorrectly to refer to natures other than thought-knowledge. It has no true meaning when applied to the nonverbal levels. As no dualistic system of philosophy, for example, Zoroastrianism is or can be correct about anything more than information. Such are oversimplifications that do not recognize either the supreme power of God or the uniqueness of His nature, which is quite beyond even a relation to mere dichotomies. Duality requires verbalization and God is ineffable, intangible, invisible, unfathomable, unoriginated, and unalterable.”

The above quotation is from the first edition of We’re All Insane! Six Reasons Why You’re Insane. Discover the latest edition here We’re All Insane! Second Edition.

For a deeper understanding of duality and movement to higher thinking in the form of triality, read World Within: The Inner Life.


  1. Becoming is dualistic.
  2. Comparisons are dualistic.
  3. Definitions are dualistic.
  4. Descriptions are dualistic.
  5. Desire is dualistic.
  6. Development is dualistic.
  7. Dialectics is dualistic.
  8. Evolution is dualistic.
  9. Growth is dualistic.
  10. Imitation is dualistic.
  11. Knowledge is dualistic.
  12. Labels are dualistic.
  13. Language is dualistic.
  14. Measurements are dualistic.
  15. Names are dualistic.
  16. Pleasure is dualistic.
  17. Practice is dualistic.
  18. Striving is dualistic.
  19. Terms are dualistic.
  20. Thinking is dualistic.
  21. Thought is dualistic.
  22. Time is dualistic.
  23. Trying is dualistic.
  24. Verbal understanding is dualistic.
  25. Words are dualistic.

3D: Daily Dose of Discernment: 2020

#Limitation #Dichotomy: 2020-04-10

1. The seductive power of the opposites blinds us to the concomitant realities that exist side by side with our dualities no matter how overarching we imagine our dualities to be, for example, integral versus non-integral wipes out everything else.

2. The “subject and object” view of life is correct; however, this view does not include the greater part of life, which cannot fit into the categories of subject and object.

3. The war of the rational versus the irrational is a false war because both positions require their opposite to exist (symbiosis) while simultaneously leaving out other viable systems of inquiry.

4. The war of order versus chaos is a false war because both require the other (synergy) while simultaneously leaving out the impact of other forces that are ignored or unrecognized, such as creativity and virtue.

5. People reject dualities that they do not like and embrace dualities that they do like; however, there are higher levels of thinking such as trialities, the five thinking positions (5TP), continuum thinking, and continuum-thinking squared.

Related Pages

  1. Thinking Skills & Tools: 5 Thinking Positions
  2. Thinking Skills & Tools: Both-And Skill
  3. Thinking Skills & Tools: Descartes’ Dualism & the 7 Realities
  4. Triality: Move Beyond Duality
  5. Quotations by Topic: Balance & Harmony

For more examples buy and read Planet Earth: Insane Asylum for the Universe, Second Edition.

For Information on Triality

“Balance is triality.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

Quotations from Various Sources

Organized Alphabetically

“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“All language is dualistic.” —J. Krishnamurti, Can Humanity Change?, p. 22

“All opposites are born of their own opposites.” —J. Krishnamurti, Can Humanity Change?, p. 23

“Any man who is under 30 and is not a liberal has not heart; and any man who is over 30 and is not a conservative has no brains.” —Sir Winston Churchill, 1874-1965

“Can a man cling to the positive without any negative in contrast to which it is seen to be positive? If he claims to do so he is a rouge or a madman.” —Chung Tzu

“Duality is necessary for things but deadly for self.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Goodness is not born of badness.” —J. Krishnamurti, Can Humanity Change?, p. 22

“I am saying anything born out of its opposite contains its opposite.” —J. Krishnamurti, Can Humanity Change?, p. 24

“I’m not sure I want popular opinion on my side–I’ve noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts.” —Bethania McKenstry

“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” —Anatole France

“If we could learn how to balance rest against effort, calmness against strain, quiet against turmoil, we would assure ourselves of joy in living and psychological health for life.” —Josephine Rathbone

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” —Aristotle

“Let reason go before every enterprise, and counsel before every action.” —Ecclesiasticus 38:33

“Nothing is more certain than uncertainties: / Fortune is full of fresh variety; / Constant in nothing but inconstancy.” —Richard Barnfield

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” — Confucius

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.” —Blaise Pascal

“The worst extreme view is the extreme view that extremes never exist.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.” —George Bernard Shaw

“There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.” —Alfred Korzybski

“There is no such thing as absolute certainty, but there is assurance sufficient for the purpose of human life.” —John Stuart Mill

“To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything, or nothing, about it.” —Olin Miller

“To say dualism is bad or wrong is the worst kind of dualism.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.” —Eric Hoffer

“Whenever you find a man who says he does believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later.” —C. S. Lewis