THE YIN AND YANG OF POLITICS, OCT. 2008

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 Striving to be inspiring – and timely – I’d like to present The Yin and Yang of Politics!  As a follow-up to our prior more academic discussion, this posting demonstrates the dynamics of Yin and Yang at work on a broad scale that we are all engaged in, the Presidential Election.
In Chinese medicine, health is found by balancing and correcting any disharmony between Yin and Yang. Yin-Yang theory is universal, not limited to medical applications, and politics are no exception. The fact that there are 2 major parties with such opposing views fits right into Yin and Yang. Republican vs. Democrat; Conservative vs. Liberal; Trickle-down vs. Bottom-up; Corporations vs. Labor; Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life; Militarism vs. Pacifism; Spend and Borrow vs. Tax and Spend.We the people have become polarized and strongly believe that we are right and they are wrong. This is not good for anybody. We are not right and they are not wrong. We must learn to see and hear both sides of the issue before we make a decision that may or may not turn out to be right or wrong.In Yin-Yang theory, we know that no issue is as simple as black or white; they are shades of gray that mix and blend into each other with great complexity and variability. We the people need to listen and try to understand each other. We will find that we want the same things, but have opposing views on how to best accomplish it. Where there are disagreements, there are compromises. We can all do a better job compromising for the better of humanity versus any one human. Yet, we do not want to compromise our core values. There is a balance that brings harmony rather than conflict.

Yeah, yeah, that’s all fine and good, but do we the people actually have any say in our government? This question concerns me very much. These are elected officials, people not machine, that have been offered a great power over their constituents. As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker (aka Spiderman), “with great power comes great responsibility”. It is the responsibility of the elected officials to vote and act in accordance with the people they represent. This is where the trouble lies… there is a preceding factor to most, if not all, the votes that are cast for any elected official. Yes you guessed it, money. It is not likely that anyone seeking office can do so without adequate financial resources. The bigger the office, the more substantial the financial requirement.

So is it ‘the people’ they represent or is it ‘the source’ of the money that attracted the people whom they represent? This presents a severe obstruction to the smooth flow of people, resources, ideas, and actions through our government. We have a saying in Chinese medicine that goes like this, “where there is obstruction, there is pain; remove the obstruction, remove the pain.” Money is obstructing the Yin (resources and people) and Yang (ideas and actions) of government and we are in pain.

Republicans are Red, Democrats Blue, and Money is Green. Politics in America has lost its balance in duality and opposition… both sides are seeing Green. Green is good in a free-market with equal opportunity for all. While equal opportunity is the domain of the government, free-markets are not. Now one party, the ‘Green’ party is dominant. Balance has been lost. Washington looks more like Wall Street. Elections are like Quarterly Earnings; Foreign Policy like some Sketchy Accounting; and our rising Deficit like our sinking Stock Market.

In Chinese medical terms, money is the external pathogenic factor that has caused disease within the organism. It needs to be expelled and our ‘Righteous Qi’ restored. Health of any system in the universe means balance, aiming for the middle, and long-term moderation with the occasional short-term burst. Once found it is not static or fixed in time and space. To maintain a state of health requires constant observation and correction. Money in government has gone too long without proper observation and correction.

Every illness has both an external pathogenic factor and internal weakness that makes one susceptible. We have been lazy voters and poor participants in our government. It is easy to get lazy when we have it so good. Whether a teacher, lawyer, CEO, lobbyist or politician, it is we the people that make the decisions. It is up to each and every one of us to act morally and ethically with humanity’s long-term survival and prosperity in mind. Moral behavior and good deeds are contagious. Whether you believe in trickle-down or bottom-up, do good for yourself by doing good for others. We are all connected. All of humanity. All living things. It is only good for us if it is also good for others and the Earth. What is good for others and the Earth is also good for us.

Yin-Yang theory states that Yin and Yang are infinitely divisible and at the root of one lies the other. They are mutually dependent opposites that dwell in relativity not absolutes. Simply said, you cannot have good without bad; sweet without sour; or the Left without the Right. Those on the other side of the aisle help balance you. The more that you take a side and define your position, the further your opponents seem. You see yourself as ‘good’ and them as ‘bad’. They see the opposite. This is a separation of Yin and Yang and a sign of ill health. The voting citizens of America are all in this together as there is very likely a third party in the political process that does not have our best interests in mind. Only by working together can we rid our government of this pernicious influence and restore balance to our great country’s leadership.

Thanks for listening. Now get out and vote!

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Author: adamcoleshapiro

- just a man, father, husband, son, brother, and friend to many trying to make a difference by sharing what i've learned and think will be useful to you. My background: Mr. Adam Shapiro is a Nationally Certified (NCCAOM) and Colorado State Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), holding a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) from The Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences in Oakland, CA. Prior to becoming an acupuncturist and herbalist, Adam studied several ancient martial arts including Tai Ji, Bagua, Hsing-I, and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, as well as healing arts known as Qi Gong. Adam's love for these Chinese internal arts paved the way for him to become a hands-on healer and heart-felt teacher sharing the gifts he's gained from his years of dedicated study and practice.

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