Friday, 2 February 2018

WTY-10: The Ambivalence between reason and feeling

2 February 2018

Life is full of contradictions, dilemmas, pitfalls, setbacks and ambivalences. The biggest ambivalence is that we fully understand and even decide to do something good for the sake of our physical or psychological wellbeing, namely, yangsheng, but find ourselves simply unable to do so in practice. More specifically, everyone of us may desire to have a positive mentality, but just cannot help feeling lousy, depressed, worried or afraid when experiencing something bad in reality. 

This ambivalence between reason and feeling is the biggest one for the yangsheng practitioner.  
Indeed, who would really feel thankful and celebratory when s/he is going through an ugly divorce, losing a legal battle, falling into a victim of accident, getting a pink slip, or becoming hopeless of recovery? Who would and could feel good about suffering?
To overcome such ambivalence, there are three major approaches:
1/ To convert ourselves to God - That's why those with a religious faith usually live a healthier, happier and longer life;
2/ To convert ourselves to wisdom - By really subscribing to, and habitually practising (folk or philosophical) wisdom;
3/ To convert ourselves to 'pragmatism'- By exploring various practical methods and techniques.
Those having an optimistic personality are really lucky in terms of yangsheng, but people who may have been 'born' as pessimistic, cynical and introvert as me can also gain a positive mentality through active learning and conscious practice.