|Teachings Yin and Yang|
A reporter came to interview me today. “Where does this power of Maya, or the negative power, come from?” he asked. “It comes from God,” I replied. “How can that be?” “The Bible says, ‘God created the universe and everything. There is nothing that is not created by God.’ So, if God didn’t create this power of Maya, who did?” “You are right. But why did God create this negative power?”
I told him that the negative power is very useful to us, when we learn how to transform it into a useful force. For example, electricity is also very dangerous. We get shocked and might even get killed if it flows through us, or if we come too close to a high voltage point. However, if we have learned how to make use of electricity, we will have no problem. Money, for example, also induces many people to break the law, violate the precepts, and commit evil acts. However, if we have learned how to make use of money instead of being enslaved by it, it is very useful to us as well. Instead of being controlled by money, we manipulate it and become its master. If it is the other way around, then we cannot survive without money. Some people are very greedy for money and would steal it, or kill or resort to evil ways to acquire it. At this time, money becomes a negative thing. If we know how to make use of it, however, it becomes positive.
Let’s take electricity, for instance. It is bipolar; only when the negative and positive poles are connected will electric current be generated. Likewise, there are two kinds of power in the world. On the positive side is God’s power, which encompasses compassion, love, care and benedictory power. On the negative side is the power of Maya, which confines people to this world, and tests their greed, anger, infatuation, wisdom and strength in surmounting obstacles. By its origin, this power is neither good nor bad, but it becomes good or bad, depending on how we use it. The negative power helps us learn how to overcome and transform it into something useful.
All the Enlightened Masters — Shakymuni Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Socrates, and Plato, among others, descended to this world to teach human beings how to overcome the negative power, the power from the left, and how to integrate it with the positive power. We Chinese call it the “integration of Yin and Yang.” It is better to have both Yin and Yang. Why? Do we humans lack Yin or Yang? No, but most probably we have too much Yin and too little Yang. We are not balanced and easily become like leaves waving in the wind without self-determination. If we follow the ways of the world, and follow our greed, anger, infatuation, and desires, then we are following the way of the Yin, the negative power. At such times, the Enlightened Master will advise us to take some Yang supplements. Otherwise, we will be too inclined toward the left; we will have too much Yin and be forever bound by this Yin.
What is “Yang”? It is the positive power, the power of compassion and love, which is enlightening, radiant, blissful, and charged with blessing power. It comes from “above,” while the Yin power comes from the world, or from “below.” The former pulls us up while the latter drags us down. In Heaven, or the abode of the angels, there is plenty of Yang, so the heavenly beings have no idea what pain and suffering are, much less can they sympathize with suffering people. In this world, we have too much pain and anguish. Suffering is on our minds all the time. We think very little about happiness. We have very little idea what happiness is, for we have very few moments of joy, while we have plenty of painful times.
Let me cite an example: We work for more than eight or ten hours a day. When we are home, we enjoy only a few bowls of rice. Our moment of joy is mealtime, but we have to work ten hours in exchange for it. When we are happy being with our spouse, we say we are in Heaven, but we forget how many obligations are attached to this happiness. For twenty, thirty, or forty years after marriage, we have obligations toward that person and our children. From dawn till dusk, we work hard to earn money for our food and clothing and to take care of our children until they are twenty, twenty-five, or even thirty. And it does not end here. Later, when they are married and have children, they bring their kids for us to take care of. Therefore, in this world, heavenly moments or happy times are very rare. We have to exert a lot of physical and mental effort before we can earn a little happiness. (Applause)
Why do we seek the Yang? How can we find It? We are unhappy because we have too little Yang; we are exhausted by work and have very few joyful moments. At the time of initiation, I help you to turn on the resource of Yang. We can compare this to two water taps, one for cold water and the other for hot water. The cold water tap is the negative power and the hot water tap is the positive power. Once the two taps are turned on, and the cold and hot water flow together, we can take a comfortable and delightful bath without catching a cold. We will have fewer physical ailments and will have the energy and spirit to face the future, as well as all the worldly vexations, work, and obligations. If we are healthy, it may be all right to take a cold bath every day; otherwise, our life could be in danger.
We have suffered too much pain and vexation in this world. Just like having taken cold water baths for too long, we yearn very much for a warm bath. This is why I come to tell you that there is another tap that brings you hot water. Turn it on along with your cold water tap and you will feel much more comfortable. You won’t fall ill so easily. If you are ill, you will feel much better, rather than worse. However, the tap is now blocked. The tap is there and the water is in the pipe, but the tap is blocked. Just allow me to fix it and you will have water immediately. At the time of initiation, I am like a plumber or electrician. I connect the wires for you and you have electricity. I repair the tap for you and you have water. I am worried that you might fall sick and become incurable after taking too many cold baths every day.
“The Way to Balance Yin and Yang”
The law of Yin and Yang is such that if we have too much Yin, we will be trapped in this Yin dimension. This is causation. We have planted Yin, so we will have Yin. If we have planted Yang, we will go to Heaven. However, if we nurture both, balancing between Yin and Yang and integrating positive with negative, we will become a well-balanced being — a Saint. A Saint is not all Yang, but is comprised of both Yin and Yang. We can see this from the symbol of Taoism, which is half Yin and half Yang, yet with a dot of Yin in the Yang, and a dot of Yang in the Yin. This is what it means. A Taoist, a being who has attained the Truth, should possess both Yin and Yang, instead of being all Yang or all Yin. If he were completely Yang, he would not realize the Yin qualities of sentient beings. He would not be able to tolerate sentient beings and understand their hearts. He would not be able to communicate with them and ease their suffering. If he were too much inclined toward the Yin, then he would be just like us, eating, drinking, indulging in pleasures, ignorant, unenlightened, and powerless; he would not be able to help us.
The positive power or life-saving power is within us. This is the meaning of the “original benevolent nature.” Now we are stuck here, shrouded by karmic hindrances and unable to see beyond them. If there is someone who can release the Yang energy and repair it for us, then we will be benefited. Such is initiation; the Master helps the fellow practitioners or disciples discover their compassion and love, and then this merciful power of love takes care of them every day. We Catholics call this “God”; knowing this merciful love power is knowing God.
“The Way to Balance Yin and Yang”