Centertao member Cuc made a good attempt at Correlations despite some inconsistencies. For this process to succeed, two things are essential: (1) Find the antonym for each word you are pondering. (2) Align all the similar meaning words — ‘pseudo synonyms’ I call them — down one column with their antonyms down the opposite column. (See Tools of Taoist Thought: Correlations, p.572.)
Compare these two sets. Notice how Cuc places yin in the YANG column, and yang in the YIN column. Doing that allows you to rationalize where you place other words, among other things. Your results end up being what you emotionally desire to see.
“Taking” and “killing”, for example, are very active relative to their opposites, and so belong in the active YANG column along with the other active words. “Death”, on the other hand, correlates to YIN. Death is eternal, universal, passive; killing is transitional, particular, and active. It may seem ironic at first, but kill and life are both similar and belong on the YANG side. Put simply, your results should often challenge you emotionally.
|Cuc’s version:||My version:|
|I||you (besides me||something||nothing|
I understand why Cuc put ‘I’ and ‘nothing’ on one side, and ‘you’ and ‘mystery’ on the other. This order can make sense when just pondering these few words in a detached way. Such a detached view becomes harder to entertain as you work toward correlating all the contrasting verbs and adjectives that readily come to mind; this could be hundreds. The more rigorous and comprehensive your initial work to reconcile synonyms and antonyms, the more coherent the view. This helps you better feel the deep complementary relationship between words. Next, you’ll begin to feel the illusion of difference, and this helps disentangle words from reality. I know, that’s a leap, so proceed step by step. The proof is in the pudding. Alas, it is a subjective pudding that each mind must put together on its own and taste to prove. Correlations is just one way to untangle the knots as chapter 56 puts it.
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