Contradictions in the world

 

The universality of contradiction. According to Mao Zedong “contradiction exists in the process of development of all things.” Lenin followed the same way of reasoning by stating that there are mutually exclusive, opposite tendencies in all phenomena and processes of nature. Does this mean that things come into being/ are referred to/ are defined only as opposites to other things? 

This way of reasoning is related to the anthropologist’s Claude Levi-Straus, who emphasized the binary oppositions between elements, at the language and culture levels, present in 187 myths of societies around the world. 

My question here is: If this kind of reasoning is correct, then which was the first element to be defined on its own, not as an opposite to something else? 

7 thoughts on “Contradictions in the world

  1. This theory of the contradictory nature of the changing goes back through Marx and Hegel to Heraclitus.

    A related pair of questions: Do good things come into being or become referred to or defined as opposite to bad things and vice versa?

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    • You cannot step into the same river twice. Or as Clydas criticized Heraclitus: You cannot step into the same river once.The constant motion of the river, of the universe…the law of contradiction or of unifying opposites that spread from Heraclitus and nowadays is the foundation of China’s way of thought. Whereas in the ‘West’ Aristotle and his law of non-contradiction won.

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  2. Poignant post; it seems to refer to duality, which I have come to understand as a necessity in the development of the Ego container in the individual’s psychological development. Moving beyond the idea of opposites to the middle “grey area” where one is comfortable holding the two ideas concurrently (like the man holding the umbrella in the image) is a lifelong pursuit; like the image suggests, it involves a swinging between two extremes. The question posed reminds me of “the chicken or the egg” paradox, which I’m afraid I don’t have a ready answer to.

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