This fourfold of duals from Buddhism lists the hopes and fears that bind us to the world and our culture. They are known as the eight worldly winds, concerns, or dharmas. Both hopes and fears, wanting and not wanting, can be seen as negative.
- Hope for Pleasure and Fear of Pain
- Hope for Gain and Fear of Loss
- Hope for Praise and Fear of Blame
- Hope for Prestige and Fear of Disgrace
HEALING THE EFFECTS OF EVIL
What Are the Eight Worldly Concerns?
What can be said of the Eight Trigrams of Taoist cosmology, also known as the Bagua, that hasn’t already been said on ten thousand other web sites? Here I show the trigrams and their duals together in an arrangement that places one or two of them at a site of the four elements.
When considering the binary values of the trigrams, this arrangement is reminiscent of my Marriage of Opposites, Part 2. In doing this each link between them represents a common value for a trigram line. For example between Heaven / Earth and Water / Fire the 2nd line is yang for both Heaven and Water, and the 2nd line is yin for both Earth and Fire. Opposite this link is its reverse: the 2nd line is yin for both Thunder and Mountain, and yang for both Wind and Lake. All six links have this quality.
Two smaller diagrams show the common English names as well as the corresponding attributes of the trigrams. Interestingly, if Heaven and Wind are considered Air, Lake is considered Water, Mountain is considered Earth, and Thunder is considered Fire, then you have each element mentioned twice, once above and once below, and a crossed loop of pairs: Air / Earth, Fire / Air, Water / Fire, Earth / Water, and then back to Air / Earth. Nice!
Here’s a notable fourfold of dualities: the Ogdoad, or eightfold of deities. I usually don’t stray into ancient mythology but this cosmological system evidently led the Greeks to their idea of the four elements. These paired male and female deities were personifications of certain metaphysical concepts and their opposites.
- Amun and Amaunet: The Hidden and its opposite
- Nun and Naunet: The Abyss and its opposite
- Kuk and Kauket: The Darkness and its opposite
- Huh and Hauthet: The Boundless and its opposite
Some even conjecture that the word ANKH was formed from the initial sounds of these four or eight deities.
In the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator, there are four pairs of opposites which sort personalities into sixteen different types. These four pairs of opposites are:
- Extroversion vs. Introversion (E, I)
- Sensing vs. Intuition (S, N)
- Thinking vs. Feeling (T, F)
- Judging vs. Perceiving (J, P)
The codes for these sixteen types are formed by listing one choice per opposite (E,I), (S,N), (T,F), and (J,P), written ESTJ, for example. Interestingly, four special subsets xNTx, xNFx, xSxJ, xSxP, (usually written NT, NF, SJ, SP), are aligned to the four personality temperaments by David Keirsey.
Sensing vs. Intuition and Thinking vs. Feeling are quite similar to the fourfold of Jung’s Psychological Types: Sensation, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling. Also in Jung’s theory Intuition and Sensation are considered Perceiving, and Thinking and Feeling and considered Judging. However, there are significant differences in the two theories.
Spotting Keirsey/Myers-Briggs Temperaments at a Glance
Images for MBTI Dichotomies:
Robert Plutchik devised a schema for eight basic emotions, divided into four pairs of opposites. Each of these also has a weaker and a stronger version (but not shown here).
- Trust vs. Disgust
- Joy vs. Sadness
- Fear vs. Anger
- Surprise vs. Anticipation
In addition, emotions called dyads can be built by non-opposed combinations of the basic emotions, and each of these twelve dyads has a reverse or opposite emotion, making 24 total. Between any two opposite pairs, two dyads may be considered covariant, and the other two may be considered contravariant. So for the two pairs of opposites A + A’ and B + B’, we have covariant A*B and A’*B’, which are opposite, say C and C’, and contravariant A*B’ and A’*B, which are also opposite, say D and D’. These four dyads are labeled in the diagram as C:C’::D:D’, which I hope is not too confusing.
- [L:R] Love (Joy * Trust) : Remorse (Sadness * Disgust)
- [S:M] Sentimentality (Trust * Sadness) : Morbidness (Joy * Disgust)
- [G:E] Guilt (Joy * Fear) : Envy (Sadness * Anger)
- [D:Pr] Despair (Fear * Sadness) : Pride (Joy * Anger)
- [C:C] Curiosity (Trust * Surprise) : Cynicism (Disgust * Anticipation)
- [U:H] Unbelief (Surprise * Disgust) : Hope (Trust * Anticipation)
- [A:A] Awe (Fear * Surprise) : Aggression (Anger * Anticipation)
- [O:A] Outrage (Surprise * Anger) : Anxiety (Fear * Anticipation)
- [D:P] Delight (Joy * Surprise) : Pessimism (Sadness * Anticipation)
- [D:O] Disappointment (Surprise * Sadness) : Optimism (Joy * Anticipation)
- [S:C] Submission (Trust * Fear) : Contempt (Disgust * Anger)
- [S:D] Shame (Fear * Disgust) : Dominance (Trust * Anger)
Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions
[*9.224, *9.225, *9.230, *9.231]