“In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also yin-yang or yin yang, 陰陽 yīnyáng “dark—bright”) describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.”
The first paragraph of the article, beneath the quote from the book, is one of the most targeted and poignant statements on the subject of the human condition I have read in a long, long time. It encapsulates the essence of the “meaning of life” for me. It may be that I am more sensitive as I near my seventh decade, but it surely hit home! The section from the review and to which I refer is:
“All life is lived in the shadow of its own finitude, of which we are always aware — an awareness we systematically blunt through the daily distraction of living. But when this FINITUDE is made acutely imminent, one suddenly collides with awareness so acute that it leaves no choice but to Fill the shadow with as much light as a human being can generate — the sort of inner illumination we call meaning: the meaning of life.” [emphasis is mine]
The book has been very well received, but I have ordered it with mixed emotions. I am anticipating powerful insights, inspiration and guidance with the knowledge that I will be emotionally involved and perhaps burdened by the experience.
Visit the website to read the entire review of the book and if you order the book via that site, they receive a small commission.
You can read more about the book, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, at goodreads