The Natural Inclusion of Each in the Other: How West Turns to East in Worldly Circulation

Alan Rayner
3 min readOct 5, 2020
The Holeyness of the Wood’ (Oil paintings on canvas by Alan Rayner, 2007) Two, world’s apart; Whose place is together; In common circumference; Of World spinning Story. One, the proud Standard-Bearer; Of light within darkness; An illumination; Of rectangularity; Held stiffly erect; With All in Order. The Other, a haphazard glimmering; Of darkness in light; A chaotic turbulence; Of fluid movement; Of Order in All. Wherein can be found meaning; Of vital significance; A Communion of holes; Each seeking relief; Obscured by the clutter; Of everyday Strife. Can we feel those holes; At the heart of souls; Or, must we make Shutters; To freeze the moment; Of objective vision?

Together Makes Three, Altogether Makes Five

With a little imagination

Any One can see

Two intangible, insubstantial aspects of reality

That we could call

Tao and Chi

Space and Flux

Stillness and Motion

Darkness and Light

Soul and Spirit

That together embody a third

Tangible, substantial presence

Imbued with each aspect

Including the other

That we could call

Yin and Yang

Receptive and Responsive

Soft and Hard

Internal and External

Central and Peripheral

Ventral and Dorsal

Shadow and Illumination

Night and Day


Together makes three

Altogether makes five

As West turns to East

And East turns to West

Conscious turns to Unconscious

As Unconscious turns to Conscious

Life turns to Love

As love turns to Life

In worldly circulation

Without Contradiction

Together Makes Three, Altogether Makes Five’ (Pen and ink drawing on paper by Alan Rayner, 2020)

For Further Reading, see



In case you’re wondering…

The ‘turning’ in this piece is pivotal!

It relates both to the turning of planet Earth around its intangible spatial axis counter-clockwise from west to east (as viewed from the North Pole), with ‘sun rising’ as ‘sun sets’ with intervening darkness and to the circulation of flux around a receptive still point, as in the formation of tangible matter from intangible quantum field.

The imagery and poetry of ‘The Hollowness of the Wood’ references also to this turning, and the association of intangible Chi and Tao with Flux and Space, and Bodily Yin and Yang with Receptivity and Responsiveness, represents a translation and confluence between Eastern and Western language and philosophy. This confluence is made through awareness of the natural inclusion of each in the other, with Space being omnipresent and Flux locally present.

There is allusion, too, to the Pagan ‘Wheel of the Year’ and to the Native American ‘Medicine Wheel’. The story of ‘Every Body as a Cavity at Heart’, with life circulating around a central opening, is, I think-feel, truly universal. See the image of ‘Holding Openness’ at

In my drawing, the horizontal line represents the interface between intangible Tao (Space) and Chi (Flux) and bodily Yin (Receptivity, which can also be thought of as ‘negativity’ or ‘yielding’) and Yang (Responsiveness, which can also be thought of as ‘positivity’ or ‘resistivity’) through the embodiment of each in the other, with a receptive cavity (zero point) at the centre of gravity of the body. It is this ‘receptive self-centre’ or ‘zero-point’ that goes missing from purely materialistic conceptions of ‘self’ as an isolated, controlling ‘ego’, which is at the root of so many of our modern problems of living and loving as we naturally are in the world as it naturally is. Its restoration can help to resolve those problems.



Alan Rayner

Alan Rayner is an evolutionary ecologist, writer and artist, who is pioneering the philosophy of natural inclusion