Early on in the space race, NASA spent much time and effort seeking a metal robust enough to withstand the heat of reentry and protect the astronauts. The endeavor failed. At some point, a clever person changed the problem. The real problem was to protect the astronauts, and perhaps this could be done without a material that could withstand reentry. The solution, the ablative heat shield, had characteristics just opposite to those originally sought. Rather than withstanding the heat, it slowly burnt away and carried the heat away from the vehicle.
D. N. Perkins
Source: The Mind’s Best Work (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1981), 217
Tao is obscured when men understand only one pair of opposites, or concentrate only on a partial aspect of being. Then clear expression also becomes muddled by mere wordplay, affirming this one aspect and denying all the rest. The pivot of Tao passes through the center where all affirmations and denials converge. He who grasps the pivot is at the still-point from which all movements and oppositions can be seen in their right relationship... Abandoning all thought of imposing a limit or taking sides, he rests in direct intuition.
Chuang Tzu (c.360 BC - c. 275 BC)
Source: Quotations from Chuang Tzu, (2:3, p. 59, p.61)
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both. . . . The mind and the world are opposites, and vision arises where they meet. When your mind doesn't stir inside, the world doesn't arise outside. When the world and the mind are both transparent, this is true vision. And such understanding is true understanding.