Observations & meditations on modern life
Balance pt. 1
What is this whole idea of “balance” that I keep going on and on about?
Balance, for me, is about openness. It is the antithesis to rigidity. It is putting on the brakes or revving the accelerator as necessary. It is the ability to express an opinion with ferocity as well as humility.
Balance isn’t compromise. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have the highs and won’t get the lows. Those ups and downs are inevitable, and so necessary to teach us where the middle actually is. It sounds bizarre but if we didn’t have the highs, and we didn’t have the lows, where would we actually be?
I’m quite philosophical and that probably comes across in my writing. But what I want to keep in mind is that for every “airy fairy” idea that there is in the world, there is probably a concrete principle that we can apply. It is just not a coincidence that ancient Eastern principles marry up to current scientific laws almost exactly. This idea of balance isn’t new to anyone, we just interpret it in different ways. For some people, it’s about the fact that for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s Third Law, 17th century). For some people it’s about Yin and Yang (Chinese cosmology, 3rd century BCE). For some people it is about balancing our internal dialogue with our outside perception (this is big in Buddhism, beginning circa 2nd century BCE). For others it is about balancing religious principles, like the Purusharthas in Hinduism (beginning approx 24th-16th century BCE). Even biological ideas like homeostasis rely on the fact that our bodies are able to regulate and maintain the most optimal conditions for all its functions to carry on as normal.
If the scales become unbalanced, we instinctively work towards restoring the balance once again, and that see-saw process can be quite an uncomfortable ride. Ride it out though. If we fight it, we end up see-sawing for far longer because the more we try to control our anxieties, the more they often seem to control us. It doesn’t have to be that way at all. It’s all a balancing act. Our insides, our outsides. Organisms. Ecosystems. The world. The Universe.