Everything in moderation. -- Aristotle
… including moderation! -- Clark Jones
Have you ever met someone who seemed a “bubble off of level”, a bit kooky, somewhat unbalanced? How about someone who was way “off”, perhaps scary? What about someone who was so monotone and boring that you wanted to escape just to get a breath of fresh air?
To seek balance is an admirable preoccupation, but I believe life is a series of imbalances that allow us to grow as humans. When we maintain a point of balance, there is no movement. We stagnate, we cease our growth, and we lose our passion. I think it is important for us get unsteady and move toward the edges, try new things, challenge ourselves, grow.
One of my favorite precarious experiences involves getting my mind “blown” with a new thought or concept. Here are some examples:
1. The Higg’s Boson
2. What if we are 90% soul, and just 10% of everything else?
3. What if the body is not the temple of the spirit, but the spirit is the temple of the body?
I understand how people who have been quite out of balance often long for quietude and centering. The man who worked all his life in a high-pressure job now finds tranquility tending his orchids day in and day out. The woman who raised children now finds quite mornings to reflect and write her memoir. Nevertheless, we must not confuse reflection and solitude with balance. These provide opportunities for growth and movement as well.
The awakening man looks at balance and sees its two-edged blade. Get too far unbalanced, and we move into dysfunction and insanity. Stay at the center, and we become impotent, lifeless. He understands that moments of terror on the edge of a cliff of life can open new opportunities and passions. However, he also realizes that he must take time to center himself in meditation and renewal, rebalance his psyche, and revive his spirit.
The awakening man accepts that balance is an individual mandate. Great balanced people like the Dalai Lama come to mind, as does the rather unbalanced Rumi with his wild visions and utterances. Both have contributed greatly to our understanding of our humanness and our spirituality.
The awakening man understands there will be times of imbalance in his life, his thoughts, and his passions. He uses this tremendous energy for learning, serving, completing. Purposefully then, he returns to the center point of serenity within his being. The touchstone of his heart brings him into awareness of the equanimity of the universe, the calmness within the chaos, the gold within his shadow. And then he’s off again in this wild adventure we call life.
What does balance mean to you? Do you wish for more balance in your life, or do you welcome the shattering of stability that life sometimes throws our way? How will you seek your center point? How will you find the fringes?