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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Balance

Mozzarella di Bufala - 2012
Quid velit et possit rerum concordia discors. 
(That which is the meaning of the discordant harmony of things.)

Horace 



Heraclitus and the stream, the Yin/Yang and the Unity of Opposites, Zen and the Japanese composure, Hegel and the Dialectic Process, Jung and Individuation, Babaji and Kriya Yoga: all these personalities and philosophies laid a path to inner balance for humanity.

The term philosophies is to be taken cum grano salis; it is true that certain aspects of these "exercises" pertain to the realm of philosophy, especially when, by lack of a possible experiential approach, thinner stilts must stand on merely theoretical mud. So, when Descartes bases the proof of existence upon the certainty of the "cogito" idea (Cogito, ergo sum), the latter is itself based on the hypostasis of God's existence: this, to me, is pure philosophy.

But Individuation, Dialectic, Zen, the Battle of Opposites, and Kriya Yoga, just to name a few, do not only consist of discourses: they are processes which translate into lifestyles, tendencies, and a disposition of the soul and Nature. Their structural pillars all stand on experiential grounds; they can be applied to any aspect of practical life, and they contribute to that natural balance towards which we all tend by means of some sort of gravitational power. All of these life principles, laid out in different eras, cultural, and social contexts, have one aspect in common: they all underline the importance of acknowledging the discordant forces in ourselves, the dark and mysterious side of our soul as well as the visible and orthodox one. Balance is obtained by offsetting opposing principles.
In man, this lack of concordia shows through common symptoms such as neuroses, psychoses, or more commonly, depression, melancholia, panic attacks, anxiety, schizophrenia, phobias, and manias. These often result from the either conscious or unconscious but systematic repression of some important inner traits; these can be lower functions of our psyche which have been only partially or not recognized at all by our conscious side; they are magma that boils inside us without our knowledge of its action, or even of its presence.

So the path to balance is not an easy one. To unite opposites, we must realize that our nature is profoundly ambiguous; only this way can we cohabit with it and have a higher degree of control over its duality.

What is balance to you? How do you try to reach it?

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5 comments:

  1. I love two things especially here: "thinner stilts must stand on merely theoretical mud," and the (im)balance of the almost Oriental mozzarella on the white plate. For myself I'm not sure, and must ponder further, but I've always been intrigued by Rodin's Spirit of Eternal Repose, a figure balanced just at the point of toppling over, forever stopped at the moment of imbalance. In that moment is repose. Inner and outer.

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  2. Phew, I needed a coffee after that, Jay. Mind you I've only just woken up. You are dead right though. The key to it all is the ambiguous. But to answer your question for me it just falls down to 'know yourself' and 'like what you see.'

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  3. What a thought provoking post! I try to find balance by giving myself and those around me the space to grow. I know that in order to feel at ease I need to work towards my goals, but also I need to spend time in nature. Drawing also helps me find my inner balance and helps me to re-calibrate. :)

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  4. Christie,
    I'm glad you like the photograph. I'm always grateful when someone expresses a genuine opinion on the image accompanying my articles, and not just on the text. I can see the duality and paradox of Rodin's image. Thank you for sharing!

    Mike,
    You needed coffee after reading it, I needed scotch whiskey while writing it.
    You are back to the ancient Greek and the classic "Gnothi Se Auton"!

    Nature is The place to find yourself indeed, and drawing, or writing are indeed ways to balance yourself out. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Good to know you're back, It seemed you were gone for a while so I stopped visiting. Thanks for letting me know with the comment you left at my site that you are still here.

    This is some deep thinking here for sure. I agree that many disorders and disruptions of being are the result of lack of balance. Balance can be difficult to achieve in this world for some of us and others just get too deep into a few things.

    I like to think that I have a fair amount of balance although I'm probably home too much. Exposure to many schools of thought helps my mental balance. I should take more long walks though.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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