Balance is one of the fundamental laws of the universe. It applies to everything, either in the fact that it is balanced or in the fact that it’s in a state of flux trying to retrieve it.
We too are a product of that universal balance and it’s therefor that we are constantly looking to find peace and tranquility, certainly on an unconscious level. It’s the search to find back what was lost from the moment we were stirred into a state of imbalance.
The constant tendency to find balance applies to all things, which included the physical and non-physical aspects of our existence. To use an analogy, our inner essence is like a body of water. When nothing interferes, its surface will be smooth and tranquil and our state of mind will be peaceful. States of imbalance only happen when we splash into one another or when circumstances splatter around us.
Not to be disturbed by what happens is how our state of inner peace can be restored and maintained. Good to know is that when you eliminate the incentives that cause instability, everyone automatically finds their way back, like that body of water that slowly comes to rest as soon as no outside force is applied. But rather than eliminating the stimuli, it’s even better to best them, to learn how to not let them provoke you.
Because catalysts of disorder will always be around. It’s part of the drive of the universe to find balance on other levels. For instance, as part of nature, which is itself an expression of that balance, our primal needs must be satisfied to regain equilibrium. When hunger is stilled, peace of mind settles back in (provided that no other stimuli are present). When we are able to secure for ourselves a constant source of food, in this example, we will have eliminated the incentive that makes us restless.
The mind may well be the product of the attempt to find balance between two contradicting levels of existence: the overarching physical nature that drives individuals to create ecological balance and the individual drive to be at peace. It may well be the culmination of balance evolution, working itself down from larger systems of harmony to smaller, more detailed parts of existence.
But every new condition starts out with disorder rather than order. When a new species is introduced into a habitat, it will unhinge the ecological balance before a new status quo can be established; when two bodies of water merge they stir up trouble before it calms down. So too it is with the mind. It creates chaos in our lives before it creates order. And in this stage of human evolution we are finally beginning to see how this stability-benefit on its own contradicts the ecological balance that prompted it into existence.
It’s a necessary hick-up in the larger scheme of things, which can only be overcome from this side of the equation. The mind is a tool forged to overcome our ecological drives, but we are not yet using it to its full extend. We still let our ecological instincts get the best of us in a world created with the power of our mind, which makes our society a psychological jungle, rather than a sanctuary of serenity.
In that respect, cultural (balance) evolution is both a side-effect and a step in between ecological balance and individual stability, which onto itself creates new provocations able to make the individual lose its composure.
Luckily, the evolution of mind also created freedom of will and the ability of overview, which must be utilized together to have any positive effect. Freedom of will without calculating the consequences of our decisions often leads to us taking the easy way, rather than the wise way. As long as we let our freedom of choice be propelled by our ecological drives (fear of survival, territorial instinct, and such) rather than reason, we aren’t truly using it. Only when we contemplate the right thing to do and act upon it, will we be able to create balance in our lives, both on a cultural and individual level. And the right thing to do in this regard is taking action to preserve balance on all levels.
Seeking balance with nature, within human culture, with other people and with our inner being should be the motivation for everything we do. To understand what that means we must use the emerged capability of mind, and with it the latent ability to have compassion, to determine our actions; and not let our actions be determined by what provokes us to take them.
The time to learn to do this is now. For when there are no adversities to overcome we can’t learn the lessons needed to overcome them. Going from one state of balance to a higher state of balance can only be accomplished by conquering the chaos in between. Simply eliminating the chaos only makes us fall back to a lower state, where we are still subject to what happens to us rather than controlling our own collectedness under its influence.
In that regard, the troubles we experience today might be the inevitable outcome and needed catalyst to help us rise to a higher state of mental and cultural well-being. Our easy-way actions in response to our troubles culminated into turbulent conditions that forces our eyes to open to the wise way instead. It’s like two converging waters causing a giant splash before they calm down into a shared state of tranquility. It’s sort of part of the plan; an intricate part of the laws of balance.
But the plan won’t succeed for as long as we don’t play our part in it. We must learn to take care of both our parent, which is nature, and our child, which is our culture. And in order to do so, we must learn to take care of ourselves, by not letting ourselves be disturbed by either of them. In short, we must become one with nature again in a way that doesn’t dominate us and we must become one with ourselves to dominate our civilization.
And taking part in this plan can only be done on an individual level. Society is the sum of all individual actions. When we change our individual ways, society will soon after produce a different outcome. When more people become balanced, so too will this shape a more balanced community.
So, finding balance within is not simply something you do for yourself, although it should be the prime incentive, it’s also something that greatly benefits others and the world you live in. Also keep these secondary incentives in mind when you learn to not take things personally, to accept things the way they are or to look at others from their perspective.
Balance is waiting for us all to take the step back in its direction. Don’t keep it waiting. Although it may take a while to convert our global culture into a reflection of our inner balance, due to the rocking back and forth between individual steps and cultural pressure, individually we are all capable of reaching a peaceful state of mind within relative no time. Fight for it. It the only way to overcome both our personal and shared predicament.
A philosophical dreamer with a passion for self-reflection and contemplating life. He’s serious about helping people with the insights he gathered, but playful in the way he communicates his wisdom. He left a career as environmental engineer behind, in favor of becoming a personal development coach and thought-provoking writer.