Balance and harmony are not steady states of being. Riding a bicycle is controlling the wobbles. Living a life is like that, only trickier. The natural order is chaotic. That is where we come in. We keep Yin and Yang within their traces, with neither getting the upper hand. Anything that is too much this and not enough that is a mess. It takes a massive amount of diversity to strike all the balances that are necessary for life on the planet. Any planet. We are here to draw lines, restrict excess, insist on adherence to the normal distribution curve, and demand that extremes be avoided. Respect for the center keeps all systems humming. AUM is the music of the spheres. Gabriel's horn is a bass saxophone. Balance and harmony, Kid. Balance and harmony. Return to the center, and live from there.
Does the name Martin Palmer mean anything to you? He has wide-ranging interests. English. About 5 years younger than I am. Google him and listen to a 1919 lecture to the World Wellness Organization (Or words to that effect) and a 2020 “master class” with the same group. He is Anglican and Taoist, probably more Taoist than Anglican, and talks about our place being that of integrating Yin and Yang in all of their myriad manifestations throughout our life-- ongoing, never-ending, eternal and everlasting, world without end. Just one damn situation after another, all the way down. My kind of guy.
Your freedom ends where your responsibilities begin. No one is free to be irresponsible. Who is to say what "responsible" is and is not? YOU are! In each situation as it arises! And, here is the kicker: YOU have to be RIGHT about it! Who is to say whether you are right about it or not? Time will tell. The circumstances will validate or invalidate your response to the circumstances. We all will know soon enough whether you were/are right or wrong about what you declare to be a responsible response to the situation. We all bear the burden of knowing what we are doing all our life long. And live to know better what to do in the next moment than we knew in the last one. And if we are not doing that, we are the bane and the burden of the world.
We stand between how things are and how things ought to be, and bear the pain of the dichotomy, of the contradiction, and do what we can in the service of the ought-to-be, within the constraints of the possibilities before us. We do not get to choose our choices. We get to choose from among the choices available to us in each situation as it arises. How long have we been struggling beneath the burden of racism? Sexism? Misogyny? Homophobia? Islamophobia? Xenophobia? Etc.? Ours is the Sisyphean Task of doing what must be done within the limitations imposed upon us by the time and place of our living. "As good as it can be" is often far from "Good enough," and nowhere near "The Good!" But our work is always in the service of The Good! The Good is the rock we roll up the hill, and follow to the bottom, and roll it up the hill, and follow to the bottom... throughout our life. And quitting is not an option! Think of it as job security, and get back to work!
Living in ways that befriend life balances the opposites, integrates the polarities, harmonizes Yin and Yang, negotiates and compromises-- and resorts to forcing, pushing, shoving only when all other approaches have failed and crashing through windows and smashing down doors are our last remaining choice for escaping a burning building. Thinking of battling, fighting, going to war, as our first, best, most efficient, most effective way of getting what we want and having our way is already to have lost anything worth having. "Prayer Warriors" miss the point of prayer-- and do not grasp the significance of "What shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour!' No! For this purpose I have come to this hour! 'Father, Glorify your name!'" How we face "the hour," how we understand "the hour," who we show ourselves to be in "the hour," is why we come to "the hour," in every hour, moment-by-moment, day-by-day our entire life long. "The hour" is the time and place of our revelation, of our realization, of our incarnation, of who we are and what is ours to do-- requiring that we stand consciously, mindfully, between the contradictory forces at work in "the hour" and make peace, bearing in our body "the marks of the cross." Hour after hour. In so doing, we become Jesus in Gethsemane, the Buddha under the Bo Tree, and every parent worthy of the title, and every human being carrying the weight of being human. It is who we are. It is what we do. "What I do is me, for that I came" (Gerard Manley Hopkins).
What do we talk about when we have nothing to say? What do we talk about to keep from saying what we have to say? What do we talk about all the time? What do we never talk about? How do we know/decide what to say? How much does our talking conceal? How much does our talking reveal? Who is listening when we speak? What do we have to say that no one will/can hear? What do we have to say that we refuse to hear? What are we not saying that is dying to be heard? What are we saying by the way we live our life? What are we afraid of? Ashamed of? What are we hiding? What are we hiding from? Why are we hiding? Who are we kidding? Why are we kidding anyone?