Seek balance each day in all you do. Breathe. Let nature show you what balance looks like, feels like, smells like and sounds like. Sometimes it rains all day and night and sometimes it’s a sunny day and the night sky is filled with stars. Both of those days are in perfect balance with what is. Let balance within reflect balance without. Let what is, no matter its form, dictate the balance for the moment and in each moment find perfection, grace and peace. In each moment breathe. That’s balance.
Sometimes a song gets into the head and keeps on playing. For me it’s generally a spirit sending a message. The other day I sang the line “I fought the law and the law won”. The tune hooked Jan as well and she found herself a little frustrated that my tune successfully suggested itself to her own subconscious with incessant replays!
Of course, as always, I searched for the synchronous relevance of the message to our lives. It came quickly that the law is the Tao, and the Tao always wins. I understand the Tao to be the underlying rules of nature that control all of life. The central rule of the Tao is the law of cause and effect: Every action will cause a reaction.
A common example of this would be karma. When we recapitulate our lives we will determine what we must do next, based upon the life we have lived. The actions of our lives are the causes that determine the reactions—where life will take us next.
Strictly speaking, everything is Tao. All actions cause reactions, thus all actions are indeed part of the Tao. Thus, even a hurtful action is part of the Tao and will be appropriately compensated for by a reaction of equal intensity. Nonetheless, the expression to be in the Tao means to respond in the best possible way, the most efficient, least line of resistance to a given situation.
Nature herself expresses the Tao at its most favorable action. The waters of a stream accumulate most patiently in a crevice, awaiting the moment of saturation for the stream to proceed upon its course. Humans are endowed with the ability to take the Tao to extremes in their decision making, losing the favorable status of being in the Tao.
Thus, if someone is aggressive and cutting, the best response might be to go inward, depersonalize the action, have compassion for the other’s state of imbalance, then calmly move on. To challenge the offender is another option, which will illicit its own reaction. Both actions are governed by the Tao, however, the former may be said to be in the Tao.
The Taoist oracle, the I Ching, teaches us the Tao of all changes, while also highlighting the best actions to take to remain in the Tao when confronted with any situation. Most mornings, before sunrise, Jan and I feed a couple of feral cats up the road. We wear headlamps to find our way in the dark. For two days in a row, as the tune “I fought the law…” moved through me, I was attacked by giant hornets along the road, apparently attracted to the light.
On the second day, as we walked Jan’s beautiful quartz labyrinth before sunrise, I was again attacked by a giant hornet that actually made me jump into another rung of the labyrinth. Mind you, we have routinely done these behaviors for weeks and never been attacked.
Suddenly, it dawned on us that autumn has arrived and that the hornets are confused and jumpy, as their end is near. We were adding to their confusion, bringing light into night, and they were reacting to this intrusion. We realized that indeed we were fighting the Tao’s law of the change of seasons, and that law had won.
The next morning we waited until sunrise to feed the cats and walk the labyrinth. We were indeed in the Tao; no attacks, just a calm, thankful meow.
Might I suggest, to the subconscious of all, another Taoist mantra for your listening pleasure:
Equilibrium comes when what is going on inside the self equals what is going on outside the self, when the calmness you seek has been achieved and your inner world is calm and unfettered by old trials and tribulations and your physical life, in the world you live in, is thus equally calm and unfettered. With equilibrium any disturbance is easily accepted and dealt with, in calmness. To be in equilibrium is to be in the flow of life, within and without. What better life goal could there be? To achieve equilibrium is to be fully open to and in the flow of life as it is.
All systems seek homeostasis. There are countless permutations of homeostasis. For instance, if one part of a system rises to an extreme, other parts of the system compensate by moving to the opposite extreme to restore balance. A system of extremes, though a volatile and unstable balance, nonetheless can take possession of the world, as well as the human personality, with dire consequences.
Democratic governments have evolved systems of checks and balances to ensure stability of governance. Elected representatives bring their varied, opposing beliefs and individualistic concerns to their meeting halls and, ideally, attempt to harmonize their decisions for the greater good. Often, however, special interests seek to stockpile power to advance their agenda unsullied by a democratic process, which generally requires compromise.
Some issues, such as a threat to national security, evoke a primal unity that can advance a generalized acceptance of war. This falls under the category of nationalism.
The world is dangerously close to such an eventuality, particularly in a time of deluge of fake news, geared toward advancing special interests, especially for those who advocate war to eliminate unwanted parts of the world system.
These are like the times in world history where a savior is sought to bring a peaceful reconciliation of opposites and restoration of world stability. In modern terms, the world seeks a mature adult leader to restore order.
In the human personality, the adult self is the “savior” charged with bringing sustainable homeostasis within the system of the human psyche.
The adult self is the conscious president of the personality. The chakras of the human energy system are the major energy centers of the personality that reflect different needs within the self. Thus, for instance, the first chakra is the representative of core security and safety. The second chakra is concerned with procreation and continuance of the species. The third chakra is concerned with the power of individual needs and wants, the true coming of age of the human ego.
The fourth chakra is the meeting place of the spiritual self, where the individualistic ego is introduced to the truth of its place in the larger interconnected system of the greater self. The heart chakra teaches the ego right action for the needs of the greater whole.
The final three chakras are greater refinements of awakening to the transpersonal dimension of being and to life beyond the physical self.
The adult self is charged with managing the needs of the total self in space time, that is, daily human life. The adult self must bring to the meeting room the unique concerns of all the representatives of the various chakras. Decisions must be made, and checks and balances employed, to insure good management of energetic resources in the behavioral fulfillment of everyday life.
Unfortunately, the adult self must undergo much maturation before it arrives at the adult ability to govern for the greater good of the personality. Here, checks and balances appear in the form of psychosomatic symptoms, emotional and cognitive reactions, as well as dream experiences and synchronistic manifestations that bring influence upon the homeostatic balance of the personality.
A basic example: at the core chakra level, we must eat to survive. The second chakra, with its primal concern of mating, might negate the need to eat in order to attract a mate. The third chakra, in a state of grandiose entitlement, might insist upon unlimited treats. The fourth chakra might give the message that food is necessary in moderation, and hold out that a true mate would be attracted to a person who lovingly cares for the true needs of the whole body.
An immature adult self might find itself easy prey to the special interests of one or another chakra, resulting in either under or over eating. An adult self that has undergone the trials of the lower chakras, and reached the heart chakra, would be able to avail itself of the wisdom offered at the heart chakra. This would mean eating an enjoyable, moderate, truly needed meal.
Again, all systems must achieve homeostasis. Homeostasis could actually look like an indulgent attitude, compensated by severe somatic and emotional symptoms. The goal is to achieve harmonious homeostasis, which provides enduring sustainability. All individuals have the opportunity to be saviors of themselves, in their intent of achieving mature adulthood.
Let us intend that world leadership follow this example.
Adopt a patient attitude. In Tao all is patient, in alignment with waiting for all that is right to come into balance, for everything to get into synch, within and without. In Tao all is as it should be, without stress or yearning; it is what is, acceptable for the moment because the moment is all that is. What is to come at another time is not important, for it is not in the moment. In Tao each moment is rich, each step is vital, each breath the only breath, each moment all there is to life. In Tao patience finds its natural place among the many other riches of the moment. It just is and it is right, a part of each moment. Adopt patience, breathe patience, and live in the richness of each moment, knowing also that in the next moment everything can change. This too is Tao. Be in Tao, patiently ready for anything.