Balance

In all perfectly beautiful objects there is found the opposition of one part to another and a reciprocal balance —John Ruskin

The passage below speaks of the realization of Siddhartha who became the Buddha. He enjoyed an indulgent life of pleasure in his youth, later renounced the worldly life to become an ascetic, then finally embraced a balance between these.

“These three ways of life may be compared to the strings of different tensions on a lute. The loose string, which is like a life of indulgence, produces a poor sound when struck. The overly tight string, which is like a life of extreme asceticism, similarly produces a poor sound when struck and is, moreover, likely to break at any moment. Only the middle string, which is neither too loose nor too tight, and is like the middle path, produces a pleasant and harmonious sound when struck. So those who follow the middle path which avoids the extreme of indulging one’s desires and the opposite extreme of torturing one’s mind and body unreasonably, will find happiness, peace of mind and enlightenment” (¶ 2 from www.zenguide.com /principles/path_to_end_of_suffering.cfm)

The Buddhist way of life is not the avoiding of the dichotomies, but is instead a recognition of the bridge between the two, and how to, in life, traverse that bridge with clarity, and given time, remain on the bridge in a peaceful state of mind as the momentum of the dichotomies sways.  You speak from conditioning, religious conditioning to put it more precisely.  You have been taught to see the majority of life as black and white, good and bad, as the majority of the world has.  The glaring issue with this perspective is that a person’s mind can constantly be trying to find balance between the two, as opposed to recognizing the natural sense of being, where you allow the feelings of peace, safety, and pleasure to guide you. You are never settled and you are always trying to find the middle ground, instead of realizing you are the middle ground.  —Axely Congress