An Ambiguous Balancing Act


The perfect alignment of your favourite wall piece. The right tinge of colour on an artist’s palette. Just two spoonfuls of sugar – not more, not less – in your morning cup of tea. Equal amount of weight on both trays of the weigh scale. The right length of a blog post – neither too lengthy, nor too short. Everything from the smallest of anecdotes to the largest of philosophies revolves around one ideology – balance.

Yang and Yin; Ma’at and Isfet; God and Satan. Spirituality has always, in one way or the other emphasized the importance of balance. To portray an everlasting battle between good and evil, it is essential to empower both equally. To craft one party good and the other evil, one needs a reference of negativity. In other words, God needs Satan just as much as you need God.

Just like the classic ‘Balancing on the Rope’ act, everything hangs in a balance of sorts. Glories and defeats; happiness and sadness, popularity and loneliness – it all is necessary just in the right amount. Keenly observed, it comes out that everything is in our hands with nothing being in our control. The little girl walking on the tight rope is bombarded with unnerving, expectant and awed looks, the prospect of falling and the fear of a potential failure. These are the things beyond her control, yet she chooses to remain focused and puts forward strong foot after strong foot and finishes the act.

Balance is rarely easily achieved. It takes multiple tries, potential devastations and stretches of discomfort. Each one of us struggles to balance various events, factors and situations in our life; ranging from petty problems to huge feuds. When in distress, one often wonders about the apparent injustice, inconvenience or unfairness. It is our own tinted perception that wants everything aligned to our own selfish needs and greeds that actually magnifies any problem. We want to feel warm without knowing the bone creeping chill, we want success without tasting defeat, we want to love without the anguish of heartbreak. It is impossible to get the best of one without experiencing the other. True success is based on the foothills of failures, heartbreaks make you value not only the love you give, but more so the love you receive. There is a reason nature tries to balance the hours of day and night equally, but doesn’t manage it every day. But when it does, we celebrate the equinoxes as a tribute to fairness. Quoting Rick Riordan,

“Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same, fairness means everyone gets what they need.”

Understand yourself to be the center of your own universe, with multiple ropes tied to your waist and extended in all directions. The end of each rope is attached to a sphere of life – friendship, love, hate, etc. As each sphere demands attention, the sphere pulls the rope. The sphere tied exactly opposite is always the inverse counterpart. The sphere of happiness is opposite to the sphere of sadness. As one pulls, the other feels the force as well. In the flow of life, multiple spheres will pull simultaneously, hence moving you away from the center. No pull is permanent, and as the force ebbs away, the sphere opposite to it begins working to help bring you back to the center. It may take time for all the pulls and all the forces to be in equilibrium and achieve utter control; maybe even a lifetime.

But you, at the center are not a puppet, nor a lifeless rock. You have your own powers, your own strengths. What can you do? You can fight to not be pulled by the negative forces, but also to not be carried away by the positive forces. You can hold firm at your base, and refuse to budge, therefore leaving the balance to your hands. You cannot control the pulls of the spheres, but you can choose how to react to them and eventually reduce their impact. You control your placing. This state has been described differently like Nirvana, Moksha, Salvation etc. It’s nothing but balance.

Yeh Jo Gehre Sannate Hai, Waqt Ne Sabko Hi Baantein Hai,

Thoda Gham Hai Sabka Kissa, Thodi Dhoop Hai Sabka Hissa.


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