THE ART OF BALANCE IN 2014
One thing’s for sure: Finding balance in a wildly tilting world ain’t easy.
Shall Balance shall be our discipline of awareness? Or the mysteries of the quantum? Or the still points of meditation? Or the physical sculpting of Tai Chi? The beauty of poetry and art? The joy of singletrack? Cooking food for our loved ones with micro-attention? Breathing into the mountain before us? Working with our minds honed to razor sharpness and our hearts wide open? Working with Joy? Like basking sharks sucking in the plankton of life in all it’s myriad, mad, beautiful, wild variety. Shall we swim through the world open to it all? Grounded, loving, true to our being, joyful or sad as we feel. Let this be our first goal/paradigm/aspiration:
The Art of Balance should be the business of an enlightened mind.
Grounding: Knowing who you are is a vital component to Balance. What are your true motivations, fears and impulses? What is the nature of your shadow? Oooo…er, yes the inner daemon that lurks behind the veil. Your very own personal Choronzon.
How can we become the grizzly bear balancing on a pole while juggling fireballs and holding one hairy leg gracefully aloft while unpacking the mysteries of the universe with our razor mind and open heart or spinning a jokey myth before a group of awestruck kids?
A reality surgeon. A cosmic jestor.
THIS AIN’T NO MARKET AND IT’S CERTAINLY NOT FREE!
The masqueraded world wants you to be many things and what masquerades as the world wants you to aspire to be the kind of person that it wishes to sell stuff to.
Most of the people who are running the world want to sell you stuff. It might be physical stuff like cars, washing machines, houses, cosmetic products, stylish clothes, particular types of music, handbags, a whole variety of fancy electronic toys to make your life more er…organised or whatever. Then there’s a whole crew who want to sell you a load more stuff but this time it isn’t physical, this time it’s ideas. Ideas about what constitutes meaning in the good and successful life. And yes, you guessed it, most of the ideas depend on you buying the physical stuff from the first crew, who are often the very same people. These ideas are often about the creation of dissatisfaction with the state of things as they are in your life right now. They are relentless about how ugly you are without that skin cream, about how short/uncool/dumb/repulsive/unplugged-in/and just plain awful you are, as you are right now. But there’s a solution, and all it takes is just a little money and you can be up there with the beautiful people, with the cool people, with the people that everybody wants to hang out with, just so that some magic and stardust might rub off on them but get this-YOU CAN BE ONE OF THE MAGIC PEOPLE! All you have to do is give them some money and you will be re-made, but this time in the likeness of a GOD!
It is almost unbelievable that anyone takes this bullshit at face value, but it infests the deepest channels of the subconscious with it’s insidious messages because it is everywhere and always. Nowhere is free from it. There is no space of privileged silence. Because far from being a king or queen, the consumer is a slave, and the foundation of modern capitalism rests on promoting dissatisfaction with the self in order to sell you stuff that you will only buy if you think it carries that certain cachet that will set you apart from all the other slaves.
And so the illusion is maintained, and standing outside this paradigm takes the most enormous courage and self-trust. To see the emperor’s clothes for what they are requires x-ray vision. To believe entirely in the impoverishments of low grade current market capitalism is to wear blinkers that exclude the true and the beautiful. It’s not the visionaries who reject the blandishments of fear-based capitalism that are weird. It’s the society that founds itself on these incredibly stupid illusions, most primarily that stuff creates meaning!
The great advantage of these free marketeers (and maybe we need to read some of their stuff over the next few weeks) is that as with much of the world’s intellectual bullshit, there’s an element of significant truth in it all.
I don’t think any intelligent person is going to reject the modern world out of hand. Beware those who propose a return to the cave! Public health especially fresh water and free medical care at the point of need are, for those countries who have them, one of the defining points of civilisation. I also like video games and access to lots of different foods, a huge range of literature and movies, the internet and computers generally. I like campervans and small sailing yachts and and electronic music and barbecues and beer and amazon and all-day opening and mountain bikes. I love it! But I also love the hill and the heath, the wind over the empty moor, the mountainside camped on alone at night, the summoning by the rockpool. The silence, the stillness, the intensity. The otherness.
Therefore we must seek ontological banditry of the robin hood style to refashion meaning for the brothers and sisters. Remake the paradigm in the image of a child. Sculpt out a new capitalism that works for the world and does not require slaves. We have the means, we carry it in our wallets, we spend it every day. It is a very silly and easily obtainable (with a little effort) source of energy. We must direct it with our minds and hearts and for Pan’s sake-we have to wake up!
One thing’s for sure: Finding Balance in a wildly tilting world ain’t easy. But…bring it on!