General Balance - Page 1
This page includes subjects like personal growth, ethics, family and relationships. They do not fall specifically into one category, and they include the majority of the material on this website, as life is holistic. What happens in one area of our lives affects the others, thus spanning 2 or more of the other categories. The Balancing Our 4 "Bodies" page explains more on this. You can also search this page by pressing Ctrl+F on your keyboard to open the Find feature (command+F for Mac).
General Balance Page 1:
- The balance between joy and seriousness.
- The balance between looking after ourselves and serving others.
- The balance between disciplining children and giving them freedom.
- The balance between censorship and freedom.
- The balance between Striving and just being.
- The balance between faith in God’s protection and insuring your own protection.
General Balance Page 2:
- The balance between what goes into your mouth and what comes out.
- The balance between Tolerating others and maintaining your values and standards.
- The balance between correcting and accepting others.
- Sexual Balance. - This links to a separate website at www.sexuality.wholesomebalance.com.
More to come! If you have a subject you would like covered, let us know. Some subjects planned are:
- The balance between how much you get done and how you do it.
- The balance between being honest and not being taken advantage of.
- The balance between not making mistakes and learning by experience.
- The balance between giving and receiving.
- The balance between accepting our limitations and not accepting any.
The Balance Between Joy and Seriousness.
There are many serious subjects we have to deal with in our lives and on the planet. But being in a continuos serious mood does not help us to deal with them most efficiently. We can easily become over-burdened, stressed out and even unpleasant to be around. If you feel you are too serious, it helps to find a good role model.
A good example of this balance is the Dalai Lama. In the book The Practice of Happiness by John Kehoe (Zoetic Inc.), Kehoe tells of a somber ceremonial affair honoring the years Nobel laureates: “Many dignitaries were in attendance including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize), the Dalai Lama and various others. The Dalai Lama was standing directly behind Bishop Tutu, who was sitting in a heavy wooden, straight-backed chair. At a particularly earnest moment of the proceedings, Bishop Tutu’s hat was abruptly pushed down over his eyes. The Bishop was startled, but didn’t have to look back to know who was responsible. The Dalai Lama was laughing.”
Kehoe also tells of a business lunch that he attended where the Dalai Lama was being honoured. He writes: “Representatives from various religious groups, business movers and shakers, and numerous local celebrities were in attendance. The Dalai Lama sat at the head table, holding court, and throughout the meal he had everyone around him laughing. When it came time to speak, however, he spoke very eloquently and with emotion about the plight of the Tibetan people under Chinese rule. What impressed me most about the event was that, even with the obvious burden he felt in his heart for his people and homeland, the Dalai Lama could still so easily find time for joy and laughter.”
It would not help the Dalai Lama’s cause or the burden of his oppressed people if he walked around with a long face, feeling sorry for himself. We are most effective when we are well balanced with seriousness and joy. Another good example of someone with a good balance is Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, founder of the Gesundheit Institute, and made popular by the movie Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. Being a doctor is a serious business, and yet joy in the right way greatly enhances it.
The best form of laughter is unplanned. If you try to do something funny, it is premeditated, so it helps to surrender that desire and just be patient for the opportunity for laughter to arise. They will come your way much more often if you have a healthy attitude towards life, and are able to laugh at yourself. (If you need to work on these aspects, see the Attitude page and “The balance between self-worth and humility” on the Spiritual Balance page.) A simple example is an occasion when a friend of mine was visiting from out of town. I took her to one of my favourite play destinations, Science World. They have amazing displays and fun activities, and we came across the Chladni plates display. I have studied a lot about the science of sound, and here was an opportunity to show her how they worked (with my ego peeking its head out).
By putting sand on these metal plates and vibrating them with the violin-like bow provided, the sand rearranges itself into beautiful geometric patterns. I was busy setting the one plate up, but she was more interested in trying it on her own plate. So she asked me in a kind of cute child-like way, “Can you put some sand on my plate?”. I was quite disappointed, and for some reason responded like a little boy: “No, you get your own sand.” For a second she looked at me with shock, then started giggling, and then totally cracked-up. I then realised how ridiculous this all was, and started laughing too, not just at myself, but at how funny she was finding it. It was one of those bent-over, rib-aching, tear-flowing laughs where neither of us could speak or hardly breath for several minutes. These spontaneous opportunities for joy are the ones we treasure most in our memories.
If you feel the need to work on being more playful, there is a wonderful little book called Play Therapy by Michael Joseph (Elf-help Books, Abbey Press, St. Meinrad, IN, 1990). It contains 35 gems with great illustrations, like: “5. Remember: you have intrinsic value and goodness. You don’t have to prove it by ceaseless productivity.”
The balance between looking after ourselves and serving others.
A familiar name in the area of human behaviour and motivation is Prof. A. H. Maslow and his theory of the hierarchy of needs. It is usually depicted in a pyramid diagram with the following sequence of human needs starting at the bottom: Physiological (e.g. food and shelter), Safety, Social, Esteem and Self-actualization. We only feel the need of a particular level once all those below are fulfilled. We obviously need to look after ourselves and make sure our basic needs are met. Once we have fulfilled our social needs and responsibilities, we gain respect and esteem. We then move to the top level of self-actualization, feeling the need to fully utilize our talents and skills, which often involves helping and serving others.
We can best serve others when we are healthy and strong, so there is no need to feel guilty or selfish when we take care of our own needs. The problem with Maslow’s Theory if that it relies on our esteem coming from acknowledgement from others. In personal psychology, this is one of the biggest causes of co-dependence. This basically means giving control of our happiness to someone else, which results in many problems in relationships. The truth is that we are all precious spiritual beings (more on this on the Spiritual Balance page), and when we find that value within ourselves and in others, we can get on with loving and fulfilling service.
Service to others.
Our service can either be in our own home or on a planetary scale. Ultimately all is One, and the spirit in which we serve makes the biggest difference. A heart filled with love serving in a local community is worth much more to God (or raises the vibration of the planet more) than a globetrotting celebrity who is contacting millions of people but who is doing it for fame. The wonderful thing is that we can engage in world service through the power of prayer and meditation without leaving our home. This becomes much more powerful when people link up in groups, even across the world through the Internet in organized prayer vigils that concentrate on specific conditions. Some churches and spiritual organisations already do this.
As for opportunities for community service, the possibilities are endless. We are often led to areas where we are most needed. If you need some ideas, search the Internet. Hospice work is very much needed and can be very rewarding if you feel attracted to it. One person who has started a big hospice movement across North America is Dannion Brinkley, three times near death survivor and author of Saved by the Light. (See www.twilightbrigade.com for his hospice work.) Local chapters of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (www.noetic.org) are also very community service oriented. And that sometimes means global community. For instance, the group in Vancouver arranged to send containers of used schoolbooks to villages in Africa. IONS also identifies and awards people involved in extraordinary community service every year, so they have lots of ideas to share.
Benefits of Service.
There are also really great side benefits for people involved in loving service. Besides the wonderful feelings like love, fulfillment and self-worth, research has shown two significant physiological effects in the bodies of those who serve regularly:
1. A greater amount of endorphins, which creates greater happiness and joy.
2. People who serve others live 10 to 20 years longer than those who do not.
Another big advantage: Some esoteric teachings of the Ascended Masters teach that there are two main ways to accelerate balancing negative karma: invoking the violet flame and service to life. (See www.summitlighthouse.org) Furthermore, as we extend ourselves in loving service, we may find that some of the things that were a burden in taking care of our own needs will fade away. Too much self-absorption tends to create personal problems.
The last word goes to Albert Schweitzer: "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."
The balance between disciplining children and giving them freedom.
There are two main keys. Firstly, don't condemn the child, only it's behaviour. Secondly it’s not either/or, freedom or discipline, but the way you balance both that works best. To spank and punish a child because it is doing something that irritates you is not going to be the best for it. They are naturally inquisitive and active, and that is partly what they need in order to grow. It’s our responsibility to make their environment safe so that they can explore without us having to continually say “Don’t touch!”.
When they do go out of those safe bounds we have set or are really naughty, they do need discipline. Once again, do not tell them they are bad. Identify their behaviour as undesirable, and lovingly reassure them that they are good and that it is not like them to engage in such behaviour. If we do it in a calm loving way, they will learn well and thank you later. If we fear hurting their feelings they become unruly, and it makes it easier for them to have social problems as an adult without a wholesome balance in life. Remember, the soul in the little body is wanting to know its limits, and to know that you care. They purposely test you when you give them a limit. If you stop them, they feel secure. If not, they’ll stretch it until you put your foot down.
The balance between censorship and freedom.
Censorship is not the ideal in any society. It is based on the fear of people not being able to make good decisions for themselves. Having the opportunity to choose and make decisions is the way we learn and grow. The ideal is a good moral guidance and education from our parents when we are kids, so we can make healthy decisions. The small upside of censorship now that it is here is that unfortunately many parents use the TV as a baby-sitter. The soul and subconscious of a young child absorbs and remembers EVERYTHING they see. God only knows what trash they'd be seeing on TV without any censorship if their parent's morals were questionable, and there are many such parents around today. Bottom line: It should be us who makes these decisions, not the State.
The balance between striving and just being.
“Just being in the now” has become very popular lately and there are many books on the subject. This can be very powerful and is a key aspect of living a wholesome, balanced life. More on this below. But it can also be a big cop-out, depending on your motive. It’s a great line to remember for the dedicated couch potato. E.g. Pam: "John, could you wash the dishes, please? It's your turn, and we have company coming over soon." John: "Not right now, Pam. I feel I just need to concentrate on being fully in the present moment on the couch here." Striving to accomplish something, if done with the sense of struggle, is also self-defeating. If we feel stress or anxiety, it’s probably because our human pride or ambition is involved. If we remember that God in us and through us is the doer, and we just have to work diligently and wisely to allow His work to flow through us, then we maintain our balance.
Cherishing the process
Things do not always flow easily, and due to our own bad habits in body, mind or emotions, we may have to strive long and hard to accomplish our goals. We may also be swimming against the current of the world’s fashions and ways, but when we strive with joy in our hearts for a worthy end, it becomes a labour of love. We get caught up in cherishing the process (the journey) and entrusting the end result (the destination) in God’s hands. Then we get back into the “now”, and draw on the great strength and resources of our Real Self or Spirit which dwells only in the eternal now. For ultimately time and space are illusions.
You might well say: “I’ve heard that before and it sounds nice, but deep down inside I don’t buy it.” Well, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The most important thing is that we do in this life what we need to be doing, and stay centred in our hearts and serve with love. If you can do that and are still interested in the idea that time is an illusion, then I recommend reading Space, Time and Self by E. Norman Pearson (1957 The Theosophical Publishing House). It is a wonderful distillation of the teachings of the Ascended Masters through Theosophy including The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky, and explains the three great illusions of this world, i.e. time (which is relative and not always successive), space (the physical is not always what it seems) and self (as separate from the One or God).
The meaning of life
When we come to understand that the meaning of life is not just to try to clamour to the top of the food chain, and that “he who has the most toys at the end wins”, we will appreciate that the process of life is one of learning, growing and self-transcendence. This makes it much easier to be joyously striving while being fully in the present moment.
A good quote on the subject: "Not alone in the goal but in the ritual of attaining the goal is the diamond forged, is the lesson appreciated, is the teacher loved! Cherish the ritual of the becoming! Be not farsighted ones, looking only to the distant hill where the cross is raised for the Christ to be crucified by your own name! Do not be the nearsighted ones, looking so much upon the self that you do not see the next step - clearly the most practical step - of your own Christhood." (Reprinted with permission, from a dictation by Mother Mary through Elizabeth Clare Prophet published in Pearls of Wisdom Vol. 25 No. 3. Copyright © 1983 Summit University Press. All rights reserved. Website: www.summitlighthouse.org)
Striving should not be confused or equated with struggling, which is trying to make things work out through the human will in the limited arena of the human world. It is the state of denying our identity as spiritual beings and the spiritual intercession and grace that is available to us as we let go and let God manifest through us. If you find yourself doing a lot of struggling, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the subject, called It is the Sense of Struggle That Makes the Struggle in the book My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord! - New Age Teachings of Mother Mary by Mark and Elizabeth Prophet (Summit University Press). Another good book on the subject is The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (HarperCollins, 1982)
Striving is part of nature. It is the natural movement of life in a cosmos that is continually transcending itself. It is being part of the cosmic dance upwards away from the lower energies of illusion, stagnation and death. Here is what the Ascended Master El Morya says about striving:
"The ascended masters do not force their chelas (students). They allow their chelas to force them – to magnetize them – and thereby magnetize themselves to the higher law of their own being. There is a certain friction that is required for all attainment on the path. There are inconveniences to be borne and perhaps incongruities as you find yourself at times out of alignment with the lever of the law. Chelas must be willing to exert themselves. Exertion is the block and tackle of mind and soul lifting the weight of darkness that it might become light. And there is a staying power that must needs be tested, a hanging-on for life, for breath, for love, for wholeness." – the Ascended Master El Morya (Reprinted with permission, from Pg 110 of The Chela and the Path by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Copyright © 1977 Summit University Press. All rights reserved. Website: www.summitlighthouse.org)
Let go and let God.
Finally, for those who believe in living according to the maxim: "Let go and let God", and think that there is no room for healthy striving in this, here is another quote from El Morya to help balance the two out: "Do you think for one instant that I am going to come into your midst without gently prodding you to take the hand of your own God Presence and to hold fast to it just a little firmer than you have in the days gone by? Oh, I know that you think you have held on very tightly. You feel that you have accomplished a great deal, and perhaps you have strained yourselves to the last limit. This is not necessary. Strain is often produced because individuals in their great anxiety to do our will feel the need that they themselves must push themselves without actually letting the Presence lead them forward. I remind you that in Egypt the pillar of fire across the sands of the desert was a beacon to Moses and the tribes of Israel, but it went before them to light the way. Your God Presence is thus.” (El Morya on page 6 of the book Morya by Mark and Elizabeth Prophet. Copyright © Summit University Press).
The lesson here that the "letting go" is letting go of the sense that we as the human ego are the one who is making things happen and that there is no higher plan and power helping us. "Letting God" is not sitting back and waiting for Him to do everything for us. We are His hands and feet on earth, so we let Him work through us by doing our best to be our Real Self as wise and powerful love in physical action. This brings the sense of true Self worth, as opposed to having someone else do it for us.
The balance between faith in God’s protection and insuring your own protection.
Should you leave your house or car unlocked and trust God to protect them? If so, how does God prevent thieves from stealing what you have? If He can, would He not be taking away the free will of someone who is determined to steal from you? These are deep questions and something everyone must answer for themselves. The most plausible explanation of these subjects seems to be that God helps us through His servants the angels. They are not allowed to interfere with our free will, so our prayers, be they spoken, silent or just thoughts, determine to a large extent how much the angels can help us.
Another factor is our karma i.e. how much we have done in the past that comes back to us for our growth and opportunity to make things right (balancing negative karma). This also determines how much the angels can intercede for you. In any case, the more we do to make our lives safer, the fewer “miracles” the angels have to pull off to save us. For instance, if you are not wearing your seat belt while driving and happen to be in an accident, the amount the angels can intercede for you may be insufficient for you to remain unharmed. In fact, the injury you sustain might not be karma coming due from the past but merely the karma of being careless and not wearing your seat belt. But the motive to wear it should not be fear of something bad happening, but out of the love of doing what you can to live more safely so we may serve God and help others longer. Attitude and motive are key factors, not only on this subject but in life in general. (For more on this, see the Attitude page.)
We can greatly increase our ability to live long safe lives by praying for the intercession of Archangel Michael, the archangel of protection. A very powerful form of prayer is called decrees, which is part of the Science of the Spoken Word. For more information, see the Ascended Master Network (www.summitlighthouse.org).
A final note on karma: If you live in a high crime city and leave your house or car open with valuable items in plain sight for passers-by to see, and someone is overcome with a desire/temptation to steal them, they have surely made bad karma. But it is very likely that you will bear part of it for allowing such a “set up” and not having more compassion and mercy for poor souls whose morals are way below the level of your own. A good adage is: “God helps those who help themselves.”, although I don’t think it applies to thieves. ; )