Okay, I'm a bit late. The equinox was a little more than 12 hours ago, as I write this.
But I've been thinking about this post all day, even if I didn't start writing it down until now.
Reflections are like that.
Today is the Equinox; one of the two balance points of the year. Today, the Earth presents herself to the sun as if she didn't have a tilt in her axis, and the hours of light and dark are equal, all over the planet.
Tomorrow, the night will be longer than the day, here in the Northern Hemisphere, but tonight, we stand on the balance point.
It got me thinking about the whole concept of balance.
We hear about it a lot, as if the Universe were a giant set of pan scales, with evil, hunger, darkness, ignorance, pain and despair on one side, and good, plenty, light, wisdom, ease and joy on the other.
We hear about it as if it were necessary to have equal amounts of these things, to "balance each other out," as if the goal were to wind up with total neutrality; a sort of twilight, luke-warm, semi-taught, stasis kind of nothing.
Which really makes me wonder.
Especially when you consider that most of the things on the "negative" side of that list aren't actually things at all; they're just the absence of things.
For example, there is no such thing as darkness. That's just what we call it, when there's no visible light. But light can't "fight" with darkness, any more than gravity can fight with weightlessness.
As a concept, it simply doesn't make sense.
We can make a light, and the darkness ceases to exist in that spot, because it was only an illusion in the first place. We can't make a darkness, and have it overcome the light. All we can do is extinguish the light, and then we don't have it, and we call the lack of it darkness.
So why do people talk about the struggle between Light and Dark?
If there is such a struggle, Light wins. No contest. As soon as there's Light, Dark is a no-show, and forfeits.
Ah, you say, but they don't mean actual physical Light and Dark. They mean people who want to help others, and those who want to harm. They mean nice and nasty, generous and selfish, good and evil.
Then why don't they say so?
Could it be because "I'm on the left-hand path, and walk in Darkness" sounds kind of mysterious and appealing, while "I'm a selfish pig, and I'm getting what I want no matter what happens to you in the process" doesn't?
Well, people, let's call a Spade a Spade, and a person who is dedicated to self-aggrandizement and fulfilling their own whims no matter the cost to others what he (or she) is, too.
Allowing them to hide behind words that should mean following the path of intuition and the unknown just lets them hide.
I think we should expose them. I think it would do them good, and I know it would help the rest of us.
We don't need behavior like that for anything.
We certainly don't need it for Balance.
Because it's just not true that we can only experience something through knowledge of its opposite.
You've probably never been in total silence unless you are deaf. And yet, you know when you hear something. You've probably not been in total darkness, unless you've been in a cave with the lights out. And yet you know when you see things. You've problably never been weightless, and yet you are very familiar with gravity. The list could go on and on.
You don't have to experience evil to know and appreciate good.
I'm not sure how this particular "truism" started; but it's clearly, obviously, patently not true.
No one needs to experience evil to know that good is good.
Good feels ... good! That's how we know it.
It feels good to have someone do nice things for you, and it feels good to do them for others. We're hardwired to recognize good; we don't need to contrast it with anything to feel it, and recognize it.
Besides, that's not what is meant by "balance" anyway, I think.
The Balance in the Universe isn't balance like the pans of a scale. It's balance like a bicycle, or a tightrope walker, or a dancer.
It's the kind of balance that swings the planets in their orbits, and spins them like tops.
It's the kind of balance that lets the dolphins leap, and the eagles soar.
It's an internal balance, that lets each of us find the still place in the middle of things.
We don't need evil to balance good; because good, to a large extent, is the direct effect of being balanced within yourself.
Internal balance is that sweet spot, where you find your Joy, and realize that you have all you want or need, and that you are immeasurably strong. It's a resilient stability, inside yourself, that doesn't depend on anything outside of you for validation or existence.
Some of us only have that feeling briefly, every now and then. Some of us have it more often. Some of us have learned how to live there.
When we are there, good flows naturally from us, and around us.
Like darkness is really nothing more than the absence of light, evil (selfishness, hatred, malice, greed, etc.) is, I think, nothing more than the lack of balance.
So... stuff to think about, on this equinox night.