General Balance - Page 2
Continued from General Balance Page 1.
- 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.
The balance between what goes into your mouth and what comes out.
Which saying do you vote for: “You are what you eat” or “Don’t worry as much what you put into your mouth as what comes out”? A strong case can be made for each. The second one comes in especially handy as an alibi when you’re stuffing your face with doughnuts!
The solution lies in a wholesome balance between the two. It’s a bit of a case of: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The food we eat definitely affects our emotional and mental balance, which affects what we say and do. This is well covered in the book Macrobiotics and Human Behaviour by William Tara (Japan Publications, Tokyo and N.Y., 1985). However, it doesn’t help us getting completely carried away on what we eat. You can eat the healthiest of diets and still be a complete “dork”, as children like to say. One of the best examples was the healthy vegetarian Adolf Hitler.
A good method of maintaining a wholesome balance is to follow the macrobiotic way of life. (See the Macrobiotic page). Note well: to follow the macrobiotic diet fanatically is not the macrobiotic way. As George Ohsawa says in The Macrobiotic Guidebook for Living: “He whose says, ‘I cannot practice macrobiotics’ does not fully understand it. But suppose we observe what to consider macrobiotics to be, to the letter, repeating everything we have heard like a phonograph; we are still not macrobiotic. We must reach the point where we can eat anything without fear of losing our health and happiness. We must control our lives by ourselves. If we adhere to a diet that has been devised by someone else, our lives are not our own.” (As quoted on page 12 of the booklet 7 Basic Macrobiotic Principles by Herman Aihara, The Grain and Salt Society, P.O. Box DD, Magalia, CA 95954.)
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The balance between tolerating others and maintaining your values and standards.
This can be tricky because it needs discernment. Sometimes it is “good to entertain strangers, for thereby you have entertained Angels unawares”. But it depends on their attitude or "vibration". You will sometimes get a gut feeling or intuition about this. Anyway, you are under no obligation to tolerate the company of anyone with whom you do not feel comfortable. Some people can use us and drain our precious energy. In this case we need to be assertive, but to do so lovingly. If you need help with this, it might help to study some personal psychology books about guarding your own space.
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The balance between correcting and accepting others.
Our spiritual maturity is determined partly by the way we respond to circumstances and challenges around us. By cosmic law, silence is consent. If you become aware of something you know is not right, you have the responsibility to challenge it. For example, you see someone at your work doing something you know is not right. (Some would call this incurring negative karma or sin). You have the responsibility to challenge them. If you ignore it, you are not helping that person or yourself or your company. (Plus you would incur negative karma as well, although not as much as them.) There is usually a reluctance to correct others, for various reasons. One is that we may feel responsible for how the other person reacts to our challenge. If they don’t take it well we may feel we will have a mess on our hands that we would have to fix up. Another reason is your fear of losing their friendship, or that they may even become your enemy and retaliate in a way that might be detrimental to you.
These are largely erroneous beliefs. Once we have witnessed something, which is usually a test sent to us for a reason, the ball is in our court. Our only responsibility is to choose not to condone it. This then puts the ball back into the other person’s court. We’ve now passed our test. It’s up to them whether they will pass their next test by self-correcting. But you are not responsible for their decision. You can relax and move on, and as they say in Eastern philosophy, surrender the fruits of your actions i.e. don’t worry about the end result. Just let it be, because your hands are clean. This may be difficult for you to do, maybe because you don’t want to risk them rejecting your challenge and not self-correcting. If so, you are probably hoping to change them. This can be a tough lesson to learn, because in fact we can never change anyone. Only they can decide to change themselves. Besides, it’s never our responsibility to change anyone else. So you would do well to surrender the desire to change others.
Even if you have done so, it is still not always easy correcting someone, knowing there is a risk of retaliation. But we will all be tested many times in this life in choosing what is the right thing to do as opposed to trying to protect our worldly status or popularity. This is made easier by remembering that others are valuable souls who need our loving correction in order to grow and mature. And they may even thank us for it later. If we care enough for others, it will become easy and even rewarding to go to some trouble to help them come up higher.
Challenging others does not have to be aggressive or confrontational. If it is someone you know who normally does better, you can say something like: “This is not like you. You are normally … , so this behaviour surprises me. What’s up?” Also, if it’s something that’s not blatantly wrong but you still don’t feel that it’s rights, don’t accuse them but share your feelings. For example: “I don’t feel comfortable with what you just said/did.” If it involves someone you don’t know, it might seem more difficult, but you then have even less chance of losing a friend, as they weren’t one to start with. Plus, many people will actually be grateful to you afterwards, even if they don’t show it then.
On a broader scale, if you witness something in public, it might be best to report the wrong doing to the appropriate authority. You wouldn’t want to walk up to an armed robber and lecture him! When it comes to social or political issues, you still have a certain responsibility to object to what you feel is wrong. As someone once said, all that’s needed for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. This is also best done on both an inner and outer level. On the inner, pray for the intercession of God and his angels, who by cosmic law are restricted in their ability to get involved in our affairs until he invited by our free will. Some organizations have even arranged worldwide prayer vigils on certain issues.
On the outer, there are many options. For instance you can write letters, send e-mails and faxes or phone in to radio and TV stations and newspapers, parties or organizations. Although you cannot force any person to change, you can help to bring about change in society by being proactive and working joyfully as the hands and heart of God on earth.
When it comes to relationships, many marriages come apart when one partner tries to change the other, “for the better”, of course. This may seem justified. After all, you are trying to help them and improve the world, right? But in fact it is not fair on them. You married them “for better or for worse”, and if you were not happy with how they were and thought they needed changing, you should have postponed the wedding until you were happy to take that vow. Of course it always more challenging for the lady to do so, when a diamond ring is being held in front of her, to say: “Not just yet, darling. There are still a few things about you that I need to change.”
If a change for the worse in your partner seems to come after the wedding (“when the honeymoon is over”), even if you took time to get to know them well before marrying, what do you do? Out with the rolling pin? Or maybe a less confrontational approach: “I’m okay, but YOU need therapy!” The best way to influence others is to be a good example. The key to remember is that you cannot change anyone. People only change when they decide to, even if it’s not a fully conscious decision. And they decide to much more easily via inner inspiration than by external pressure. This pressure can even be in the form of subtle psychological techniques you may have learnt, but it still boils down to manipulation. The best solution is a balance between inner and outer work.
A good start to inner work is recognizing that the way we see the world outside of ourselves is a reflection of the state of the world within us. Those who are always blaming others and complaining about things often have just as much that’s not right within them. They seem to have “a button pressed” by anyone they confront, which makes them a victim of outside circumstances. Getting rid of our buttons is an essential part of personal growth. Our partners often know best how to press our buttons, and they can therefore be a blessing in disguise, even in rough times. This does not mean that you should tolerate any abuse for the sake of personal growth. But it will help you deal with the situation of a partner that has changed for the worse. Another great help is to do “inner dialogue” as part of personal psychology work. Your soul or “inner child” is the one that feels the pain or anger etc. and unless you become a loving parent to that child and resolve your inner conflicts, you have little chance in effectively resolving outer conflicts. For some reference books on personal psychology, see the bottom of the Emotional Balance page.
Another essential part of inner work is spiritual, through prayer and meditation. If you are having trouble in a relationship, it usually has something to do with having karma to balance with that person. Prayer work will get us added assistance from God and his emissaries to help us in many ways. The Ascended Masters have taught that we can accelerate the balancing of our karma with others by service to life (including our partners) and by invoking the violet flame, a powerful prayer form. A good book on the subject is Soul Mates and Twin Flames by Elizabeth Clare Prophet (Summit University Press).
Once you have done some inner work, it will become clearer what most needs to be done on the outer to deal with the problem. This may still include lovingly correcting others without attachment to the results, as discussed above. There is a deeper metaphysical reason for this as well. The Ascended Master Saint Germain said: "Do not be chary with your teaching and your words, beloved. Do not withhold pointing out to another the error of his ways. Do not fear the response. Only fear that if you withhold the Truth, you may make the karma of depriving another of his freedom. For the Truth shall make men free." (Pearls of Wisdom Vol. 37 No. 20, May 15, 1994 by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Copyright © 1994 Summit University Press. All rights reserved. Website: www.summitlighthouse.org)
Often you’ll see the challenge in a very different light. Hopefully you will have surrendered the desire to pressure them into changing. Your best route is to just be the best you can be, even doing what you believe Christ or a mentor would do in that situation. The best way to inspire others to change is by a good example. This outer work can involve sharpening your skills in communications and conflict resolution. You can search this site (see below) for more ideas on conflict resolution, and more is to come. A key aspect is to remember that it never helps blaming anyone. Blaming puts us into the “victim syndrome” and tries to avoid personal accountability. It is therefore essential to do the inner work first, and then it might be best to get professional help.
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