How balanced is too balanced?
Being balanced is a big theme in the culture of wellbeing, lifestyle and self-help. We know we should be balanced, and that being unbalanced is bad – but what does being balanced actually mean?
Normal ideas of balance
“Balance” means different things to different people, and we are fed a constant stream of suggested answers by television, advertising, the media, friends, family and sometimes even random strangers. We are told what we “should” be; what a “successful” life looks like; what being a “good” person means; what we “need” to be happy.
This produces in our subconscious an idealized image of the archetype of the so-called “balanced” person. And many people – let’s call them “Mr and Mrs Normal” – to some degree or another, fit this “ideal”, or strive to, at least.
Balance and genius
On the other side of the coin, many, if not all, of the greatest people in history, are virtually the very opposite of the “normal”, so-called “balanced” person.
If Isaac Newton had been a sociable, easy-going family man, would he have found the time and the drive to transform maths and physics? If Michelangelo hadn’t been an impassioned workaholic, would he have managed to paint the Sistine Chapel? If Socrates hadn’t had the audacity to question the status quo and even die for doing so, would we have Western philosophy as we know it?
The great geniuses, the great humanitarians, those who have made a great contribution to the world – defy convention by definition. If they had just “gone with the flow” they would never have achieved anything new. If they had spent less time working, and more time resting and relaxing, fulfilling the basic expectations of those around them – and of society itself – they simply would not have had the paradigm-shifting success that society now celebrates them for.
Balance and Spiritual Masters
Now let’s take it up a notch, above even genius. What about the great spiritual teachers – the genuine Spiritual Masters – those people who have truly transformed civilization on this planet? Not one of them comes close to the idealization of Mr and Mrs Normal. According to the religious records that we have: The Lord Buddha abandoned his wife and infant son in order to find enlightenment, and then almost killed himself through extreme austerity in the process; the Master Jesus overturned tables in the temple courts; and St Peter cut a man’s ear off…!
Even the lives of “milder” Masters such as Sivananda and Vivekananda completely defy the expectations of a “normal”, “balanced” life – celibacy and bachelorhood alone are enough to take them outside many conventional expectations of what adult life supposedly “should” be about.
Greatness and balance
So what conclusion do we draw from this? That great people are unbalanced? And great Masters even more so?
No, not at all. The exact opposite in fact!
It is not that greatness is unbalanced, it is that our normal conception of what balance is – is unbalanced.
The great humanitarian genius – whatever his or her quirks – will at times (if not always) achieve a much greater state of balance than Mr and Mrs Normal would even understand. And the Spiritual Master will achieve an even greater state of balance – virtually all the time.
What is balance really?
The Master Aetherius has described peace as follows:
Peace, dear friends, is enlightenment.
– Cosmic Voice Volume 2
What could be more balanced than peace? It is perfect balance that brings peace. Hence, it is my own personal belief that the only true balance is enlightenment. That’s what enlightenment is: a perfect state of balanced consciousness, which will be manifested in service – as exemplified by the humanitarian genius, and even more so, by the Master.
Similarly let us reflect also on this intriguing phrase, used by the Master Aetherius in a Cosmic Transmission in Dr. King’s book Life on the Planets:
…I know that the people on Venus–Itself, are so impregnated now by the emanations coming from the Ancient Ones, that they, as a whole, are gradually rising towards a balanced self-illumination.
Here “balanced” is being used to describe a state of immeasurable beauty and extremely elevated spiritual advancement – literally a world away from the state of consciousness of Mr and Mrs Normal on Earth.
Wasting our minds in the relentless pursuit of entertainment; wasting our passion on nothing more than screaming for a sports team; wasting our hearts by limiting our kindness exclusively to those in our immediate circle – these things are not balanced. They are spiritual insanity.
The world is in chaos: war, poverty, disease etc – and yet Mr and Mrs Normal go about their lives as if everything were OK; or, if they acknowledge that it isn’t OK, they maintain there is nothing they can do about it. They either blind themselves to the problems we face as a planetary race, or they deny their potential to make a difference, or a bit of both. Being purely logical about it, this cannot justifiably be described as “balanced”.
Virtually any successful person, in any endeavour, will lead a life that Mr and Mrs Normal will, to some extent, regard as unbalanced. The brilliant student will be told they are studying too much; the brilliant athlete will be told they are exercising too much; the brilliant pianist will be told they are practicing too much; the brilliant spiritual aspirant will be told they are a fanatic. And yet, ironically, these people who are supposedly being “unbalanced” are in fact in the very pursuit of true balance – and closer to it than most, in one way at least. Correct study helps bring the balance of mental clarity. Correct exercise helps bring balance to the physical body. And, most important of all, correct spiritual effort brings balance to the heart and mind – as wisdom.
Classic imbalance and extremism
Note the use of the word “correct”. There are of course cases of genuine imbalance towards an extreme. Being a workaholic purely for materialistic greed is a common example of imbalance – as is self-centred ambition of any kind. Many and varied are the mental conditions, some serious, some not, which exist as states of imbalance – schizophrenia, psychopathy, phobias, insecurities etc – the list is endless. Sometimes this imbalance is fairly benign, other times it may take a much more sinister form – the perversion of religion to justify cruelty perhaps being one of the most disturbing examples of extreme imbalance.
The problem is that Mr and Mrs Normal, who, incorrectly, regard their own way of life as balanced, may not correctly distinguish between genuine extreme imbalance, as per the previous paragraph, and a state of balance which is actually far above their own – as exists in the humanitarian genius and great Master.
Dr. George King and Cosmic Consciousness
If we look at the life of Yoga Master Dr. George King, it doesn’t even come close to conventional notions of balance. Being a conscientious objector in the Second World War would no doubt have struck a number of people around him at the time as being virtually insane – and that was only the beginning of his indefatigable commitment to unconventional ideals. Eight to ten hours of yoga practice per day might strike any normal person as extreme and unbalanced. Claiming contact with Masters from other planets takes him even further from the threshold of a “normal”, “balanced” life as defined and determined by Mr and Mrs Normal.
And yet – Dr. King was in fact a Master of balance itself. Enduring phenomenal stress, of both cosmic and worldly kinds, and yet never giving up and never giving in – no matter what challenge faced him, and no matter what criticism was thrown at him. And, while his teachings come over as extraordinary to the unbeliever, no one can justifiably deny their balance, manifesting as consistency and logical coherence – not just in one book or lecture, but year in, year out, for over four decades.
If we regard enlightenment as true balance – then the highest degree of balance is the highest degree of enlightenment, and the highest degree of enlightenment on this Earth is Cosmic Consciousness, as described in the Fifth Freedom.
But in our Master’s outstanding account of what it actually feels like to be in this great spiritual state of consciousness, perhaps what is most striking is that he manages to detach from this state. Remember – this is the greatest bliss achievable on Earth. This makes the pleasures of drink, drugs, sex etc. seem like nothing in comparison. This is ecstasy in its truest and highest sense.
And yet, Dr. King was so balanced that, even in this state, he was able to consciously focus on the plight and sacrifice of the Mother Earth, and then able to detach from the state and return to a lower state of consciousness in order to be of service. This is quite literally enlightenment beyond enlightenment!
The example of the Adepts
In his address entitled ‘The men who won Operation Karmalight for you’ our Master movingly and passionately describes the suffering of the Adepts, and questions their psychology of going back again and again to perform service in horrendous conditions against terrible odds, instead of just sitting back on their laurels enjoying life – which they more than deserved. This extreme kind of commitment to service seems, by normal standards, to be the very opposite of “balance”, and yet, he attributes balance to why and how they were able to maintain this unique commitment – and ultimately he attributes it to the “Love of God through realization” – another facet of what balance really is.
I don’t know what it is with these people [i.e. the Adepts], that kept them so balanced, so straight, unless it’s the love of God through realization. I think it has to be something like that. It has to be something above the norm, and the love of God through realization is above the norm because very few people have it. They say they love God but they don’t really realize what God is, to the extent that the Adepts must realize what God is and that’s why their true love, true love, TRUE LOVE – true love, not the thing you call love, but TRUE LOVE, must be so much greater than the capabilities of a terrestrial; because it’s borne out of realization, out of a Knowledge of God…
– Dr. George King – ‘The men who won Operation Karmalight for you’
Balance of that magnitude makes Mr and Mrs Normal’s idea of balance seem rather silly in comparison, does it not? I guess that must be the difference between greatness and mediocrity – a difference of almost unimaginable proportions!
Living a life of karmic balance
So “how balanced is too balanced?”
You cannot be too balanced – not in the real sense – but you can certainly be too normal.
If we are ever to “become fully grown” (The Master Jesus – ‘The Three Saviours are here!’) on this planet, and “live as human beings should live – in service for other human beings” (The Master Aetherius – ‘From Free Will to Freedom’), we have no option but to defy normality, and live in a way that Mr and Mrs Normal would find extremely unbalanced, but is in fact approaching the very essence of balance.
What could be more balanced than service to others – giving and then receiving, rather than just taking? This is life in harmony with the very law of balance itself – the law of karma. After all, karma is the universal natural principle that action and reaction are opposite and equal.
There can simply be nothing more balanced than that!
I think it is fitting to end this blogpost with the ever-timeless and deeply mysterious words of the Master Jesus as he refers to balance, in one of the most elevated senses of all, in the Ninth Blessing when speaking about some of the most enlightened beings in the Galaxy:
BLESSED ARE THE SUPREME LORDS OF KARMA.
For these Ones, great above words, more Holy even than the Mighty Sun, stretch Their influence throughout all the Galaxy, so that the Great Laws of God—the great Laws which ARE GOD—may be perfect in Their balance.
In addition to the titles linked to above, we also recommend the following for more information on themes touched on in this post:
The Nine Freedoms – book by Dr. George King
‘The similarity that makes all the difference’ – address by Mark Bennett, available by request – tel: +44 (0) 20 7736 4187.
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About the author
Mark Bennett is the co-author of two books, both of which he wrote with international bestselling author Richard Lawrence, namely Prayer Energy and Gods, Guides and Guardian Angels, which was voted “best book on spirituality 2007” by readers of Kindred Spirit magazine. He is the youngest International Director of The Aetherius Society, whose teachings he chose as his spiritual path at an early age.
All the blogposts written for aetherius.org are written by experienced Aetherius Society personnel and approach themes relating to the teachings, practices and ideals of the Society. However, they also contain personal opinions, insights and interpretations that are not necessarily representative of the Society as a whole, or all of its Members as individuals.