This post was inspired as I watched the evening news and they reported on how one of the local suburbs was complaining about the increase in crime since the county’s new jail was opened there. Even the Sheriff’s department representatives interviewed danced around the cause of all the trouble. Orders to be politically correct from leadership no doubt.
I got mad at first, because the problem stems from changes in California law that make many crimes a low level misdemeanor. For the majority of crimes now, people are booked and immediately released. Nobody in government wants to admit that the law is a failure though.
Yes, this post is about balance. We’re going there now. 🙂 Instead of staying mad, I decided this was a teachable moment. Something to illustrate how out of balance some thinking and laws are nowadays.
I’m going to use the Tree of Life from Kabbalah to illustrate proper balance. Bear with me if Kabbalah isn’t your thing. I’m not an expert on the subject (although I sure know more than Madonna, lol). No conversion attempts, etc… This IS a perfect illustration of what so many people don’t grasp though.
So, below is the Tree of Life. It has several different meanings depending upon your level of study. We’ll keep it super simple here. The left side or pillar represents “severity”. The right side represents “mercy”. The middle pillar represents balance.
Sefirot are “emanations” of the various aspects of God. But again, no conversion lectures. The main thing to look at is how the right side of the Tree is balanced by an equal but opposite attribute on the other side of the Tree.
Ambition and humility balance each other. Discipline (ie consequences) should be balanced by Kindness, In the case of laws and enforcing them. All discipline = a tyranny. All kindness… Well then we’re at where we are in California and New York as well from what I hear. Criminals have more rights than people and we’re almost at an anarchy situation where the only true law is might makes right.
Either extreme is bad, just as almost any human conception of good can be taken too far and twisted to evil. Holding strong on one’s faith vs inquisitions and holy wars for example.
Higher up the Tree is a similar lesson. Understanding (book knowledge) must be balanced by Wisdom. Right now, science is running amok with genetic manipulation and artificial intelligence development because scientists nowadays have no wisdom to consider the potential consequences of their work. Only the hubris of proving they can do something matters.
Note that TRUE Compassion is a balance of humility, ambition, discipline and kindness. All six outer Sefirot actually, as it also takes understanding of a person’s problem(s) and wisdom to know how to best help them to help themselves. Compassion is NOT just blindly allowing somebody to continue on a path that is destructive to themselves or others.
For the purposes of this post, the big point to the Tree though is that while all these emanations or virtues are Godly and worthy of aspiring to, they all work best when balanced by one another.
Another reason why it matters is that society, like the universe, instinctively seeks that balance. Pull too hard one way and society will eventually pull even harder the other way. Then the pendulum swings to the opposite extreme. Despite some of my past rants about crime and such, I fear a swing to the opposite extreme just as much. The only way to avoid that is by working for a balance that (in the case of crime), protects the rights of victims, the general public, AND the accused.
Now… GO! Seek Balance! 😀