Equinox – Balance

23 & 24 Sept 2015 – Equinox Time

The balance of day & night is celebrated today, what opposites do you balance in your daily life?

So many different ideas in this question?
What is balance?
Does balance require opposites?
How many poles (attractors) are normally present in life?
How useful are these simple binary ideas, really?
Is the idea of balance in respect of night and day useful or meaningful?

For us here in Kaikoura this is a spring day, we start daylight saving time in two days.
We have just had the first significant rain (3 days of steady light rain – over 2 inches) in a year. Things are growing. It is still cold, I have the fire on, the fresh snow level is about 3,000ft on the nearby mountains (meaning outside air temp about 6Deg C). And spring is coming.

Day and night vary but on regular cycles, they are not anything that we can easily alter, so not really a matter of balance in any traditional sense.

And we normally think of balance in terms of what we do when we walk, or when we ride a bike.
In either of those cases, there is only one major attractor, and it is pulling us down. The idea is to stay upright, and be able to move. It is easy to make things like power poles or trees stay up, by burying them in earth, so that it is very difficult to make them move, and gravity alone cannot do it.
We want to be able to move. It seems that it is moving that was the major driver for the development of our nervous system and brain.
Moving is about arranging our bodies so that they start to fall in the direction we want to go, then moving them to maintain that direction of motion, compensating for all the things that happen that we didn’t quite anticipate.

It seems that brains are mostly about anticipating.
It seems to be that it is our ability to model possible futures, and to take actions that make one set of futures more probable than other sets (acknowledging fundamental uncertainty in all things).

Sometimes there are more than one attractor involved.
Temperature is one those things that can be thought of as opposites, but is it really?
Hot and cold are just human centric measures. Temperature seems to come on a spectrum from 0 to a very large number. As human beings we can only survive in a very narrow range of temperatures, our bodies need to be at 37C (98.4 F) for optimum function. Different people, physiology, body shapes, are optimised to maintain that internal temperature in different ambient temperatures. I like the air to be about 20C, some like it hotter, some like it cooler. Right now the fire has been on for about an hour, and the lounge is at about 20C, and I am sitting here in a T shirt very comfortably. The dogs are happily curled up on the floor in front of the fire.

And mostly life is much more complex, with many more attractors.
Gravity is always there, so is temperature, so are many people (some of whom we are more or less strongly attracted to or repelled by), so are situations, places, potential activities (golf, vs walking, vs cycling, vs driving vs sailing vs reading vs coding vs gardening vs …. {which golf course?}), fun things, necessary things, things with short, medium and long term mixes of costs and benefits (on various scales of measure).
So life is really complex.
We can only ever be consciously aware of a very tiny fraction all of the things that are competing for our attention and are influencing exactly where that attention goes, and what movement (in whatever domain) results.

So life is very rarely a simple balance.
Life seems to be generally a complex web of interactions, and sometimes we get stuck in particular patterns within that web, and those patterns can always be modified by a change in context.

There is great potential for infinite flexibility, infinite creativity, a large set (potentially infinite) of simultaneous attractors in a multi-dimensional “space” of possible paths. Opposites really doesn’t do it justice.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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