On global unity..

NOTE: The following text was originally written on September 17th, 2001, to record and comment on the significant feeling of global unity that was experienced in response to the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks on the United States of America.  Many have noted that, if just for a moment, the majority of people with access to the news cried out in unison against this terrible act (and other negative events that preceded it, even in other countries).  In light of recent events, it seemed relevant to bring the text out again, as a reminder of the possibilities for unity, fleeting as they are.  Perhaps, someday, or maybe even from this day forward, the world will be even more united, especially for the good.

Peace be to the people of the world.  Now is the time to unite, all nations – different people, yet all the same.  Bring forth your children and your family, help us to build a new world.  Look across the world, this tiny planet in a massive universe that is our home.  See the faces of people just like you.  We may believe different things, but just a single belief can bring together the people of this modern Babylon.  May we overcome together and build a future together, not apart.  Humanity deserves no less; we all deserve no less.  This world is not a dream – it is real, people are real, death is real and certain.  America will not forget its lost family as any nation would not forget their own families.  If it be so, let this be the action that brings the world together, and if it shall be, it will only be because we can make it so.

Stand by your leaders.  Leaders – unite around a common table.  People of this great world, stand united.

September 17th, 2001

To know true love

To know true love is to experience a most fundamental, universal and powerful natural force.  True love withstands any test.

Perhaps one measure of man is found in the distance we keep from true love and its power to transcend time, heal the world, and unite the people.

May all have the blessing, courage and conviction to believe in, act on, and experience this most precious human connection.

On art and science

There is certainly a scientific approach to art. In science, endeavors often require as much or more creativity as they do logic. All this stands to reason; art and science are not the same, but both serve to advance us forward, each on their own, and in service to each other.

The answer to life, the universe and everything?

Happy 42 day!

For fans of Douglas Adams’ book The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the “ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything” is as well known as the fact that the sun seems to rise every morning.

The question of the “answer to life” has been one which has puzzled me, as I’m sure it puzzles many others.  On a recent red-eye flight from California to New York, at 3 AM in some time zone, I had one of those moments of startling clarity where everything seems to make sense.  Perhaps, I thought, by flipping the problem around, I might find the “answer” I was seeking.

Time only appears to go in one direction (as much as we might like to believe that time travel is possible).  Does the answer to life reside in the comprehension of death?

Now, one’s first reaction to such a question might be to consider it a morbid thought, as if hastening death.  That is certainly not my intention.  Another reaction could be to find fault with the simplistic obviousness of the question.  Yet another might find the concept to be typical of an always balancing Libra.  Well, dear reader, please allow me to explain why this particular thinking is neither morbid nor negative.  In fact, I believe that death can be seen as a beautiful complement to life.

Clearly, if one is to think about our existence from a philosophical perspective, death is the force that balances life.. such as yin is to yang.  Certainly, this is a somewhat logical interpretation of the concept.  But intuition tells me that there is something more.. something even simpler, deeper, and profound; something that doesn’t require any philosophy at all.

It is in the consideration of life as having a “terminus”, or an end point, that it becomes ever more clear that life, or “to live”, is defined as “everything that occurs up until the endpoint, death”.  Again, while this may not be a revolutionary concept, it is one that when considered plainly caused me to at least sit up straight and think about the fact that.. oh yeah – I’m living life right now!  How about that?

Sometimes, the simple recognition for just an instant/moment that one is alive, living, and breathing is a very meaningful, and powerful experience.

Just think about it – right now, you’re sitting there reading this.. all you need consider is that you are there!  Alive!  Reading what I wrote!  Thinking thoughts along with me!  It is truly remarkable!

One thing I noticed, when contemplating death, is the innate fear we have of the thing.  I have a gut instinct that no matter who you are, or what you believe, it is an idea that is complex and usually not one that people choose to consider.  And yes, death can be quite unpleasant for so many reasons.  Yet, it is in the contemplation of the difference in state between life and death that we realize which one of the two we might value more at a given time.

Death, in and of itself, could be seen as sort of a grand, unifying force that equalizes all people.  Perhaps it’s bad taste to use this as a comparison, but just like the children’s book “Everybody Poops”, which was written to point out our shared commonality while teaching body science… everybody dies, too.

While death is an interesting topic, I would rather return to the use of death as a balance to recognizing the value of life.  Regardless of religious belief of an afterlife, there can be almost no argument to the statement that death is a change in functional state which represents no longer living.

Therefore, we should focus on our lives, and living, before we reach the next state.  And oh, how much there is to experience in life, whether it be good or bad.  While we have only a certain degree of control over our lives, and the world around us, it seems to make sense that we should enjoy whatever occurs to us while we are in the state of living.  We should do so because it is only when we are “alive” that we get to experience those things.

Life, and living are good things, and a unique experience, which we can try to cherish, respect, and enjoy.  We learn, we grow, we age, we change.  While longer than the life of a butterfly, our lives are not much longer nor any less beautiful and amazing when considering a much grander time-scale.

These thoughts are humbling, to me at least.  Life and death should not necessarily be a cause for fear in daily action (although often they are a consideration), but rather as a reassurance since these forces unite us all for what we truly are.  These forces unite us, and they represent what it means “to be, or not to be”… but that is not a question.. because, we all are, and will have been, in much the same way!

Balance starts here…

Hello, and thank you for visiting the Acting in Balance blog!  In traditional web style, I shall exclaim “first post!” and be happy that at least, on my own blog, I can get the first post.

The point of this blog is straightforward, although it will probably take many posts to find the right voice, the right writing style, and maybe, just maybe if we’re lucky, some answers.

So what question(s) am I trying to address?  Well, like any typical Libra (and many other people who study the concept of balance), through observation and life experience it has occurred to me that there are a lot things that happen that weigh in on the balance in life.  Work vs life, career vs family, profit vs. non-profit – for everything I can think of there are always options, choices.

What must I do?  What do I want to do?  Why should I do it?  Why shouldn’t I do it?  Should I spend money, or save money, or make money, or do I even need money?  Do you like your eggs over-easy, scrambled, or poached?  These are just a few of the questions.  And boy, there are a lot of questions.

I recognize that there are “different strokes for different folks”, and everyone’s life circumstances are different.  With that premise in mind, this blog is not only intended to be my own instrument to share my challenges, successes, and the things that make life worth living, but also to try to imagine, compare and contrast, discuss and debate my own thoughts and experiences with those of the reader.

The interesting thing about a scale or balance, I think, is that it never implies which option being weighed is better – that is always left for the “balancer” or “adjuster” to interpret.  The scale does one job very well – it compares weight blindly, purposefully.  Therefore, while there will be emotion and interpretation in this blog, I will also try to walk a fine line – a line where there is balance and equality in all things.  Therein lies the challenge, the quest, the query, and the journey.

With that, I conclude the “first post”, with all the best intentions for more to come!