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Chapter 4. Breaching the Balance. The Crisis as an Opportunity to Restore Balance

The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’

One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity.

In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognize the opportunity.

John F. Kennedy,

from a speech in Indianapolis, April 12, 1959


Nature aspires to balance. All its actions are aimed at bringing each part into balance. With volcanoes, for example, the pressures deep within Earth increase until Earth’s crust cannot balance them. The resolution of this imbalance is a volcanic eruption, which balances the underground pressure with surface pressure. This is Nature’s way of balancing an unbalanced state.

The laws of physics and chemistry explain that the only reason for any movement of matter or object is the quest for balance. To achieve this balance, such phenomena as equilibrium of pressures, concentrations, temperatures, the flowing of water to the lowest place, and the dispersal of heat and cold, are created. In scientific terms, a balanced state is called “homeostasis.” (Homo, in Latin, means “same,” and stasis means “state”). Homeostasis is the state to which everything in reality is attracted.

However, at the human level, homeostasis requires conscious participation. This is why, as long as we are not aware of the fact that an egoistic attitude toward others harms us and the world, we cannot be held accountable. Instead, Nature comes to our aid by showing us that there is an imbalance, which is why it is now leading us to a point of a comprehensive crisis in our egoistic evolution.

The purpose of the crisis is to make us realize that we are treading the wrong path and must change course. Thus, the crisis is not a punishment, but is intended to bring us to perfection.

As a matter of fact, there are no punishments in the world because it is not our fault that we are born egoists. All that exists in our world are means to develop us.

We must remember that human beings, who are essentially a desire to enjoy, cannot move an inch without a sensation of deficiency. In other words, we only move because of an absence of fulfillment of a desire, and hence we only move toward future fulfillment. When we lack something, when we are dissatisfied, we suffer and begin to look for solutions. This is how we progress and evolve.

The crisis is the emergence of the “faults” that have been deliberately instilled in us by Nature. These faults allow us to “correct” them by ourselves, and thus we elevate ourselves. In the past, hundreds and thousands of years ago, when humanity suffered, it couldn’t understand why it was suffering. Now, we are ready to understand the reason, and to see that suffering points us straight toward acquiring the quality of altruism, Nature’s quality of love and giving. This is why Nature can “ask” a contemporary person, “Are you responding correctly to what is being handed you?” Today, along with the pain, Nature admits us into the reason for it.

Until today, we have been treating Nature in a very straightforward manner: Nature prompted us to evolve by evoking desires within us, and we raced to evolve in numerous ways—through culture, education, science, and technology.

Today, however, we have suddenly reached an impasse, and we are forced to stop and examine ourselves. In fact, this is the moment when we receive the ability to examine our desires. Hence, from this moment on we are committed to continue with this examination. We cannot continue developing our awareness only of how to use our desires better; we must begin to think about our desires and review them from a new perspective. We have to start asking, “What am I doing with my desires, and for what?” Each of us is required to examine ourselves.

In fact, Nature’s force is a constant altruistic force. It is unchanging and constantly pressures us to balance with it. The only thing that does change and grow, according to the embedded “program,” is the ego within us. The ego’s increasing contrast from Nature’s force intensifies the imbalance, which we experience as pressure, discomfort, suffering, and other negative phenomena and crises.

The intensity of this pressure depends on the degree of our imbalance. This is why, in the past, suffering and discomfort were less, since egoism was smaller. Today, we find that it is increasing daily.

It follows that we alone determine the intensity of the suffering or happiness that we experience, depending on the level of our imbalance with Nature. In other words, the fact that we are nonintegrated parts of an integrated system is the very cause of all suffering and the root of all adversities and crises.

When we tie all the manifestations of individual and collective crises with the human ego—the cause of the system’s imbalance—we will be able to move toward a solution. When pain is accompanied by understanding its source, when the purpose of suffering is sensed, such pains are beneficial, since they have become the forces of progress.

Thus, the crisis is not a crisis, but a more progressive state of human evolution, which first appears as a negation of the present state. However, if we change our attitudes and our awareness, and view this from a different perspective, we will see that what now seems like a crisis is actually a golden opportunity.

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