Volume V - Spiritual Liberty
Part V: PEARLS FROM THE OCEAN UNSEEN
In balance lies the whole secret of life, and the lack of it explains death. All that is constructive comes from balance, and all destruction comes from lack of balance. It is when balance goes that sickness and death come. There are many people who are sickly and ill for many years, yet their life is prolonged because they have some balance. They are physically on the decline, but to counterbalance this they have an ambition in life that keeps them alive. It may be the desire to see the success of a loved son, or the happiness of a daughter.
All religions and philosophies have laid down certain principles such as kindness, truthfulness, forgiveness, but the mystic lays no stress on principles, he allows everyone to have his own principles, each according to his point of view and evolution. For example, there are two men, one is so merciful that he will not even harm an insect, and he could not draw a sword to kill another human being, while the other man for the sake of his people is content to fight and to die.
These are two opposite points of view, and both are right in their way. The Sufi therefore believes one should let each hold on to the principle suited to his evolution, but for himself he looks beyond the principle to that which is at the back of it, the balance. He realizes that what makes one lose balance is wrong, and what makes one keep it is right. The main point is not to act against one's principles. If the whole world says a thing is wrong, and you yourself feel that it is right, it is so, perhaps, for you.
The question of balance explains the problem of sin and virtue, and he who understands it is the master of life. There should be a balance in all our actions. To be either extreme or lukewarm is equally bad. There is a saying, 'Jack of all trades, and master of none.' This is very true, as there has been too little effort given, so that no one thing has been done thoroughly.
A balance in repose and activity is necessary, as too much weight on the side of repose leads to idleness, and even sickness; whereas an unbalanced activity results in nervousness, and frequently in a mental or physical breakdown.