Balance: Ultimate law of the Universe

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Published: 15th May 2013
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Balance: The Ultimate Law of the Universe


James M. Ridgway, Jr.

The ultimate law of the universe, including all of nature and most certainly mankind, is balance. Indeed, it is the ironclad way of things that a positive, at some point in time, will always be offset by a negative—stars are born and stars die—balance. Creation will be offset by destruction; good will be offset by evil; peace will be offset by war; a kindness will be offset by a slight. This universal law of balance (a sort first order commandment) can be seen replicated in one of our basic laws of physics, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction—balance.

As with many of life’s brutal truths, this is not a reality that humanity in general will ever care to embrace. In fact mostly I suppose all creatures are inherently programed to avoid such negative default points. They, like us, simply push on to procreate and try to make the best of a difficult proposition.

Throughout history the universal law of balance has been the brick wall through which philosophers from time immemorial have failed to pass, a barrier that has defeated every angle of intellectual attack. For instance when religious philosophers wax on poetically about my father’s kingdom in heaven, they are haphazardly waving off the decisive offset of living entities—death—a desperate denial of half of the immutable rhythm of all things.

The supreme expression of balance is probability. Einstein once said that, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe.” In this instance he of the great mind was dead wrong. Leaving aside the metaphysics of God, quantum mechanics proves that all is probability. Indeed, it is impossible to say, with even the slightest degree of assurance, an exact place taken up by any particular subatomic particle at any instance. Only a probability of its placement can be surmised.

In simpler terms, one may flip a penny 10 times, and it’s quite possible that heads will show ten or more times in a row. However, flip it a million times and heads and tales will balance out within the tiniest faction of perfection simply because the odds of probability are equal—balanced. In the larger realm of things of the universe and mankind, the probability of balance (fifty-fifty odds), though sometimes delayed in uneven increments of magnitude and number, is certain. For instance there may be a series of, say, five relatively small positives, latter offset by one large negative, this being but one among an infinite array of offsetting combinations of balance.

Now fatalists will tell you that when your time is up, it’s up. But that’s simply baseless. Probability rules in all cases. If, let’s say, one were to fly ten times more than the average person his chances for being killed in an airplane accident is exactly ten times the average. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is always a matter of probability, and the most fundament probability of all is even odds—balance.

As before mentioned, since the dawn of time man has struggled against the universal law of balance to no avail. In one crucial area of his existence, he has labored in vein to design treaties, laws and constitutions meant to promote harmony and peace. But, still, wars, insurrections and other negative offsets remain inevitable. Even the great Plato could not, practically speaking, squared the circle of a perfect, lasting form of government.
Indeed, in one’s everyday life, good is always somehow offset by bad—balance—which no doubt inspired the age-old maxim, we must learn to take the bad with the good.

Fact is that even our very mind/brain is a balancing act. We have our primitive emotional brain stem on top of which resides our more modern, sophisticated rational thinking region. It’s an everlastingly struggle between what our primitive emotional needs demand verses what our rational understanding concludes is best. Quite often when emotional impulse takes full control of our actions in certain highly charged situations, the outcome rests on a knife’s edge as to whether or not we will react with great compassion or unmerciful cruelty. It becomes a fifty-fifty tossup to be sure.

Also out of the balancing war concerning our primitive emotions and rational, sophisticated divisions of mind springs forth the inherent conflict of science and religion. Science is prompted by our rational curiosity to discover factual truths, whereas religion represents the ultimate in reality deflection, a kind of psychological insulation from certain harsh realities that our emotions hate to know. Thus we can observe daily the obsessively faithful turning their backs on scientific, factual reality.

Ideally you would think that one should strive to live wholly within one’s rational mode. Unfortunately to do that would be to risk one’s mental and physical wellbeing to the outcome of depression and suicide. Unreality—hope—can be looked upon as part of man’s survival system. Without hope there is no reason to go on with life. This accounts for the myriad of myths that run against common sense. Politicians and priests understand the need for hope. When distilled to its essence, hope is their single most important offering, an illusion critical to one’s well being, and thus an easy avenue for exploitation.

Moreover, to completely do away with the poetic spinning of life that our emotions crave would be to live in an exceedingly dull, colorless world. The trick is to add spice to our lives and to lightly deceive one’s self without getting carried away with it all. For instance, a balanced approach might be to enjoy a warm and fuzzy religious experience of a grand mass in a great cathedral rich in fine music and symbolic splendor, while remaining aware in some quiet recess of the mind that all is not real, but rather a necessary concession to emotional needs for more than simply stark reality—balance. But of course to go to the other extreme would be to join the ranks of the fanatics, whom never acknowledge reality beyond their daily routines—unbalanced. Thus as it effects humanity, balance itself can be seen to be both a beneficial and harmful rule of nature, a sort of riddle inside of an enigma.

Then, too, there is the balancing act of our two general human natures that can be seen reflected in our political leanings. There is the egocentric (exclusive) part of our nature that places our own interests above all others. This might be viewed as our individualistic, capitalistic impulse to get ahead at all costs. Then there is the collective (inclusive), nurturing part of our character that works toward the benefit of the group. This might be viewed as our socialistic impulse. Once again trying to balance out these competing sides of our nature, either in personal or political terms is a difficult task thrust upon us by the universal law of balance. (In pure political and economic terms, balance would strongly suggest that pure cowboy capitalism is no better than pure socialism; both smother innovations, though in slightly different ways.)

For those susceptible to intense theology, ideology and dogma, the concept of universal balance along these stated lines must be incomprehensible. This is why true believer fanatics, imbued with certainty and purity of belief, are always in constant violation of nature’s goal of seeking balance, and why when political extremists gain even a modicum of power they very often cause bad things to happen. As Aristotle said thousands of years ago (though I doubt that he meant it in its fullest cosmic terms), everything in moderation—balance.

To drill down even further is to discover that ego is the enemy of balance. Ego says that whatever we have thought, said or done is absolutely correct; and that no matter what comes about, we must continued along that established path. Perhaps it’s nature’s way of establishing our identity to ourselves. Thus for those with big or fractured egos, being unsure or wrong about anything is not an option. Those incapable of exploring the fine balances of reality because of ego we call extremists. The bottom line is that to search for balance and reality one must be confident enough to put one’s ego driven identity at risk.

Unfortunately the bottom line for mankind (as with all else within a vast and complex universe) is that there reside within us the seeds of our own destruction. As human technology seemly zooms ever upward, it’s not difficult to see the grand negative offset to humanity’s magnificent creativity: it being a race between the destructive power of manmade climate change and a full blow nuclear holocaust—either occurrence being quite capable of unleashing total annihilation of mankind and his inventions.

Of these two monster killers, one might suggest that a wise betting man place his money on the nukes as the means for eventually doing in humanity. Over many decades the United States and Russia, because of the slightest of misinformation, have come within minutes of launching all out nuclear attacks upon each other. The first close call came during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when a Soviet submarine commander, being out of touch with his fleet headquarters and fearing that the Americans were about to launch missiles against his homeland, was barely restrained by his second in command from launching nukes at New York City. Following that near disaster there have been over time numerous other occasions when the Russians and Americans were minutes away from driving the planet into a nuclear winter because of technical breakdowns that indicated that one side or the other was under a full-blown nuclear attack. And now, with nuclear proliferation having spread megatons of potential annihilation all about the globe, it’s only a matter of time until some accident of technology or reason—or a fanatical regime—sets off the world’s nuclear stockpile like a string of Chinese firecrackers.

Currently the odds are extremely high that India and Pakistan will launch an all-out nuclear attack upon each other with enough force as to cause a nuclear winter that will totally do in humanity. It’s almost as if the great law of balance has invested a considerable interval in teasing mankind, saying in affect that 47,000 years ago, via a volcanic eruption whose dust covered the sky, shutting out the sun’s light and warmth and sending the earth into four years of frigid winter, I reduced your species to less than 1,000 beings. An now that you’re on the doorstep of being capable of replicating yourselves mentally and physically to perfection, how much longer do you think I will let you stand before I bring down my heavy hammer of total extinction upon you?

To a strong intellect it should be perfectly clear that balance is not a first law that is partial to humanity’s hopes and dreams for happy endings, and to see that from beginning to end there is balance and only balance. Indeed, such an intellect must know that humanity’s desires, like all else about the cosmos, are but fleeting impulses—here today, gone tomorrow.

JMR 4-22-13

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