Temperance is the card of finding the right balance.
We watched a documentary about Baba Ram Dass the other night, titled Becoming Nobody. He spoke at some length about the tendency of people who live in their hearts to fall into despair because of the sorrow and suffering in this world. And also about the tendency to then retreat into our heads, where we become callous to suffering. We see someone suffering, and say “right – karma – oh well.” Perhaps we rationalize that the material world is all an illusion anyway.
All of this may be true. Suffering is real, it is a result of karma, and at the same time it is something of an illusion.
I have come to think that the trick is to find the right balance in all of this. We find a way to live in this world while we are here. We don’t hide from it. We don’t try to “escape” to enlightenment or whatever. We do what we need to do in order to live here, now, to take care of each other, and to find what joy and meaning we can. This is the path of liberation.
It ain’t easy.
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