This is a Quote of the Day piece provided by Benjamin Muller, here.
Have we got life seriously wrong?
That’s a serious “rabbit hole” question. What is it to “get life right”? What is it to live a “balanced” life? Is it what they had 100 years ago? Is it what they had when average life expectancy was half what it is now? Was it what they had 2000 years ago when slavery was practiced nearly globally? Was it what they had 8000 years ago?
What technologies have caused us to be unbalanced? Did it start with the smart phone and the internet? Or maybe the TV and Radio? Or maybe the industrial revolution? Or maybe when we got fire and started cooking our food?
What is it to live a “balanced” life? Do we need to go back to agrarianism? Do we need to return to subsistence farming?
It seems to me, from an environmental balance standpoint, humans started living unbalanced lives the moment they started grain cultivation and building the civilizations that enabled, but then, being products of nature ourselves, perhaps this too is natural?
In my view, a lot of these discussions about how our lives are “unbalanced”, fail to answer these questions. The tendency is to use measures of what they remember life being 20, 30, 40 years ago or worse(IMO), what they imagine about a past era they never lived in but have a romanticized notion about. I’m not sure what good any of it does.
Physiologically, we can seek a kind of thermodynamic equilibrium by consuming only the calories we burn in a day. Any more for too long and our bodies are forced to do things to cope with the excess energy inputs that are known to lead to health problems, any less for too long, and same thing. But beyond that, when you get into the psychological aspects of our being, I don’t really know what people mean when they talk about a “balanced” life. Should we hate in equal proportions to our love? Should we spend as much time angry as we do being content?
I view life itself as inherently unbalanced. To me, it appears that we(living things) are part of the process of the universe moving towards a state of equilibrium, and when it finds that state, life will have probably ceased to be. I don’t make this as an assertion of fact, only as how things appear to me at this point. I’m not entirely sure if and to what degree this impacts our search for individual “balance” in life, but as I see this as the source of our being, I tend to see it as something that has to at least be taken into account when we talk about individual balance.
I’ve been pondering that question for years “what is it to live a balanced life”… A lot of good questions have popped up, and it has taken me into avenues of personal research/education that I wouldn’t have otherwise gone, but really, I don’t think I’m any closer to a satisfactory answer to that than I was years ago when I first seriously started trying to find the answer. Which I’m good with, because it’s a lot like reading a good book that doesn’t end.
So anyway, there’s my rambling thoughts on this topic.