The Middle Way
By: Raymond Greiner
Our geographic location relates to life’s functions, goals and achievements. Societal formats incarnate separately defined by homogeneous identity in pursuit of fundamental purpose and communal progression. Historic social advances are most notable in Earth’s middle latitudes. It’s not because those living in middle latitudes are superior, as wisdom and worthy achievements also occur in high and low latitudes, but from global perception middle latitude populations displayed greater empowerment. This consequence likely evolved when early tribal communities sought temperate climates suitable for agricultural development, and eventually expanded industrially thereby historic agricultural zones became industrialized. The Fertile Crescent, Central Europe and the American Mid-West are examples.
We are familiar with the paradoxical term “midlife crisis”. When one attains midlife it’s a milestone of affirmation manifested by conquest of a series of complexities amalgamated through knowledge and applied effort. Midlife radiates confidence, as we develop inwardly life’s mid position is in opposition of a crisis. Present-day social structure orients toward worship of youth and tends to view midlife negatively; although, youth cannot match fundamental wisdom acquired beyond formative years. During early years we are drawn to surface assessments, as we have yet to embrace worth beyond social class posturing or vogue materialistic exhibitions.
Buddha taught the importance of the middle, a position of balance, creating inspirational opportunity enabling thought diversity and activity. Dysfunction and misdirection occurs within extremities of over zealous pursuits in a gluttonous quest for dominance. Too much wealth, too much poverty, too fast, too slow, too much work, too much idleness defines ventures in opposition to the middle way.
Addictions cloud realities and become controlling energies as they tilt ability to recognize worthy and significant principles as the addict is cast into the prickly brambles of society. These paths lead to self-destruction and loss of purpose, as one is required to remain centered in order to discover the most productive endeavors. Flowers cannot unfold in darkness.
So, here we are, a species viewing itself as the greatest to ever grace the planet, moving in multiple patterns and directions. We form religious philosophies imposing rules of enlightenment set forth as guidelines to center directional thoughts and often the religion itself becomes a force of conflict distant from its perceived principles and used as a tool toward despotism and control. Wars and social upheavals remain a presence during current times. Exploitation, greed and lack of compassion continue to expand. It is a hope we will improve; pull more in unison with less selfishness and quest for personal gain inducing communal improvement seeking solutions structured within the middle way.