Socrates: The Middle Way and the Difficulty of Living with Moderation in Western Society

I sometimes begin a piece and abandon it, or pick it up later. This piece was begun several months, but today I “tuned in ” to flesh it out. 

middlepathThe essence of Buddhism is thought to be The Middle Way where the opposing extremes of self-indulgence and self-denial are brought to bear through moderation and living for the sake of all. The middle way is respect forall things; each other and nature.

Unfortunately, moderation is not something our western society embraces. We are inundated with outside influences, often forgetting the outside is brought forth from the inside. The overall creativity of this society is steeped in greed of power and money instead of peace of happiness.

Our creativity is even warped in ignorance with procreation. There are those who have created offspring which they are not (physically, mentally, spiritually) able to rear; thus, releasing them unto the world without true thought. There are entire countries who have set limits on procreation. Creativity, while bringing forth all life must also be balanced with discipline and respect (respect for the self and all others/nature). While Hippocrates gave us this for healers, every person should know to adhere to the idea of  “Primum non nocere” (translation: First do no harm).

donoharm

Our society’s imbalance is reinforced through the multitude of media we’re inundated with; our tablets, phones, televisions, computers, radios, etc… Even at the doctor’s office, a place of healing, TV’s can be found. In fact, doctor’s offices should be places of quietude and zen; a  place to calm the mind to help engender healing in the body.hamburgerfries

Oh and the commercials! On one side, we’re enticed with 2,00-calorie fast-food meals NOT made with love (of the self and nature) but made with sugars, chemicals, and a plethora of unnatural substances.  On the other hand, because of the nation’s obesity problem, we are constantly offered diets and exercise regimens. The middle way is moderation in intake and output, and ensuring intake is of the highest value for both the body, other species and the planet.

moneysuccessWe are told to work really, REALLY hard to be “successful” in life. We are also told success is found in the number of things and the amount of money you have. We are NOT told that success is found in finding peace and happiness in a world of excess and chatter. The idea of success is where, I believe, we lose our sense of moderation.  We feel as if we must work VERY hard; therefore, it’s easy to justify overindulgence.  It’s the work hard/play hard mentality; the side effects of which create unhealthiness in the body, mind and spirit. How often are you in nature or your natural state of being, which is NON-stress and no thoughts of the past or future?

The middle way, the way of moderation is avoiding the extremes of lack and overindulgence. The middle way is found in societies which don’t project competition, but cohesion with each other and nature. While Buddhism is not perfect, and it’s certainly not the way for each life today, it does hold many pieces of  UNIVERSAL TRUTH. When applied in the real world, those truths can bring one closer to enlightenment and a memory that we are all spiritual beings inhabiting physical bodies. When there is balance between the two, peace is found.

everything-in-moderation

Socrates is the name of the Higher Consciousness, or faster-vibrating universal energy, with which I am in tune. You may learn more in my Introduction to Socrates.

 

 

 

 

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