In the West the concept of balance is often symbolized by a static set of equally positioned weighing scales. ⚖
'Equilibria' explores how, in Eastern philosophies such as Taoism, balance is not attained through a settling of energy, but via a dynamic dance between two polarized opposites. Male and female, day and night, life and death, good and bad. Neither side exists, or is set into motion, without the other, an interaction that produces the infinite fractal chess board on which the game of life is then played.
This concept is often symbolised by the Taijitu (YinYang symbol) in Taoism and the Yantra in Hinduism.
Symbols like this are a form of distilled knowledge that aims to succinctly describe our experience of the world. This fundamental nature of opposites can be seen everywhere in our lives, including the very structure of our brains.
In his book 'The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning' psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist explains how the worlds of the left and right hemispheres of the brain influence this dichotomy in our everyday thinking.
The left hemisphere deals with narrow, sharply focused attention to detail. It processes abstract, fixed ideas that are fragmented and decontextualized.
The right hemisphere deals with that which is broad, interconnected and evolving. A world of reality rather than concepts, concerned more with the 'Now', rather than ideas of past or future.
As McGilchrist argues, modern society has a tendency to rely predominantly on left brain thinking. This may have allowed us to progress in leaps and bounds with regards to science and technology, but it has also robbed us of the deeper sense of meaning in our lives that only emerges through our direct lived experience.
But instead of seeing these two opposing qualities as separate, it is in the mixing of both together, as I've visually described with 'Equilibria', that we can live a much more holistic, balanced and healthy life.
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