Archive for the ‘Nugget 022 BALANCING ACT’ Category


December 12, 2009


We in the West seem to have, in our “rational” mindset, lost an understanding of holding opposite truths in tension, as those in the East do so readily. The “yin-yang” is an example, but that has been often misinterpreted as applied to Christianity, b/c Satan is not God’s true opposite: God is uncreated, eternal in the “backward” direction, whereas Satan was created & therefore had a beginning.

God is the “sum total”—He holds all truths in opposition. God is the Whole, not simply part of it.

Yet we insist on taking a part of the whole & so focusing on it that we insist it is the whole. How can we be predestined, yet still have free will? How can God hold in Himself the knowledge of good & evil without being contaminated by the evil?

Yet in the natural world we see such balance much more often than we realize: sodium (Na) & Chlorine (Cl), both extremely toxic in pure form, hold each other in ionic tension in a way that produces common table salt, essential for life. Hydrogen (H) & Oxygen (O) both combustible gases, combine to produce water, another essential. Water does such a delicate tightrope act in going between frozen & liquid states that it expands upon first freezing (an extreme rarity in the world of chemistry). As a result, ice floats in water; yet if water contracted in the way most things do, all ice would be heavier than water and would drop to the bottom of bodies of water, & ultimately the world would get colder & colder & become a frozen wasteland!

Somehow God has created our whole lives that way—a balancing act of opposites that we need to hold in tension—a little too far either direction & we’re out of balance, & we “tip over.” We have to balance:

Love & Fear of God

Life & Death (we die to live & live to die…)

Giving & Receiving (receiving without giving makes us a Dead Sea; giving without receiving depletes & exhausts us)

Joy & Suffering

Faith & Sight

(& I’m sure this list goes on & on too!)