Do we have to know extremes to know balance?

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  1. Mr. Happy profile image69
    Mr. Happyposted 11 years ago

    Do we have to know extremes to know balance?

    I often enjoy pushing limits and seeing where the extemes of things are. And just now, I came to think whether we can even know balance without first determinging where the extremes are (in general)? Just a thought - opinions are appreciated.

    All the best!

  2. yoginijoy profile image66
    yoginijoyposted 11 years ago

    As a person who is always looking for equanimity in all aspects of my life, I do think it is extremely beneficial to know one's limits. These could be in the area of ideas or physical--such as needing sleep and food. Now pushing another's limits such as in a debate can result in deep learning and hopefully understanding of the other's point of view. It helps a great deal when the subject is not taken personally but rather as an exercise in discourse. I tend to use debates in the college classroom and have to remind the students that it is not to be taken personally, that helps them to practice developing, defending and countering a specific idea. I find that personally writing about such ideas also helps me to find my own limits, although sometimes it is fun to realize that there is no such thing as limits--except those I have created in my own mind! Great question!

    1. d.william profile image76
      d.williamposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Luv ur comments. Obviously you don't live in Tex. This kind of abstract thinking will soon be against the law in this state, and country, if the GOP wins in November. … -standards

  3. Ericdierker profile image48
    Ericdierkerposted 11 years ago

    Some would ask; If we do not know failure how can we appreciate success? Still others would offer: No pain, no gain. If we think along the lines of chronology we see clearly that what was extreme yesterday is common place today. So it would seem that our understanding of the concept of extreme is based not on the act but upon our perception. There are personal and societal extremes.
    I suppose if we never pushed the limits and did the extreme we would all be riding around on tricycles. I might complain mightily about how my new shoes hurt my feet, thinking the pain is extreme and unbearable. Then I might see the young man in the Olympics who has no feet.

    1. whonunuwho profile image54
      whonunuwhoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      excellent answer,Ericdierker.

    2. dghbrh profile image81
      dghbrhposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ericdierker, very to the point and nice reply.
      cant agree more....i do voted for you and after i read your reply and as i fully agree with you there is no need to write my views here , i think.

  4. whonunuwho profile image54
    whonunuwhoposted 11 years ago

    Just as the space administration realizes its limits at present in space exploration and until new and more appropriate forms of energy and travel are implemented, we cannot extend our research and exploration beyond the nearest planets. We have to know our limits and apply a balance and the only way to find out what these are is to use trial and error, at times, and of course this can be way too costly. We,as a people, need to explore the oceans, our ever present universe here on earth. In order to do this new technology must be developed and again, trial and error are at the forefront.

  5. d.william profile image76
    d.williamposted 11 years ago

    This cannot be answered with a yes or no in many instances.  The comments attached show this in each of their cases.  If you refer to politics and/or religion the answer is a definite NO.  These are those instances where simple common sense and logic replaces the need to test the extremes.

  6. backporchstories profile image73
    backporchstoriesposted 11 years ago

    In the Good and Bad, Ying and Yang, of course we have to experience both extremes to understand what a balance is.  We would not know beauty if it were not for ugliness.  We would not know light if it were not for darkness.  Even when we average out numbers for a mean (balance), we have to know the extreme.  I believe you are correct in this equation.  Knowing the extreme on either end of the spectrum is neccessary for us to understand how to be in balance.

    1. Mr. Happy profile image69
      Mr. Happyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Mr. Ericdierker wrote: " If we think along the lines of chronology we see clearly that what was extreme yesterday is common place today." - With this in mind, does it mean that we constantly have to re-evaluate the balance (since extremes change)?

    2. Ericdierker profile image48
      Ericdierkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      A financial investment portfolio is a great example of balance. Some funds get placed in high risk and some in very safe places. Like the human spirit and our bodies, we need some safe places and some out on the extreme. And how fun it is, in both.

  7. Escobana profile image77
    Escobanaposted 11 years ago

    With so many great answers given already, I would have to answer quite simple and short. YES YES YES!

    We have to know extremes to know balance. Plain boring life without any extreme feelings, situations or relationships, would have never made me the balanced person I am today:-)

  8. CBartelmey profile image71
    CBartelmeyposted 11 years ago

    I think so.  For me this brought to mind an individual in my life who has known only one extreme their entire life.  They have never ventured outside of that stream, and so thus their existence and experiences seem ‘normal’ or adequate to them.  To anyone else looking in however, their circumstances would seem a bit chaotic and haphazard.  Not knowing what the other side of the pendulum looks like, I believe they then also have no idea what balance looks like. 

    I on the other hand have always seen the benefit of balance, probably as a direct consequence of witnessing this individual and their trials, but that brings to mind another point.  That extremes may not necessarily have to be personally pushed to be learned, that they could also simply just be observed.  Either way, I think you have to know what they are before you can find the balance that exists between them.

  9. Craig Suits profile image64
    Craig Suitsposted 11 years ago

    To know balance, one only needs to know that extremes exist as one cannot experience many extremes and live to tell about it.

  10. edhan profile image38
    edhanposted 11 years ago

    I have an experience with my brother who practise Qigong and realize that even a person like my brother who does not know how to bend backward to an angle that likely to make anyone falls in the ground. I saw him practising Qigong in an open field and incredibility seeing him bend backwards at right angle.

    So, in the matter of universal Qi energy, we can overcome the barrier of balance that I never imagine possible.

  11. tussin profile image56
    tussinposted 11 years ago

    This is a great question and I think that yes, it is necessary to understand the extremes of something before we can truly understand what balance is.

  12. Catherine Kane profile image84
    Catherine Kaneposted 11 years ago

    In the circus, we have two different kinds of balancing acts on a wire.

    One is the slack rope act, where the rope that droops loosely between two poles swings wildly, requiring large and controlled movements for the walker to stay on it.

    The other is the tightrope act, which more people are familiar with. There, the rope is stretched tautly between two uprights, and tiny. massively controlled movements of feet, ankles, legs, body and arms keep the walker in balance.

    The rope walker in the circus can work a tightrope act, a slack rope act or both. In all cases, the key to balance is awareness of his position and control, not how far the rope moves.

    It's kind of like that in life. Knowing extremes may be useful in balance, but it's not essential . What is is knowing where you are and taking control...

  13. ftclick profile image54
    ftclickposted 11 years ago

    for weather related data yes. Science thinks that 200 yrs of weather records out of 5 millions years makes it the hottest ever. Ever "recorded"  YES.

  14. cherriquinn profile image76
    cherriquinnposted 11 years ago

    I think that the answer to this depends on what we perceive as extreme both as a society and as individuals. I beleive balance evolves from life experiences, making mistakes and sometimes pushing bounderies. Balance also can be looked at in terms of illnesses when medication can help give a degree of balance in a person's life where extremes have been the norm

  15. watergeek profile image94
    watergeekposted 11 years ago

    I push limits too. However, I've noticed that I don't have to actually experience the extremes, myself, to know where they are and where I stand in relation to them. And sometimes my pushing limits is as much to see where other people's boundaries are as it is to find the polarities of a thing. Knowing the polarities gives me access to all the greys in between.

  16. Quirinus profile image61
    Quirinusposted 11 years ago

    If I remember your feedback to one of our answers, the definition of what is extreme is constantly changing.  That can lead us to infer that balance and extremes have a dynamic quality that keeps defining itself and is almost elusive.  In this sense, we can never really know balance in the literal sense of the word as a noun.  Balancing as a verb might be more like it.  I can make sense of that.
    Could it be that we just need to be in touch with the moment, for example, what our body is telling us, to understand what to us deep within is an extreme, so that we can seek to let go and dynamically move to the balanced center, using the action word balancing, instead of the noun balance?  … keeping on balancing moment by moment, instead of arriving at balance?
    The question can also be viewed as regards to activities or lengthier periods of time instead of just a moment.  In a previous hub I have mentioned about striking a balance between the active and the meditative life cited by St. Thomas Aquinas.  Indeed for most, striking a balance is essential!
    Ideally, what I think would be important is to be able to step back from whatever the present situation is and return to the center, however manner we define that to be (I’m rambling now. Might be a topic for a different hub.)  In my experience, all easier said than done.  It would have been easier if moment by moment balancing has been a habit all along instead of something that has to be learned as you go.
    Thanks for a very thought-provoking question, Mr. Happy!


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