Driving in a straight line requires a thousand adjustments to the steering wheel, because the car, it’s suspension, it’s tires, alignment, and many other things aren’t perfect. Outside the car, the road itself isn’t perfect.
To execute a yoga pose, our muscles are making hundreds of minute reactions and modifications to hold the balance, because our bodies, the floor, the temperature, our skill, our mind, and many other things aren’t perfect.
But, we adapt to all of these imperfections almost effortlessly in real time, through instinct, feel, presence of mind, care, focus, and reflex. We get into trouble when we try to adjust reality, tipping the scales of the universe in our favor to accommodate us, instead of the other way around. A little bit goes a long way, but too much is too far.
Remember Utopia? That fictional island in the Atlantic with a perfect society: no poverty, no wars. But, while the utopians didn’t “believe” in war, they trained for it. And everyone wore uniforms without any distinctions. Oh, except to distinguish the sexes and who is married and not married. But other than that, no individual expression of style. And … the towns of Utopia were all alike, except in certain situations. And the town of Amourot of course, was the most eminent and exceptional of all. Nice.
Hmm … wait a minute. Who’s utopia are we talking about?
To achieve “Utopia”, we have to implement rules and exceptions that affect, embolden, and counteract other rules and exceptions. Oops. Side effects and counter-indications stack up like a list at the end of a pharmaceutical commercial: “Could cause divisiveness and discontent”, “Some experience depression, suicidal thoughts, loss of freedom, and a lost sense of self and purpose”.
The concept of utopia is a miserable endeavor attempted many times and to varying degrees over thousands of years and it has never worked. It’s like taking water from this end of pool and putting it in the other end. Utopia’s problem is reality.
Reality, from deep inside us to the shallow edges of the universe, is dynamic with an infinite number of variables, nuances, and circumstances.
Now … add us humans to that, multiplied by how many of us are actually involved; each of us bringing our opinions, hierarchy, beliefs, education, emotions, status, experience, wisdom, personalities, wants, current mood, needs, and special interests, along with a million other things, then “Utopia” truly is unachievable. After all, that is the meaning of the word, isn’t it?
While reality isn’t perfect, it is perfectly imperfect. Its happiness and anger, joy and sadness, destruction and art. Its preference and distaste, law, crime, justice, reward, and punishment. It’s peace and unfortunately, war. It’s good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. It’s luck and misfortune, gains and setbacks, comedy and tragedy, love and hate, feast and famine. It just is.
If there is such a thing as Utopia, it is balance. Find YOUR balance. Embrace it.
Photo by Gustavo Torres on Unsplash.