Warning: Crude forms of philosophy and physics will be discussed in this post. Philosphers and physicists will be outraged; everyone else will be bored to tears.
Newton’s third law of motion (simplified) states, “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Now, I’m no physicist, but if I believe anything about the nature of the universe I believe that. I believe nature is designed to keep itself in balance –ying and yang; dark and light, good and evil.
Human beings have always done their best to try to keep that balance tipped forever in their favour, but it hasn’t and never will work that way. For every behaviour there is a consequence. For all the “taming” of nature we have accomplished; for all we have built and wrought; there is, and will continue to be destruction.
Taken down to the level of the individual human this could mean that for every great joy we experience, we will also experience a great sorrow. For every good we do; a good will be done to us in return.
I don’t like the idea that good or bad things happen to people “for a reason”. That there’s any particular higher meaning to stuff we’re hit with on the path of life. I think it’s very much random; but a randomness according to nature’s rhythm.
Have you ever had a period in your life where everything seemed to be going right? All your loved ones were healthy, happy and safe. You finally landed that dream job or met the love of your life or found the perfect home. Or all three?
And even amid this delirium of happiness, didn’t you feel an ominous churning in your gut that maybe this was all too good to last? Did you turn around frequently to see if you could spot that dark cloud you felt must surely be following you, ready to dump something awful on you?
And, inevitably, it happened. Maybe not in one big dump, but I’ll bet life threw you a curve ball eventually.
And on the other side of the coin (a most apt symbol), I know there have been times in all of your lives where you’ve felt despair. When life was frightening, gloomy, uncertain, or sorrowful. When it was very difficult to see any sort of lining, silver or otherwise, around that black cloud that caught up with you — finally. Or again.
At times like this, whether you believe in God, some other Deity or the laws of nature, I think there’s comfort in knowing that equilibrium will be restored – that as surely as day follows night, all darkness will be illuminated. And that you do have some control; that your actions can help facilitate that reaction.
Everything in nature is ying and yang.