“With Truth, Reason, and Morality off the board, we then capture their last Rook —that prissy little virtue, Temperance— for she depends on those other three for her beauty and was thus left wholly undefended.”
All of us indulge at times. We eat, we drink, and we be merry.
Sometimes we do this a bit too often. No matter how often, we all have the tendency to overindulge, or to not allow ourselves the ability to do so whatsoever. But this lives in an entirely different sphere that we may not be used to visiting.
About 10 years ago, I became deeply involved in chatroom conversations regarding the meaning of life. During this time I met all sorts of individuals with beliefs ranging from God being a tree, to those who believed the Earth was hollow and full of reptiles.
Needless to say, during this time I felt that I’d found myself deep inside Alice’s rabbit hole. But, I found it interesting to explore.
Of all the beliefs I came across, the thought (or theory) that struck me the most interest was of the nature of reality; that there is only one true reality where nothing is in opposition. There are no opposites, only complements. Where we choose to see opposites, is really nothing but an illusion.
Sounds awesome, right?
Now, unless you’re flying around on a magic carpet, this sounds like a bunch of hippy propaganda, or a wishful idea of a perfect existence. Perhaps it even sounds like heaven to some.
However, the true nature of this thought lives in a much deeper place than we most readily recognize.
True reality is different for every single living person. Mine is much different than yours, as my perceptions are unique to only my eyes, ears and heart, so also will yours be.
For those of us who contend with reality, life is about balancing opposites as they appear and as they are in our life. Too much of one thing will outweigh another each and every time. We struggle for balance daily, even if we don’t realize it here and now.
In our Earthly life, love will always have its malevolent counterpart. The young will become the old. Good times will fade to difficult impasses, and what we know as soft will—over time—become hard, or vice-versa.
It is only through temperance that we may seek to balance our lives and all opposition that we face on a daily basis, whether this be manifested in physical form or in the form of thought. This is not simply modifying our cravings for the physical, but remains a truth in the realm of thought awareness.
Being conscious of, and willing to control our thoughts is the key.
But now, in this life, sometimes things do rub against the grain. We get scuff marks, compliments of life. Over time, this can wear anyone thin, and without the will to balance our lives, needs, desires and so forth, we will wear down and becoming a living, breathing embodiment of imbalance.
We must all regard our personal restraint with care. We must know when to indulge, and when to abstain. We must learn—often over time—we cannot continue certain behaviors or thoughts without suffering imbalance.
Temperance isn’t simply about not having that cake, or not sipping a glass of good bourbon. It is about learning what makes you empty and what makes you whole. It’s about knowing what depletes your spirit, and knowing what fills it with life.
And sometimes, things must be given up entirely for wholeness to be achieved.
This could be a person, a habit or even a complete lifestyle.
Value your life and be aware of your thoughts. With temperance we may invite balance to our lives, and perhaps then, we’ll get that much closer to being at peace.