One of the most challenging dynamics on the spiritual path is the balance between gevurah and chesed. Gevurah is boundaries and severity. Chesed is loving kindness and mercy. The balance between these left and right poles is tiferet, meaning beauty. Beauty is the balance between severity and mercy.
This struggle to find balance between these points is something everyone experiences within themselves. Most of us constantly are asking, “How far do I go?”; “Where do I draw the line?”; “Where should I let up a bit and be gentler with myself and others?” This is a struggle that doesn’t necessarily have a one-time answer. The balance is maintained through a series of constant adjustments throughout the course of one’s life until one begins to consistently find that balance. When that balance is reached, there’s more integration and beauty in one’s life.
Part of the mystery of the Tree of Life is that it’s meant for us to master the psycho-spiritual aspects of the sefirotic energies. This is not only the balance of the individual energies, but also their manifold combinations. It is one of the greatest challenges we face within and without ourselves. How do we create this balance? We have to ask, “What’s the balance?” At every stage of our lives, that balance is going to be different. As we evolve spiritually, that balance continues to shift. It’s not just an overall balance, but a sense of balance in all our activities.
For example, people often ask about the Six Foundations for Spiritual Life. They may say they are too busy to live in this way. However, if one doesn’t have time to live the Six Foundations, then one needs to readjust their life to make space for these essential lifestyle components on a regular basis. This is a boundary one sets, and this is a healthy expression of gevurah. One commits to making all Six Foundations part of one’s life, and, whatever else happens, drawing these lines orients us to make clear decisions and lifestyle choices. Even just to consider the Six Foundations in our inner dialogue is, in and of itself, a major spiritual and lifestyle choice. To make the lifestyle adjustments to include all Six Foundations is another level of choice.
The simple act of prioritizing the Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and to arrange one’s life to create space for these lifestyle components is a relatively big shift. The choice to live one’s life with the intention of creating a quiet mind in order to transcend the mind is very big. Of the Six Foundations, one may emphasize one component more than another during the different stages of one’s life. I often emphasize the importance of regular meditation, but there may be a stage in one’s life where service through humanitarian work has a higher priority, because one can make a heart connection with others through this work. The work may be spiritually expanding, and, therefore, may have immense value in your evolutionary process. We must always adjust our relationship with the Six Foundations to include the proper balance of those foundations for one’s evolution at a given point in time, and all these mindful considerations are part of the spiritual path. The constant inner contemplation, rather than a fixed protocol, is a vital dynamic in spiritual life.
May everyone be blessed with the ability to balance these powers of consciousness.