The mind and the body coalesce to form a relationship we should seek to balance while experiencing life. This relationship can be described as an oscillation between our mind’s intent and our body’s action; without balance, one element would predominate the other creating either a vehicle propelled by indulgence or a silent mind alive only in fantasy.
A body, made strong in physicality, coupled with a weak mind, is likely to inflict harm on either itself or another being.
A mind, made strong by intellect, coupled with a weak body, is likely to deteriorate as the body surrenders to physical strain.
Here is an adage that offers simple clarity, impressed with a little hope: “You are only as strong as your weakest link.”
In order to glean a full meaning from this, we must read between the lines. The truth of the statement is evident, but it feels incomplete; it does not go far enough.
Think of two personal instances when you competed on a team in school; one should be of a physical nature (perhaps a sport), and the other should be of an intellectual nature (perhaps a geography bee).
In each instance, isn’t it true that the team played to its strengths while competing? If the answer is yes, didn’t the team first have to identify something as a strength? If the answer is yes, during the process of finding its strengths, wasn’t the team also able to recognize its deficiencies? And, didn’t the recognition of either ultimately make the team stronger? Couldn’t we then apply this analysis into the self?
If you, as an individual, were strong but not quick, you could run to become quicker; if you knew much about physical locations but nothing of the people, you could study culture; or you could compensate for your deficiency by either being the strongest or being the most informed on the given topic.
So, the ability to recognize and adapt, anticipate and compensate, through self-awareness, is where the true strength lies.
“You are only as strong as the depth of your personal understanding.” This an understanding that comes from the relationship between the mind and the body, and in any relationship you must have trust; for trust is paramount in any relationship. What your mind dictates for the body should break neither the body nor the mind; your body needs to have that trust. Your body’s action should break neither the mind nor the body; your mind needs to have that trust. Where trust is found to be essential, it follows that understanding must also be.
But, where does balance come into the picture? Though balance has remained undiscussed until now, it would be hard to disregard its presence throughout. Balance may be best observed through the fundamental relationship between trust and understanding.
By the very nature of understanding, you must trust that the knowledge was given honestly; otherwise, it cannot be understanding.
By the very nature of trust, you must reach an understanding that each element remains true to its nature; otherwise, you cannot trust.
For most cases, you may judge whether something is true (or not) and reach an understanding before offering your trust; and in some instances of necessity, you have need to judge the honesty of something quickly and offer your trust before you can reach an understanding.
“Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
So, which does come first, the trust or the understanding?
I think that in each variation of the question, the question gives an ultimatum: “Pick and that is what it forever shall be, even if what is observed to be is found also to be to the contrary.” From what we have seen, not in all cases does one take precedence.
It seems that the best answer to each question is both, and it also seems that both is what creates balance. Where there is one, so too must be another; for, one cannot exist without the existence of the other. That is balance.