Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lines of Tension-

Some years ago I came up with the idea of lines of tension existing between various aspects of my being. Not just my own being, the concept would apply to everyone. However, I am only fully familiar with my own being, and these were my own thoughts.

As an example, take the ideas of freedom and security. Currently the world is troubled by some nebulous threat called "the terrorists." In exchange for greater security from this threat it is expected that we give up some of our freedoms. Thus, we can see that there is a line of tension between the concept of freedom and the concept of security.

To get more security one must give up some freedom. To gain freedom one must sacrifice security. Tension.

I follow a blog called Geeks on Tour. In the post linked here Chris relates a line of tension I had not thought about. Dreams----Duty. The example was two movies. Follow the link, as Chris relates the two films quite nicely, demonstrating the line of tension between following one's dreams and following one's duty.

In my vague theory on these lines of tension I see happiness/contentment/fulfillment existing for each individual somewhere along each line. My mother-in-law Alta would be quite content to give up a great many freedoms to gain security. I, however, will tollerate considerably less security to have freedom. We are at different places on the line of tension, each seeking whatever happiness/contentment/fulfillment we can find.

Life is comprised of many aspects that exist in tension. Dreams and duty are another two. I responded to Chris's observations because sacrificing dreams in the name of duty had caused considerable trouble within me in the past. I was falling into a debilitating depression due to the level I had sacrificed dreams to fulfill duties. It was necessary to bring these aspects of myself back into tension in order for me to regain stability and begin working toward whatever happiness/contentment/fulfillment I might hope to find along that given line.

A perfectly balanced life would exist for any particular individual at that place where all lines of tension are in balance. Not the absolute center of each line, of course. It would be the place where each line is occupied at just the right point. It would be the ideal life for that individual.

I can only imagine such a place, and wonder what it would be like. I generally find balancing one line throws another off balance, and I am constantly recovering from previous imbalances. I suspect that my experience is not unique.

At best this model of lines in tension can be useful in assessing conflicting aspects of life. Perhaps I will find the time to asess my life in the light of my little theory. Make lists. Draw lines.

Time. Hmmm. Time----

What is at the other end of that line?