It struck me today how much of life is Reaction and Counter-Reaction.
Reformation then Counter-Reformation. Classicism then Romanticism. Aufklärung then Sturm und Drang. Monarchy then Republicanism. Socialism then Conservatism. Culture then Anarchy. Despotism then Democracy. War then Peace. Rebellion then Acceptance. Indulgence then Denial. Boom then Bust. You get the picture.
I don't want to go too deeply into this. Sometimes the Counter-Reaction is preferable — and sometimes it's not. Sometimes there's Thesis, Antithesis, then Synthesis — and sometimes there's not. Sometimes we learn from our mistakes — and sometimes we don't. Sometimes the process seems like a pendulum swinging perpetually and uselessly from one extreme to another.
But more and more I believe in a balance between the extremes, a syncretism which takes the best from all worlds. (I hope this isn't being indecisive and chickening out of some exclusive, evangelical, firebrand faith. I hope I won't be called a wooly-minded liberal.)
It's just that I tend to be interested in many things, to hover between this and that. One day's enthusiasm gives way to the next day's enthusiasm. The Age of Enlightenment — yes! The triumph of reason, the rejection of the superstitions and prejudices of the past, the advancement of science. But didn't that go too far? The ensuing Romantic Age reasserted a belief in the individual, the personal and emotional life, the inner man and woman.
I want to take clues and threads and jewels from everything, and form my own balanced, if idiosyncratic, self and world view. That's my own process, my own experience — my own life path.
Read about the 'not too loose or too tight' Middle Way of Buddhism here.