Another way to look at this whole balance of working, taking a break, of this active vs passive energy, is to think of it like being some kind of a material.
Are you going to be too brittle or too soft? So somewhere the correct mix of hard and soft gets you the best result.
So imagine if you have a material that’s purely hard.
It’s just purely just work.
There’s no softness.
There’s no break.
It’s just this driving work and active, projecting effort.
That’s like being too brittle.
It will just be something that’s purely hard, that has no bend at all, refuses to bend.
It just absolutely insists on being this particular shape.
If enough force is applied to it, then it will just snap.
Now, you imagine at the opposite end, you have a material that is very soft, and that simply can be bent easily, with no resistance.
So whatever is around it, if it chooses to apply force, then it will bend.
So being the brittle person: this is like being somebody that you just insist on always doing something exactly the way you want to do it, and you are absolutely determined.
This is applying will and saying “No, I will be in this shape, and nothing is going to move me out of the shape.
I insist on this shape.” So you just- no matter what, you will not budge even a single degree out of the line that you want to take.
But that means that if enough force is applied, then you can’t bend.
You’ll just snap entirely.
It’s like it’s really all or nothing.
It’s like I insist on being this way, and I will push as hard as I can to make things be exactly this way, and if it goes wrong, then it’s just complete disaster, and everything shatters, falls apart.
Now, at the opposite end, being at the soft end: this would be somebody that doesn’t really have a defined shape.
It’s like “Well, whatever shape- you know, whatever shape is convenient, that’s OK.
Oh, if I get bent this way, I get bent that way, then that’s OK.
I’ll just do- I’ll take on whatever shape is convenient.
Whatever shape the environment around me, the forces around me, are encouraging me to take, I’ll simply hold that shape.” So even the slightest pressure would bend this soft material.
Just it can’t withstand any forces.
So it’s not gonna break, because it’s just gonna bend.
So it’s kind of OK with being pushed around, and it’s not really applying will.
It’s being very passive and simply accepting whatever shape the environment gives it.
So you know that you’re safe from being destroyed, because you’re being so flexible.
And yet, on the other hand, you also can’t maintain your shape.
If you try to withstand any outside forces, you’ll simply bend.
So you imagine this like a tool, like a hammer.
If you have the hammer that is too brittle: you hit something hard, it breaks.
The hammer that is too soft: hit something hard, and it simply bends backwards.
So these are the two extremes.
And in this metaphor, you can imagine mixing them in order to find the right blend.
So being too heavy on the will and determining “I’m going to be this way”: that’s like the stubborn person, and that person is just insisting on everything being just right, and has no tolerance for anything that breaks the pattern.
So when the pattern does break, it’s complete shattering and “Oh, this is all ruins.” The person who is at the soft end: that’s the person that is too easygoing, and it’s just like “Oh, whatever, you know, I wouldn’t mind going this way, but you know, if you’d rather go the other way, then I’ll go the other way.” And with this point of view, there just isn’t much will being applied.
It’s hard to actually change anything in the environment, because anything you hit against, you just bend away from it, so you you can’t really make any changes in the environment.
You’re simply passively being bent by the forces around you.
So to bring back a good old metaphor from old-time alchemy, this could sometimes be described as tin and copper, just like making bronze.
So copper by itself is a very soft metal.
Tin is a very hard and brittle metal.
And when you mix them together in just the right amount, you can get bronze, a very hard yet also strong and able to withstand some bending metal.
So it’s like we can mix these components within ourselves. […]
So I wasn’t expecting to take it into the realm of old-time alchemy, but I just find that this is a fun metaphor that really seems to match our states, that I can really feel it when I’m too brittle or too soft.
So I’d be curious to hear whether you have this kind of feeling as well, and how you find a balance between these two sides.
#personalalchemy #toobrittle #toosoft