The fourth of our seven supporting attitudes of ascension is poise.
The Majesty of Poise
The calm poise detected in masters of power is the culmination of a lifetime of discipline and the unconditional surrender to the unfolding of life. It is the crowning glory of a life well lived; a life in which the larger vision was the determining factor rather than a focus on the vicissitudes of every day life.
When we observe from a mountain top the journey of a bicycle in the valley below, it may appear as a straight course, but nothing can be further from the truth. The bicycle moves slightly left then right and back again constantly. If we hold the larger vision in our lives, the daily to’s appear inconsequential. Calmness replaces attempts to control the inevitable instabilities that are inherent in the journey.
If there are times when the rageful onslaught of another can easily throw off the balance we have worked so hard to achieve, then we have already conceded defeat. The eagle is the mortal enemy of the heron, but naturalists have seen attacks by an eagle on the heron in which the heron stood in perfect stillness and poise, beak pointed at the sky. The eagle in a dive of ferocious speed and focused intent, in these instances, impaled himself on the heron’s beak.
Should we still be the target of another’s rage, let us stand just like the heron in the majesty of calmness, never leaving the center of our circle. It may become clear that universal energy conspires to assist the one who stands in strength and poise far more readily than the one who plays the part of helpless victim.
The essence of calmness is to not anticipate or control life, but instead, to let life come to us. So too with those who are our teachers disguised as our enemies. By all means prepare for the worst, for to be taken by surprise drains energy, but having done so we have earned the right to expect the best. Under the gaze of calmness the absence of luster in the lives of our opponents becomes apparent. The only power they find they can muster is a destructive one and thus they can only peck at the object of their discomfort in an attempt to reduce him to their level.
Calmness and poise are tested by interaction and adversity, but it is fed by solitude. If solitude is the price of greatness, I would gladly pay, and should I chafe under the burden of it, I would remind myself of the alternative: a life lived in the half-light, enslaved by approval and condemned to beg for alms of wellbeing from another.
We study and quote the great ones of history, but instead, if we value the inspiration of the divine within, we shall join those great ones.
You can read about the third supporting attitude, grace, here.