It would seem that the obvious truth is that one should not go to extremes. The only question is, what are the extremes?
For example, some people believe that it is categorically and unambiguously impossible to talk about anything, because this is an extreme. And another will say that you need to always be sure and not doubt.
Others are sure that you just can’t speak for yourself, you can’t decide something yourself, and you always need to refer to someone. They will be objected to – a person should have his own opinion and should not be repelled and depend on the opinions of others.
Well, that’s the way it is. Rigor is contrasted with affection, sweet – bitter, loud – quiet, bright – dim. Well, you’ve probably heard these interesting fascinating phrases: “never say never” or “always say always”, “never hide what’s on your mind”, “always and everywhere tell the truth”. Or here – “there is no absolute good and absolute evil.”
But is it enough to avoid extremes, to come to what stands at their opposite end? Wouldn’t it happen that you go from one extreme to the other?
First, you need to understand that there are natural mental manifestations that you simply cannot get rid of with all your desire. This includes the ability to assert something, to show doubt (which, by the way, is a kind of statement – that something may be different than I think), to have your own opinion (as a manifestation of the rational nature of each of us).
Also, you will never get rid of the ability to judge about anything, because the source of any judgment is reason, which, let me remind you, is inherent in each of the people.
Secondly, taking into account the above, you need to understand that the trouble is not in the natural abilities themselves. It’s about using them incorrectly. This is what defines the essence of any extreme – when something is used completely inappropriately, untimely or without the necessary measure.
In fact, everything has its own time and its own measure. There is time to assert something, and there is time to doubt, there is time to be guided only by your own considerations, but there is a time when the opinion and experience of others are needed. There is a time to show love and affection, and there is a time to show hatred and severity.
“There is a time for everything, and a time for every thing under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pull out what has been planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to destroy, and a time to build; a time to cry, and a time to laugh; a time to lament, and a time to dance; a time to scatter stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shy away from embraces; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to save, and a time to throw; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” (Eccl. 3:1-8).
In each case, it is determined what are the extremes and what is the “golden mean”.
If a person does not adopt the right criterion for determining what extremes are, he can easily go into them himself, based on which he will look at the right, kind, as an extreme. And as a result, declaring the fight against extremes, he will encourage people to enter them.
There is no point in fighting with the nature of your own soul. You need to put all your strength into giving the right direction to your own manifestations of the soul – the ability to judge, to give categorical and unambiguous statements, the ability to have your own personal opinion, the ability to decide something yourself. That is, you need to fight against the unnatural manifestation of natural abilities, with sinful skills and habits – passions.
If all these natural abilities are applied in accordance with nature itself, i.e. they will have the right manifestation and the right measure, they will reconcile a person with the moral principle of his soul – conscience, and with God, then his whole life will change only for the better. Such a person will really not go to extremes, will see where they are and where they are not and have not been.
That is, in order to harmoniously use one’s natural abilities, a correct inner life is necessary, in which harmful habits (passions) would be eradicated, and true virtues would take root, with an appeal for help in a spirit of humility and contrition to one’s Creator and Creator, God.
It is precisely because of the lack of a faithful inner life that a person loses the ability to distinguish between extremes and where there are none. Because an incorrect state of mind in feelings and desires (which is an inevitable consequence of the lack of a true inner life) blinds the mind and makes a person blind to everything that surrounds him. A blind person is not able to judge correctly about anything.