Balance must be maintained between what is physical and what is eternal by being conscious of both. One must not dive so deep into eternity that one does not know what time it is, nor be so immersed in the physical that one is unaware of immortality. As there is night and day, so there is the change of consciousness from the physical to the spiritual, and from the spiritual to the physical. By keeping a balance between these two conditions a person leads a complete life.
Balance is something which is as rarely found among mystics as among others. When we become interested in something, it is our nature to want more and more of it, whether it is spirituality or something material. If we become very spiritual and are not material [enough], we lose the world. If we were not meant to live in this world, we would not have been sent here.
Balance is the security of life, not only in our outward life, but even in maintaining meditation and contemplation. People in the East have always considered balance to be the principal thing to maintain in life. All different exercises they have prescribed, whether in the form of religion or in the form of devotion, whether in the philosophical or in the psychical realm, are all meant to maintain balance.
Now the main idea is to know how balance is to be obtained and to be retained. In answer to the first question, how balance is to be attained, I would say that balance is naturally there, so there is no need to attain it. The question is only how to maintain balance and not how to attain it. The influence of our way of life in this active world always puts us off balance. No matter what direction we take in life, no matter what our occupation, our business in life, there is always difficulty in maintaining balance.
The Sufis therefore have found a key to it, and that key is to isolate oneself within and thereby, to gain a complete balance within oneself. By keeping a few minutes for a process of meditation, of silence, we can touch that complete balance for a moment, and then, naturally, in our active life a balance is maintained. Very often people make the mistake of thinking that by the help of meditation or silence they can bring about success in activity. If it brings about a successful result, it is only because complete balance in meditation makes one capable of maintaining the balance necessary for activity.