Religious fanaticism or godlessness is extremes that will only bring grief to those involved with them. Both require the taking of one side to the complete avoidance of the opposite. The result is an imbalance that can only bring disaster.
A person who wishes to remain clear-headed will not indulge in any of these extremes. He does not blind his eyes with religious fury, nor does he inflame his heart with uncontrolled passion. He is a moderate person who lives his life gently letting his conscience to guide it. His life then proceeds along smoothly and calmly.
Everything in this world has its opposites. This is an unavoidable fact of life. We know something is hot only in relation to something cold. A person is tall only when compared to a short person. We are rich only when compared to a poorer person. Freedom is only meaningful when we experience the shackles of restrictions. We value our health because we know that we are capable of falling ill.
Society has a penchant for youthfulness. So in its extreme, everybody tries to remain young. Cosmetics sell in huge quantities. Boys and girls dress in all kinds of dresses that they think make them young and desirable. Middle-aged men and women too indulge in the same game. But nature has its way. People grow older by the moment. Old codgers fight a losing battle with time. Finally when old age sets in they sit mournfully alone in old folk’s homes or stately mansions with nobody around but a servant. The desirable extreme or trying to remain young will result in the unhappy extreme of getting old. If in the first place, we are moderate with our lives, not identifying with youth or old-age, then it will not matter at all whenever we are old. We can live peacefully with ourselves and let nature run its course painlessly, gently.
So it is with other areas of life. A super rich person is afraid of losing his wealth. His every riches keep him anxious. He is a prisoner of wealth. A person living in abject poverty is anxious about where his next meal will come from. He is a prisoner of fate. A moderate person who simply works for his living has no fear of losing his wealth and no worries about his next meal. Moderation carries him along without any problems.
Those who over-exercise burn themselves out. Those who sit sedately all day suffer from atrophy. A boy who studies all the time has no friends. Another who only makes friends fails in his examinations. Staying too long under the sun can result in heatstroke and sunburn. Not going out at all makes the skin pale and pallid. Riding too fast on a motorcycle means you may lose balance. Not moving at all means you cannot sit balanced on the motorcycle too. Sharpening a knife too often will wear the blade away quickly. Not sharpening at all will render the knife useless. Being extreme is always the cause of pain.
Moderation, then, is the key to life. It is the way to live our lives as it is meant to be lived.