We consider the idea of harmony and leave it, like many other words, without looking for its soul. The essence of a single word is ripe for those who seek to harvest. A man’s relationship to the world is trained as if to look upon phenomenon as if they are pages in a daily magazine. Eyes glance and glean over images and words, devoid of the indispensable need to dive into the depths. For many things are created with exactly this relationship in mind; to be used up as a thin substance that is required for only a very brief moment. So it is with harmony, this word which means accord, where all things come and fit together like instruments played out in a symphony.
The animals of the totem, or those depicted in models of reincarnation in certain religions, can be understood from the point of psychological harmony. Long have we been accustomed to love the unconditional loyalty inherent in a dog, or the incomparable power of its nose. The cat has been seen, for its part, as finesse, elegance, independence, and a stoic consciousness of itself. Psychological characteristics can be symbolized quite closely to a system of reference based on animal characteristics as its carrier of meaning. By such a language we may be able to understand ourselves, not from the usual point of view, but in a way which intends to convey relativity and value to each of our functions and qualities.
One fine fellow can be seen as predominantly a horse, dog, pig and mouse. That is to say, these would be the qualities which he would be seen as having overdeveloped within him. One might say that these animals depict his strength, for he would be able to work and relate to the world in a way which exploits his particular powers in a very special and unique way. For example, such a man may prove to be suitable for a career as a carpenter, endowed with a sensitive ear to sounds and musical composition, and an affable nature which allows him to develop bonds and friendships quite effortlessly. From the ordinary and literal point of view in life, what he is has great practical merit.
And from the point of view of harmony, or at least from one particular understanding of the idea, he is provided with an opportunity to struggle with what he is in order to develop and grow what he is not. The rooster, cow, snake and chicken in him may be remarkably weak in his character and as a result prove to trap him into the same obstacles over and over in life, without a glimmer of escape. As the bear sleeps in a cave, a whale in a cove, a lion in its den and sheep along the prairie floor, so does the particular disposition of a man confine him into certain modes of being. It is to his advantage to struggle with his strengths, subdue them intentionally into submission, so that in the newfound space other animals may roam.
To what else can we attribute a psychological application of the idea of harmony if not by a point of view such as this? If men take themselves as they are and justify everything for the sake of comfort, they are forsaken to a life of compromise. Particular ambitions and desires which sit at the top of high peaks can often only be attained through sacrificing what we are. A man wishes to always rush, and yet he finds himself always behind as a result. He feels the urge next time and, instead, intentionally slows his pace so as to challenge the sovereignty within. In such a moment he is in greater harmony than he was when left to his own tendencies. He finds harmony and balance from the will to act against the grain.