The movement of the pendulum is profoundly significant. It illustrates a fundamental law of mechanical nature that is affecting us right now, but we are unaware of it.
Everything in nature has its ebb and flow, its rise and fall, increase and decrease. Everything moves back and forth according to this law. Everything oscillates, is subject to the fluctuations of time, and is evolving or devolving.
The movement of the pendulum raises and ruins empires, causing the ascent of powerful civilizations and later bringing about their destruction.
Everything in mechanical nature rises and falls. Leaders, countries, political systems, religions, entire planets, entire galaxies, come and go with the pendulum.
The pendulum drives our mind to the extremes of duality: good vs evil, yes vs no, black vs white, conservative vs liberal, capitalism vs communism, religious people vs atheists. Meanwhile, in essence, both sides are the same: people’s opinions.
Our own life is but a swing of the pendulum: we are born, experience life briefly, then we die. What we do not remember is that death is but a door back into birth, another swing of the pendulum.
During each brief existence, the pendulum dictates our days and nights, and the highs and lows of our life. We swing between successes and failures, between happiness and despair.
Even in this moment, our mind is swinging from one extreme to another: accepting or rejecting, approving or disapproving, liking or disliking.
At one extreme of the pendulum is pleasure, at the other is pain.
All of our emotions, thoughts, longings, and desires swing according to the law of the pendulum.
Today we are in love. Tomorrow the beloved becomes our enemy. Yesterday we were filled with hope. Today we are desperate, depressed. Today it is yes, tomorrow it is no. We are inconsistent, unpredictable, always fluctuating.
The law of the pendulum is one hundred percent mechanical. It relates to machines.
We think we have free will and control, but really, we are just reacting mechanically. A little discomfort or annoyance causes us to become enraged, and then we storm around spreading our anger to everyone.
Truthfully, we are not in charge of ourselves. A slight breeze can flip our behavior. We swing between contradictory opinions, ideas, emotions and habits... and we refuse to see our contradictions. Yet, we see contradictions in others clearly.
Because of the pendulum, we are easy to manipulate. To get what they want, people manipulate our pride, fear,, and envy. If making us happy gets them what they want, they praise us. If making us angry gets them what they want, they offend us. To make us happy again, they tell us some sweet words. We are instruments on which others play melodies. We are machines.
We spend our lives chasing one side of the pendulum, and intentionally avoid or ignore its opposite. We chase pleasure, excitement, or wealth, but fearfully avoid their opposites. By willfully ignoring the full reality of any situation, we fail to measure risk, and increase the energy of the inescapable swing to the opposite side. You can observe this in the life of anyone who is addicted to pleasure: they inevitably become overwhelmed by pain.
Those who constantly seek excitement are like moths drawn to flames: never satisfied, they are soon destroyed.
Slaves of the pendulum are always thrown from one extreme to another.
Genuine peace and happiness can never be found as long as we are blinded by duality.
Fortunately, there is a way to escape from mechanicity. Stop being a machine. We have to learn to see things in life as they really are. We need to expand our perception.
Any surface indicates the existence of an opposite surface. We make the mistake of becoming identified with happiness when positive events happen, and becoming identified with sadness when negative events happen, because we fail to see these are two faces of the same thing.
Everything in mechanical life is swinging on the pendulum. If in this moment there is pain, that means that happiness is coming next. If in the moment of pain we become aware of law of the pendulum, we would not be identified, we would be prepared. Thus, when happiness arrives, we will not be surprised or identified.
If we want to see the two faces of everything, it is necessary to live not swinging on the pendulum, but within a circle. Imagine a circle around you. Around that circle pass all the opposite pairs. Around that circle we can see a very interesting parade. After great happiness comes great sadness. After great pleasure comes great pain.
There are moments when everybody laughs; when one sees that, one can be sure that suffering is coming. That is certain, because everything is dual in life. After the laugh comes its antithesis, pain and crying.
Everything has two faces: positive and negative. Everything in mechanical life is dual. When one becomes accustomed to see everything, every circumstance, in an integral way with its two faces, one avoids many disillusions, frustrations and deceptions.
When you have a friend, you have to understand that your friend is not perfect, and at any moment can become your enemy. Moreover, that is normal. Therefore, on the day that happens, you will not be surprised or disillusioned. When you fall in love, you have to be aware that the day will come when you or the beloved will die or the relationship will end.
This is not pessimistic: it is the reality.Awareness of the facts makes you a better friend, a better spouse, undisturbed by change, calm in the face of difficulty, and at peace in the midst of storms.
When one lives in the center of the circle, one does not take part in the mechanical game of the pendulum. One is not subjected to the alternatives of anguish and happiness, triumph and failure, pleasure and pain... One becomes centered, equal in all circumstances, reliable, steadfast.
When you see from within the circle, you see all sides equally. Instead of being attached to and limited by a narrow view, your mind opens to seeing things in new ways. This reduces conflict with others, and steadily increases your wisdom.
The one who is aware of the pendulum still experiences the pleasures and pains of life, but is not identified with them. The extreme sufferings of life are reduced, and one gains inner serenity and the ability to act wisely without being overwhelmed or confused.
Usually, we are unaware of the pendulum. This means the two extremes, positive and negative, swing in an atmosphere of ignorance. When we are aware, the two extremes become balanced by a third force. This is the famous TAO, the middle path, the lever or point of balance that the wise use to move the universe.
Learn to see the two faces of everything, positive and negative, and to not become identified with either, because both are illusory. This awareness is the third force, and it equilibrates the opposites. That is how you balance your mind, and rise above the shallow fluctuations of mechanical life; unattached, aware, and ready to act without being confined by limited views.
Everything passes in life. Nothing in mechanical nature is permanent. That which lasts, that which is eternal, cannot be found as long as we are identified with duality.
What interests us is beyond mechanical nature and physical appearances: reality, the truth. Reality is not found in the fluctuations of ideas and beliefs, thoughts and emotions, or physical sensations that come and go. Reality can only be discovered bythat is liberated from all conditioning, including the law of the pendulum.
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