“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” – Aristotle
The Law of the Pendulum
I don’t need to remind you that our world is in tremendous flux. So many places throughout the world are experiencing an unprecedented number of crisis’. It can really get discouraging at times. Especially when I see videos of people shopping at Wal-Mart during Black Friday, now talk about a quick way of bringing your spirits down.
From a larger perspective we are just witnessing one of the Universes laws in full effect. This law is the law of the pendulum. The to-and-fro of life. Empires rise, empires fall. Rinse, repeat. The eternal battle of the opposites.
As soon as we declare that life can’t get any better, or worse, the pendulum then starts moving in the other direction. The law of the pendulum doesn’t only work with external events. Learn to observe the pendulum in your inner world, it can be felt through your moods. The Law of the Pendulum is in our mind, in our heart and in our bodies.
In the mind we can observe this law at work in our contradictory opinions, etc. In the heart it plays out in our emotions, in our states of excitement and boredom, sadness and happiness, optimism and depression. In our bodies it manifests itself through our habits, gestures, postures.
In times of great uncertainty it is essential that we prepare ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, so that we may rise where many will fall.
We live in a world of exponential growth. Interesting times to say the least. The world is a school in which there is no teaching–only learning.
While we do have the ability to predict the future to a certain extent based on observing current events, we need to remember that nothing is set in stone. The future can be altered, but if we keep doing the same things over and over, we can’t expect things to really change.
Learning to see this law at work in everything, we learn to cultivate the attitude of, “being in this world, but not of it”. Being in the middle of the pendulum, finding our inner balance. Learning to not get too attached to anything, because as life shows us, things do and will swing in the other direction.
One moment you are on top of the world, sitting on piles of money, and a few years later the stock market collapses and takes your nest egg with it. Learn to enjoy this roller-coaster ride called life. There is a lesson in everything if you look close enough.
What can we do to thrive in times of great uncertainty?
- Remain calm: First we need to remain calm. When we are too attached to things, both inwardly and outwardly, we will inevitably react when the pendulum swings and things change. From a calm state of being, we can be objective enough to respond in the most beneficial way in the moment. Reacting we are slaves, responding we are in control of ourselves. To develop a calm state of being, of consciousness it is important that we cultivate a daily ritual of meditation, of quite time. A time for us to really ponder the essential aspects of our lives. Really pondering something happens on a higher plane of thinking. Most people now a day’s just function from a purely associative, mechanical way of thinking. As you increase your self-awareness you realize that your are able to entertain both sides of the pendulum. Most people are either yes or no, but in life many situations are both yes and no, and this requires an inwardly flexible way of perceiving things. What we typically call love and hate are two sides of the same coin, we just always choose to be identified with only one side of the coin, and are caught off guard when that love suddenly turns to hate. Learning to see and integrate both sides of the coin in everything we avoid many disillusions, frustrations and deceptions.
- Get educated: We live in very exciting technological times. You don’t need to go to a University to educate yourself. If you can’t afford to go to a University, you need to create a self-directed curriculum. With the internet you have no excuse of why you can’t educate yourself. You can find free quality online courses at places like coursera.org. Of course don’t forget to pursue the most important knowledge of all, which is knowing Thyself.
- Be resourceful: When times get tough, you need to learn how to adapt to your situations by exploring all the potential opportunities all around you. If you have stayed disciplined and learned to develop a calm state of being, and continually educated yourself, you will have no problem learning to be resourceful. When times are good, it is easy to take for granted many things we fail to see as assets. If you don’t have a clear idea of what your talents are, ask your friends what are some of your greatest strengths. Take these strengths and brain storm all the ways you can leverage them to help you overcome any obstacles that arise. You don’t need to wait, or ask for any ones permission to start the process of improving your personal situation.
One of the biggest mistakes many of us make is that we always over-estimate others, and underestimate ourselves. Learn to question everything in your environment. This will help you to discover opportunities where others only see failure.
Remember that everything is a matter of perspective. How you perceive the world can change with right understanding and disciplined actions.
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