At the level of waking sleep, humanity is at the effect of circumstances and events, swinging between opposites, alternating between liking and disliking, happiness and despair, hunger and satiety, birth and death, etc.  There is no consciousness from one side to the other, no recognition of the pattern of mechanical reactions and negativity.  Sometimes pendulum swings are small in both scope and time and sometimes they are extreme in both level of identification and cycles of time between the poles.  As Work students, we are invited to become conscious of the opposites in ourselves and not trust them – not identify with them.


“[The pendulum depicts that] mood swings are inevitable …. The moral is twofold: first, it is habitual for us to take the easiest course and, second, we cannot hold onto a state for long … ”
– Beryl Pogson, Brighton Work Talks


“Why is it so important to get somewhere into the center of the pendulum and not swing to and fro? Because here, between the opposites, lie all the possibilities of growth.  Here influences from higher levels reach us. Here, in this place where one can feel one’s own nothingness and where one is therefore free from contradictions, influences and meanings coming from higher centers, which have no contradictions, can be felt. Not regarding yourself as good or bad, not priding yourself on being just or otherwise, not thinking you are well-treated or badly treated, not being caught by either movement through identifying, you come into this mid-position.”
– Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “The Opposites, Part IV,” September 13, 1943, Vol. 1, p. 329


Real I lies at the center of the pendulum.