The Pendulum Error

Roland Stahl
October, 2023

There are lots of logical fallacies which are very interesting and which cause endless error.  I think everyone should take a course in elementary logic, because there are quite a number of common fallacies, and it is helpful to see them all clearly categorized, so they are easier to recognize.  One very common fallacy is mistaking a part for the whole, or making a general conclusion from a particular event.

But the error I want to discuss today is the Pendulum Error.  What happens is that something is discovered to be very wrong ~ way out of bounds ~ but then the reaction is to make an equivalent and equal reaction, just as far away from the center as the first one was, but on the opposite pole.  It is just like the swing of a pendulum.  The pendulum at rest remains still, pointing straight down to the center of the earth.  When the pendulum’s rest is disturbed, and it goes to an extreme at the limit of its range (which may increase or decrease), then it has a pent-up energy to rush to the other extremity of the pendulum’s swing.  Think Republicans and Democrats, or any other analogy you care to think of.

Now I think about the current news ~ the fighting back of the Palestinians against the unrelenting genocide of the State of Israel against them.  The pendulum I am thinking about here is the extremely horrible events of the Jewish Holocaust, and the hardly less horrific Armenian Genocide of 1915, which happened earlier, and in which a larger percentage of the whole Armenian people were killed during the 1915 genocide than that of the Jews who were killed under Hitler.

So now I see that what is happening in the State of Israel and Palestine is the relentless turning of the screw in pursuance of the Final Solution of the Palestinian Problem.  It is a mirror image of what happened to the Jews under Hitler.  It almost seems as if they are unaware of the massive irony of the situation, in the way that the negative energy is propagated forward.  [Red/Purple aura: Boss complains of his employee, employee nags at his wife, wife harasses her son, boy kicks his dog, dog chases the cat, the cat chases the mouse, and the mouse eats the cheese (as in bites the dust).  Another variation (Orange aura) is Hatfields attack McCoys; McCoys attack Hatfields; Hatfields attack McCoys; McCoys attack Hatfields; repetatur ad infinitum.]

Such an attitude is not without precedent in the histories of the world.  It was just recently pointed out to me that when white settlers first came onto the shores of the North American continent, the number of native people living there was about ten million.  But then, at the end of the Indian wars, their numbers had been reduced to about half a million.

In every case, we are talking about activity along the very bottom rung of the consciousness ladder ~ the violence of Red opposed to the oppression of Purple, struggling just above the Black of death.  Why is this happening all over the earth?  It is the self-perpetuating cycle of anger, oppression, and death as our planet tumbles into chaos.

This is the Pendulum Error, the error of sharpeners to separate the extremes of any polarity.  It leads inexorably to warfare and annihilation and chaos.  ~ not particularly useful in today’s world of cascading catastrophes, as our planet proceeds on its path to being uninhabitable, at least for human beings.  It seems that the pendulum error is the source of the energy tearing our world apart.  It is a vicious cycle.  The faster the earth falls apart, due to pollution, deforestation, over fishing, over mining, over oil and gas extraction, while leaving behind piles of toxic waste, the more the sharpeners are motivated to ratchet up the rate at which they increase the separation between rich and poor, us and them.  And the more that happens, the faster the world falls apart.

So, the solution to this problem would not be to stop all that sharpening, and move in a steadily levelling direction towards the center ~ that would be to commit again the very pendulum error under discussion !  The solution is to moderate the rate of sharpening to within that optimum range at which the polarities of the sharpeners produce positive evolutionary growth, rather than the reverse, which would be the descent into chaos and death.  The polarities of sharpening and levelling should be in balance, as any good Taoist philosopher could tell you.

If today’s rulers would learn the Way of Heaven, then all would be well.  That maxim comes from China, but the rulers of China don’t seem to know it any better than anyone else.  Perhaps they should read again their own classics.

tree@tree.org

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