Consider two images: first, a golden spiral staircase winding gently upwards toward the heavens, signifying positive growth and increasing degrees of enlightenment. The second image: a monochrome, metallic pendulum swinging back and forth interminably, arriving nowhere.
Now then, which image do you prefer as a Life Metaphor: the Golden Spiral or the Pendulum?
As I grow older, witness to the play of history over nearly seven decades, I can recognize how sociopolitical changes—the so-called March of History—pattern more as a dualistic, polarizing pendulum swing, rather than as a spiral of real progress or advancement.
I prefer the Golden Spiral as a metaphor for personal growth in my own life. Yet if I am reflecting objectively, I recognize both spirals and pendulum swings in my own life patterns. With regard to diet, for instance: While I aim for my eating to be well informed by health concerns so as to reflect a positive learning curve, it is so easy for me to ‘fall back’ into negative habits. After losing over 40 lbs. on a low carb diet and keeping to that discipline for over three years, for instance, gradually I have been allowing more sweets (and ten more lbs.). Yesterday I threw out a whole (new) bag of candy and chocolate that my negative-pendulum ‘kid in a candy store’ self had procured at a rustic General Store the day before. Throwing the candy away was my effort to shift back to the Spiral rather than succumbing to the ‘old,’ habit-oriented pendulum swing.
On the ‘other hand’ (hmm), I practice daily contemplation and dream study to focus on personal growth. ‘Better endings’ has been a catchword, for me, for applying a positive, growth-oriented mindset based on my personal life goals.
Lately in all honesty I have found witnessing the pendulum swings of sociopolitical events to be disheartening, because it does not appear to bode well for our collective ‘better endings’ over time. However, who’s to say what karmic currents need to play themselves out in this all-too-physical arena?
What we CAN do (what I CAN do) is to attend to our own individual choices and commitments, to actualize personal growth and awareness in our own lives. This is where a mindset of forging ‘better endings’ can help us to fulfill our personal destinies and live our own dreams, regardless of external conditions.