A Measured Motion
Law of Neutralisation
Law of Compensation
Pain Before Pleasure
Rhythm In Life
Return to:Cover of Book 8
Ardue Site Plan
See also:Chapter X
There is always an action and reaction, a rising and a sinking, manifested in all of the airs and phenomena of the Universe. Suns, worlds, men, animals, plants, minerals, forces, energy, mind, matter, yes — even Spirit — manifest this Principle. The Principle manifests in the creation and destruction of worlds, in the rise and fall of nations, in the life history of all things, and in the mental states of Man.
Beginning with the manifestations of Spirit — of THE ALL — it will be noticed that there is ever the Outpouring and the Indrawing — the "outbreathing and inbreathing of Brahma" as the Brahmins word it. Universes [cosmoses! — Ed.] are created, reach their extreme low point of materiality, and then begin their upward swing. Suns spring into being and, when their height of power has been reached, the process of retrogression begins; after aeons, they become dead masses of matter, awaiting another impulse which re-starts their inner energies into activity and a new solar life cycle is begun. And thus it is with all the worlds: they are born, grow, and die only to be reborn. And thus it is with all things of shape and form: they swing from action to reaction, from birth to death, from activity to inactivity — and then back again. So also it is with all living things: they are born, grow, and die — and then are reborn. So it is with all great movements, philosophies, creeds, fashions, governments, nations, and all else. They cycle through birth, growth, maturity, decadence, death — and then new birth. The swing of the pendulum is ever in evidence.
Night follows day, and day night. The pendulum swings from summer to winter, and then back again. The corpuscles, atoms, molecules, and all masses of matter swing around the circle of their nature. There is no such thing as absolute rest or cessation from movement, and all movement partakes of rhythm. The principle is of universal application. It may be applied to any question or phenomenon of any of the many planes of life. It may be applied to all phases of human activity. There is always the rhythmic swing between one pole and the other. The Universal Pendulum is ever in motion. The Tides of Life flow in and out according to Law.
All individuals who have attained any degree of self-mastery accomplish this more or less unknowingly, and apply the Law of Neutralisation by refusing to allow their moods and negative mental states to affect them. The Master, however, carries this to a much higher degree of proficiency, and by the use of his Will he attains a degree of Poise and Mental Firmness almost impossible of belief on the part of those who allow themselves to be swung backward and forward by the mental pendulum of moods and feelings.
The importance of this will be appreciated by any thinking person who realises what creatures of moods, feelings and emotion the majority of people are, and how little mastery of themselves they manifest. If you will stop and consider a moment, you will realise how much these swings of Rhythm have affected you in your life — how a period of enthusiasm has invariably been followed by an opposite feeling and mood of depression. Likewise, your moods and periods of courage have been succeeded by periods of fear. And so it has ever been with the majority of persons — tides of feeling have ever risen and fallen with them, but they have never suspected the cause of the mental phenomenon. An understanding of the workings of this Principle will provide the key to the Mastery of these rhythmic swings of feeling, and will enable the student to know himself better and to avoid being carried away by these inflows and outflows. The Will is superior to the conscious manifestation of the Principle and we may escape its effects, although the Principle itself can never be destroyed. The pendulum ever swings, although we may escape being carried along with it.
The Law of Compensation is that the swing in one direction determines the swing in the opposite direction or towards the opposite pole: the one counterbalances the other. We see many examples of this Law on the physical plane. The pendulum of the clock swings a certain distance to the right, and then an equal distance to the left. The seasons balance each other in a similar way. The tides follow the same Law. And the same Law is manifested in all the phenomena of Rhythm. The pendulum with only a short swing in one direction has but a short swing in the other, while a long swing to the right invariably means a long swing to the left. An object hurled upward to a certain height has an equal distance to travel on its return to earth. The force with which a projectile is propelled upwards is reproduced when the projectile returns to earth on its return. This Law is constant on the physical plane, as confirmed by the standard authorities.
But the Hermetists carry it still further. They teach that a man's mental states are subject to the same Law. The man who enjoys keenly is subject to keen suffering, while he who feels but little pain is capable of feeling but little joy. The pig suffers but little mentally, and enjoys but little: he is compensated. On the other hand, there are other animals which enjoy keenly, but whose nervous system and temperament cause them to suffer exquisite degrees of pain. And so it is with Man. There are temperaments which permit of but low degrees of enjoyment and equally low degrees of suffering, while there are others which permit the most intense enjoyment, but also the most intense suffering. The rule is that the capacities for pain and pleasure, in each individual, are balanced. The Law of Compensation is in full operation here.
The Hermetists regard the chain of lives as continuous, and as forming a part of one life of the individual, which makes it possible to regard the rhythmic swing in this way, whereas it would be without meaning unless the truth of reincarnation were admitted.
But the Hermetists claim that the Master or advanced student is able, to a great degree, to escape the swing toward pain by the process of Neutralisation previously mentioned. By rising on to the higher plane of the Ego, much of the experience that comes to those dwelling on the lower plane is avoided.