One of the aims of the work is to try and escape from the law of opposite, which requires self-knowledge, knowing all sides of yourself. In the ancient sacred temple of Delphi there were two inscriptions: Know thyself, which implies self-knowledge including becoming conscious of the opposites in oneself; and Nothing too much, which means that once he knows himself, man must not go to extremes. So if you are too far to the right, you must go left.
Firstly, it is necessary to see what puts you into opposites, for example vanity which may say `Thank God I’m not like him/her’. Clearly this is one-sided, and here we are identified with the best sides of ourselves. But if you can see both your good side and your bad side, then you begin to be conscious of opposites at the same time. We should try to see pendula in ourselves and in life, and not identify with them.
If you look at the pendulum swinging you will see that it covers the same ground, backwards and forwards. At different times it will be at the same point as before but moving in the reverse direction. We can see this in ourselves, for example, we are angry and becoming calm, or calm and becoming angry. The work says we are most asleep when the pendulum is passing the mid-point. Here it is moving fastest. So we live at the extreme ends of the pendulum swing and do not know what is in the middle.
If we could retain full consciousness right through the swing we would not just remember the extremes, but also catch sight of a third factor in the middle, namely Real I.
By knowing how not to identify with the opposites, for example, not regarding ourselves as good or bad, not priding ourselves on being the best, not thinking we are well or badly treated, our center of gravity is not pulled one side or the other, and we get into a position between the opposites. It is important to get here because only between the opposites lie the possibilities of growth.
The work teaches that there are three forces in every manifestation—a first or active force, a second or passive force, and a third or neutralizing force. The third force lies between the opposites and is represented visually as the midpoint of the pendulum swing. If you do not identify with the opposites, you do not put your feeling of I into them and thus the feeling of I moves to the center. This is where real I is which comes from a higher level. The point where we can start to become more free lies between the opposite in the middle of the pendulum swing and by self-remembering we begin to approach this place, for only in this state can `help’ reach us.
So, it can be said that self-observation is trying to be in third force and that non-identifying is trying not to be in the two opposite forces. When we try to act from extremes and say `This is too much’ we can only expect the usual action-reaction work of the opposites, for example: `I’m first, now you’re first, now I’m first’ etc. There is no solution in this. To reach anything like solutions we have to move in one direction a short way but then move in the opposite direction a short way until we get into the middle. This is very difficult.
But in this way you can reach third force—that is the real meaning, and so the solution.