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I've seen the pendulum is widely used as an illustration for finding a neutral, balance point between the extremes. Its movement is also periodic which shares the same characteristic with samsara. It seems that the allusions are mostly used in Taoism text, but one can see it in this site too. I think that it may be hard to find (if not possible) in the sutra, as pendulum is more well known in the West. But I've seen it and the swing used in poems influenced by Zen in my language (Vietnamese) to describe mood changing.

So is there a viewpoint of Buddhism over the pendulum? Any references, even personal opinion is fine, but it should depict the philosophy of Buddhism within in.

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  • Where have you seen it widely used as an illustration of "finding a balance" (it doesn't seem to me a fortunate analogy, since a pendulum mindlessly oscillates from one extreme to another without cessation)? Also I guess I wouldn't expect to find it used as an analogy in the suttas, since it's not a well-known everyday common object. – ChrisW May 18 '18 at 10:21
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    It seems that it mostly uses by in Taoism text, but one can see it in this site also. Yes I agree that it may be hard to find (if not possible) in the sutra, as pendulum is more well known in the West. But I've seen it and the swing used in poems influenced by Zen in my language (Vietnamese) to describe mood changing – Ooker May 18 '18 at 11:08
  • This seems too vague a question to answer. Are you looking for references where Buddha spoke about a pendulum? Looking for people just to comment on how pendulum can be viewed as analogy to samsara? Please try to make the question a little more specific to what you are looking for as an acceptable answer... – Yeshe Tenley May 18 '18 at 16:30
  • @YesheTenley "Let's hear everyone's opinion about it" does seem too vague a question (i.e. that would be like a "polling question" where every answer is equally valid) -- I assumed I shouldn't answer it with my own opinion and that the OP is looking for some/any reference(s) to any previously-published view(s). – ChrisW May 18 '18 at 16:54
  • @YesheTenley I've updated the question. Is it better? – Ooker May 19 '18 at 3:50
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The only thing I heard about pendulum in Buddhism was a metaphor used by my first teacher. He said, in the past people used to fluctuate, like a pendulum, between being extremely spiritual in one life and extremely materialistic in another life. He said, in ancient times the pendulum swung a lot slower, maybe over the course of 50 lives. But in our times, the pendulum is so fast that it is effectively in a quantum state - in both extremes at the same time. This is why, he said, now it is appropriate and even desirable to be both spiritual and successful in the world.

Never heard of any other mention of pendulum in any Buddhist context.

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