Individualism draws people to separate themselves in order to blend into the masses.
The Pendulum Effect is an enduring feature of Western Societies
In the west we are familiar with how seasons turn and times change.
- The economy undergoes “Bear” periods of stagnation followed by “Bull” stimuli.
- Political environments swing wildly from ultra conservative to super liberal.
- Within society, social consciousness movements reach periodic pinnacles of fervor, followed by an era of good feelings.
- Fashion and clothing styles swing from bearded homegrown, to clean-shaven formal attire, to stubbly Punk grunge, and then back home.
- In the Church, religious revivals sweep from laissez-faire licentiousness, to guilt trips, to smart practicality, and then back to hedonism.
- After young people graduate from high school, they soon leave home, often to travel, attend college, or find a job. They also leave the church. They do their own thing for a decade or so. Eventually, they settle down and have children, and then they return to church. This is a stereotypical pattern that has existed in Christian churches of the West. This has gone on for as long as I can remember, at least since the 1970’s, and probably much earlier than that.
- We even have a cycle of generations having the archetypes of Heroes, Prophets, Artists, and Nomads, as researched by Strauss et al. (Click on link for more.) These are more popularly known as successive, self-naming generations, the Boomers, Xers, Millennials, and so on.
This oscillating movement of social trends from one extreme to the other is a phenomenon commonly referred to as the Pendulum Effect.
I’ve often wondered why these patterns must exist.
Why is the West so uniquely WEIRD?
Several years ago, I had the notion that the Pendulum Effect was related to Christendom, but I could not identify how.
Over the summer, I studied the topic of Consanguinity in Modern European History (2020 August 28). The authors of the original research concluded that the church had “created” individualism by forbidding consanguineous unions. At the time, I didn’t see strong evidence for this claim, and concluded that it was a conjectured theory. But if it’s true, then it would explain why individuality is associated with Christendom.
But in fact, Individualism is incompatible with traditional Christianity.
After I started traveling around Asia, I found that most young adults accompany their families to go to the temple and to participate in other regular cultural and religious traditions.
After living abroad for many years, I have been amused to discover that there are no such pendulum swings in east Asia as there are in the West. Younger Generations live in harmony with preceding Generations. They share the family wealth and other resources as needed.
Yes, there are social movements, but these all call for a return to Common Sense and the common welfare of everyone, not just a select group. There is seldom any violence.
Yes, there are political movements, but none of it becomes too serious unless there has been an egregious abuse of power and a full Revolution is afoot, but this is a rare moment in history.
Yes, there are fashion trends but they are focused on exuding a fresh, bright newness rather than stunning novelty, and this tends to be confined to the middle class. Furthermore, there is no risqué challenge to the frontier of what would be considered morally appropriate and socially acceptable, as is typical of the West. There are some people who do dress provocatively, but this is associated with their social identity as one who likes to live on the edge, not as a stratagem in the SMP or as an attempt to be popular. Instead, the Eastern version of popularity is largely determined by how capable and responsible one is, and how well one can get along with others.
This is not to say that there is no individuality in the East. In fact, all manner of individuality is tolerated as long as it is the authentic truth of who the person is, deep in the heart. It is thought that everyone’s personal uniqueness must be accepted and cannot be argued with nor fought against. But in the West, there are only certain genres of individuality that are considered acceptable, and people are expected to conform to these anti-karyotypes in order to be popular. Actually, this is not true individuality at all, because it requires that everyone’s soul be stuffed into a mold of social and psychological conformity that is ominously prescribed by personal philosophy, education, and the media.
After reading RP authors for a while, especially Brett Stevens  and Ed Hurst , I’ve let go of the notion that the Pendulum Effect is somehow rooted in Christianity. I’ve come to see that it’s more of an embodiment of Western Individualism.
Why does the West cling so stubbornly to the
Religion Rebellion of Individuality?
Brett Stevens wrote an excellent description of Individualism.
“Individualism states that the natural order is not important, and that the individual should come first before all else. The whims, desires, judgments, feelings and impulses of the individual are more important than any other order, including civilization, nature, or the divine. Individualism became the dogma of the West with The Enlightenment,™ the Renaissance,™ and the rise of egalitarian thought (ideologies dedicated to human equality, which means “no one can be sent away”) centuries ago.” 
The spirit of individualism is that which tempts people to separate themselves, to withdraw from common sense, to fall under the spell of the egotistical self, to chant the party line, and to disrupt longitudinal social stability and order, all done in order for one to blend acceptably into the grey masses as a socially shining star and a spiritually dead cipher – and still feel gooed about it!
The periodic oscillation of political, social, and fashion trends is an evil spiritual influence that upsets both the peace within the human soul and the shalom of a society. The stronghold of this oscillation lies in the western focus on individuality – radical liberalism, egalitarianism, the glorification of the individual, the intense elevation and favor of special interest groups, and the self-perceived triumph of continual self-styled rebellion.
Repent ye therefore, from the witchcraft of Individualism. Pray that your personal oscillation shall come to a standstill, so that your soul may find peace and rest.
- Amerika (Brett Stevens): Solipsism (2020 September 6)
- Do What’s Right: Covenants 02 (2020 September 6)
- Amerika (Brett Stevens): Understanding Individualism (2017 July 9)
- Amerika (Brett Stevens): Inversion = Equality = Individualism (2016 October 4)
- Amerika (Brett Stevens): Inner Self As The Opposite Of Individualism (2016 October 27)
- Amerika (Brett Stevens): Leftism Is Egalitarianism Which Is Individualism (2019 June 16)
- If Only Even One (Todd Pearson): American Individualism and the Death of Christian Community (2020 April 15)
- Amerika (Edgar Tru): Radical Individualism And The Extremist View Of The Self (2020 August 4)