Principle 3 Well Timed Action - week 3

Principle 3, Third week

Principle of Well Timed Action
This week we continue with our meditations on “The Principle of Well-Timed Action”. It says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.” It can be found with the other Principles of Valid Action in chapter Xlll of the book “The Inner Look”, by Silo.


cat perspective
Waiting patiently for the dog to get bored and depart


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Principle 3 Well Timed Action - week 2

Principle 3, Second week

Principle of Well Timed Action — Week 2
This week we continue with our meditations on “The Principle of Well-Timed Action”. It says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.” It can be found with the other Principles of Valid Action in chapter Xlll of the book “The Inner Look”, by Silo.

princ3
By Rafael Edwards


 

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Principle of Action & Reaction 2

Principle of Valid Action 2. Second week
This week we are continuing with our considerations about principle #2 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is called the “The Principle of Action and Reaction” and says: “When you force something towards an end you produce the contrary.


principle 2 old colour
Rafael Edwards

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Principle 2 Action & Reaction 1

Principle 2, First week
   This month we will take as a subject of meditation #2 from chapter 13 of the book (
The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Action and Reaction” it says: When you force something towards an end you produce the contrary.”

principle 2 new cropped
Rafael Edwards

This Week
We’ll start by focusing on the general structure and implications of the principle. This week’s meeting will give us an opportunity to discuss our thoughts, doubts, questions, and insights about this principle. As always we should remember the
Principles are not meant as isolated bits of wisdom, any more than they’re meant to form a conventional moral code. Rather, they are part of a dynamic meditation, the rudiments of a discipline that you can practice in every moment of your life. They are principles, general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life, aimed in a particular direction.

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Principle 1 Adaptation 4

Principle 1. Fourth Week
This week we will continue with the first of the principles of valid action, also called  “The Principle of
Adaptation”. It is drawn from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look), and tells us that: “To go against the evolution of things is to go against yourself.” 


In the previous three weeks we focused on the general structure and implications of the principle and investigated how this principle played out (or didn't) in our past. As well we looked at how we might apply this principle in our current situations. This week we look at what we think the future may hold and how this principle might be applied.



A video about this months principle. From Rafael Edwards and friends (credits follow video).



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Principle 1 Adaptation 3

Principle 1. Third Week
This week we will continue with the first of the principles of valid action, also called  “The Principle of
Adaptation”. It is drawn from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look), and tells us that: “To go against the evolution of things is to go against yourself.” 


In the previous two weeks we focused on the general structure and implications of the principle and investigated how this principle played out (or didn't) in our past. This week we turn to considering how I might apply this principle in my current situations. What are the pressures, challenges, or difficulties that I face? How might this principle apply? What light does it shed on these circumstances? How might it change things and so on? Equally I might consider what the consequences might be of misapplying or ignoring it? 

Is the cat walking down or up the stairs?

unknown

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Principle 1 Adaptation 1


Principle 1. First Week
Since we are looking at one principle a month, we start the cycle of reflection all over this week — beginning the new year with the first of the principles of valid action. Also called  “The Principle of
Adaptation” it is drawn from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It says: “To go against the evolution of things is to go against yourself.” 

hatching

We’ll start by focusing on the general structure and implications of the principle. This week’s meeting will give us an opportunity to discuss our thoughts, doubts, questions, and insights about this principle. As always we should remember the Principles are not meant as isolated bits of wisdom, any more than they’re meant as a conventional moral code. Rather, they are part of a dynamic meditation, the rudiments of a discipline that you can practice in every moment of your life. They are principles, general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life, aimed in a particular direction.

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Principle 12 Accumulation 4

Principle 12. Fourth Week
This week we continue our reflections on principle #12, “The Principle of Accumulating Actions” which says: “
Contradictory and unifying acts accumulate within you. If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.” 
 


escher birds

M.C. Escher

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Principle 12 Accumulation 3

Principle 12. Third Week
This week we continue our reflections on principle #12, “The Principle of Accumulating Actions” which says: “If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.” This week’s meeting will give us an opportunity to discuss thoughts, doubts, and insights into how we might apply this principle to our current situation.

In my reflections
I’ll focus on discovering at least one situation where my old habits and accumulated failures might demoralize me. Then I will consider at least one situation where I can try to change my accumulated habits by doing something(s) in a new way.

Footprint

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Principle 12 Accumulation 2

Principle 12, Second Week
This week we continue our reflections on principle #12, “The Principle of Accumulating Actions” which says: “If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.” This weeks meeting will give us an opportunity to discuss what we’ve learned so far about how we applied, or could have applied this idea in the past. Can I notice how even small steps accumulate and form a direction in my life. For example, can I recognize how laying down the beginnings of a new habit could have changed a later outcome. Among other things, our weekly meetings give us an opportunity to compare notes, discoveries, questions, etc., about the principles.

Everyone has their own way of approaching these principles. I like to
take a look at the principle we are considering, and over the week I’ll try to discover at least one situation where I allowed old habits and small failures to accumulate and demoralize me. Then I will consider how, for at least one situation, I might have change this by doing some small things in a new way, with the intention of creating new habits and extending them to more situations and bigger things.

principle 12 illustration

Rafael Edwards

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Principle 12 Accumulation 1

Principle 12, First Week
This week we begin our reflections on principle #12, “The Principle of Accumulating Actions” which says: “If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.


Since this is our first go at the principle this note will centre on a kind of overview of the principle. Among other things, our weekly meetings give us an opportunity to compare notes, discoveries, questions, etc. about the principles.

Everyone has their own way of approaching these principles. I like to
take a look at the principle we are considering, and over the first week I try to discover at least one situation where I allowed small failures to accumulate and demoralize me. Then I look for at least one situation where I can recognize that small efforts added up, or could add up, resulting in my being able to do something larger.


12a

Rafael Edwards

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Principle 11 Opposites 5, The Faction of Humanity

Principle 11, fifth week
This month we are focusing on principle #11 It is also called “The Principle of the Negation of Opposites” it says:


“It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.”

color_wheel

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Principle 11 Opposites 4 and a movie!

Principle 11, fourth week
This month we are focusing on principle #11 It is also called “The Principle of the Negation of Opposites” it says:


“It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.”

Over the last three weeks we looked at some general impressions about this principle how we could have applied it in the past, and how we might apply in the present. This week we’ll turn to how we might apply it in the present and future.


I find the best way to approach these kind of considerations is concretely — personally my approach is pretty simple, I’ll take a look at the principle and try to discover at least one situation where applying it could make a difference in the outcome (or my understanding) of unfolding events.

silo junkyard

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Principle 11 Opposities 3 and our meeting

Principle 11, second week
This month we are focusing on principle #11 It is also called “The Principle of the Negation of Opposites” it says:

Tumblr-Two-HeadedMonster

“It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.”

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Principle 11 Opposites 2

Principle 11, second week
This month we are focusing on principle #11 It is also called “The Principle of the Negation of Opposites” it says: “It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.”

Last week we looked at some general impressions about this principle. This week we’ll focus on how we could have applied it in the past. In following weeks we’ll turn to how we might apply it in the present and future.


I find the best way to approach these kind of considerations is concretely — that means that this week I’ll take a look at the principle and try to discover at least one situation where applying the principle made or could have made a difference in the outcome of events, or at least how I felt about that outcome.

rabbit-duck

This is the “rabbit-duck” it’s an ambiguous image that became widely known through the philosopher Wittgenstein’s use of it in his book Philosophical Investigations. He used it as an illustration in a discussion about seeing.

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Principle 11 Opposites 1

Principle 11, first week
This month we are focusing on principle #11 It is also called “The Principle of the Negation of Opposites” it says: “It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.”

This week well look at some overall impressions about this principle. In the next weeks we’ll at how we could have applied it in the past, and how we might apply it in the present and future.

For me, that means that this week I’ll take a look at the principle and try to discover at least one situation where it was or would be applicable.

Point%20of%20View

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Principle 10 Solidarity 4

Principle 10, fourth week
This month we are focusing on principle #10. It is also called “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”

In previous weeks we have looked at the structure of the principle, and how we could have applied it in the past, and in the present.
This week we turn to how it might apply to situations we believe we could face in the future.

capuchin monkeys

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Principle 10 Solidarity 3

Principle 10, third week
This month we are focusing on principle #10. It is also called “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.” 

In previous weeks we have looked at the structure of the principle, and how it was, or could have been applied in the past. This week we turn to examples from the present. We will try to clarify issues around, and strategies to perfect, how we use this principle in particular and all the Principles of Valid Action in general.

Principle 10 new
Rafael Edwards

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Principle 10 Solidarity 2

Principle 10, second week
This month we are focusing on principle #10. It is also called “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”

At this week’s meeting our focus will be on examples from the past. We will try to clarify issues around and strategies for applying this principle. In the following weeks we’ll emphasize understanding our present situation in light of this idea and finally we’ll turn to considering what all this might mean in foreseeable future scenarios.


cat and dog

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Principle 10 Solidarity 1

Principle 10, first week
This month we are focusing on principle #10. It is also called “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”

Like Houdini
american-school-portrait-of-harry-houdini-in-chains-c-1900
Liberate Yourself

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Principle 9 Liberty 4

Principle 9, fourth week
This week’s principle is  #9, The Principle of Liberty” it says: “When You Harm Others You Remain Enchained, But If You Do Not Harm Anyone You May Freely Do Whatever You Want”.

unchained


First time here? Then you should know…

Every month we focus one of the 12
Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. 


We take the time to think and talk about each principle, not just in order to understand it in itself, but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. These principles, or guidelines, or however you think of them, are elements that we can form into a discipline which can be practiced at every moment and in every circumstance. They are a kind of dynamic meditation. With time and application these efforts will give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction.  Our goal is to weave these general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.

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Principle 9 Liberty 3

Principle 9, third week
This week’s principle is  #9, The Principle of Liberty” it says: “When You Harm Others You Remain Enchained, But If You Do Not Harm Anyone You May Freely Do Whatever You Want”.

Homer trimmed jpeg

First time here? Then you should know…
Every month we focus one of the 12
Principles of Valid Action. These acan be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. 


We take the time to think and talk about each principle, not just in order to understand it in itself, but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. These principles, or guidelines, or however you think of them are elements that we can form into a discipline which can be practiced at every moment and in every circumstance. They are a kind of dynamic meditation. With time and application these efforts will give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction.  Our goal is to weave these general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.

Coming up:
Last week we reflected on how we applied it or could have applied this principle in the past, and what the consequences were, or might have been. This week we’ll focus on how we are applying, (or could apply) this principle in the present moment. The fourth week we’ll explore how we have might apply it in the future. 

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Principle 9 Liberty 2

Principle 9, second week
This week’s principle is  #9, 
The Principle of Liberty” it says: “When You Harm Others You Remain Enchained, But If You Do Not Harm Anyone You May Freely Do Whatever You Want”.
I find this principle an easy one to relate to since looking back at my life so far almost the only things I feel bad about, or would change, are situations where (intentionally or not) I hurt others. Even when these events took place so long ago that I almost feel they happened to someone else, after all this time, I feel enchained to those situations.

Capuchin-monkey-fairness-test
Why the picture of this monkey? Read on…

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Principle 9 Liberty 1

Principle 9, first week
I find this principle astoundingly audacious. I love how, with a small handful of words, it challenges me, not only to rethink my ideas about morality, and ethics but also my relationship to others, the world, and myself. Another exciting thing is how it raises all these issues about the principles themselves, their purpose, how to use them, etc. That’s a lot of stuff — on top of the practical wisdom present by the principle even reading it in the simplest terms. Why do I say all this? I’ll try to clarify that a bit in the current document, and in the following weeks. For now let’s recap for those unfamiliar with what all the fuss is about.

First time here? Then you should know…
Every month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These acan be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. This week’s principle is #9, The Principle of Liberty” it says: “When You Harm Others You Remain Enchained, But If You Do Not Harm Anyone You May Freely Do Whatever You Want”.

Principles 9 new
Rafael Edwards


We take the time to think and talk about each principle, not just in order to understand it in itself, but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. These principles, or guidelines, or however you think of them are elements that we can form into a discipline which can be practiced at every moment and in every circumstance. They are a kind of dynamic meditation. With time and application these efforts will give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction. Our goal is to weave these general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.

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Principle 8 Comprehended Action 5

Principle 8, fifth week
 
The “vagaries” of the calendar mean that not every year has 365 days and not every month has 4 weeks. So this is one of those months when we get an extra week to think about our chosen principle.

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Priniciple 8 Comprehended Action 4

Principle 8, fourth week
 
Every month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. This week’s
Principle is  #8, “The Principle of Comprehended Action, it says: “You Will Make Your Conflicts Disappear When You Understand Them In Their Ultimate Root, Not When You Want To Resolve Them”.

principle 8 variant

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Principle 8 Comprehended Action 3

Principle 8, third week
 
Every month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. This week’s
Principle is  #8, “The Principle of Comprehended Action, it says: “You Will Make Your Conflicts Disappear When You Understand Them In Their Ultimate Root, Not When You Want To Resolve Them”.

A few weeks ago we looked at the overall idea of this principle. Our focus last week was on how it applied in the present. This week it is on how the principle applied in past situations.  

contradicition

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Principle 8 Comprehended Action 2

Principle 8, second week
Every month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. This week’s
Principle is  #8, “The Principle of Comprehended Action, it says: “You Will Make Your Conflicts Disappear When You Understand Them In Their Ultimate Root, Not When You Want To Resolve Them”.


duckrabbit
So who’s right: those who see the duck or those who see the rabbit?

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Principle 8 Comprehended Action 1

Principle 8, first week

Every month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. This week’s Principle is #8, “The Principle of Comprehended Action, it says: “You Will Make Your Conflicts Disappear When You Understand Them In Their Ultimate Root, Not When You Want To Resolve Them”.

principle 8 new

Rafael Edwards

We take the time to think and talk about each principle, not just in order to understand it in itself, but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. These principles, or guidelines, or however you think of them are elements that we can form into a discipline which can be practiced at every moment and in every circumstance. They are a kind of dynamic meditation. With time and application these efforts will give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction. Our goal is to weave these general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.

In the next weeks we’ll look at how we applied, or could have applied, this principle in the past, how we apply this principle in the present moment, and how we have might apply it in the future. Here are some general considerations about this principle. In order to illustrate various aspects of the principles I’ve drawn ideas from conversations with various people, as well as from materials we created over the years. If I can know who to credit for these contributions I will.

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Principle 7 Immediate Action 4

Principle 7, fourth week
 
This week we continue with  “
The Principle of Immediate Action” says: “If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.” It is #7 in chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look).

Since we are revisiting the principles in the same order (i.e. one a month for 12 months) I am once again sending out a revised and updated version of the notes I sent out a year ago.  For the last few weeks we’ve been looking at the overall structure of this principle, how it applied in the past, and how it might be applied in the present. Speaking of applications in the present, one of the comments that came up in our weekly discussion that I found very interesting was about applying this principle to the internal work that we do, the meditation, relax, the experience of peace, work with the force, the ceremonies in general, etc. Trying to apply that insight proved immediately, and notably useful for a number of us. Our focus this week is on how we might use the Principle of Immediate Action  the future.  

Some Personal Reflections
My personal considerations in this note take a different turn. I hope they prove useful fodder for your own reflections. 

rat_race_by_coffeecookiecat-d6dqtw1

 

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Principle 7 Immediate Action 3


Last week we touched on addiction, neurophysiology and included pictures of brain scans. This week it’s etymologies, crafts and Tarot cards.

This month we are looking at “The Principle of Immediate Action”. It is listed as Principle #7 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It says: “If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.”

means to an end

Our focus this week is on how I applied, or could have applied the principle in in past situations. Next week we’ll look at how it might apply in the future.

Meanwhile here’s some personal considerations about this principle. I hope they prove useful in your own reflections.

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Principle 7 Immediate Action 2

Principle 7, second week

This month’s Principle is #7 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Immediate Action” it says: “If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.”

Our focus this week is how the principle applies in our present situation. Over the next weeks we’ll look at how I applied it or could have applied it in the past, how it might apply in my current situation, how I imagine it might in the future.

Here’s some personal considerations about this principle. I hope they prove useful in your own reflections. This week we turn to neurochemistry for a little inspiration.

130702_SCI_BrainScanDopamine.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large

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Principle 7 Immediate Action 1

Principle 7, first week

Each month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. The Principle we chose to consider this week is #7 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Immediate Action” it says: “If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.”

principle 7 new



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Principle 6 Pleasure 4

Principle 6, fourth week
 
The week we continue with our exploration of the
principle of pleasure, which  says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.”  This is Principle #6 of the Principles of Valid Action, from chapter 13 of Silo’s, The Inner Look

principle 6 new
Rafael Edwards

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Principle 6 Pleasure 3


Principle 6, third week

 
principle 6 new
Rafael Edwards

The week we continue with our exploration of the principle of pleasure, which says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.”  This is Principle #6 of the Principles of Valid Action, from chapter 13 of Silo’s, The Inner Look

donkey and carrot

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Principle 6 Pleasure 2

Principle 6, Second week

But before  we do that, just a reminder….
June 17-19, A number of our friends from Toronto will be going to Hudson Valley Park of Study and Reflection in NY for a workshop and a visit. Want to join us? Let me know if want more info.
 
The
principle of pleasure,  says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.”  Principle #6 of the Principles of Valid Action, from chapter 13 of Silo’s, The Inner Look

This week we continue with our ongoing practice of focusing on one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month. Over the next three weeks we considering various aspects of the
principle  of pleasure. It is interesting to remember that the key thing is that these principles, or guidelines, or however you think of them, is that they are elements that we can form into a discipline which can be practiced at every moment and in every circumstance. They are a kind of dynamic meditation. With time and application these efforts will give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction.  Our goal is to weave these general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.



pompei

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Principle 6 Pleasure 1

Principle 6, first week

We’ve been considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month. In the same way we’ll spend the next four weeks considering various aspects of principle #6 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called the principle of pleasure, it says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.”

principle 6 new

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Principle 5 Acceptance 4

Principle 5, fourth week

This week we are focusing on summarizing our thoughts on principle 5 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). This Principle of Valid Action is also called “The Principle of Acceptance ” it says: “If day and night summer and winter are well with you, you have surpassed the contradiction”

principle 5 new
Illustration by Rafael Edwards


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Principle 5 Acceptance 3

Principle 5, third week

Here’s a revised look at some ideas I circulated a year ago.

Each month we have been considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action, as they appear in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. This month we are considering principle  #5 called  “
The Principle of Acceptance ” it says: “If day and night summer and winter are well with you, you have surpassed the contradiction”. 



Earth-02-01-03


half-winter-half-summer

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Principle 5 Acceptance 2

Principle 5, second week

Each month we have been considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action, as they appear in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look.  The principles are not a list of “thou shall” or “thou shall nots” typical of moral or ethical guidelines. We have to keep in mind that the Principles are not meant as isolated bits of wisdom, any more than they’re meant as moral commandments. As it says in the chapter on the principles in The Inner Look:
It is not indifferent what you do with your life. Your life, subject to laws, is open to possibilities among which you can choose… …Thus, what-one-must-do does not depend upon distant, incomprehensible, and conventional morals, but upon laws: laws of life, of light, of evolution. 

This month we are considering principle  #5 called  “
The Principle of Acceptance ” it says: “If day and night summer and winter are well with you, you have surpassed the contradiction”

principle 5 illustration
Illustration by Rafael Edwards

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Principle 5 Acceptance 1

Principle 5, First Week
This week some wide-ranging thoughts as we begin our considerations of a new principle in our monthly rotation through the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These appear in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. This one is the fifth one and is sometimes called The Principle of Acceptance ” it says: “If day and night summer and winter are well with you, you have surpassed the contradiction”

principle 5 new
Illustration R. Edwards

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Principle 4 Proportion 4

This week I’m repeating an email I sent a year ago. If you didn’t have a chance to try out the exercise explained here you may find it interesting. If you’ve done it already you may find it even more interesting on repeating it so many months later. It’s a different, and perhaps more involved, approach to the weekly principle than what I usually post. If you try it out I’d be interested in comparing results. Let me know.

Continuing our “tradition” of considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month we are considering principle #4 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look) one more time (for this cycle). This principle is also referred to as, “The Principle of Proportion” it states: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

This week we focus on how I can apply this principle in the future. What follows are some personal reflections around that question. I offer them in the spirit of dialogue and exchange, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about, and experiences with, this principle.



principle-4-illustration

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Principle 4 Proportion 3

This week some practical considerations and personal thoughts — all in the context of our third week of reflection on The Principle of Proportion. This is Principle of Valid Action #4, from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It states: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

This week we focus on this principle in my present situation. What follows are some personal reflections around that rather open-ended theme. At this point it seems worth repeating that I send out these personal and unofficial considerations in the spirit of dialogue and exchange. Whether they complement or clash with my own I look forward to hearing your thoughts about, and experiences with, this principle.

priorities 1

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Update and Principle 4 Proportion 2

Besides these ongoing blog postings I occasionally post additional material on this site. Most recently a note entitled “Another Near Death Experience: The Three Pathways” you can find that here.

For those of you in Toronto attending our Wednesday get together can I suggest that you bring a friend with you? Perhaps someone you’d never normally invite to a meditation? Looking forward to seeing you (both!).

Principle 4, second week

We are continuing with our consideration of principle  #4 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). Also called  “The Principle of Proportion” it says: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

This week our meditations on this principle are focused on the past i.e on: how I applied, or could have applied, this principle.

Here’s some personal reflections. I offer them in the spirit of dialogue and exchange, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about, and experiences with, this principle.

Image1

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Principle 4 Proportion 1

Principle 4, first week

In keeping with our practice of considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month, we will spend the next four weeks considering various aspects of principle  #4 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Proportion” it says: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

unknown

Rafael Edwards

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Principle 3 Well Timed Action 5

Principle of Well Timed Action. Week 5

The Principle of Well-Timed Action” says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.” We’ve spent the last few weeks examining some of the implications of this principle. We’ve thought about how it applied to situations in our past, and how it could apply today, and in the future. What follows is a personal and more wide-ranging reflection on my own attempts to transform the principles from slogans to a way of facing life.

A personal confession:
Principles as Platitudes 
Some 40 years ago I was walking with a friend to a favourite bookshop. Just at the entrance was a notice board, posted among the announcements of things like, rooms for rent, cooking classes, and yoga courses was an odd looking sign. It consisted of a diagram indicating how certain ideas and experiences could interact resulting in new comprehensions. I didn’t really get it, but it caught my eye. Even more interesting to me was the list that followed under the heading “The Principles”. There I read those same principles of valid action that we reflect on each week. They seemed so simple and obvious, but also intriguing and somehow powerful. One of them seemed to speak to me most powerfully since it seemed to apply so well to a situation I needed to deal with.  It was subject of our current meditations the Principle of Well-Timed Action.

huxley platitudes

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Principle 3 Well Timed Action 4

Principle of Well Timed Action. Week 4

The Principle of Well-Timed Action” says: “
Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.” Over the last weeks we have considered how we understand this principle in particular and the principles in general, how this one applies in retrospect (or could have been applied to past events) and how it could be applied in my present circumstances. We’ve also discussed how one might go about a daily meditation on the theme, even to some details of what has proven best (for some of us) in terms of when and for how long such considerations should be carried out (see the notes for Principle 2 week 2). In the weekly meeting people have shared very interesting and insightful examples about situations as diverse as those at work, in relationships and in terms of personal “evolutionary work”.


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Principle 3 Well Timed Action 3

Principle of Well Timed Action Week 3

This week we continue our meditation on “The Principle of Well-Timed Action” it says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.” We are focusing on the present, and on the possibilities and implications of trying to apply this principle in my present circumstances.

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Principle 3 Well Timed Action 2

Principle of Well Timed Action Week 2
This week we have as a subject of meditation “The Principle of Well-Timed Action” it says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.” We are focusing on the past, on how I applied or could have applied this principle.

principle 3 new
Rafael Edwards

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Principle 3 Well Timed Action 1

Principle of Valid Action 3, First Week

This month we will take as a subject of meditation “
The Principle of Well-Timed Action” it says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.” It can be found with the other Principles of Valid Action in chapter Xlll of the book The Inner Look by Silo.
 
We will spend the next weeks considering, and discussing this principle and its implications, whether, and in what ways, it can be useful. We will look at how I applied it or could have applied it in the past, how it might apply in my current situation, how I imagine it might in the future. 

principle 3

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Principle 2 Action and Reaction 3

Principle of Valid Action 2, third week
   This week we are continuing with our considerations about principle #2 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is called the “The Principle of Action and Reaction” and says: When you force something towards an end you produce the contrary.”

This week let’s consider future situations and try to imagine how this principle might be applied, what utility it might have, and what possibilities or difficulties it might hold in the situations we know (or imagine) are facing us.

In the conversations at last weeks meeting people shared a number of interesting examples, reflections and questions about how we saw this principle when we focused on event in our past. I’m sure that will be true this week as well when considering all this in terms of the future. 


All of this is not just to understand this principle of valid action more deeply but also to begin to reflect more deeply about our daily behaviour. Can I transform these principles from platitudes into a way of encountering my life, into a dynamic meditation that I can practice at every moment.



tai chi

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Principle 2 Action and Reaction 1

Principle 2, First week
Action and Reaction

This Week
The Principle we will work on all this month is the second principle from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Action and Reaction” it says: When you force something towards an end you produce the contrary.”

We will spend the next weeks considering this principle and its implications, whether it’s useful, and in what ways. We will look at how I applied it or could have applied it in the past, how it might apply in my current situation, how I imagine it might in the future. All of this is not just to understand this principle of valid action more deeply but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour.

Perhaps more than anything the goal of this exercise is to help find a way to weave the
Principles of Valid Action into a discipline that I can practice at every moment of my life, a kind of dynamic meditation, almost like learning a mental martial art – where the ability to get out of your opponents way is highly valued.


principle 2 oldprinciple 2 new

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Principle 1 Adaptation 4

Principle 1 fourth week

This month we are wrapping up our considerations of Principle  #1 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It’s also called “The Principle of Adaptation”, it says: “To go against the evolution of things is to go against yourself.”

screenshot

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Principle 1 Adaptation 2

Evolution or Apocalypse
Is the cat going up or down the stairs? And the people In M.C. Escher’s drawing?

unknownunknown

Principle 1 second week
The Present

This week
Each Month we reflect on the implications, and applications on an aspect of  one of the 12
Principles of Valid Action as they appear in chapter 13 of Silo’s book The Inner Look. This week we will examine how Principle  #1 “The Principle of Adaptation”  might be applied (or not) to my present situation. This principle teaches that: “To go against the evolution of things is to go against yourself.”

A dynamic meditation to practice in every moment.
We carry out this reflection, not just to understand this principle of valid action more deeply, but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. Can I see how the Principles might be woven into a discipline that I can practice at every moment of my life, in a kind of dynamic meditation? As always we should remember the Principles are not meant as isolated bits of wisdom, any more than they’re meant as morals. They are part of a dynamic meditation, a discipline that you can practice in every moment of your life. They are principles, general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.

Coherence: Unity and Contradiction
However, the principles are not simple. It’s wrestling with them that elevates them from being a set of platitudes and transforms them into a key for transforming your life. Remember they are not meant as the basis for one more external morality. The principles are guidelines, the indicator one is looking for is not agreement with some code or set of rules, it is in the register produced in me: does it move me towards greater unity or contradiction? Do I feel more in agreement with myself, or am I more at war with myself.

Current Situation
This week we are considering how I might apply this principle in my current situations. What are the pressures, challenges, or difficulties that I face? How might this principle apply? What light does it shed on these circumstances? How might it change things and so on? Equally I might consider what the consequences might be of misapplying or ignoring it? 
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Principle 1 Adaptation 1




Principle 1, Week 1
An Overview
Since we are looking at one principle a month we will start the cycle of reflection all over in January. We begin (no surprise) with Principle #1 which is also called “The Principle of Adaptation,” from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It tell us: “To go against the evolution of things is to go against yourself.”

We will spend the next weeks considering this principle and its implications, whether it’s useful, and in what ways. We will look at how I applied it or could have applied it in the past, how it might apply in my current situation, how I imagine it might in the future. All of this is not just to understand this principle of valid action more deeply but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. I am trying to learn how to weave the Principles into a discipline that I can practice at every moment of my life, a kind of dynamic meditation. It’s almost like learning a mental martial art – which places great emphasis on the ability to avoid your opponents attack.



screenshot

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Principle 12 Accumulating Actions 4 and more

This week we continue our reflections on principle #12, “The Principle of Accumulating Actions” which says: “If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.” 

I was thinking about that principle when I received an email. The email questioned the wisdom of countries allowing in a flood of refugees which might harbour some individuals bearing ill will, and even some willing to use violence against random strangers to advance their cause.

With both of those things going around in my head I found myself reflecting on the big problems in the world (and sometimes in my life) and how my small actions — even if they were positive or felt unitive— weren’t even close to being on the same scale as the these destructive events all around.  

peaceful-water

But I kept coming back to the idea that, while a drop of water has no impact on a block of granite, over time many such drops wear away at even the strongest rock. In this way the relentless drips of water produce what is at first the slightest of grooves but which eventually might become a great canyon. 

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Principle 12 Accumulating Actions

This week we begin our reflections on principle #12, “The Principle of Accumulating Actions” which says: “If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.”

Take a look at the principle and this week try to discover at least one situation where you allowed small failures to accumulate and demoralize you. Find at least one situation where you can recognize that small efforts added up, or could add up, resulting in your being able to do something larger.

At our next meeting we can compare results. Since this is our first go at the principle this month I’m sending around a kind of overview. We can discuss it as well at this week’s meeting. In the next weeks we’ll consider how we’ve seen this in action in our pasts. We’ll look at how the principle could be applied to our present circumstance and what it might mean for us in future situations..
During the week we will try to apply it. It’s another thing we can discuss at the next meeting (or you can mull over as circumstances dictate).

The following examples, illustrations, etc are drawn from conversations with many people, and also from materials created over the years to illustrate various aspects of the principles. I’m sorry that in most cases I can’t credit specific individuals for their contributions, but where I can, I will.


accumulating

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Principle 11 Opposites 4

This week we continue with our reflections on principle #11, “The Principle of the Negation of Opposites”, from chapter 13 of the The Inner Look. It says: “It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.”

At our next meeting we will look at our experiences of, and considerations about, this Principle and it’s applications. In previous weeks we looked at the principle overall, examples from the past and from our present situations. This week we turn to the future and reflect on how this principle might be applied to situations we see arising.

Next week we will try to apply it and compare results.

Meanwhile, here’s some personal reflections related to this subject. I hope you find them of some use in triggering your own meditations. Sharing your thoughts can be useful both in forcing you to give them some order but also in clarifying, inspiring or infuriating others — even that last can be useful. Please consider sharing your ideas with us at the meeting or in these notes…

duck rabbit

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Principle 11 Opposites 1




This month we are looking at Principle #11, The Principle of the Negation of Opposites”, from chapter 13 of The Inner Look. It says: “It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.”  

Take a look at the principle and this week try to discover at least one situation where it was or would be applicable.  During the  week we will try to apply it and compare results when we get together.

Since this is our first go at the principle this month I’m sending around a kind of overview on the principle. We can discuss it at this week’s meeting. In the next weeks we’ll consider how we’ve seen this in action in our pasts. We’ll look at how the principle could be applied to our present circumstance and what it might mean for us in future situations.



unknown

Illustration thanks to Rafael Edwards

Here are some of the considerations about this principle. I’m drawing them largely from conversations with many people. Also from materials we created over the years to illustrate various aspects of the principles. I’m sorry that in most cases I can’t credit specific individuals for their contributions but if I can I will.

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Principle 10 Solidarity 4

Principle 10, fourth week

This week we continue with our reflections on principle 10 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”

At tomorrow’s meeting we will look at our experiences of, and considerations about, this Principle and it’s applications. In previous weeks we looked at the principle overall, examples from the past and from our present situations. This week we turn to the future and reflect on how this principle might be applied to situations we see arising.

This week some more
Monkey Business (link not working see in Glossary) Read More...
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Principle 10 Solidarity 3

Principle 10, third week

This week we continue with our reflections on principle 10 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”

At tomorrow’s meeting we can take a look at our experiences of, and considerations about, this Principle and it’s applications. In previous weeks we looked at the principle overall, and examples from the past. Now will focus on our present situation and try and clarify issues around, and strategies , applying this principle.

Pasted Graphic

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Principle 10 Solidarity 2



Principle 10, second week


It’s called the Golden Rule: the idea that the highest moral virtue is to treat others as you want to be treated.

unknown

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Principle 10 Solidarity 1

The Principle we chose to consider this week is #10 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”

unknown
illustration by Rafael Edwards
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Principle 9 Liberty Part 1 an Overview

Hello all. It’s been a few weeks. I apologize for not keeping up to date on these postings. The last one was a comment on Principle 8 . But Next week we begin with Principle  #9 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Liberty” it says: When You Harm Others You Remain Enchained, But If You Do Not Harm Anyone You May Freely Do Whatever You Want”.

unknown

 illustration by Rafael Edwards


For a change I’d like to start with some personal considerations before passing on to the general overview and examples.

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Principle 7 Immediate Action 4th Week

Principle 7, fourth week
 
This week we continue with 
Principle  is #7 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Immediate Action” it says: “If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.” 

Our focus this week is on how I might apply this principle in future situations.  

My personal considerations about this principle took a very different turn this week. I hope they prove useful in your own reflections. 

veggie burger

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Principle 7 Immediate Action 3rd Week

Principle 7, third week
 
This month’s Principle  is #7 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Immediate Action” it says: “If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.” 

Our focus this week is on how I applied, or could have applied the principle  in  in past situations.  Next week we’ll look at how it might apply in the future.


 means to an end

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Principle 7 Immediate Action 2nd Week

Principle 7, third week
 
This month’s Principle  is #7 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Immediate Action” it says: “If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.” 

Our focus this week is on how I applied, or could have applied the principle  in  in past situations.  Next week we’ll look ath how it might apply in the future.

 means to an end

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Principle 7 Immediate Action

Principle 7, first week (Immediate Action)
 
Each month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. The
Principle we chose to consider this week is #7 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Immediate Action” it says: “If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.”

unknown

illustration by Rafael Edwards

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Principle 6 Pleasure 4th Week

Principle 6, fourth week

Each month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. This week we are considering how we can apply Principle #6, also called the principle of pleasure in the present moment. This principle says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.”

You can find more about this principle in particular and the principles of valid action
here.

Rafa dancing on the edge

Rafael Edwards

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Principle 6 Pleasure 2nd Week

For some reason or other last weeks notes didn’t get posted here. They were only sent as an email and posted on Facebook (Community of Silo’s Message Toronto Annex). Here they are now.

Principle 6, second week
We’ve been considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month. In the same way we’ll spend the next four weeks considering various aspects of principle #6 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called the principle of pleasure, it says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.”

11391539_10153903523254008_3501835117003472287_n


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Principle 6 Pleasure 3rd Week

Principle 6, third week
 
Each month we focus one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action. These can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. This week we are considering how we can apply Principle #6, also called the
principle of pleasure in the present moment. This principle says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.” 

You can find more about this principle in particular and the principles of valid action in general
here

principle 6 illustration

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Principle 6 Pleasure

Principle 6, first week

We’ve been considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month. In the same way we’ll spend the next four weeks considering various aspects of principle #6 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called the principle of pleasure, it says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.”

principle 6 illustration

illustration by Rafael Edwards

We spend all this time thinking and talking about each principle not just to understand it in itself but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. These principles, or guidelines, or however you think of them are elements that we can form into a discipline which can be practiced at every moment and in every circumstance. They are a kind of dynamic meditation. With time and application these efforts will give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction. Our goal is to weave these general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.

In the next weeks we’ll look at how we applied, or could have applied, this principle in the past, how we apply this principle in the present moment, and how we have might apply it in the future. Here are some general considerations about this principle. In order to illustrate various aspects of the principles I’ve drawn ideas from conversations with various people, as well as from materials we created over the years. If I can know who to credit for these contributions I will.

Here’s some thoughts about the
principle of pleasure:

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Principle 5 Acceptance 4th Week

Principle 5, fourth week

Each month we have been considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action, as they appear in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. This month we are considering principle  #5 called  “The Principle of Acceptance ” it says: “If day and night summer and winter are well with you, you have surpassed the contradiction”

This week we will focus on the future, i.e on: how I might be able to apply this principle in the next hours, days, weeks, etc. Behind (or as we like to say, “copresent” with this effort I am always trying to amplify our vision of how I can turn the Principles into a dynamic meditation, that is into a practice I can apply at every moment of my life. That’s very different than understanding the principles as rules, or a moral code. I understand them rather as signalling a mental direction; a path away from contradiction, away from being at war with myself, away from internal violence and toward internal unity, toward internal peace, vital force and the joy that comes from facing an open future .

Gorby

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Principle 5 Acceptance 3rd Week

Principle 5, third week

Each month we have been considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action, as they appear in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. This month we are considering principle  #5 called The Principle of Acceptance ” it says: “If day and night summer and winter are well with you, you have surpassed the contradiction”

This week our considerations of this principle are focused on the present i.e on: how I might be able to apply this principle.
Of course, as always we are trying to see how the Principles might be woven into a discipline that I can practice at every moment of my life; a kind of dynamic meditation.

Here’s some personal reflections on this principle and especially on unity and contradiction. I offer them in the spirit of dialogue and exchange, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about, and experiences with, this principle.

Salvator_Rosa_(Italian_-_Allegory_of_Fortune_-_Google_Art_Project

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Principle 5 Acceptance 2nd Week

Principle 5, second week

Each month we have been considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action, as they appear in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. This month we are considering principle  #5 called  “
The Principle of Acceptance ” it says: “If day and night summer and winter are well with you, you have surpassed the contradiction”

This week our considerations of this principle are focused on the past i.e on: how I applied, or could have applied, this principle.

Here’s some raw materials I’ve been using in my reflections. I offer them in the spirit of dialogue and exchange, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about, and experiences with, this principle.

lao tzu

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Principle 5 Acceptance


A short note this week for a change!

Principle 5, first week
 
In keeping with our practice of considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month, we will spend the next four weeks considering various aspects of principle  #5 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Acceptance ” it says: “If day and night summer and winter are well with you, you have surpassed the contradiction”

principle 5 illustration Read More...
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Principle 4 Proportion 4th Week

My approach to the principle this week is a bit different and a little more involved. If you try it out I’d be interested in comparing results. Let me know.

Continuing our “tradition” of considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month we are considering principle #4 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look) one more time (for this cycle). This principle is also referred to as, “The Principle of Proportion” it states: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

This week we focus on how I can apply this principle in the future. What follows are some personal reflections around that question. I offer them in the spirit of dialogue and exchange, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about, and experiences with, this principle.

principle 4 illustration

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Principle 4 Proportion 3rd Week

In keeping with our practice of considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month we continue for a third week with principle #4 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). This one is also referred to as, “The Principle of Proportion” it states: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

This week we focus on how I can apply this principle in my present situation. What follows are some personal reflections around that question. I offer them in the spirit of dialogue and exchange, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about, and experiences with, this principle.

principle 4 illustration

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mutation biological and otherwise

Here’s another lesson from biology. Again it’s not a biology lesson but a cursory, semi-informed look at scientific research that, I for one find, inspiring or possessing (non-scientific) existential value for further meditations.

In this fascinating, real-life experiment it’s discovered that a life-enhancing mutation was made possible by a seemingly meaningless mutation thousands of generations earlier.

cobra mutant


Maybe I should present it in a fictional style — perhaps something along the lines of
Zelazny’s Bridge of Ashes. Not that I disagree with the critics who said it wasn’t Zelazny’s best and seemed to agree about its flaws.

Here’s the science story.
It’s one I find especially intriguing. Not so much for the implications it has for biologists (not being one myself), or because it may help settle a widely disputed detail in the theory of evolution. For me, it is fascinating as some kind of metaphor, or allegory, or trope — even though I’m not sure what it’s an analogy for. Nonetheless, it strikes me as something very cool and I suspect very important in realms far outside of the field of evolutionary biology.

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Inheriting the consequences


Here’s a lesson from biology. It’s not a biology lesson but a cursory, semi-informed look at scientific research that, I for one find, inspiring or possessing (non-scientific) existential value for further meditations.

There’s lots of lessons to learn, because there are lots of questions that are looking for answers.

Am I afraid of spiders, or snakes because people around me, inadvertently perhaps, taught me as an infant to fear them? Recent headlines suggested that scientists have discovered that my fears may be based on memories inherited from an ancient (perhaps prehuman) ancestor. Could that be true?

cobra-hd


Is it nature or nurture? It’s an old debate. What conditions us more, our biological inheritance or our social conditioning? Are intelligence, sensitivity, creativity, tolerance, kindness, mental health, etc a result of our genes or our up bringing. “Both” is a legitimate answer but leaves pending the question of which is the deciding factor. Can one of them override the other?


well…

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Principle 4 Proportion 2nd Week

In keeping with our practice of considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month, we will spend the next four weeks considering various aspects of principle  #4 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Proportion” it says: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

This week our considerations of this principle are focused on the past i.e on: how I applied, or could have applied, this principle.

confucius

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Principle 4 Proportion

We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts and reflections on this and the other principles (and related matters) please post your comments here, to our Facebook page or write to me and I’ll include your point of view in the upcoming mailings, etc.

Principle 4, first week

In keeping with our practice of considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month, we will spend the next four weeks considering various aspects of principle #4 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Proportion” it says: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

Over the next weeks we’ll consider this principle and its implications, whether it’s useful, and in what ways. We will look at how I applied it or could have applied it in the past, how it might apply in my current situation, how I imagine it might in the future. All of this is not just to understand this principle of valid action more deeply but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. Can I see how the Principles might be woven into a discipline that I can practice at every moment of my life, a kind of dynamic meditation, almost like learning a mental martial art – where the ability to get out of your opponents way (rather than how to punch them in the nose) is highly valued. As always we should remember the Principles are not meant as isolated bits of wisdom, any more than they’re meant as morals. They are part of a dynamic meditation, a discipline that you can practice in every moment of your life. They are principles, general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.

Here’s some background about the Principles of Valid Action as well as a few ideas, stories, etc to aid in your reflections.

Below you’ll find some of my personal thoughts about this principle I hope, whether you agree with them or not, they will be of some use in your own reflections.

If you don’t get around to opening the linked document so here’s one of Rafael Edward’s illustrations of this principle.

principle 4 illustration

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Principle 3 Well Timed Action 4th week

Principle of Well Timed Action Week 4
The Principle of Well-Timed Action” says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens then advance with resolution.” Over the last weeks we have considered how we understand this principle in particular and the principles in general, how this one applies in retrospect (or could have been applied to past events) and how it could be applied in my present circumstances. We’ve also discussed how one might go about a daily meditation on the theme, even to some details of what has proven best (for some of us) in terms of when and for how long such considerations should be carried out (see the notes for Principle 2 week 2). In the weekly meeting people have shared very interesting and insightful examples about situations as diverse as those at work, in relationships and in terms of personal “evolutionary work”. Hopefully, we’ll see those extended to our Facebook page and our mail list. Read More...
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Principle 3 Well Timed Action 3rd week


Principle of Well Timed Action Week 3
This week we continue our meditation on “The Principle of Well-Timed Action” it says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens then advance with resolution.” We are focusing on the present, and on the possibilites and implications of trying to apply this principle in my present circumstances.

Like last week I start by asking myself some simple questions… Read More...
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Principle 3 Well Timed Action 2nd week


Principle of Well Timed Action Week 2
This week we have as a subject of meditation “The Principle of Well-Timed Action” it says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens then advance with resolution.” We are focusing on the past, on how I applied or could have applied this principle.

So in trying to deepen my understanding of this principle and its applications, I started to ask myself some questions. Simple things like, how did I know when a force was great? Did I sometimes misjudge and retreat in front of, what were really, minor inconveniences? How did that work out?

After a moment I found I had lots of questions. Read More...
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Principle 3 Well Timed Action

This month we will take as a subject of meditation “The Principle of Well-Timed Action” it says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens then advance with resolution.”

We will spend the next weeks considering, and discussing this principle and its implications, whether, and in what ways, it can be useful. We will look at how I applied it or could have applied it in the past, how it might apply in my current situation, how I imagine it might in the future.

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Illustration Rafael Edwards


The Principle’s in General
All of this is not just to understand this principle of valid action more deeply but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. Can I see how the Principles might be woven into a discipline that I can practice at every moment of my life, a kind of dynamic meditation.
At next week’s meeting we can compare and discuss our experiences of, and considerations about, this Principle and it’s applications. Perhaps that will lead to an interchange of points of view, or an enriching of our own perspectives. Either way, remember, the Principles are not “morals” or “laws”. They are not meant as external guidelines but as aids to configuring a way of approaching life based on registers of unity (agreement with myself) and contradiction. Internal unity is registered when my thinking, feeling and actions go in the same direction and aren’t warring with each other. That’s why the Principles are sometimes called Principles of Valid Action. A valid action, is unitive, ends in others, and is something we want to repeat.

Personal Reflections
Here’s some personal musings, whether you agree with them or not they are offered in the hope that they will trigger your own reflections. I hope you won’t be turned off by my “violent” examples but, perhaps because of the word “retreat” when I think of this principle I immediately think of military tactics in general and a couple of famous battles in particular. The martial arts are full of examples where this basic idea is applied. Here are a few. I’m sure someone more knowledgeable could supply many more examples. You don’t have to turn to the Eastern arts of Ju Jitsu or Aikido, both of which are famous for turning the attackers energy against them. Western boxing for example has its famous “rope a dope” where a fighter takes on a protected stance like lying against the ropes, which can then absorb some of the the punch's energy while the opponent slugs away tiring themselves out.
Military historians still argue about what mix of events beyond the military (the weather, disease, etc) tipped the scales. But in both cases the apparently stronger invaders pushed ahead while the Russian armies retreated, stretching the enemies supply lines, providing the opportunity for some combination of weather, disease, fatigue, and hunger to decimate the troops demoralize the troops. When the enemy weakened the retreat transformed into attack (with the help of General Winter and his colleagues General Snow, General Ice, General Cold combined with a willingness of the Russians to sacrifice themselves on a terrifying scale.

Here’s more examples of, and information about, the Principles of Valid Action in general, and this one in particular




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Principle 2 Action and Reaction 3rd Week

This week my email about the weekly meeting was very short. Read More...
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Principle 2 Action and Reaction 2nd Week

Principle of Valid Action 2, Second week
This week we are continuing with our considerations about principle #2 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is called the “The Principle of Action and Reaction” and says: When you force something towards an end you produce the contrary.”

More information, stories and thoughts about the principles in general and this principle in particular can be found here.

We will turn our attention to our present situation and try to see how this principle might be applied, what utility it might have, and what possibilities or difficulties it might hold.

All of this is not just to understand this principle of valid action more deeply but also to begin to reflect more deeply about our daily behaviour. Can I transform these principles from platitudes into a way of encountering my life, into a dynamic meditation that I can practice at every moment.

Last week’s post had some background about the Principles of Valid Action as well as a few ideas, stories, etc to aid in your reflections. Here’s a few personal reflections I hope will be of some use whether you agree with them or not. Read More...
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Principle 2 Action and Reaction

Principle 2, First week
This month we will take as a subject of reflection principle #2 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Action and Reaction” it says: When you force something towards an end you produce the contrary.”
We will spend the next weeks considering, and discussing this principle and its implications, whether it’s useful, and in what ways. We will look at how I applied it or could have applied it in the past, how it might apply in my current situation, how I imagine it might in the future. All of this is not just to understand this principle of valid action more deeply but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our behaviour. Can I see how the Principles might be woven into a discipline that I can practice at every moment of my life, a kind of dynamic meditation, almost like learning a mental martial art – where the ability to get out of your opponents way (rather than how to punch them in the nose) is highly valued.

More information, stories and thoughts about the principles in general and this principle in particular can be found here.

Personal Reflections

Once again I must begin by recognizing that the principles are not commandments or simple rules. They require thought. But really thinking about them helps develop a new perspective and new behaviours. For example, in this case how do I know when I’m forcing things. If I use a hammer to brush my teeth it’s obviously disproportionate force. But also if I try to use a toothbrush to knock down a brick wall. I’m going to have to find a way of measuring the appropriate degree of force. How will I do that? One way to begin is to consider past errors and successes with judging these kinds of things. For example, situations where I tried way too hard, or not nearly hard enough.
Take a look at the principle and try to remember at least one situation where it was or could have been applicable. How did it change (or would it have changed) things.
The principles are guidelines, the indicator one is looking for is not agreement with some code or set of rules, it is in the register produced in me: does it move me towards greater unity or contradiction? Do I feel more in agreement with myself, or am I more at war with myself.

Below you will find more examples of, and information about, the Principles of Valid Action in general, and this one in particular. I hope you will find these considerations interesting and useful whether you agree with them or not.

principle 2 illustration
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Illustration by Rafael Edwards

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Observing the Three Pathways part 2

Three Pathways continued.
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Observing the Three Pathways of Suffering

Here’s a little more on the Three Pathways of Suffering which came up in my last posting. It’s an excerpt from some correspondence I was having with Rafa E. and Mark L. We were discussing time not the three pathways but one thing leads to another:

I asked them to consider this case  (which I am remembering now as I imagine how you will react in the future to this remembered moment…)

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Principle 1 Adaptation, 3rd Week

This week I'm trying something different.

Principle 1 third week
The Future 

As you will see my approach will be a little different this week. These considerations aren’t directly connected to the principle but they may illuminate it in interesting ways (or at least so I believe) if only indirectly.  Instead of focusing on the principle itself I want to take this opportunity to make two points about how we understand the psychological importance future.
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Principle 1 Adaptation, 2nd Week


Principle 1 second week
The Present

This month we are considering Principle #1 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Adaptation” it says: “To go against the evolution of things is to go against yourself.”

Each week this month we will consider another aspect of this principle and reflect on its implications, and applications. This week we will examine how I can apply it (or not) in my present situation.
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Principle 1 Adaptation

The Principle we will consider this month is principle #1 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Adaptation” it says: “To go against the evolution of things is to go against yourself.”

Here are some of the considerations about this principle. I’m drawing them largely from conversations with many people. Also from materials we created over the years to illustrate various aspects of the principles. I’m sorry that in most cases I can’t credit specific individuals for their contributions but if I can I will.

principle 1 illustration
illustration by Rafael Edwards


This principle, which is the first in the twelve presented in The Inner Look, makes evident something that we will find to be true of all the rest as well; they can’t simply be applied mechanically. Wisdom is required to put them into practice – wisdom and the effort to see each principle in light of the other ones.

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Principle 12 reflections part 2

This is our second week focusing on Principle 12, also known as the Principle of Accumulating Actions. It says:
”Contradictory or Unifying Acts Accumulate Within You. If You Repeat Your Acts Of Internal Unity Then Nothing Can Detain You."

This week we are asking ourselves how this principle played out (or didn't) in our past. Can I see how my actions in a certain direction accumulated reinforcing or discouraging new actions or a certain direction.

Please remember the Principles are not meant as isolated bits of wisdom, any more than they’re meant as morals. They are part of a dynamic meditation, a discipline that you can practice in every moment of your life. They are principles, general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life.

Here's some personal reflections. I hope they'll assist your own.
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Continuing thoughts on Yoga, Meditation, Self-Help



India’s Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, head of the nationalist BJP party (one of India’s two major political parties) is a vegetarian and a proud practitioner of yoga. In fact yoga, and traditional medicine have their place in the BJP election platform: “Yoga and Ayurveda are the gifts of ancient Indian civilization to humanity and we will increase the public investment to promote Yoga and AYUSH. We will start integrated courses for Indian System of Medicine (ISM) and modern science and Ayurgenomics. We will set up institutions and launch a vigorous program to standardize and validate the Ayurvedic medicine.”

Around a year ago he asked the UN to start a
World Yoga day. A few weeks ago he shuffled former tourism minister Shripad Yesso Naik to the newly created position of ‘Minister of Yoga’.

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Principle 12

Ending the year with Principle 12 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look)

The Principle we chose to consider this week is also called “The Principle of Accumulating Actions”.

It says: “If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.”

.principle 12 illustration
illustration by Rafael Edwards

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Fragments from the ultimate self-help book

Fragment from: No Self, No Help _ the ultimate self-help book

Of self-help Wikipedia tells us:

“Self-help, or self-improvement, is a self-guided improvement—economically, intellectually, or emotionally—often with a substantial psychological basis. Many different self-help group programs exist, each with its own focus, techniques, associated beliefs, proponents and in some cases, leaders. "Self-help culture, particularly Twelve-Step culture, has provided some of our most robust new language: recovery, dysfunctional families, and codependency."

Of self-help books Wikipedia tells us: A self-help book is one that is written with the intention to instruct its readers on solving personal problems. The books take their name from Self-Help, an 1859 best-seller by Samuel Smiles, but are also known and classified under "self-improvement", a term that is a modernized version of self-help. Self-help books moved from a niche position to being a postmodern cultural phenomenon in the late twentieth century.”


And who are we to doubt Wikipedia.

20193827

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Principle 4 Proportion 1

Principle 4, first week

In keeping with our practice of considering one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each month, we will spend the next four weeks considering various aspects of principle  #4 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called  “The Principle of Proportion” it says: “Things are well when they move together not in isolation.”

Pasted Graphic
Rafael Edwards

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