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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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?


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?