G is for

Stay tuned for a little something on Guides, models, etc. for now here’s Silo, with chapters 15 and 16 from his book, The Internal Landscape (2nd book in the Humanize the Earth trilogy)

XVI. Models
1. In your internal landscape there is an ideal man or woman that you search for in the external landscape. Through so many relationships your ideal remains always just out of reach—like two fragments of flint that do not quite strike except for that brief moment when perfect love dazzles us with its spark.
2. All human beings, in their own ways, launch their lives toward the external landscape, seeking to complete their hidden models.
3. But the external landscape continues imposing its own laws, and as time goes by, your once most cherished dream becomes only an image before which you now experience shame or even less, as this dream is reduced to a faded memory. Nevertheless, within the human species profound models exist, sleeping, biding their time. These models are the translation of impulses that your body sends to the space of representation.
4. We are not discussing the origin or consistency of these models, or the complexity of the world in which they are found. We are simply noting that they exist and pointing out that their function is to compensate needs and aspirations which, in turn, motivate human activities toward the external landscape.
5. Entire peoples and cultures also have their own particular ways of responding to the external landscape, responses always colored by internal models, which history and their own bodies continue to define.
6. Wise are those who know their profound models, and wiser still are those who can place them at the service of the best of causes.

XVII. The Internal Guide
1. Who do you so admire that you would like to have been that person?
2. Let me ask you in a more gentle fashion: Whom do you consider so exemplary that you wish you could find some of that person’s virtues in yourself?
3. Perhaps there have been moments when in sorrow or confusion you have appealed to the memory of someone who, whether existing or not, came to your aid as a comforting image?
4. I am speaking of those particular models that we could call internal “guides,” which at times coincide with real people.
5. Those models, which you have wanted to follow from the time you were very young, have changed only in the most external layers of your daily awareness.
6. I have seen how children talk and play with their imaginary companions and guides. I have seen people of all ages connect with these guides in prayers offered in sincere devotion.
7. The more strongly these guides were called, the further away they responded from and the better the signal they sent. Because of this I knew that the most profound guides are the most powerful. But only a great need can awaken them from their millennia of lethargy.
8. Such a model “possesses” three important attributes: strength, wisdom, and kindness.
9. If you want to know yourself better, observe the characteristics of the men and women you admire. Notice how the qualities you most value in them are also at work in the configuration of your own internal guides. Consider that even though your initial references may have disappeared with the passage of time, they have left “traces” within you that continue to motivate you toward the external landscape.
10. And if you want to understand how diverse cultures interact with each other, in addition to studying their modes of producing objects, study as well the methods by which they transmit their models.
11. It is important, then, to direct your attention to the best qualities in others, because you will project into the world those qualities you have managed to configure in yourself.