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.

As you 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. 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, how it applied in the present, the past and even how we imagine it might apply in the future.

We’ve also looked at examples and illustrations of the principle. We’ve touched on the relationship between conflict and contradiction.

It’s very much in keeping with another point we considered about conflict and point of view (like with the duck/rabbit example).

Here’s illustration of the same idea that circulated this week on Facebook. Unfortunately, I can’t credit it since I’m not sure where it originated or who the artist is. Nonetheless, it synthesizes the point nicely.

It’s an important point and these are very good illustrations for Principle #11, “The Principle of the Negation of Opposites”, which 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.”

Personally, I find this is a good opportunity to recall again that the Principles present a kind of system. To understand them I have to consider each one in the light of the others. In applying them— more than attempting to find a tactic for a particular problem — I am trying to weave together a way of facing life, a general direction, or style of life.

And where does this direction point. Well, obviously it’s up to each one of us to decide where we would like to be heading but if we had to come up with a reminder how about something like: I want to move towards a situation where I’m not at war with myself, where I can tap into the vital energy to face life’s daily challenges, and where I face the uncertain future joyously. In other words what I seek is to make the phrase Peace, Force and Joy, into more than a slogan.

This week there were more responses than usual from people writing in with their take on all this. I’d like to thank them for taking the time. I found, that, whether I agreed fully with them or not, the comments were a big help in deepening my thinking about the principle and its possible applications.

These notes have been sent to the email list of The Community of Silo’s Message Toronto Annex, and posted on Facebook, as well as on my blog at

We’d all love to hear your comments, thoughts about, considerations of, or artwork inspired by, any of this.