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”.

To conclude this month’s meditation on a principle of valid action we will try to imagine what this one means when looking toward that terra incognita of the future. Imagining the application of this principle in my future is of course an activity filled with uncertainty. With few exceptions not much of  can be said with certainty about the future. Nonetheless, I worry and make plans so, if nothing else, I certainly think and act as if I know what will happen. It seems than worthwhile to think about one or two of the most pressing of these imagined situations and consider what fruit my application of this principle might bear when applied to these things that might happen (and which, even when unlikely fill my daydreams, nightmares and everything in between).

After having contemplated these situations and outcomes it is (in my opinion) well worth meditating, if only briefly, on the few future events that really have a greater degree of certainty. Leaving taxes aside, we still have various problems, as well as the big question… death. That doesn’t sound like meditation to lower your blood pressure, and increase productivity (see my blog entry “Selections From the Ultimate Self-help Book” ). Well… in anycase worth some brief consideration. Nonetheless in mediating on “who am I and where am I going” I recognize that illness (probably), old age (if one makes it that far) and death (certainly) are about as inevitable as can be. And if I’m not planning to reach old age, well that seems like a bit of problem in itself. Furthermore, its not just about what happens to me. Everyone I love, and everyone I don’t, is in the same boat! 

So what does it mean to not oppose a great force, when that force is relentless time with all the (apparently) inevitable problems and questions attached to its passing. And if I want to retreat? How will I do that? And how wonderful in the face of that implacable future to find that source of  resolution that I need to advance.

If you have personal reflections on the principles it would be great if you sent them along. I’ll try to include them in these emails. So for the next one if you have thoughts about this principle I’d appreciate hearing from you. 

I hope you find these comments of interest. This brief note has also been posted to the mailing list and the Facebook page of The Community of Silo’s Message, Toronto Annex.