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.
Reflecting on the principle I realize that for me the “register” (the direct experience as experienced) of things moving together, or being proportionate to each other, is a register of harmony and equilibrium. In trying to deepen my understanding of this principle and its applications, I once again begin by asking myself some simple questions. Simple things like, what kind of relations or actions give me a sense of things being correctly proportioned, of being in harmony? When it comes to myself and others, do I isolate myself or move with them? What does “move with them mean”? Does it mean to “go along to get along”? If not how do I find a harmonious way of being in a very non-harmonious world?
In the Analects (e.g. 13:23) Confucious had some thoughts on all this:
The Master said, a person with true power acts in harmony with others but does not seek to be like them; the small man seeks to be like others and does not act in harmony.
His younger contemporary Lao Tzu had this to say about harmony and various aspects of our behaviour.
Standing on tiptoe balance is soon lost.
Run and you’ll quickly be exhausted.
Seeking the spotlight is not enlightenment.
The self-righteous are far from righteousness.
The boastful gain no credit.
Braggarts reveal their weakness.
These are unsatisfying like crumbs from a meal,
or unnecessary baggage.
Those who follow the way leave all that aside.
(My interpretation of chapter 24 of the Tao Te Ching)
Proceeding in that way I discovered that I had lots of questions but few answers as pithy or insightful as those. Finally, I got practical and asked myself if to try and recall three occasions where I applied this principle successfully? What difference did it make?
These notes have been posted to the mailing list and the Facebook page of The Community of Silo’s Message Toronto Annex.
We’d all love to hear your comments, thoughts, considerations, artwork, etc about any of this.