Principle 5, third week
Here’s a revised look at some ideas I circulated a year ago.
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. 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”.
This week we will focus on the future, i.e on: how I might be able to apply this principle in the next hours, days, weeks, etc. Behind (or as we like to say, “copresent with”) this effort I am always trying to amplify my vision of how I can turn the Principles into a dynamic and permanent meditation, that is into a practice applicable at every moment of my life.
That’s very different than understanding
the principles as rules, or a moral code. I understand them rather as signalling a mental direction; a path away from contradiction, away from being at war with myself, away from internal violence and toward internal unity, toward internal peace, vital force and the joy that comes from facing an open future .
I some personal reflections on this principle and related considerations.
Over the last few weeks I’ve shared with you some of my musings about the meaning of this principle in general, in reference to my past and present situations. In these I also focused on the meaning of day and night, etc as opposites, and on the meaning of overcoming contradiction. So far during my attempts at this weeks meditation my thoughts have drifted quite far a field — as they tend to.
Continuing further along this path it seemed to me that besides being opposites, day and night, the seasons, etc, are each one, also moments in a cycle (whether its the Earths rotation on its axis, or moments in the orbit around the sun, etc). And I realized that one of the very basic illusions that condition my thinking is, what wiser people than I, have called the illusion of “static naturalism”. That is the belief that what is always has been and always will be (it’s static) and that’s how things are (naturally).
I am old enough to recall life during the cold war, how the USSR appeared not only as a great superpower but a impenetrable monolith, (some believed it was the greatest in terms of military and economic potential — people believe all kinds of shit). It was one of the two great empires (evil or not) that divided the world into West and East. I remember even after Gorbachev announced his policy of Perestroika (restructuring) and Glasnost (openness) how so many political leaders and pundits in the West said how it was all a trick to get us (the good guys, the West) to drop our guard. Later of course they shamelessly denied this and all jumped on the bandwagon. Suddenly it was common to hear those same “experts” explaining how “we all knew that that the Soviet Union was about to come apart.”
It was unmitigated bullshit then and it is unmitigated bullshit now. However, I felt I had the inside track on all this. I remembered how a few years earlier Silo had said to us that, the Soviet Union had already collapsed; the Soviets just didn’t know it yet and it will take them a few years to realize that their empire has fallen.” I for one nodded my head knowingly as if I knew what he was speaking about. He went further and claimed something apparently even more ludicrous. He said this (the Soviet collapse) is for all intents and purposes done, but when Islam moves with renewed fervor into the West it would create an enormous upheaval.
The Soviet Union gone, some old religion disrupting the world of global economics and real politic. It was like a joke. The politicians, pundits, and I along with many of my friends, prefer to remember the extraordinary events that ocurred as things we foresaw. We didn’t foresee anything, well clearly Silo did. But as for the rest of us we (and this is my point at last) were all hypnotized by a kind of static naturalism, a vision of the world — a powerful Soviet monolith ruling half the world, immovable, and unchanging.
But things do change. Everything is in movement. And from where we sit that movement often seems like a series of cycles. Empires rise and fall. Civilizations are born and die. Day follows night and night is followed by day. The Winter comes and goes making room for summer once again. No wonder some people explained the underlying reality of the world as obeying a law of cycle.
This principle brings me to consider that perhaps this moment that I embrace or reject, celebrate or loath, is a moment in a larger dance where what was wet becomes dry and what is dry becomes wet, the old fades and the new arises, the decay of death makes the ground fertile for new life.
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 www.dzuckerbrot.com
We’d all love to hear your comments, thoughts about, considerations of, or artwork inspired by, any of this.