Principle 6, third week
The week we continue with our exploration of the principle of pleasure, which says: “If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.” This is Principle #6 of the Principles of Valid Action, from chapter 13 of Silo’s, The Inner Look.
On week one we meditated on the principle overall: what it means, how it fits in with the others, etc. Last week we looked at how we did or didn’t use this principle in previous situations. This week we’ll try to understand how we are or aren’t applying the principle in the present moment. Next week we’ll focus on the future.
Here’s some brief personal considerations about approaches to the subject. These are things that I’ve found useful, even if you don’t I hope they’ll trigger some thoughts about other ways that you might develop to delve more deeply into these questions.
To help think about it in the present, I listed a number of ambits, things like home, friends, work, etc and then I (very) briefly considered how the principle could apply to the present situation in that context or environment. So rather than trying to mull the principle over in general terms I asked myself particular question. For instance: What do I want at work. What are the things, situations or outcomes there that I desire? What would be the pleasure I seek there, and how do I relate to it? Or within the ambit of my friends: Is there a particular outcome that would give me pleasure? How do I relate to that “end” to that desired situation? Am I running after a particular end-point and hence stuck on the outcome, or am I doing the things that would lead to that result (e.g. doing my job well, communicating directly my colleagues and friends, paying attention, etc)?
Certainly, proceeding in that way, if I attain my goal I’ll enjoy the pleasure no less, but my focus is in enjoying the steps (as is further clarified in principle 7).
One of the things that really surprises me with about this principle is that it calls on me to fully enjoy (“without inhibition”) the pleasures that come to me. And that takes me to thinking about — not only what pleasures I’m pursuing, but also what pleasures I unnecessarily deny myself.
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.