“Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.”
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Principle 3. Timely Action. Third Week.
Last time: Battles Large and Small. This Time: More Simple (?) Questions.
We are continuing to explore the “The Principle of Timely Action” the third of the principles of valid action (chapter 13 of The Inner Look). It says: “Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens than advance with resolution.” This week we will be examining how we might apply this principle in the present moment. At our next meeting we will have a chance to discuss these reflections.
General Considerations and Personal Reflections:
I hope these reflections might be useful raw material for your own meditations and they are being shared in that spirit.
Last week I started by asking myself some simple questions, things like:
Is something like the Covid-19 pandemic a great force? Faced with it how do we retreat and how do we advance? Are there other “forces” acting on me that I don’t usually notice? These seemed to be both “internal” and “external”. More particularly what are the “forces” opposing my plans or objectives?
I’m sure that like me you’ll find that, after a moment of this kind of simple reflection, that in fact you have lots of questions. Some are as basic as: “what are my objectives?” or even more directly “what do I want?” However, let’s assume we have at least a rough answer for those and turn to the other aspect of the principle, that of the forces in play and my action in front of them.
Now my questions are more like: are they great forces? What does that mean in this context?What will “retreat” mean in the present cases? How will I retreat? Will that mean physically withdrawing, or cooling off certain relationships? Will it mean acquiescing and going along with something? Perhaps it will mean something very different, or very specific to the circumstances.
Finally, how will I fulfill the last part of the principle and “advance with resolution”? How will I know when it’s time to change gears and begin to advance? What kind of difficulties can I expect? What kind of result?
More simple questions with perhaps life changing answers.
Next week we’ll look at how the principle of timely action might apply in future situations. All of this is not just in order to deepen our understanding this particular principle, but also to develop a form of dynamic meditation that can be applied in every moment of life.
Retreating before small difficulties weakens us. It makes us timid and afraid. On the other hand not retreating from very powerful forces sets us up for all kinds of accidents and disasters. So it’s important to evaluate these things carefully.
A valid action, is unitive, is aimed at improving the well being of others and feels like something you want to repeat again and again.
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There are currently 2 Parks of Study and Reflection in North America. These are Red Bluff (www.redbluffpark.org) in California and Hudson Valley (www.hudsonvalleypark.org) in New York. The Parks of Study and Reflection are projects built and paid for by individuals inspired by Silo’s teachings. More information is available on their respective websites.