Principle 7 Immediate Action 3 – 2020

The Present. This Week: Dictionaries, Definitions, Crafts and Card Games(and an attached document from a guest author)

If You Pursue An End You Enchain Yourself. If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself You Liberate Yourself.
Last time: Registers and the laboratory of the heart.
This Time: Dictionaries, Definitions, Crafts and Card Games.

This Week:
Previously we concentrated on the general structure and scope of this principle. We then turned to how we applied, or could have applied, this principle in the past. This week we consider its present applications.
General Considerations and Personal Reflections:
Here are 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.
Last week I mentioned some thoughts about the implications of a possible neurobiological basis for this  principle. This week I am focusing only on the middle-part of the principle with some considerations about the phrase: “If Everything You Do Is Realized As An End In Itself”. 
Common Usage:
The first thing I did was look up the phrase “an end in itself” in  dictionaries of idioms and phrases — yes there are such things. Here’s a sample from The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs: “…existing for its own sake; existing for no clear purpose. For Bob, art is an end in itself. He doesn’t hope to make any money from it. Learning is an end in itself. Knowledge does not have to have a practical application. See also: an, end, in, itself”
 © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Another example, this time from The Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. “…if an activity or action is an end in itself, it is important to you not because it will help you to achieve something else, but because you enjoy doing it or think that it is important Education should be an end in itself…” 
© Cambridge University Press 2006. 
In the discussion of this principle a few weeks ago the point was raised that to get anything done we need goals and need to go after them. These examples of common usage seemed to drive home the idea that it ’s not a question of an absence of goals (quite the contrary) but of having the desired “end” co-present while my focus is on each step. That often means enjoying each intermediate stage as fully as possible. However, even where that’s not possible or appropriate  I can, nonetheless, attend to each step and do it with all the care I can muster. 
One interesting place to learn and practice this principle is in those processes we call crafts. Their practice also gives new intuitions and inspirations about the principles. Historically the crafts have been tied to those central of the works of Silo’s school, the systems of self-transference called disciplines. The disciplines however are not everyone’s interest — requiring as they do, special conditions, preparation, and sustained dedication. On the other hand, the crafts are of more general use, and far more accessible. In daily life crafts are generally practiced in order to create beautiful or useful objects. In our ambits however, they are  used to create beautiful or useful attitudes. Our practice focuses on three of these, which we refer to as: Permanence, Care, and Tone.
Measure and Proportion:
One form of permanence is in giving your actions the time they need to develop properly. Care can also be translated, as precision, or even attention to detail. Tone is a matter of measure and proportion and so related to what in another time might have been called temperance from the  Latin temperantia i.e., moderation which derives from temperare, i.e. restrain.  This is an idea related to another word that perhaps also sound out of date: prudence, using that word in something like its original sense ((Latin: prudentia, from providentia meaning “seeing ahead, sagacity”).
These three attitudes, permanence, care and tone, are cultivated in our crafts and can cast an interesting light on the application of the principles in daily life and on this principle in particular.
Coming Up:
Next week we’ll continue with principle 7 but we will focus our reflections on the future. We will try to find examples that illuminate how the principle might apply to our future situations.
Sometimes meditation requires you sit down and close your eyes — but that’s less than half the story. 
These principles are proposed as elements that can be molded into a discipline that can be practiced at every moment, and in every circumstance. With time and application, these efforts give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction, forming a coherent way of living and a new way of experiencing everything.
Worth Repeating:
Even where I think it’s not possible or appropriate to enjoy the steps toward my goals I can, nonetheless, attend to each step and carry them out with all the care I can muster.

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We’d all love to hear your comments, thoughts, considerations, artwork, etc about any of this.

Want More:
General information about, the principles, materials, parks, etc can be found at or
There are currently 2 Parks of Study and Reflection in North America. These are Red Bluff ( in California and Hudson Valley ( 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.