Principle 8 Comprehended Action 5 – 2020

You Will Make Your Conflicts Disappear When You Understand Them In Their Ultimate Root, Not When You Want To Resolve Them

Principle 8. Comprehended Action. Week 5.

Last time: Learning, Contemplation and Doing

This time: Just Joking

This Week:

Over the last weeks we looked at the basic structure of this principle, some observations about, and illustrations of, the Principle of Comprehended Action in general. We also considered it in light of past, present and future events. 

Since we set the new weekly contemplation of the principle at the end of the meeting this is our fifth week considering this principle. We will use this “extra” week to range a little further afield. 

The weekly and daily reflections proposed here are meant to help us turn the principles into a dynamic and permanent meditation, and aid us in shaping a new  style, or way, of engaging with life. The goal is to live with less internal contradiction and greater unity between our thoughts, feelings and actions, to live more coherently with ourselves and others.

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.

The Phantoms that Haunt All of Us

There are certain conflicts between what I want, what is or what might be. For example: the fear of losing what we have; fear of not getting what we want (or need); fear of poverty; illness; loneliness; and at the bottom of everything the great knot of suffering —  the fear of death. Except when we are overwhelmed, or tossing and turning unable to sleep these can most often be ignored. We can usually distract ourselves. But who is unfamiliar with these phantoms? And who knows their ultimate root? 

But let’s lighten things up a little. As many of you know I’m on a quest. This search is for at least one joke to illustrate each principle. We don’t need great jokes. Lame jokes will do as long as they are not too long, at least mildly humorous, and captures something of the principle. It’s a tricky business considering how humour is so culturally and generationally bound.Nonetheless, and despite all that, I think these would be a great complement to the stories we currently use to illustrate the principles (and I always keep an eye out for more of them as well). Please let me know if you have a joke you think might be suitable for this, or any of the principles. 

 Like folktale, and teaching stories some people feel jokes are proper to a certain culture or comedian. Sometimes they certainly are. But often determining origins of these things is very difficult, if even possible. Certainly jokes can be appropriated, they can also migrate, and flourish when exchanged, but also similarities arise because of the situations common to all human beings. Perhaps the origins are the least important issue in any case. In any case try this one…

How Not to Find the Root:

In the late hours of the night a policeman came upon an apparently very inebriated fellow muttering to himself as he crawled on hands and knees under a street light. As is the custom in those parts the officer interrupted our intoxicated friend and asked what he was doing. The drunk replied: “I’ve lost my keys”. The helpful public servant asked “Well, where did you last see them?”. Gesturing at the faint sign of a popular drinking establishment a few blocks away the reply came: “I had them in my hand after I left that bar”. The policeman immediately said: “Well why aren’t you looking back there?”. With a note of pity in his voice our friend looked up and said: “well the light’s much better here of course.”


In meditating on, discussing and trying to use the principles we are trying to weave together a way of facing life, a general direction, or style of life.

Worth Repeating:

I want to move towards a situation where I’m not at war with myself, where I can tap into my vital energy to face life’s daily challenges, and where I face the uncertain future more joyously. In other words, what I want is to make the phrase Peace, Force and Joy, into more than a slogan.

Coming up:

Next week we’ll turn our considerations to principle 9 (The Principle of Liberty) which says: “When you harm others you remain enchained, but if you do not harm anyone you can freely do whatever you want.”

In our community of Silo’s Message our practice is to focus on one of the 12 Principles of Valid Action each week. These principles can be found in Chapter 13 of the book, The Inner Look. Each week we look at a different aspect of that principle. This week we are concluding our collective considerations of Principle  #8, “The Principle of Comprehended Action, for the year. It says: “You Will Make Your Conflicts Disappear When You Understand Them In Their Ultimate Root, Not When You Want To Resolve Them”.

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A slightly different version is available on instagram. Look for silo_toronto 
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.