“When You Harm Others You Remain Enchained, But If You Do Not Harm Anyone You May Freely Do Whatever You Want.”
Principle 9. Principle of Liberty – Week 3.
Last time: Unchain Yourself
This time: A Prisoner of Violence
This week we’ll be continuing with our investigations of principle 9. Over the last two weeks we tried to understand its general structure and scope of the principle as well as how it might have applied in the past. This week we’ll look at how we might apply the same principle in the present moment.
Another aspect of this principle that demands some exploration is the idea of “harm”. What exactly does that mean? When am I harming someone, and when am I simply doing something that they don’t like or of which they don’t approve. I don’t want to harm anyone but I also don’t want to be manipulated by some kind of emotional black mail.
Meditating on that question takes me to the more general idea of violence. To harm someone is to do them violence but what are the limits of violence? We know that violence isn’t simply something physical. There can be emotional violence, psychological violence, racial, religious and sexual violence, etc. These can be as real, and as harmful as physical violence. It seems to me that all forms of violence (or harm) comes from treating people as things or objects. In that sense the principle could read “…do not do violence and you can freely do whatever you want”. Does that resolve everything? Far from it but what is important is that I begin to increasingly give a clear direction to my actions. A direction where the (perhaps elusive) marker of nonviolence is of central importance.
The principles of valid action are key to creating a kind of dynamic meditation. The efforts we make to understand them, discuss them and apply them, will give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction. In other words our goal is to weave all this together into a permanent and general way of facing life.
Next week we will continue with principle 9 “The Principle of Liberty” it says: “When You Harm Others You Remain Enchained, But If You Do Not Harm Anyone You May Freely Do Whatever You Want”. We will focus on understanding this principle in terms of how we imagine the future.
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General information about, the principles, materials, parks, etc can be found at www.silo.net or www.silosmessage.net
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.