Principle 11 Negation of Opposites 2 – 2020

Principle 11. Negation of Opposites. Week 2. The past. This time: A worthy Cause and the Simplest Meditation
“It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.” 
Last time: My beliefs, Your beliefs. 
This time: A worthy Cause and The simplest meditation.
This Week:
Last week we considered the overall structure and general implications of the principle of the negation of opposites. This week we will consider it in the context of the past. How did I apply, or not apply this principle? What were the consequences? How might things have played out differently?  
 
It’s a duck. It’s a rabbit:

This is Jastrow’s “rabbit-duck” it’s an ambiguous image that became widely known through the philosopher Wittgenstein’s use of it in his book “Philosophical Investigations”. He used it as an illustration in a discussion about seeing. The question of points of view is obviously related to this month’s meditations.

Personal Reflections
Here’s some thoughts related to this subject. I hope you find them of some use in  your own meditations.  Please consider sharing your ideas with us at the meeting this Wednesday, on our Facebook page or by email.
 
As I have mentioned previously I find the best way to approach these kind of considerations is concretely —  that means that this week I’ll take a look at the principle and try to discover at least one situation where applying the principle made or could have made a difference in the outcome of events, or at least how I felt about that outcome. 
 
What a timely principle! Perhaps it’s always timely. Maybe it’s just because all the principles are always timely.  But whatever the case this sure seems worth considering in a world with increasingly virulent, violent, and self-righteous factions.
 
Here’s chapter 4 from “The Internal Landscape” with some of Silo’s thoughts on factions. 
Along with “The Human Landscape” and “The Inner Look”, The Internal Landscape forms the  Humanize The Earth trilogy
If even the most distant star is connected to you, what should I think of the living landscape, where deer slip between ancient trees and even the most savage animals gently lick their offspring? What should I think of the human landscape, where opulence and misery are found side by side, where some children laugh while others cannot even find the strength to cry?
1. For if you say, “We have reached other planets,” you must also declare, “We have massacred and enslaved entire peoples. We have filled our jails with those who cried out for liberty. We have lied from morning until night. We have falsified our thoughts, our affections, and our actions. We have assaulted life at every turn, for we have created suffering.”
 
2. I know my way in this human landscape, but what will happen if we pass each other going in opposite directions? I renounce every faction that proclaims an ideal higher than life and every cause that, to impose itself, generates suffering. So before you accuse me of not being part of any faction, examine your own hands—you may find on them the blood of complicity. If you believe it valiant to commit yourself to those factions, what will you say of one whom all the murderous bands accuse of being uncommitted? I want a cause worthy of the human landscape: a cause committed to surpassing pain and suffering. 
 
3. I deny the right to make accusations to any faction that, whether recently or long ago, has figured in the suppression of life.
 
4. I deny the right to cast suspicion on others to any who conceal their own suspicious faces.
 
5. I deny that anyone, even someone arguing the extreme urgency of present circumstance, has the right to block the new roads that the human being must travel.
 
6. Not even the worst of what is criminal is foreign to me, and if I recognize it in the landscape, I recognize it also in myself. So it is that I want to surpass what in me as in everyone fights to suppress life: I want to surpass the abyss!


Remember:
The principles are simply platitudes if you don’t make the effort to transform them into something more. They are important if they can help you build a more coherent life filled with growing Peace in yourself and around you, internal Force to face life’s difficulties and the Joy of an open future.
duck? well bird rabbit anyway
At No Additional Charge This Weeks Extra Goodie:
Simplest Meditation
I know this will sound ridiculously simple, but one way I’ve found to weld together those two seemingly different paths, is with what we might call the “simplest meditation”. It’s so easy, and easy that most people will not even try it. That’s too bad.
 
A while back I mentioned a brief morning meditation reflecting on the principle, as well as setting priorities and a tone for the day. Despite its brevity and simplicty, or perhaps because of that, I’ve found it of extraordinary benefit. Here’s the other half of that story; an evening meditation of course. Every night before falling asleep I review my day looking for the moments where I felt internal unity or contradiction. I try to see where I applied, or could have applied, the week’s principle. I try to do that without blame or criticism – simply observing. As if I was reading a story or watching a film or play. That attitude is very important; just trying to see. All that is done very quickly. It’s not a 20 minute practice or even a 5 minute one. That’s important. Just a couple of focused, moments. Of course these two phases should compliment each other. One way to help that happen is that in the morning before getting up, or even opening my eyes, I recall my observations of the night before and make a little plan about how to apply what I learned to the day that’s about to start. That takes a minute or less. 
 
No big investment of time. No cost. No guru, life-coach or master. No fireworks, as Silo used to say. Nonetheless, I suspect I’m not alone in finding that those few (very few) minutes can be life changing. Try it! Talk about big pay offs, and nothing to lose. 
Worth Repeating:
Guiding our actions by the internal registers of unity and contradiction we can develop a coherent life increasingly filled with peace, force and joy.
Coming up:
This week we looked at how principle 11 “the negation of opposites” applied in past situations. Next week we shift from the past to the present. 

Note:
These notes have been posted on Facebook and sent to our email list, and thanks to Fernando Aranguiz on my website  www.dzuckerbrot.com 

A slightly different version will be 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  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.

Each month we we propose a series of meditations that we practice over the subsequent weeks. We start by looking at a principle in light of its  general meaning, and then over the next three weeks its application in our past, present, and future. One simple and powerful tool to help in doing this is to set aside a minute or so every day to try and find one or two concrete examples in my life. In that brief work I make an effort to see, recall or imagine the impact of applying (or not applying) the principle. Whether I find clear examples or not I, like many of others, have discovered that the effort is well rewarded by the new intuitions and understandings that arise over the next days.