Here’s a few thoughts related to this month’s principle. I hope you find them of some use in your own reflections. Please consider sharing your ideas with us at the meeting this Wednesday, on our Facebook page or by email.
The Principle of Accumulated Action highlights the consequence of storing up contradictory as opposed to unifying actions. Here, Silo points out some registers that can help us distinguish contradictions from, difficulties, unpleasantness, challenges, etc. all of which can be useful, at least, as incentives to change. After a few brief comments on the registers that characterize contradictory actions he points out something of the nature, or mechanism, of the accumulation itself.
The following numbered lines are excerpted from chapter nine of Silo’s work “The Internal Landscape” and follow the numeration used there.
“12. I believe you will know how to distinguish a difficulty, which is welcome for you can leap over it, from a contradiction, that lonely labyrinth that has no exit.
13. Every contradictory action that you have done in your life, whatever the circumstances, has the unequivocal flavor of internal violence and betrayal of yourself. Why you found yourself in that situation will not matter, but only how—at that precise moment—you organized your reality, your landscape. Something shattered then, and changed your direction. And this, in turn, predisposed you to a new rupture. In this way, all contradictory actions orient you toward repeating them, just as all unitive actions seek to reemerge later on.”
Later in the same chapter he gives some very useful advice about the attitude and kinds of actions required if one wants to “create a different kind of destiny”.
“20. You must be very clear about this: You are not at war with yourself. Rather, you must begin treating yourself like an old friend with whom you must now reconcile, for ignorance and life itself have driven you apart.
21. You must begin by making a decision to reconcile with yourself and to understand your previous contradictions. Then you need to make another decision—that you want to overcome these contradictions. Finally, you need to decide to build your life with acts of unity, rejecting those materials that until now have brought so much harm down upon your head.”
The next three paragraphs present the key that allows us to advance in our growth and liberation. In these lines he adds to that idea of internal unity by introducing the notion of “valid action” though he does not name it here.
“24. All these suggestions will be of value if you are prepared to create a new landscape in your internal world. But you will be able to do nothing for yourself if you think only of yourself. If you want to move forward, you will one day have to accept that your mission is to humanize the world around you.
25. If you want to build a new life, free of contradictions, a life that increasingly overcomes suffering, you must be aware of two false arguments. The first holds that “I need to solve my personal problems before I can undertake any constructive action in the world.” The second leads you to declare “I am committed to the world!” while forgetting yourself completely.
26. You may agree with me or not, but in any case I will affirm that this is the only way forward: If you want to grow, you will help those around you to grow.”