Last week we focused on the general structure and implications of the principle. This week we’ll investigate how this principle played out (or didn’t) in our past. Can I discover situation where I applied, or violated this principle? What were the consequences? How would I characterize these results?
Daily Meditation and a Guide to the Inner Road:
The Guide to the Inner Road is the title of a chapter in the Inner Look. There it is recommended as a kind of road map of use in directing one’s work during the experience of the Force. It can also be found for example in part in the section on Experiences in the Book of the Community where it is woven into the Ceremony of Assistance (carried out with someone who is dying). No wonder than if it is usually thought of only in the context of guiding ourselves through exotic altered states.
If however, we understand, as the Inner Look says that the “worldly and the eternal” are not opposed to each other than perhaps we won’t find it strange to suggest that like the principles the Guide to the Inner Road can be a powerful resource in the midst of our daily activities. Here, I rely on it to guide me through my very simple daily meditations on the principle.
On many occasions we’ve given tips and suggestions about a short twice daily meditation to complement our weekly work. This consists of a reflection on the particular aspect of the principle we are focusing on this week (past, present, future, etc). The evening reflection combines this with a review of the day in the light of the principles, and in the morning an anticipation of how I might apply my insights in the coming day, as well as the setting of the tone I want to reinforce.
Simply carrying out these reflections for a few days in a row will demonstrate how this practice changes things in a surprising and effective fashion. Nonetheless, its very easy to forget to do it or to drop the practice after a short while. Why does that happen, even when the results are so positive for such little effort? If you are like me you have discovered that much of the day is ruled by habit and daydream not by intention or self-awareness.
As it says in the Guide to the Inner Road: “…your life weighs, your memories weigh, your previous actions impede the ascent”. That is true in this as much as everything else. Don’t be discouraged. Attend to your “failure” clearly without judging it. That also is part of your daily mediation. Perhaps a key part.
In its poetic fashion The Guide to the Inner Road goes on to recommend a particular attitude to cultivate in front of our (repeated) “failures”: “Reject startling fears and disheartenment… Remain in internal liberty, indifferent to the dream of the landscape, resolute in the ascent”.
Here’s some raw material that I hope you will find useful in your own reflections.
In the case of the Principle of Adaptation I recall that Silo suggested that we understand this as referring to how we can adjust ourselves (our thinking, our expectations, etc) in the face off external evens which are developing in a way that may not be totally to our liking. Like others of these principles of valid action it may sound simple, but the attempt to apply it proves it to be otherwise.
Last week I mentioned this idea, that the Principles of Valid Action are anything but straightforward. They require a lot of thought, meditation and even experiment. I also said that, it seemed to me that it is precisely thanks to this “wrestling” with the principles that I’m able to transform them into guidelines toward greater internal unity (and away from contradiction). Otherwise they remain as platitudes, and dubious ones at that.
*When I make the effort to apply it the first thing I find myself “wrestling” with is how do I know when a tendency really represents “the evolution of things,” and when its just a possibility, an accident, a fashion? How can I tell when my acceptance of this tendency is just weakness, laziness, or simply a mistake on my part, and when it is really the appropriate course of action?
Birds hatching out their egg; The course of a raging river; A child growing, and becoming increasingly independent’ Aging and death; The great cycles, like the inevitably of day following night, and being followed again by day; The moon waxing and waning; The tides rising and falling. These are all examples that come to my mind when I think about the “evolution of things however, if I believe every momentary trend or little breeze is a hurricane or the inevitable “evolution of things” I will be passive in many situations in which I should take action. It’s like Rafael Edwards’ “silly” illustration of a chick hatching from an egg and then trying to go back into it.
It seems there are these two serious potential errors here: How can I know if something arises from a greater situation and it makes sense to just get out of the way — or, maintaining our sea-side metaphors, learn to surf those waves? On the other hand, perhaps it is just a passing situation which I can and should confront, or work to change. This principle also lead me to rethink the meaning of the famous story of King Canute usually told as an illustration of his piety and humility. There are other lessons that one might draw from this familiar tale.