Over the previous three weeks we focused on the general structure, and implications of the principle, we also investigated how this principle played out (or didn’t) in our past, as well as in the present. This week we turn to considering how we might apply it to what hasn’t yet happened, to what one believes will happen in the future.
What are the problems, pressures, challenges, or difficulties that I think I will have to face? How might this principle apply? What light does it shed on these circumstances? How might it change things and so on? Equally I might consider what the consequences might be of misapplying or ignoring it.
Finally I ask myself: What suggestions would I give to someone interested in applying this principle to their future situations?
Some types of meditation require you to sit down and close your eyes. Some require you to open your eyes wide and dive head first into the midst of life transforming daily life into your spiritual path.
Here’s some raw material that I hope you will find useful in your own reflections.
The weight of the future:
Looking to the past for explanations of the present seems to be a reasonable approach. It certainly is a common one; whether it is the therapist trying help me find the roots of my current problems in my childhood, or the astronomer explaining the shape of the universe around us as the consequence of the big bang. Nothing seems more natural than to understand what we have around us (or what we are) from what has happened previously.
Silo, however gave priority to the future, pointing out that what we believe will happen shapes us as much, or even more than what already occurred. Take a person with a difficult past who believes that tomorrow will be great, compare them with a person whose life has been wonderful but who believes tomorrow is a disaster waiting to happen. Consider all the changes that could occur in someone who believes they are about to lose their livelihood – how they suffer even though the event hasn’t occurred. Compare that to the situation of a person who believes that they are about to get a great, high-paying job. Obviously their internal states are very different. In the second case their suffering recedes, their preoccupations vanish, they feel stronger and confident.
However, in both cases nothing has really happened, the only thing that has changed is an image of the future – a future that may turn out very differently than imagined. No doubt what has happened in the past influences the present situation – that’s widely understood but in these examples what is producing changes in the present is the future. It is something that has not happened (and may never happen).
Back to our principle:
This week rather than share more ramblings and reflections I am attaching a video courtesy of Rafael Edwards (who also did the illustration at the top of this page). I hope you enjoy it and find it as interesting as I did.
If you speak Spanish you’ll find that the song that accompanies the silent drama supplies a narrative. I think that those who don’t speak Spanish will have no problem following the story. The opening title is simply this month’s principle in Spanish.