Principle 1 Adaptation 5 – 2021

Principle 1. The Principle of Adaptation. Fifth  Week:
“To Go Against the Evolution of Things is to Go Against Oneself”
Last time: The weight of the future.
This time: The three pathways and the roots of suffering.
This Week:
In the previous four weeks we focused on the  general structure and implications of the principle, investigated how it played out (or didn’t) in our past,  how it might apply in the present, and what it could mean for the future. 
In discussing the future we also touched on the unusual emphasis Silo placed on our imaginings of what may come to pass. On more than one occasion he noted that we normally try to understand ourselves and our world by looking to the past and to present situations. However he pointed out that those aren’t the only things in play. He insisted that paradoxical as it might sound the future — what has not yet occurred — is also always acting on us, shaping our beliefs, hopes and actions. This week we turn to considering some related matters. 
Personal Reflections:
The three times of consciousness (past, present and future) correspond to the memory, the senses and the imagination. Silo referred to these as the three pathways of consciousness – or depending on the situation, the three pathways of suffering. Whatever you call them, Silo proposed that we explore these pathways. He suggested that we delve deeply into them and try to understand their structure, and function.
Whatever the consciousness is aware of, it is aware of only through the pathways of the senses, the memory and/or the imagination.  Hence, the name “the three pathways of consciousness”. However, when we try to understand suffering we find ourselves exploring the same pathways. Suffering arises from sensation, imagination, and memory – and of course from their interactions… hence, the name, “the three pathways of suffering”. But memories and sensations can also be distorted, mistaken or illusions. So we can also talk about illusory pathways. Further more we can also see that these pathways are also “the times of consciousness”, the gateways to the past (memory), the present (sensation) and the future (imagination).
In chapter 8 of the Internal Landscape, Silo wrote:
“All suffering steals in through memory, imagination, or perception. But it is thanks to these same three pathways that thoughts, affections, and human deeds exist. So it is that even while these pathways are necessary for life, if suffering contaminates them they also become channels of destruction.”
A personal story:
My personal website and blog has been idle for quite a long time. However, a few years ago I posted a description of something that happened to me when I was 21 or so.  Here’s a link to that story. It describes the event that helped shape my understanding of the three pathways. It has a number of spelling, and grammar issues. At some point I’ll clean them up. Meanwhile, I think you can puzzle it out. 
And continues here:

Additional reflections on Principle 1 Adaptation. Week 5.

Gloria made a comment last night about how certain questions that came up the other week regarding  what conflicts I face, what difficulties I foresee etc helped her get a handle on thinking about the evolution of things. Reflecting on her remarks led me to ask: Does the principle imply that when I go in the direction of the evolution of things I register it as being in agreement with myself? 

Not too weird an idea all things considered.
I also found myself thinking about how, reflection on just one principle seemed to generate (all?) the others. So when I think about the evolution of things for instance, I end up thinking about how pushing against it lures me into making excessive (and ultimately futile efforts), I find myself asking things like what is a great force, and how can I approach goals that might for instance lie outside of the powerful currents of the moment, etc, etc.
We’ve always said that you need to interpret the principles in light of all the others. Now I am wondering whether starting with any of them I would generate the others (so to speak)? Or does each principle only imply some others, for example the related ones, eg. Any principles focused on processes (mutually) implies the others, or any principle about relations within a structure (mutually) implies others in that genre eg. Things are Well When they Move Together implies When Day and Night Summer and Winter are well with you. Etc/
Coming Up:
Next week we’ll continue with our exploration of this Principle of Adaptation.
Worth Repeating:
Working this way also teaches us that the principles can become the foundation of a discipline that you can practice in every moment of your life. 
They are principles: general ideas that you can weave together into a coherent style of life aimed in a particular direction.


These notes have been posted on Facebook and sent to our email list, and thanks to Fernando Aranguiz on my website

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 or
There are currently 2 Parks of Study and Reflection in North America. These are Red Bluff ( in California and Hudson Valley ( 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.