General Considerations and Personal Reflections:
Here are some personal reflections. I offer them in the spirit of dialogue and exchange, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about, and experiences with, this principle.
Considering the Principle of Proportion I realized that in the various ambits of my life (work, family, friends, etc) I have a range hopes and fears, as well as all kinds of projects and aspirations; some clear, some very vague. No wonder then that getting all of this to work together harmoniously involves some attention.
Do some of my goals conflict with others? Or do these goals, despite their diverse nature and unequal importance, share a common direction? Sometimes I feel I manage to ignore internal conflict through a highly developed “ability” to avoid seeing clearly! A kind of semi-intentional blindness. If, just below the threshold of my daily awareness these desires and dreams exist in conflict with each other, it’s no wonder that I might feel weak, out of sorts, irritated… or in any case somewhat lacking in that profound (or even tepid) Peace, vital Force and a Joy that’s not shaken by life’s daily difficulties. So perhaps those negative registers have little, or even nothing, to do with not winning the lottery or the other external events with which I normally associate them. Perhaps they are, at least sometimes, registers of my own internal conflicts.
Would I be going too far by claiming that discovering, and deepening those registers (i.e. the direct, unmediated experience of Peace, Force and Joy) is useful, and an attainable goal? What if I said that it is really possible to make those registers, those feelings, the permanent background of your experience? Would that be surprising? Intriguing?
Why does it seem more reasonable to believer the same thing but about fear, despair, and paranoia instead of positive, inspiring states? I don’t believe that’s a trivial question. To the contrary, I think it is a significant clue. Be that as it may, and as unlikely as it may seem, the creation of a permanent climate of Peace, Force and Joy is possible.
Of course permanence is relative. I’m not talking about an unwavering state of bliss. Things will happen, events will make you angry, sad, scared, etc. But the underlying nucleus of Peace, Force and Joy will be a sort of home-base to which you will automatically return (increasingly quickly) and from which you can eventually ascend more easily than you can descend.
How’s that for unlikely! But of course terms like ascend (to even more inspired states) and descend (towards negative emotions) imply a kind of mental map, or at least a scale of values, to which not everyone will agree.
Mulling these thoughts over I realize that if I really want to deepen these registers a first step is to study my perhaps conflicting and certainly varied, hopes. With that in mind (as something to do not once but at various moments and situations) I turn to this specific principle and taking only a few minutes I make note of two or three situations in my life where perhaps I can, and should, guide my actions in light of this principle.
Next week we’ll look at what we imagine the future holds and explore how applying, or ignoring this Principle of Proportion might impact our lives and those around us.
The principles of valid action should not be treated as an external moral code, or rule book. Nor are they are not meant as slogans or prefabricated answers. Their potential is realized through sustained effort and contemplation. In that way they are revealed as a framework for a dynamic meditation, a discipline that you can practice in every moment of your life with your eyes wide open.