Principle 10 Solidarity 3 – 2021

 “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”.

An Invitation
Each week we propose considering a principle in light of its  general meaning, and its application in our past, present, or future. Setting aside a minute or so every day to try and find one or two concrete examples in my life is a simple and powerful tool that can dramatically increase my understanding of the principles. In that brief work I make an effort to see, recall or imagine the impact of applying (or not applying) the principle in question. Interestingly the crucial thing isn’t whether I find clear examples or not. Like many of others, I have discovered that the effort itself is well rewarded by the new intuitions and understandings that arise over the next days.
Principle of Valid Action 10. The Principle of Solidarity. Week 3
Last time: The Social Dimension
This time: The Other
This Week:
In the last two weeks we looked at the principle’s structure and general meaning as well as how it applied, or could have applied in our past.
This week are focus is on the present and how we might apply the principle of solidarity in current situations.
Illustration by Rafael Edwards
Personal Reflections:
What follows are the reflections of individuals. We make no greater claim for them but we offer them in the spirit of exchange and dialogue. 
Last week Roberto wrote about the broad social dimension of the principles. This week I wanted to share some thoughts about who is the “other” to whom that the principle refers. 
It’s a subject that reminds me of somethings Silo wrote in his book the  Human Landscape (the third part of the collection Humanize the Earth).
Personally I find the chapter a bit heavy going but well worth the effort.
III. The Human Body as the Object of Intention
1. The body, as a natural object, is subject to natural modifications, and thanks to human intention is, of course, susceptible to transformation—not only in its most external expressions but also in its innermost functioning. One’s own body takes on its greatest significance when viewed in this way—as the prosthesis of intention. However, a social process intervenes between the immediate (unmediated) governance of one’s own body and the adaptation of the body to the needs and purposes of others. This process does not depend on the isolated individual but entails others as well.
2. Ownership of my psychophysical structure is given by my intentionality, while external objects present themselves to me as only indirectly subject to my control (through the action of my body) and outside of my immediate ownership. There is a particular type of object, however, that I intuit as the property of a foreign intention, and that is the body of the other. That otherness puts me in the position of being “seen from outside,” seen from someone else’s intention. My vision of the other is, therefore, an interpretation—a landscape extending to every object that carries the mark of human intention, whether produced or used today or in the past.
In that human landscape I can obliterate the intention of others by considering them prostheses of my own body, in which case I must “empty” them of their subjectivity, at least in those areas of thought, feeling, or action that I wish to control directly. But this objectification of others necessarily dehumanizes me as well, and so I justify this situation by claiming that it is the consequence of “Passion,” “God,” “A Cause,” “Natural Inequity,” “Fate,” “Society,” and so forth. 
If, like me, you find that exposition a bit difficult here’s something based  a talk Silo gave on the Psychology of the Image.  Among other things it addresses a point Jorge raised about the claim for an “improved” version of the golden rule. It’s from September 9, 1989 in Potrerillos, Argentina. 
Some say we have to “treat the other as the other wants to be treated”. But we don’t know what the other really wants, or how they feel. And we certainly can’t tell them what they should do. For us the emphasis is placed on my action, leaving me with a memory of having acted with unity. 
I recognize in the other an intentionality like mine, and a field of freedom that places limits on me.  We are not alone, isolated in our own consciousness. On the contrary we are inter-connected, we influence others and they influence us. From this point of view it is not indifferent to your evolution what you do, or how you treat others.
Illustration by Rafael Edwards
Meditation isn’t Only for When You Close Your Eyes.
It is here amid all the little joys and daily crap that we can actually create a discipline that can be practiced at every moment and in every circumstance. This is a dynamic meditation, requiring neither particular postures, nor special conditions. With time and application these efforts give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction. 
Coming up:
Next week we will continue with our considerations of The Principle of Solidarity, in relation to future situations. 
These notes have been posted on our Facebook page (Community of Silo’s Message Toronto Annex), sent to our email list, and are also on my webpage at
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.