Principle 12. The Principle of Accumulating Action. Fourth Week:
“Contradictory and unifying acts accumulate within you. If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.”
Last Time: The Second Part of that Quote
This time: Changing Your Destiny.
Since this is the fourth week devoted to considering this principle, as is our custom, the focus will be on the future. We’ll try to understand how this principle applies to things that haven’t happened yet but which we see taking shape. And we’ll consider how things might change if we find ways to apply it in an appropriate fashion.
Another Simple Exercise:
In my reflections this week I’ll take a moment to focus on the future, and on discovering at least one situation where my old habits, and accumulated actions could again lock me into self-defeating, or otherwise unwanted patterns. Then I will consider at least one situation where my previous coherent actions could help me repeat that unitive pattern — producing a situation where my feelings, thoughts, and actions are all in agreement, and working together.
This is apparently all about “my” internal unity. However, it is interesting to note that when such behaviours are aimed at treating others as you wish to be treated, the feeling of internal unity takes on an additional dimension and is accompanied by the certainty that you’d like to repeat such actions. Perhaps, that’s why in last weeks quote from Laozi he places this question of “accumulation” in the context of “caring for others and serving heaven”?
In my reflections this week I’ll try to recognize how that this “mental direction”, of acting to maximize coherent actions, might in fact be more important than the specific actions, or even the specific outcomes.
As I’ve previously mentioned a few times it’s my experience that these meditations should be as brief, and as focused, as possible. I mention it again because I’ve found it a useful approach and one that many of us seem to find counter-intuitive.
Here’s a few thoughts related to this month’s principle. I hope you find them of some use in your own reflections. Please consider sharing your ideas with us at the meeting this Wednesday, on our Facebook page or by email.
The Principle of Accumulated Action highlights the consequence of storing up contradictory as opposed to unifying actions. Here, Silo points out some registers that can help us distinguish contradictions from, difficulties, unpleasantness, challenges, etc. all of which can be useful, at least, as incentives to change. After a few brief comments on the registers that characterize contradictory actions he points out something of the nature, or mechanism, of the accumulation itself.
The following numbered lines are excerpted from chapter nine of Silo’s work “The Internal Landscape” and follow the numeration used there.
“12. I believe you will know how to distinguish a difficulty, which is welcome for you can leap over it, from a contradiction, that lonely labyrinth that has no exit.
13. Every contradictory action that you have done in your life, whatever the circumstances, has the unequivocal flavor of internal violence and betrayal of yourself. Why you found yourself in that situation will not matter, but only how—at that precise moment—you organized your reality, your landscape. Something shattered then, and changed your direction. And this, in turn, predisposed you to a new rupture. In this way, all contradictory actions orient you toward repeating them, just as all unitive actions seek to reemerge later on.”
Later in the same chapter he gives some very useful advice about the attitude and kinds of actions required if one wants to “create a different kind of destiny”.
“20. You must be very clear about this: You are not at war with yourself. Rather, you must begin treating yourself like an old friend with whom you must now reconcile, for ignorance and life itself have driven you apart.
21. You must begin by making a decision to reconcile with yourself and to understand your previous contradictions. Then you need to make another decision—that you want to overcome these contradictions. Finally, you need to decide to build your life with acts of unity, rejecting those materials that until now have brought so much harm down upon your head.”
The next three paragraphs present the key that allows us to advance in our growth and liberation. In these lines he adds to that idea of internal unity by introducing the notion of “valid action” though he does not name it here.
“24. All these suggestions will be of value if you are prepared to create a new landscape in your internal world. But you will be able to do nothing for yourself if you think only of yourself. If you want to move forward, you will one day have to accept that your mission is to humanize the world around you.
25. If you want to build a new life, free of contradictions, a life that increasingly overcomes suffering, you must be aware of two false arguments. The first holds that “I need to solve my personal problems before I can undertake any constructive action in the world.” The second leads you to declare “I am committed to the world!” while forgetting yourself completely.
26. You may agree with me or not, but in any case I will affirm that this is the only way forward: If you want to grow, you will help those around you to grow.”
Over the last three weeks we focused on the principle in general, its relation to past and present events. This week we consider it in relation to what we imagine the future to hold. Next week we begin a new cycle of reflection.
I can see that repeating certain actions formed habits of behaviour that helped bring me to my present situation. In turn these habits make certain future actions more likely. This is true whether these are acts that produce internal unity (i.e. agreement with myself) or contradiction (internal conflict). In either case repetition facilitates a mental direction, and forms habitual ways of facing life.
Do not let a great joy pass without giving thanks internally.
Do not let a great sadness pass without calling into your interior for the joy that you have saved there.
Silo_ The Path
These notes have been posted on Facebook and sent to our email list, and thanks to Fernando Aranguiz on my website www.dzuckerbrot.com
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.
General information about, the principles, materials, parks, etc can be found at www.silo.net or www.silosmessage.net
There are currently 2 Parks of Study and Reflection in North America. These are Red Bluff (www.redbluffpark.org) in California and Hudson Valley (www.hudsonvalleypark.org) 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.
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