Principle 1. The Principle of Adaptation. Second Week:
“To Go Against the Evolution of Things is to Go Against Oneself”
Last time: A New Cycle Begins
This time: King Canute. Another story and some other sayings.
Last week we focused on the general structure and implications of the principle. This week we’ll investigate how this principle played out (or didn’t) in our past. Can I discover situations where I applied, or violated this principle? What were the consequences? How would I characterize these results?
All of this work is not just in order to deepen our understanding of this particular principle, but also to begin to reflect more rigorously about our daily behaviour.
At our next meeting we can discuss our discoveries about, and our difficulties with this weeks reflections.
I’m always on the lookout for stories, jokes, and so on that illustrate some aspect of the principles. Traditional folklore from all over the world presents a reach source for such material. But there are also contemporary and very untraditional sayings, stories, urban legends, etc that can provide raw material for our consideration.
Our friend Mani in Berlin has also been involved in the endless task of putting together these kinds of resources. This is very much a work in progress but she has posted other stories, sayings, proverbs, and other material related to the principles. You can find it, in Spanish, on the website https://humanismus.wixsite.
comprincipios or similar material in German, at https://www. silosbotschaftspandau.com/blog
Mani has had a limited time to revise the material, find new stuff, translate, etc. If you are interested in being part of such a project, you should probably get in touch with Mani. She may have suggestions about how to proceed. I suspect if there is enough interest, it could prove a rewarding and useful work.
In the next few emails I’ll share somethings from, or inspired by, the material on the humanismus website that seem to resonate with the Principle of Adaptation: “To Go Against the Evolution of Things is to Go Against Oneself”
“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
― Rabindranath Tagore
Here’s some raw material that I hope you will find useful in your own reflections.
In the case of the Principle of Adaptation I recall that on occassion Silo suggested that we understand this as referring to how we can adjust ourselves (our thinking, our expectations, etc) in the face off external events which are developing in a way that may not be totally to our liking. Like others of these principles of valid action it may sound simple, but the attempt to apply it proves it to be otherwise.
Last week we touched on the fact that the Principles of Valid Action are anything but straightforward. They require a lot of thought, meditation and even experiment. But thanks to that sustained effort I’m able to transform them into guidelines toward greater internal unity (and away from contradiction). Without that kind of work they remain as platitudes, and dubious ones at that.
How do I know when a tendency really represents “the evolution of things,” and when its just a possibility, an accident, a fashion? How can I tell when my acceptance of this tendency is just weakness, laziness, or simply a mistake on my part, and when it is really the appropriate course of action?
Birds hatching out their egg; The course of a raging river; A child growing, and becoming increasingly independent’ Aging and death; The great cycles, like the inevitably of day following night, and being followed again by day; The moon waxing and waning; The tides rising and falling. These are all examples that come to my mind when I think about the “evolution of things however, if I believe every momentary trend or little breeze is a hurricane or the inevitable “evolution of things” I will be passive in many situations in which I should take action. It’s like Rafael Edwards’ “silly” illustration of a chick hatching from an egg and then trying to go back into it.
It seems there are these two serious potential errors here: How can I know if something arises from a greater situation and it makes sense to just get out of the way — or, maintaining our sea-side metaphors, learn to surf those waves? On the other hand, perhaps it is just a passing situation which I can and should confront, or work to change.
This principle also lead me to rethink the meaning of the famous story of King Canute usually told as an illustration of his piety and humility. There are other lessons that one might draw from this familiar tale.
The great king Cnute (or Canute), irritated by the incessant flattery, and ass-kissing of his courtiers, had his throne brought to the seaside. Surrounded by the members of his court and other hangers-on, he commanded the waves not to touch his shores. Ignored by the water he (apparently) pointed to this as proof that Earthly power was nothing and that “God in his heaven was the only king worthy of the title.” There are many other interpretations of this tale. But, as you might guess from my watery metaphors earlier, reflecting on this principle gave this old story new meaning for me.
A little research will lead to some other interpretations of what this story is about.
Over the next weeks we’ll look at how it might apply in my current situation, and how I imagine it might impact my future.
The sustained attempt to understand the principles and apply them in daily life can opens the way to a discipline that can be practiced in every moment of life.
Can you sit with eyes closed and go deep inside to discover the source of inner peace, vital force and and real joy?
Can you open your eyes and discover how to transform your daily life into your spiritual path?
General information about, the principles, materials, parks, etc can be found at www.silo.net or www.silosmessage.net
There are currently two 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.
These notes have been posted on Facebook and sent to our email list. You will also find them along with other comments, and reflections on my website: dzuckerbrot.com