Last time: King Canute. Other stories and sayings
This time: Is it dusk or dawn?
Exercise one for today. Come up with an alternative name and wording for the principle that synthesizes your understanding of what its about.
Principle 1. The Principle of The Big Picture. Third Week.
“Don’t Mistake the Appearance of the Water’s Surface for the Deep Currents.”
Discussing our friend Mani’s websites which I wrote about last week brought up the interesting exercises of re-wording and re-naming the principles. Not only did it help me “make the principles mine” but I learned about things I might have missed, or at least not seen so clearly otherwise.
This time, I found it difficult to re-phrase the principle in a way that it wouldn’t be mistaken for principle three. That, in turn, made me consider the deep connections between all the principles. It reminded me how they seem to divide into different groups of reflections on a general situation, for example: on change, on interconnection, on aims, etc.
Anyway that was my first attempt for this month’s principle. Of course that’s a personal, partial, and even an eccentric expression of the ideas we normally formulate this way:
Principle 1. The Principle of Adaptation. Third Week.
“To Go Against the Evolution of Things is to Go Against Oneself”
Over the previous two weeks we focused on the general structure, and implications of the principle, and we also investigated how this principle played out (or didn’t) in our past.
This week we turn to considering how I might apply this principle in my current situations. What are the pressures, challenges, or difficulties that I face? How might this principle apply? What light does it shed on these circumstances? How might it change things and so on? Equally I might consider what the consequences might be of misapplying or ignoring it? What suggestions would I give to someone interested in applying this principle to their present situation.
At our next meeting we can discuss our discoveries about, and our difficulties with this weeks reflections.
Here’s some raw material that I hope you will find useful in your own reflections.
Last week in our discussion there we touched on the idea that when it seemed that circumstances were changing in a way we didn’t like but were on such a scale we couldn’t change them (immediately at least) than this principle required us changing ourselves (our plans, our perspective, etc). Not that this implies accepting the direction events have taken. All this may put us in mind of principle three, “Timely Action” with its advice about how to deal with great forces. Not surprising I suppose since the evolution of things is, no doubt, a very great force.
In any case, the first three principles seem related. For example, they require measuring the forces at play. “Am I”, for example, “applying the right amount of effort or am using too much and forcing things?” “Is this force I’m confronting really a great force or can I manage it?” Or in the case of this principle: “Is this the evolution of things, or simply a passing tendency?”. Imagine the result if I believe every momentary trend or little breeze is a hurricane or the inevitable “evolution of things”. A misjudgment like that would leave me totally passive in front of every situation. If I’m wrong, and I confuse something positive and inevitable for something negative, or something that’s only a momentary blip than I really will be like the bird trying to crawl back into its shattered egg. And if I do the reverse, and take some minor fashion for the direction of history itself, who knows what disproportionate actions I might take?
In past situations, like those that were the subject of my daily meditations last week, I at least had the advantage of hindsight. That is, looking back in the past I can discern, to some extent, the path that events followed. That allows me to say that what I thought of as inevitable direction was just a hiccup, or what I thought was just a fad was the first stirrings of a historical trend. Looking at my present situation it is much more difficult to make those judgments. How can I know when a tendency is “the evolution of things” and when it’s just a possibility, an accident, a passing fashion?
For example, given the ecological, economic, political and social chaos of our times it’s easy enough to believe that the world is inevitably heading toward destruction. Is that what is happening?
What looks like we are falling head over heels into the apocalypse can just as easily be understood, not as the fall of humankind but, as the much overdue collapse of outgrown institutions and ideas making room for something new. Certainly civilizations run their course, and people outgrow their ideologies but that’s not the end of the world… perhaps as some of us believe it signals, on the contrary, the real birth of the human being.
The consequence of mistaking the end of certain institutions for the end of history could prove ridiculous, or even tragic.
Evolution or Apocalypse?
Is it the end or a new beginning? Is it dusk or dawn? Is the cat going up or down the stairs? Look again you might break wrong.
Next week we will look at what it might mean if we apply this principle in the future.
Close your eyes
Dive deep inside and discover the source of inner peace, vital force and real joy.
Open your eyes
Live intensely and discover how to transform the ordinary circumstance of your daily life into your spiritual path.
…Though you may be wise and powerful, if happiness and liberty do not grow in you and in those around you, I will reject your example… …Follow the model of that which is being born, not that which takes the path toward death…
Internal Landscape Chapter I The Question
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