Principle 5. Acceptance. Fourth Week.
Last time: Inner War — Inner Peace
This Time: The Illusion That Things Don’t Change
Perhaps after meditating on these general aspects of the principle you can provide us with a new version of the principle, or some aspect of it, and give it a name that captures its essence. How about a very short story, saying, images, or jokes etc that illustrate some aspect of the principle.
Over the last three weeks we considered the principle in general terms, as well as seeing how it related to past and present situations. This week we turn to what we imagine the future has in store.
And we will continue to see how we can turn the principles into a dynamic and permanent meditation. That is to say, into a practice applicable at every moment of our lives. In that way we go on shaping a style of, or way of, engaging with life.
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.
In previous weeks I’ve focused on the meaning of day and night, and the other pairs of opposites as just that, opposites. We’ve also looked at the meaning of contradiction and what it means to overcome it. So far during my attempts at these weekly meditations my thoughts have drifted quite far a field — as they tend to. Continuing further along this path it seemed to me that besides being opposites, day and night, the seasons, etc are, each one, also moments in a cycle (for example, the Earths rotation on its axis, or moments in the orbit around the sun). And I realized that one of the very basic illusions that condition my thinking is, what Silo sometimes called “static naturalism”. That is the belief that what is at this moment always has been, and always will be (it’s static), and that’s how things are (naturally).
Those who understand the “I” as the central illusion of consciousness might consider static naturalism to be the equivalent of that illusionon a social level (or vice versa).
I am old enough to recall life during the cold war, how the USSR appeared not only as a great superpower but a impenetrable monolith, (some believed it was the greatest in terms of military and economic potential — people believe all kinds of shit). It was one of the two great empires (evil or not) that divided the world into West and East since the end of World War II.
I remember even after Gorbachev announced his policy of Perestroika (restructuring) and Glasnost (openness) how so many political leaders and pundits in the West said it was all just a trick to get us (the good guys, the West) to drop our guard. Later of course they shamelessly denied this and all jumped on the bandwagon. Suddenly it was common to hear those same “experts” explaining how “we all knew that that the Soviet Union was about to come apart.”
As a look back at old editorials and news reports makes plain, that was unmitigated bullshit then, and it is unmitigated bullshit now. However, watching all that occur I couldn’t help but feel that I had the inside track on this astonishing destructuring of the established world order. I remembered how a few years earlier Silo had said to us that, the Soviet Union had already collapsed; the Soviets just didn’t know it yet and it will take them a few years to realize that their empire has fallen. I for one nodded my head knowingly as if I understood what he was talking about. He went further and claimed something apparently even more ludicrous. He said this (the Soviet collapse) is for all intents and purposes done, but its fall would allow Islam to move with renewed fervor into the West and create enormous upheaval.
The Soviet Union gone, some old religion disrupting the world of global economics and real politic. It was like a joke. The politicians, and pundits (and I along with many of my friends) prefer to remember the extraordinary events that occurred as things we foresaw. We didn’t foresee anything, well clearly Silo did. But as for the rest of us we (and this is my point at last) were all hypnotized by a kind of static naturalism, in this case a vision of the world where a powerful Soviet monolith ruling half the world, immovable, and unchanging.
I should mention that he wasn’t alone in this there were a few others who saw what was happening, including a couple of CIA analysts,
At the time Silo also spoke of enormous displacements in China, perhaps because of environmental degradation that would be a great factor of future destabilization. Well we’ll see how he does on that one.
The point is that things do change. Even today, when the world has changed/is changing right underfur eyes many people still cling to the idea that “it’s always like this”. And in a sense that’s true, but as others have said, there is a constant but that constant is change itself; everything is in movement. And from where we sit that movement often seems like a series of cycles. Empires rise and fall. Civilizations are born and die. Day follows night and night is followed by day. The Winter comes and goes making room for summer once again. No wonder some people explained the underlying reality of the world as obeying a law of cycle.
This is now clearer than ever: who — just a few years ago would have thought the United States could so quickly find itself in it’s current situation? Or that we’d again have a war in Europe. Now of course everyone can see how long standing internal divisions have widened into chasms threatening that nation’s stability. And what about the EU? Who would have predicted what would happen when a global pandemic struck? Well a number of experts did of course, but static naturalism made their informed observations seem unbelievable to most everyone else.
Do these enormous instabilities herald the end of a world, or the beginning of a new one? Today, we all are beginning to understand the fragility the system in the face of what is in fact a relatively minor pandemic (imagine if it were as deadly as ebola or small pox and as contagious as measles).
This principle brings me to consider that perhaps this moment that I embrace or reject, celebrate or loath, is a really moment in a larger dance where what was wet becomes dry and what is dry becomes wet, the old fades and the new arises, the decay of death makes the ground fertile for new life.
In fragment DK22B60 of his (fragmentary) writings our old friend Heraclitus is recorded as saying: The road up is the road down.
Sometimes meditation require you sit down and close your eyes but that’s less than half the story.
Daily life makes your meditation possible. This is where you gain the raw material that nourishes your reflections just as it is the testing ground where you prove the results of your “internal” discoveries.
“All worlds you aspire to, all justice you demand, all love you search for, all human beings you would follow or destroy are also within you. Everything that changes within you will change your direction in the landscape you inhabit.”
The Internal Landscape, chapter four_ Silo
Next week we’ll turn to Principle 6, also known as the principle of solidarity.
These notes have been posted on WWW.dzuckerbrot.com, Facebook (Community of Silo’s Message Toronto Annex) and sent to our email list.
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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