“If you pursue pleasure, you enchain yourself to suffering. But as long as you do not harm your health, enjoy without inhibition when the opportunity presents itself.”
Principle 6. Pleasure. First Week.
Last time: The Illusion That Things Don’t Change.
This Time: Neither Pursuing nor Denying.
This Time: Neither Pursuing nor Denying.
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 next weeks we will look at various aspects of the principle of pleasure. This week will consider its general meaning, and broad implications. We’ll also consider some observations about, and illustrations of, the principle of pleasure in general. At our next meeting we will discuss our observations, thoughts and questions about it.
Here is an unusual tale that may help to illustrate this Principle:
The master of a monastery was forced to suddenly leave on an arduous but important journey. Before her departure she presented her assembled disciples with a magic cake. Among its virtues was the power to provide all the nutrition one required. The master told them that it had even more amazing abilities since each disciple could eat as much of this extraordinary pastry as they wanted and yet the cake would in no way be diminished The only condition was that they had to promise to eat some cake only once a day.
One disciple cut off some and put it on a plate. Taking a bite he was astonished by its delicious flavour and gobbled up the entire piece. He was barely finished when he began imagining tomorrow’s portion. Each day he finished his share even more obsessed with the cake than the day before. Finally he decided to put an end to the problem by eating enough that he would be satisfied until his next turn. So he ate an enormous piece – so much so that he fell ill with such terrible indigestion that it brought him to the brink of death.
In remembrance of this a plaque was affixed to the monastery gate. It read: “They suffer who seek and desire to conserve.”
Another disciple seeing what had happened did not even want to try the cake, even though he desired almost nothing as much as he desired to taste it. But he thought to himself: “as we have seen, pleasure brings pain. Therefore better not to enjoy so as not to suffer later. As we have seen, one thing leads to another.”
So it happened that this ascetic monk thought all day long of cake, he dreamt of mountains of cake but could not take a bite. One day, unable to bear it any longer he tasted the marvelous cake. In this way he betrayed his convictions and did not decrease his obsession in the least.
In front of the monastery they placed another plaque. This one said: “The sin is not in the cake nor in the belly. It is in what is dreamt and imagined by the mind.”
Finally a third disciple asked about the tasks that the master had entrusted them with before she left. she saw that the monastery, and its farm with its fields and animals had been left untended. Making things even more complicated the diversity of opinions regarding the cake had divided the community. There was much to do so she made herself responsible to get things in order before the master’s return. One day while cleaning she came to one of the rooms where she stumbled across the source of so much argument, the magic cake. Being hungry she cut herself a fair sized piece and slowly savoured its wonderful taste. But there was so much to do she soon forgot all about it as she went about his tasks.
When the master returned she saw the two plaques at the monastery gate and asked what they meant. Hearing about the chaos and problems her cake had instigated she had it removed. Later however she said, “a great injustice has been done” and she had a third plaque erected. It read: “The excess of a strong fool and the asceticism of a weak scholar lead to the same end. But what creates so many problems for the greedy and fearful is just a morsel for a saint.
XII. Compensation, Reflection, and the Future
5. If you affirm that which searches for itself and whose nature is to transform itself, that which is never complete in itself and whose essence opens to the future, then you love the reality you build. This, then, is your life: the reality that you build!
6. And there will be action and reaction, as there will be reflection and accident. But if you have opened the future, there will be nothing that can detain you.
7. May life speak through your mouth, and may it say, “There is nothing that can detain me!”
The Internal Landscape, chapter 12 _ Silo
Whenever you find great strength, joy, and kindness in your heart, or when you feel free and without contradictions, immediately be internally thankful. When you find yourself in opposite circumstances, ask with faith, and the gratitude you have accumulated will return to you transformed and amplified in benefit.
The Inner Look, chapter 13 _ Silo
Next week we’ll continue with the Principle 6, also known as the principle of pleasure. We will be focusing on how this principle might have impacted past situations.
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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