Principle 11 Negation of Opposites – Special supplement – 2022

Last Time: If I’m Not That, What Am I?

This Time: Principles and Platitudes (also a lame joke, and an intriguing game)


 It is here amid all the little joys, and daily crap that we can actually create a practice that can be applied at every moment and in every circumstance. This is a dynamic meditation, requiring neither particular postures, nor special conditions. With time and application these efforts give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction. 

Principle 11. The Principle of Negation of Opposites. 

“It does not matter in what faction events have placed you what matters is for you to understand that you have not chosen any faction.”  

Fifth Week:

Over the last four weeks we considered the overall structure and general implications of the principle of the negation of opposites. We also looked at it in the contexts of the past, the present, and the future. 

We will use the days until our next meeting to continue those meditations and to reflect on some further considerations about how we might pull the principles off the page. and put them into action in our lives.

Personal Reflections:

Here’s some thoughts related to this subject. I hope you find them of some use in your own meditations.  Please consider sharing your ideas with us at the meeting this Wednesday, on our Facebook page or by email.

Principles as Platitudes 

Platitudes, i.e. as the dictionary has it: “…remarks or statements, especially ones with a moral content, that have been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful”.

Certainly, the principles might simply be platitudes, or if you prefer cliches, banalities, or even hackneyed bromides. Any of these would be correct.  Unless we make the effort to transform them into something more. 

The principles of valid action are just words. They become important in the measure they can help you build a more coherent life, filled with growing Peace in yourself and around you, internal Force to face life’s difficulties and the Joy of an open future.

Fetish or Mental Direction

Here’s another platitude: “You get out what you put in”. That about sums it up; principles, laws, rules, guidelines, aphorisms… it’s all about what you do with them. From that point of view, it’s not the “principles”, not those particular 12 points, that are so powerful. It could be 16 principles, or 6, or maybe even one. Thinking that they are intrinsically valuable is to take things that are really peripheral, or incidental, and to mistake them for something that is central or operational. Hence, a fetish — not in a sexual sense but sort of in the anthropological sense — i.e. something to which power is falsely attributed.

Two things count here and have become the mainstay for the approach to the principles that we find in our weekly discussion and meditation. The first is what we could call the “mental direction” implicit in those slogans. It’s kind of obvious that there is a different mental direction inherent in saying something like “smash all resistance” or “when opposed withdraw”, instead of, “Do not oppose a great force” or “Retreat until it weakens then advance with resolution.” 

The second important point is, not what’s given in the principles, but what isn’t in them. As soon as you give one of them more than a passing glance unresolved issues arise. Each of them overflows with unanswered questions. What does the principle mean? How do I apply it? How do I know if it’s a “great” force? How do I retreat or advance? What is resolution? The lack of obvious answers to those questions, and so many others, is not a shortcoming of the principles. On the contrary it is a great virtue. 

Digging relentlessly into your own experience, consistently struggling to transform these slogans into the coherent expressions of a particular mental direction. Developing a growing sensitivity to the registers of unity and contradiction. That is learning to recognize difference between what it feels like when my thoughts, feelings, and actions are coherent, and what it feels like when I’m at war with myself.  Those are exactly the kinds of things that can convert platitudes into principles— and even transform principles into a way of life, an unending and dynamic meditation. No shit.


As long as we are leaving the principles just as words on a piece of paper we are overlooking the way into our spiritual path that lays closest to hand. 

Worth Repeating:

 “Here the worldly is not opposed to the eternal”.

The Inner Look 1:4


Factions, Opinions, and Points of View.

(sometimes it’s really, really hard to let go of “my truth”)

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the world can be seen through a million perspectives.

Mine and 999,999 wrong ones.

And a game (sort of) from Mani in Berlin:

While not an accurate depiction of human life you may, nonetheless, find it intriguing.

Coming up:

This week we will finish our considerations of principle 11 “the negation of opposites” and we can discuss our insights and questions at our next meeting. The following week we will turn our attention to principle twelve “accumulating actions”. It says: “Contradictory and unifying acts accumulate within you. If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.”  


These notes have been posted on Facebook and sent to our email list, and on my website 



We’d all love to hear your comments, thoughts, considerations, artwork, etc about any of this.