Principle 12 Accumulating actions – Week 3 – 2022

Principle 12. The Principle of Accumulating Action. Third Week:

“Contradictory and unifying acts accumulate within you. If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.”

Last Time: Words of Wisdom 

This time: Memory, and Actions, The Internal and The External

This Week:

This week we’ll turn to considering this principle in relation to the present moment. 

Personal Reflections:

Here’s a few thoughts related to this month’s principle. I hope you find them of some use in your own reflections. 

I was thinking about how it is that my actions accumulate within me.  I understood that my actions accumulated in my memory, but that memory wasn’t something isolated. It’s not a bag , or a folder where the past is kept. Acting in a certain way produced  results which were, in varying degrees, unitive, contradictory or neutral. These past actions and their results, were recorded together in my memory. And they continued to act over me in the present, and also conditioned how I saw the future. This future I imagined acted in turn, not only on how I felt my present situation, but changed how I recalled the past… and so on a dance of mutual influence.

I could also see how that memory (something “internal”) was configuring my situation (something “external”). My relations with others, my situation, my reality are somehow a form of memory. That brings to mind Silo’s phrase from his 1990 talk about the book Contribution to Thought: That world that I take as reality itself is in fact my own biography in action, and that action of transformation that I effect in and upon the world is my own transformation.

Recognizing It made me consider these phrases from the Inner Look: Here the worldly is not opposed to the eternal.

On the Inner road you may walk darkened or luminous. Attend to the two ways that unfold before you. 

-Silo, The Inner Look

And also this poem I had come across

Traveler, your footprints

are the only road, nothing else.

Traveler, there is no road;

you make your own path as you walk.

As you walk, you make your own road,

and when you look back

you see the path

you will never travel again.

Traveler, there is no road;

only a ship’s wake on the sea.

-Antonio Machado

Can I see how what I do today is accumulating within me? Can I see the situations I configure of as an expression and amplifier of that accumulation? Am I accumulating the tendencies, or results I want? 

Isn’t it precisely that accumulation that can convert sporadic action into a path leading in a chosen direction? A path, that is yours, and that you create by your actions. Is it fair to say that you are the craftsperson and the object you are crafting?

Among other things, our weekly meetings give us an opportunity to compare notes, discoveries, questions, etc. about the principles. If you are unable to join us you might find it worthwhile to find, or create, situations where you can engage others in conversation about these themes.

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Last week I quoted some phrases from Laozi’s Tao Te Ching (the Classic of the Way and its Virtue). If you haven’t surmised, I’m a big fan of his and I’d like to mention another of his verses this week. It contains a very well known line from this extraordinary author. 

Here’s the first quotation. It’s just a few phrases from chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching. To my ears it resonates with the lines about water from last week’s quote from “the Venerable Master”. This selection ends with a sentence that we have all heard in one or another variation. Perhaps you’ve heard it as “a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”. In fact we’ve heard versions it so often, or seen it on posters, or on so many Facebook postings, that it’s probable that familiarity has once again reduced words of wisdom to just more empty platitudes. 

 But in any case  I think if we can open ears our ears a little we will recognize that it is potentially much more than a pithy banality.

“A tree as great as a man’s embrace springs from a small shoot;

A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth;

A journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet.”

Coming Up:

 This week we consider the principle in relation to present situations. Next week we’ll look at what it might mean for us in regards the future.


1. Here it tells how the non-meaning of life is converted into meaning and fulfillment.

2. Here is joy, love for the body, for nature, for humanity, and for the spirit.

3. Here sacrifices, feelings of guilt, and threats from the beyond are rejected.

4. Here the worldly is not opposed to the eternal.

5. Here it tells of the inner revelation to which all arrive who carefully meditate in humble search.

Silo_ Chapter I of the Inner Look

Worth Repeating:

Do not let a great joy pass without giving thanks internally. 

Do not let a great sadness pass without calling into your interior for the joy that you have saved there.

Silo_ The Path


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Next Week…