The Principle of Accumulating Actions

“Contradictory or unifying actions accumulate within you. If you repeat your acts of internal unity, nothing can detain you”

This Principle is saying that every action one carries out remains recorded in one’s memory, and from there it influences the other two pathways (senses and imagination). Therefore, repeating acts that give internal unity, or generate contradiction, will shape behavior that conditions further unifying or contradictory actions in the future.

To repeat acts of internal unity means to practice the Principles in daily life. This twelfth Principle also helps us understand that this does not mean repeating just one action (or Principle) in isolation, but rather repeating a whole set of actions that give internal unity.

Without question, by practicing all of the Principles together we find an integrated discipline which is capable of transforming our condition of suffering into a new way of life, one of growing internal unity, and therefore of growing happiness.

Sometimes the life of a person or a whole human group is built upon an accumulation of contradictory actions. And this person or group may even obtain very successful results for a time. But sooner or later, catastrophe will result, because the basis of their entire life is false. Many people see only the successful anecdotes, without realizing the process this life will have over time and, above all, its final absurdity.

The following legend illustrates the results of accumulating contradictory actions:

A prideful prince decided to build an enormous tower which would reach the heights of the heavens. For this he gathered one third of his men and en­trusted the work to them.

With the exception of the wise men, the population had been corrupted like its prince. Thus this kingdom preyed on its neighbors and was vain about its wealth.

The years passed and the con­struction continued rising towards the clouds.     But in the measure that it rose, problems grew. It was neces­sary to accumulate more and more of the kingdom’s resources.

So, while the initial third continued working on the tower, another third had to be used for war, and still another third for transportation, ordinary labor, administration, and craftsmanship.

The years went by and everything accumulated. As effort was added to effort, stones were added to stones.

And the tower grew, taking with it toward the heights all wealth all power, all suffering. It was like when the water of the seas evaporates and rises. The earth increases in her sadness as the water does not return to her because it does not rain, due to drought.

So the wise men met among themselves and asked the spirits “What unites   these people?” And the spirits answered, “Their pride.”

And again they asked, “What divides these people?” The spirits said again, “Their pride.”

That is why the wise men, cal­culating the consequences of their acts, went among the builders and explained, “This tower which will serve for the respect and submission of all the nations, requires that its builders be at the height of such merit. For this, the orders of the engineers, the architects, the master sculptors and those who direct the hauling up should be given according to hierarchy and from the height of the tower which corresponds to   their dignity.”

It happened that everyone wanted to direct from the last section of the ramp, but being so far from the earth, their shouts could barely be heard. To make things worse, the orders of some opposed the orders of the others.

So it was that some brought mortar where levers should have arrived, and others re­paired instruments without there being anyone to bring them up.

Finally, the construction began to grow irregularly. The cords were cut at the projection, and pulleys and baskets fell. At the end of the chaos, the tower was the accumulation of error upon error, and it leaned dangerously.

Such was the madness of the builders that they continued to load the work in this way. But the foundation was weak and   it collapsed, dragging its directors from the high heavens to the ground.

So the wise men met again and said, “Let us use the materials for something useful. Let us profit from everything so that some benefit returns to our people.”

And thus it happened that dams were built and the water was brought to far away places of cultivation, the dwellings of the people were secured, and the walls were extended for defense and not for offense.

All turned out for the benefit of the people and the people worked living in peace with themselves and in friendship with their neighbors.

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