These Commentaries do not cover all of the topics in Silo’s Message, but only those that seem necessary for a better understanding of this writing.
We will approach Silo’s Message respecting the order of that exposition. Therefore, the first part will be devoted to the chapters and paragraphs of the book, The Inner Look; the second part will consider “The Experience;” and the third, “The Path.”
Third Part of Silo´s Message
This third part presents 17 themes of meditation. They are related to achieving coherence in one’s thinking, feeling, and doing. This work that one carries out to advance toward coherence, toward unity in life, and away from contradiction and disintegration of life, is called “The Path.” We group the 17 topics into two blocks:
In the block of the first eight themes we are shown the situation of one who seeks coherence and also the way to advance toward that coherence.
In the block of the last nine items we are shown the difficulties that must be avoided in order to advance toward coherence.
“If you believe that your life will end with death, nothing that you think, feel, or do has any meaning. Everything will end with incoherence and disintegration.” What is being declared here is that no justification is possible from within the perspective of death. Furthermore, we live our lives moved by our vital needs. Eating, drinking, defending ourselves from the aggression of nature, the search for pleasure, are all major impulses that allow for the continuity of life in the short term. Thanks to the illusion of life’s permanence we are able to maintain all of our activities, but they cannot be justified outside of this illusion of permanence.
“If you believe that your life does not end with death, you must bring into agreement what you think with what you feel and what you do. All must advance toward coherence, toward unity.” This affirms that in the case of belief in the permanence or projection of life beyond death, such justification can be found through making thinking, feeling, and acting coincide in the same direction. Life can continue or be projected through a type of dynamic unity, and in no case through contradiction.
“If you are indifferent to the pain and suffering of others, none of the help that you ask for will find justification.” In the world of relationships there can be no justification for one’s own needs while denying the needs of others.
“If you are not indifferent to the pain and suffering of others then in order to help them you must bring your thoughts, feelings, and actions into agreement.” A coherent position in the face of the pain and suffering of others demands that our thoughts, feelings, and actions coincide in the same direction.
“Learn to treat others in the way that you want to be treated.” If we intend for our world of relationships to be coherent, it must be governed by reciprocity of actions. This position is not “naturally given” in behavior, but is considered something that grows, something that must be learned. This behavior is known as “the Golden Rule.” It is learned and perfected over time and experience in the world of relationships.
“Learn to surpass pain and suffering in yourself, in those close to you, and in human society.” Rather than resigning oneself to one’s supposed human “nature,” learning is also possible here. That learning extends to others as a result of lessons learned in overcoming one´s own suffering.
“Learn to resist the violence that is within you and outside of you.” As the foundation of all learning about overcoming and coherence.
“Learn to recognize the signs of the sacred within you and around you.” This intuition of the “Sacred,” of that which is irreplaceable, grows and spreads to different fields until it ends up orienting one’s life (the Sacred in oneself) and one’s actions in life (the Sacred outside of oneself).
“Do not let your life pass by without asking yourself, “Who am I?” In the sense of the meanings of one’s self and that which distorts what is referred to as “one’s self.”
“Do not let your life pass by without asking yourself, ‘Where am I going?’” In the sense of your life’s direction and goals.
“Do not let a day pass by without giving an answer to yourself about who you are.” A daily reminder of one’s own relation to finitude.
“Do not let a day pass by without giving an answer to yourself about where you are going.” This is the daily remembering of oneself in relation to the objectives and direction of one’s own life.
“Do not let a great joy pass without giving thanks internally.” Not only because of the importance of recognizing a great joy, but also because of the positive disposition which the “thanking” accentuates, reinforcing the importance of what is being experienced.
“Do not let a great sadness pass without calling into your interior for the joy that you have saved there.” If at those precise moments we were conscious of these experiences of joy, we can later evoke them in difficult moments by calling on the memory (“charged” with positive emotions). One might think that in this “comparison” you will lose the positive state, but that is not the case, because this “comparison” allows you to modify the affective inertia of the negative states.
“Do not imagine that you are alone in your village, in your city, on the Earth, or among the infinite worlds.” We experience this “loneliness” as “abandonment” by other intentions and ultimately as being “abandoned” by the future. “Speaking of “your village, your city, the Earth and the infinite worlds” confronts each and every one of those locations, small or large, unpopulated or populated, with the loneliness and negation of all possible intention. The opposite position starts from one’s own intention and extends beyond the time and space that elapses for our perception and memory. We are accompanied by diverse intentions, and even in the apparent cosmic solitude there exists “something.” There is something that manifests its presence.
“Do not imagine that you are enchained to this time and this space.” If you cannot imagine or perceive another time and another space, you can intuit an internal space and time in which the experiences of other “landscapes” operate. In these intuitions you surpass the determinism of time and space. This is a matter of experiences that are not linked to either perception or memory. These experiences are recognized only indirectly, and only when “entering” or “leaving” these spaces and these times. These intuitions occur through the displacement of the “I,” and their beginning and end can be recognized by a new accommodation of the “I.” The direct intuition of these “landscapes” (in those profound spaces) is dimly remembered through temporal contexts, never by “objects” of perception or representation.
“Do not imagine that in your death loneliness will become eternal.” Considering death as “nothingness” or as utter solitude, it is clear that the “before” and “after” of this profound experience do not subsist. The Mind transcends the consciousness that is linked to the “I” and to the times and spaces of perception and representation. Nevertheless, nothing that happens in the profound spaces can be made evident in experience.