“...After many days I discovered this great paradox: Those who bore failure in their heart were able to illuminate the final victory, while those who felt triumphant were left by the wayside like vegetation whose life is muted and diffuse.”
From Psychology I, Psychology Notes
The consciousness in front of the world tends to compensate it structurally by means of a complex system of responses. Some responses reach the objectal world directly (expressed through the centers), but others remain in the consciousness and reach the world indirectly through some manifestation of behavior. These compensations of the consciousness tend to balance the internal world with respect to the external one. Such connection is established according to exigencies, with the individual finding herself pressed to respond to a complex world that is natural, human, social, cultural, technical, and so on. The “reverie nucleus” arises as an important compensatory response, and the “secondary reveries” as specific responses to the exigencies.
Reveries can be visualized as images; not so the nucleus, which is perceived as an allusive climate” as it is configured over time, increasing its power to direct a person’s tendencies, their personal aspirations. In the stage when the reverie nucleus is wearing out, when it ceases to direct the psychism, the forms and images that it had adopted can be observed. For this reason the nucleus is easier to register at the beginning as well as at the end of its process, but not in its middle stage, which is when it most strongly directs the psychic activity. The paradox arises that the human being is unable to perceive what most determines its behavior, since the nucleus works as a background that responds in a totalizing way to the multiple demands of daily life.
The “reverie nucleus” rules the aspirations, ideals and illusions that change in each vital stage. Following these changes or variations in the nucleus, existence is oriented in other directions and, concomitantly, changes in personality are produced. This nucleus wears out individually, in the same way that epochal reveries that have directed the activities of a whole society wear out. Whereas on one hand the nucleus gives a general response to the environment’s demands, on the other it compensates the personality’s basic deficiencies and lacks, imprinting a certain direction on the behavior. This direction can be weighted depending on whether or not it follows the line of growing adaptation. The reveries and nucleus imprint their powers of suggestion over the consciousness, producing the characteristic blocking of criticism and self-criticism proper to the infra-vigilic levels. For this reason, any direct confrontation with or opposition to the suggestion of the reverie nucleus” is useless, as it simply ends up reinforcing the compulsion. The possibility of producing a change of direction in an evolutionary line lies in making gradual modifications. The nucleus can regress or become fixed. In the first case, the psychism returns to previous stages, increasing the discords between processes and the situation in the environment. In the second case, when the nucleus becomes fixed, the individual is progressively disconnected from his environment, producing a behavior that does not adjust to the dynamic of events.
The “reverie nucleus” launches the human being in the pursuit of mirages, which, when they are not realized, produce painful states (dis-illusions), while partial fulfillments produce pleasurable situations. We thus discover that the reveries and their nucleus lie at the root of psychological suffering.
It is in the great failures – when expectations collapse and mirages fade – that the possibility arises of a new direction in life. In such a situation the “knot of pain” is exposed – the biographical knot that the consciousness suffered from for so long.”
This crucial moment in life, particularly in the evolutionary work of a person, is described with the help of allegories in the chapter “The Internal States” in the book "The Inner Look":
“...After failure upon failure you can reach the next resting place, called the dwelling of Deviation. Take care in choosing between the two roads now before you. Either you take the road of Resolution, which carries you to Generation, or you take that of Resentment, which causes you to descend once more toward Regression. Here you face another dilemma: either you choose the labyrinth of conscious life (with Resolution), or you return to your previous life through Resentment. There are many who at this point, unable to surpass themselves, cut off their own possibilities.”
In his speech of May 4, 2004, Silo approached the subject of failure from a different perspective, projecting it toward the work of social transformation:
“We have failed… but we keep insisting!
We have failed but keep insisting with our project of humanizing the world.
We have failed and we will continue to fail not just once but a thousand times over, because we ride on the wings of a bird called Intent that soars above frustration, weakness, and pettiness.
The force that gives life to our flight is faith in our destiny, faith in the justice of our action, faith in ourselves, it is faith in the human being.
Because this is not the end of History, nor the end of ideas, nor the end of humankind; neither is it the definitive triumph of wickedness and manipulation. And for this reason we can always continue on in our attempt to change things and to change ourselves.”