Personal emplacement

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At present, anything that may offer personal reference points, referred to action as well as to one’s psychological emplacement in front of this changing world, is subjected to argument. The crisis of “life-models” alludes to this problem. In one of his Letters to My Friends, Silo presents a summary of previous observations on this point. Even at the risk of its being insufficient as an explanation, it is pertinent to present it in this entry. It says: 1. Driven by the technological revolution, the world is undergoing rapid change, which is colliding with established structures and the formative experience and habits of life of both individuals and societies. 2. As change makes more factors in society become “out of phase,” this generates growing crises in every field, and there is no reason to suppose this will diminish; on the contrary it will tend to intensify. 3. The unexpectedness of today’s events clouds our ability to foresee the direction that these events, the people around us, and ultimately our own lives will take. 4. Many of the things we used to think and to believe in no longer work. Nor do we see adequate solutions forthcoming from any society, any institution, or any individual – all of whom suffer the same ills. 5. If one decides to stand up to these problems, one must give direction to one’s life, striving for coherence among one’s thoughts, feelings and actions. And because we do not live in isolation, we must extend this coherence to our relationships with others, treating them as we want to be treated. While it is not possible to fulfill these two proposals rigorously, nonetheless they constitute the direction in which we need to advance, which we will be able to accomplish above all if we make these proposals permanent references, reflecting on them deeply. 6. We live in immediate relationship with others, and it is in this environment that we must act to give a favorable direction to our lives. This is not a psychological question, a matter that can be resolved solely in the head of an isolated individual, it is related to the concrete situation in which each of us lives. 7. Being consistent with the proposals we are attempting to carry forward leads us to the conclusion that it would be useful to extend to society as a whole those elements that are positive for ourselves and our immediate environment. Together with others who are moving in this direction, we will put into practice the most appropriate means to allow a new form of solidarity to find expression. Thus, even when we act very specifically in our own immediate environment we will not lose sight of the global situation that affects all human beings and that requires our help, just as we need the help of others. 8. The precipitous changes in today’s world lead us to seriously propose the need for a new direction in life. 9. Coherence does not begin and end in oneself, rather it is related to one’s social environment, to other people. Solidarity is an aspect of personal coherence. 10. Proportion in one’s activities consists of establishing one’s priorities in life, of not letting them grow out of balance, and basing one’s actions on these priorities. 11. Well-timed actions involve retreating when faced with a great force, and advancing with resolution when it weakens. When one is subject to contradiction, this idea is important in making a change of direction in one’s life. 12. It is unwise to be unadapted to our environment, which leaves us without the capacity to change anything. It is equally unwise to follow a course of decreasing adaptation to an environment in which we limit ourselves to accepting the established conditions. Growing adaptation consists of increasing the influence we have in our environment as we advance in the direction of coherence.