TAKING A STANCE
If you take a stance you are being manipulated by external matters: by events or people over which you have no control, and therefore you do not have proper control over yourself. It is easy to see why one should avoid stances. It is far from easy, however to do it.
Remember the character in “Alice in Wonderland” who believed six impossible things before breakfast? A useful exercise, perhaps. But yesterday I nearly took six stances before breakfast. I say “nearly” because I was aware that getting annoyed by the incident would have been a stance and I managed to avoid it (I think).
STANCE ONE: a noisy vehicle woke me half an hour before I needed to get up. STANCE TWO: having gone back to sleep, I did not hear my alarm, so I overslept. STANCE THREE: the milkman was late and I only had enough milk for my cats, so I had to manage with lemon tea. STANCE FOUR: the newspaper boy dropped my paper in a puddle before pushing it through the letter-box. STANCE FIVE: the telephone bill arrived. STANCE SIX: an important letter (posted first-class two days ago) didn’t arrive.
Later I analysed how those minor irritations could have had far-reaching consequences if they had put me in a bad moon for the rest of the day (the ”getting-out-of-bed-on-the-wrong-side” syndrome). As it happened, there were some important events at the office, and, if I had let those stances stay with me, I could have created considerable problems by mishandling something or someone. Because I had analysed the stances and dismissed them, I was able to cope even better than usual, having had this immediate reminder of the necessity for not taking stances.
Even for those not aspiring to Adepthood, the advice not to take stances is valid. It is so much easier to cope if nothing has the ability to upset you. It doesn’t mean not caring, it means not being affected. The “unruffled” person is always popular. Good advice for living. Consider how much better things would be, from personal circumstances to global affairs, if people did not take stances and thereby evoke stances in others.
Anonymous article taken from the Dark Lily Journal No 4, Society of Dark Lily (London 1988).