True Principles

All sciences and arts have principles and rules, by means of which one makes discoveries leading to their perfection. Horsemanship is the one art for which it seems one needs only practice. However, practice without true principles is nothing other than routine, the fruit of which is a strained and unsure execution, a false diamond which dazzles semi-connoisseurs often more impressed by the accomplishments of the horse than by the merits of the horseman. From this comes the small number of well-trained horses, and the paucity of ability one sees at present in the majority of those who call themselves horsemen.” – Francois Robichon de la Guérinière

Riding horses has made me a better person, that is, more effective in living. I have discovered over time that effectiveness in living, like mastery in horsemanship, unfolds on the basis of certain laws and principles. The principles exist independent of human influence; they are natural, not man-made and you have a basic choice with respect to them: cooperate intelligently or flail your efforts vainly against them.

You can, as Guérinière noted, work without reference to them. You do so, however, at your own peril. Practicing without an awareness of the underlying principles, or theory of the subject at hand reduces your efforts to routine or rote. You may produce something which convinces the uninitiated of your prowess, but what you create will be a hollow shell of what could otherwise have been the genuine article. This is a large part of the reason why we have the world we have today.

As I said, this is as true in living as it is in riding. I’ve sought to elaborate upon many of the principles which govern my life through this blog, in hopes that you might find comfort, challenge or inspiration in one or many of them. These principles are no more mine than the body, mind and heart I am privileged to inspirit, though they must be “owned” in the sense that they are personally recognized, acknowledged and applied specifically in relation to the choices which shape your life and the world at large.

I would love to hear from you either via comments to this post or email as to which principles have made the biggest difference in your life. You’ve no doubt recognized them through the years, those “aha” moments which registered in your heart and mind, but remember that is just the first step. Acknowledging what you recognize clears the way for realization. Failing to acknowledge, that is, to articulate in specific terms what you recognize, produces a state wherein the recognition dissipates into the mists of your yesterdays.

11 thoughts on “True Principles

  • Perhaps a more recent one is patience. Allowing all the factors to become clear before any action is taken. Making good, thoughtful decisions takes time and patients. When we are too quick to jump we tend to make mistakes. We have more time than we think or feel. Your blog means so much to me. Thank you.

  • It is in embracing the principles of existence that human kind has so frequently failed. We know what is right in our doings, but when we often need to birth the knowledge our weaknesses are fed by other forces within us and therefore changes the desired actions of our being. But I have come to realize that it is the continuous struggle to over come my own sense of individual self that I must never stop, no matter what I might in the moment regard as my own failures. To try with all I am to allow the light to shine into, through and out of me as a living force.

  • I’d have to say the one that has made the biggest difference to me is realizing that judgement is really the curse of mankind. As I mature I’ve seen that so many things I thought were one way turned out to be, in some cases, the exact opposite. Living with this as a guiding principal is still a work in progress. I have to be deliberate in my thoughts and be lightning quick to repent if I find myself going down that road. What it has brought me is a lighter heart and an unexpected relief. Thank you for your daily efforts. They make a difference for me.

  • In my continued explorations and investigations of life and the world I live in, perhaps the biggest principle, or at least one of the main principles, that I have discovered and then further found to be true, oh so true, is the principle of the still heart.

    I can make no rational and reasonable decision, much less express a reasonable behavior, when in any state of agitation. There is something to “the still waters of the heart” that I feel no man or woman can escape.

    When I look back in my life and revisit my efforts, every single time there has been struggle and conflict in my surroundings, the real source of this I can now admit was not out there somewhere – it was within myself. It was just projected and displayed into the external world of my surroundings and my circumstances. Over time, as I became increasingly more honest with myself, I began to assume more and more responsibility for my own life – every thought and every feeling and every action became a conscious choice; a choice to honor integrity or a choice to spin out of control in reaction to things around me. I soon discovered that reactionary habits not only hurt those around me, but injured myself in ways that only fully show up over a longer period of time.

    This certainly shaped my view of the field of medicine which I have since devoted my life to. Things are not truly as they simply appear on the surface; the symptoms are not the real problem; there is cause behind the effect. To peer into causes, you must look for the hidden, the submerged origins of what is seen. The greater mass of reality and any of its subjects is always in what is not immediately visible.

    All this, and more, has come from this principle of the still heart. I’ve kind of rambled a bit here, but really it means that much to me. I cannot, do not, and refuse – to trust myself in whatever I am doing if I feel conflicted. I know that no good will ever come of me if I am in that state, and the first thing I will do if that comes is seek repentance – this is the extension of the principle, it’s correction and antidote when misguided. To me, this balances the scales as I then can move on with my life without guilt or shame. I’ve learned I must do this quickly, and the heavens surely part every single time as fullness of responsibility, honor and integrity restores the order in my house.

    Life has become truly magical, living in accordance to this law, this principle. I can explore my world unburdened by complexes and distortions, free to preserve and promote faith in law, order, God and humanity.

  • What has been consistently inspiring to me has been the ability you demonstrate to see principle in everyday activities, which then can become a foundation for development and growth in sometimes unexpected ways!

  • Thank you Gregg for all you are giving through your living. Everyday there is always something to acknowledge as a principle regarding living. Lately my meditations have related to what it takes to be in alignment with the animating primal cause of all things. Reading and meditating on your blog posts I find are a central part of what it takes to be so aligned.

  • Good morning Gregg…thank you again for giving and sharing your wisdom and words. I was speaking of you again last night with a group of my peers as many of them see that I post your blog every morning so that other people may see and read your words. Truth ….our Truth…..our own personal Truth is what resonates every day from reading your blog….whether it right or wrong, to acknowledge this and then to learn from it has been ever inspiring. We have a young woman living with us now that possess this to the core…it is who she is and we are here to help her and support her on her way.

  • Over the years I have been blessed to discover many principles that have assisted me in the discovering of the right way to the art of living. Perhaps the most significant guiding principle for me personally is the one where to receive more I first must give more. This has been my guiding principle for many years now. I first discovered its value while early in my struggling career in sales, and I must say that it was the single most significant factor in my turning a struggling career around. When one always focuses on providing value to others first than their rewards will be truly grand. And of course the biggest reward is the one that we can say to ourselves, and that is “I made a difference in the world today”.

  • Great subject and posts. Taking the high road is always the best choice. It’s a choice that comes up almost daily. Not succumbing to the thinking that the end justifies the means. Each one answers for their transgressions but not to me. I do firmly believe that justice and vengeance rest with the Omnipotent.

  • Agreed, your posts have provided comfort, challenge and inspiration – incidentally – “directly proportionate” to the need of the given day.
    The Truths you express have consistently been applicable in my life.
    The greatest way this has been manifest, and one I wish to acknowledge specifically today, has been in recognizing, and being relaxed as such to move with the current of the spirit that is inherent within. “The spirit behind the action, word or thought, is what matters most!” Your blog is backed by the Spirit of Truth, which this world so desperately needs.
    Thank-you for guiding me safely to a place of tranquility that is genuine!

  • Honesty is the thing that comes to mind for me. When circumstances require that you examine your part in the scenario, it hasn’t always been easy to see my own errors or missteps. Far easier to point to others. Time is limited and when something keeps circling around, it gets to the point where you have to examine your own attitudes and actions. I think I’m getting better at being honest with myself and others. Or let’s put it this way – I want my expression to be helpful to the Lord’s purposes and am willing to change direction when I find myself veering off course. Like Carmen said, there’s something in me that won’t give up!

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