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8/20/2004
7. The Principle of Immediate Action
At last night's weekly meeting of the Humanist Movement at my house, we looked at one of the Principles of Valid Action:
"If you pursue an end you enchain yourself. If everything you do is realised as though it were an end in itself, you liberate yourself."
We had a couple of examples of this enchainment by pursuing an end. For example, spending 8 hours in front of the computer without eating or drinking or stretching, just to solve a particular problem. The problem itself takes way more resources than are appropriate and we end up hurting our physical bodies through this action. Suffering.

We also had an example of pursuing the end of the optimal choice given 19 possible actions. When I spin my wheels pursuing this end, I end up suffering for the choice and not accomplishing anything, whereas if I just choose one action that seems to be in the top half of my priorities, for example, that sense of accomplishment is a liberation and can free more energy that can be used for another item on the list, or something even more important.