The Tortoise Principle

Feb 22, 2016

The Tortoise Principle

Ginger writes about the idea that when a light is dimmed and then suddenly turned on bright that it hurts the eyes. She wonders if there is a principle behind this.

Indeed there is. I have written about it as a side item, but never presented this as a core principle. From the Book of Quotes on Freeread in the Light and dark section we read:

“If a light is slowly dimmed to fifty percent strength and then is instantly turned up to full strength, the person is startled as to the intensity. He had no idea he was missing so much light. Even so with spiritual light. We are often not aware when we are losing it.”

Indeed, as we move toward the light our soul engineers our life so we will not take giant leaps, but move forward step by step. DK tells us that the tortoise always beats the hare because he just moves forward incrementally without ceasing whereas the hare attempts giant leaps and is inconsistent.

Since you have an LDS background you might appreciate this quote from Joseph Smith:

“You have to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one: from grace to grace from exaltation to exaltation until you attain the resurrection of the dead.”

History of the Church; Vol. 6 Pg. 306

The idea behind this principle is this: You do not advance in any great effort by making one or two giant leaps forward, but must advance step by step. You move up a ladder one step at a time, not by taking six steps or even three. Two steps may be possible, but is not efficient.

There are several things we could name this principle so let us pick one.

The best two in my opinion is either the Tortoise Principle or the Incremental Principle. Perhaps the group will weigh in as to which one they like best.

Now let us put the principle in words.

It is the idea that progress from point A to point B or any major adjustment to a new situation, energy or light must be made in increments that does not overtax the seeker.

The scripture says it well:

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize…

Mosiah 4:27

The truism behind the principle is:

Do not bite off more than you can chew.

It is interesting that there is a protective web between all the centers that protects them from opening up too suddenly as it would be a disaster to release too much soul energy before one is ready to assimilate it.

The problem with many as they begin their real journey on the path is that when they catch a small glimpse of the plan they want to hurry forward as quickly as possible. The beginner often thinks he is on his last life and wants to take giant leaps. This unreasonable judgment often sets him back a lifetime or two. The successful disciple just moves ahead one step at a time and if the next step consists of small things then so be it.

Following this principle does not mean that the disciple can spend a lot of time just taking it easy. All disciples must learn to make efficient use of their time as they are moving forward step by step.

I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.

Marie Curie

Copyright 2016 by J J Dewey

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