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

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).