Principle 10 Solidarity 4

Principle 10, fourth week

This week we continue with our reflections on principle 10 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”

At tomorrow’s meeting we will look at our experiences of, and considerations about, this Principle and it’s applications. In previous weeks we looked at the principle overall, examples from the past and from our present situations. This week we turn to the future and reflect on how this principle might be applied to situations we see arising.

This week some more Monkey Business

Meanwhile, here’s some personal reflections related to this subject. I hope you find them of some use in triggering your own meditations. Sharing your thoughts can be useful both in forcing you to give them some order but also in clarifying, inspiring or infuriating others — even that last can be useful. Please consider sharing your ideas with us at the meeting or in these notes..

While ethics, cooperation and ideas like fairness seem pretty abstract they are rooted in our biology. Other animals have their own versions — not to say they are elaborated as those of humans. Just like there are important differences betweens monkeys and chimps (as we will see) there are important differences between chimps and human beings.

Here’s a video of a presentation of Dr. Frans de Waal of Emory University. It shows an interesting experiment about fairness they did with monkeys. It’s well worth checking out

So the monkey’s have something like a sense of fairness. Dr. Waal says the same thing has been found with many (social) animals from certain birds to dogs and many other creatures. He also told me (I interviewed him a few years ago) that while the “underpaid” monkey will protest its own treatment something different happens with Chimpanzees (Along with Bonobo apes they are our closest non-human relatives). Replace the monkeys with Chimps who know each other and the “higher paid” one will protest unfairness to its companion or to itself. That seems a step further along. Not only do I recognize what is fair, I want the other treated fairly. A step closer to the Golden Rule?

I hope you find these comments of interest. This brief note has also been posted to the Facebook page for The Community of Silo’s Message, Toronto Annex, as well as sent to our mailing list.
We’d all love to hear your comments on, and thoughts about, considerations of, or artwork inspired by, any of this.