What follows are my reflections. I make no greater claim for them but offer them in the spirit of exchange and dialogue.
As we’ve talked about before, variations of the “Golden Rule” appear in many religions, philosophies, and ethical systems. However, if we asked the representatives of these schools why we should we follow this particular rule their answers might differ considerably. For some it might be because their god said so. For others perhaps that it promotes social harmony, or produces the greatest good for the greatest number, or …
In the context of our principles, the motive is both explicit and very specific — the principle itself tells as that, when we act in this particular way we liberate ourselves. We see once again how the principles are rooted in the register produced in us by our actions. Here’s some interesting commentary on all of that:
From Chapter XIII of The Inner Look in the section introducing the 12 principles of Valid Action:
…I do not speak to you of liberty. I speak to you of liberation, of movement, of process. I do not speak to you of liberty as something static, but of liberating yourself step by step, as those who approach their city become liberated from the road already traveled. Thus, what-one-must-do does not depend upon distant, incomprehensible, and conventional morals, but upon laws: laws of life, of light, of evolution.
Here are the aforementioned “Principles” that can help you in your search for internal unity…
And in chapter II, The Inner Reality, of Silo’s The Internal Landscape we read:
1. What is it that you want? If you answer that it is love or security that is most important, then you are speaking of moods—of things that you cannot see.
2. If you reply that it is money, power, social recognition, a just cause, God, or eternity that is most important, then you are speaking of something that you see or you imagine.
3. We will be in agreement when you say, “I choose this just cause because I reject suffering! I want this because it brings me tranquillity, and I reject that because it disturbs me or makes me violent.”
4. Is your mood, then, at the center of all aspiration, all intention, all affirmation, and all denial? You might reply that whether you are sad or joyful, a number remains the same, and that the sun would be the sun even if human beings did not exist.
5. I will tell you that the same number differs depending on whether it is something that you have to give or to receive, and that the sun fills greater space within the human being than in the heavens.
6. The radiance of a spark or of a star dances for your eye. And though there is no light without the eye, on other eyes this radiance would fall with different effect.
7. Therefore let your heart affirm, “I love this radiance I see!” But may it never say, “Neither sun, nor spark, nor star have anything to do with me.”
8. Of what reality do you speak to fish or reptile; to gigantic animal, tiny insect, or bird; to a child or an old person; to one who sleeps or one who keeps watch in cold calculation or feverish terror?
9. I say that the echo of the real murmurs or resounds according to the ear that hears, and that for other ears what you call “reality” would play a different song.
10. Therefore let your heart affirm, “I love the reality that I build!”
I hope you find these considerations of some use in your own meditations. I find sharing my thoughts on these themes is useful because it forces me to give some order to my personal musings. Of course I’m very happy to think this sharing might help to clarify, inspire or infuriate others — even that last can be useful.
I look forward to seeing you at our meeting on Wednesday or just hearing about your reflections.