Rules to Live By

‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is the familiar form of the Golden Rule. If we all followed this ethical code of behavior there’s no doubt it would be a better world. But why don’t we? It doesn’t seem as though it should be that difficult.

All of the major religions and philosophies have some form of the Golden Rule at their core, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Sikhism, Christianity, Unitarianism, Native Spirituality, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, and the Baha’i Faith. The majority of the seven-plus billion people on the planet adhere to the beliefs of one of these groups. So why is the world in such a state of perpetual turmoil? Where is the love?

It seems as though these days ‘an eye for an eye’ is an even more popular moral code, ignoring Gandhi’s clear warning, ‘An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.’ If you tune in to the world news, you hear the terms revenge, retribution, and retaliation far more often than you hear the words peace, love, and happiness.

So throw out the Golden Rule, live by ‘an eye for an eye,’ and continue on our path of destruction, with past and current events the irrefutable proof of our willingness, on the one hand, to commit inhumane acts in the name of some higher being, and on the other hand to accept these acts as just the way things are.

Really? This is all the human race has to offer?

After thousands of years of religious indoctrination and philosophical rhetoric, all in the name of peace, love, happiness, and ultimately Oneness, you’d think that we would have worked things out, but in spite of the obvious failure of these efforts on behalf of some deity or special knowledge, we continue on this dead end path.

We could say that it’s all about power, about the control of the few who are rich enough and smart enough, strong and manipulative enough to convince the majority of the rest of us that they know what’s best for us. And we buy into it because we don’t know what else to do, and, of course, it’s easier to be a follower than a leader.

In the end, the joke is on us because the misery and brutality will endure as long as we consider ourselves to be individuals. And this has nothing to do with being faceless drones or sheep led to slaughter. This has to do with realizing the truth of our own nature, that there is no other to do upon, and that the eye cannot kill itself.

‘I and the Mother/Father/Self/Other are one.’ Period. Set aside your beliefs, for, as history shows, they only bring about endless suffering. Set aside all ideas of being a separate self and let your true self, that of infinite and eternal consciousness, be revealed.

Stop thinking of yourself as yourself. There is no self. If you would simply pause for a moment and look, you can’t possibly find this aggrandized or persecuted self. It doesn’t exist. I, we, you, are just a cluster of passing thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, with no more strength or staying power than a cloud in the sky.

And when this is fully understood, experienced, known for absolute fact, all separation falls away, all divisions vanish like a mirage in the desert, and you, I, we, stand revealed as one indivisible entity whose qualities are peace, love, and happiness. And no rule can ever give us this.

 

 

Strictly Speaking

“There are, strictly speaking, no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity.” – Shunryu Suzuki