Article #1: Ahimsa Excerpts
Reverence for Life, and The Golden Rule
The phrase was originated by Dr. Albert Schweitzer to describe his belief that life has value; that life is a rich and rewarding experience for all who partake of it; and there is no such thing as worthless life. Probably the greatest of all is the Golden Rule: that we should act toward others as we would wish them to act toward ourselves.
The Golden Rule In Seven World Faiths
"Men gifted with intelligence ... should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated."
"In five ways should a clansman minister to his friends and familiars: by generosity, courtesy and benevolence, by treating them as he treats himself, and by being as good as his word."
"Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and regard your neighbor's loss as your own loss."
"What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others."
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
"All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them."
"No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."
The person who has a mind that is controlled and serene, a pleasant and calm disposition, and a ready and sincere smile for others, will find others smiling right back. Good people instinctively are wary of someone who radiates fear and hatred, but one who shows universal love communicates this to others.
In this modern age of mass communication, a sweeping numbness has developed in many minds, a form of defense mechanism or reaction to the over-stimulation of our senses by visual and auditory gimmicks. The Golden Rule is still the real thing.
Man's insatiable curiosity has driven him to the conquest of Space and toward the stars, but man must master his lower self before he can realize his higher potential; and he must do both before he is fit to master the Earth, the sea, the skies and "outer space," let alone mastering other living beings such as animals, birds and fish. Man claims absolute "dominion" over everything that breathes, crawls, runs, flies, or swims, but he has been ill-trained for such a royal position, and seems more like a petty tyrant instead. Without this first conquest of "inner space"—the conquest by man of himself at the individual level—we are only turning loose a monster with little restraining sense of morality, justice, fairness and goodness. If only man would stop trying so hard to know, and would make more effort to understand. If only we could understand that the universe is not malevolent, and that man can live in love and compassion without perishing. Indeed, it appears more likely that he will perish if he does NOT practice these virtuous attributes to a sufficient degree.
In any event, we cannot have it both ways: man cannot pretend to be higher in ethics, spirituality, advancement, or civilization than other creatures and at the same time live by a lower standard than the vulture or hyena. The truth of the matter is that it is high time for man to leave his lowest brute nature behind, and bring his nobler self to the fore.
Mankind has been in the jungle too long. As with a mole or owl viewing bright sunshine, we are presently so dazzled by the brilliance of what may lie ahead, that we prefer the comfort of our present position. We are possessed by a great inertia; we cling to that which we think we know, rather than attempting that which we do not yet fully understand. But the world is more than just a jungle; we might come out of the darkness into the lovely sunshine, and become used to the bright light after awhile.
We will never make real progress out of the jungle until we break off the chains we have forged for ourselves and which we so proudly wear and display: the fears and ignorance, and self-satisfied complacency.
Everyone has his own way to go—you have yours. Follow your conscience and your Inner Light; they are your greatest guides on the trek out of the jungle into a new and better tomorrow.
We may close with this gentle but firm cautionary note against ever mistaking the vessel for the contents, or the guide along the path for the path itself.
May you know Truth, Wisdom and Peace.
Home > Lesson 90 - Psychology And Practical Aspects Involved In Making A Change In Lifestyle
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