Art of Living Study Group

Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Golden Rule

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    ModeratorTN
    Keymaster

    goldenrule-e1443339400206

    “The Golden Rule is incontrovertible evidence that all of the world’s religious traditions come from the same Parent Doctrine.”

    — Aquarian Almanac

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Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Golden Rule


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    Hindu:           This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.

    Zoroastrian: That nature alone  is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for                          itself.


  • Gerry Kiffe
    Moderator
    Gerry Kiffe

    Is the practice golden rule a preliminary requirement to altruism?


    • Peter
      Moderator
      Peter

      The golden rule generally means to treat others as we would wish them to treat us, or put negatively – don’t do to others what you wouldn’t wish them to do to you.

      I wonder why this would constitute ‘incontrovertible evidence that all of the world’s religious traditions come from the same Parent Doctrine’? Even children and non-religious people can work out that fairness in relationships requires equal treatment of one another. Our laws often embody these principles without any religious connotation behind them, for example, we agree not to steal from one another and embody that in a law. Equality, human rights, animal rights & so on reflect this attitude towards other beings without the need for recourse to a religious tradition.

      It would be hard to claim any kind of altruism in our attitude and behaviour towards others if we didn’t feel it mattered how we treated other people. But does treating others the way we would like to be treated in return necessarily form a sound basis for altruism?

      ~


      • Peter
        Moderator
        Peter

        Just to say a bit more…It might be seen as a preliminary requirement or a step in the right direction if we already had the welfare of others in mind. Isn’t it possible that we often treat others the way we want to be treated, not for their sakes but for our own?

        Glaucon raises an interesting question in Plato’s republic. He recounts the story of Gyges of Lydia, a shepherd who found a magical ring which gave him the power of invisibility. Gyges used the power of the ring to seduce the queen, murder the king and become king himself. Glaucon asks, if we had the Ring of Gyges and we could act without being seen, caught and punished, would we still act ethically? He doubts it. He suggests that our ethical codes and laws are merely forms of mutual agreement. We’ve learned that while our overt selfishness and the wrong we do to others may benefit us, the pain which comes when others treat us in the same way just undoes the benefits we may have achieved. Since we don’t want others to do wrong to us, we don’t do wrong to them. Likewise we treat others well so that they treat us the same way.

        It would appear from this that a lot rests upon our motives and intentions.

        ~


    • Grace Cunningham
      Participant
      Grace Cunningham

      It is certainly a step in that direction.


    • Laura
      Participant
      Laura

      This brings to mind that you cannot raise the lower with the lower.  Maybe the doing unto others what you would want done to you,  is a beginners step.  Eventually replaced by a deeper understanding.  When we follow these rules , while experiencing our Karma, an immediate struggle takes place within our own lower and higher nature.  As we struggle to hold to Altruism we learn more about our lower nature and how to lift it up until we do not need the rule anymore, because we will have a Truer Position from which to act.


  • Odin Townley
    Participant
    Odin Townley

    The Key to Theosophy, Section 12:

    http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/key/key-12.htm

    ENQUIRER: “What do you consider as due to humanity at large?”

    HPB: “Full recognition of equal rights and privileges for all, and without distinction of race, colour, social position, or birth.”

    ENQUIRER: “When would you consider such due not given?”

    HPB: “When there is the slightest invasion of another’s right – be that other a man or a nation; when there is any failure to show him the same justice, kindness, consideration or mercy which we desire for ourselves. The whole present system of politics is built on the oblivion of such rights, and the most fierce assertion of national selfishness.”


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What is interesting in this passage is the concept of what is due to others as the initial question rather than what others owe us.  The Golden Rule is asking us to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves.  The emphasis is on our own behavior rather than how we are being treated.


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    August 29,  2016  Theme for Contemplation: The Golden Rule

    Confucian:    Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

    Jain:              In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    August 30,  2016     Theme for Contemplation: The Golden Rule

    Jewish:        Whatever thou hatest thyself, that do not to another.


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    September 1, 2016   Theme for Contemplation:  The Golden Rule

    Christian:   All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

    Islamic:      No one of  you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    September 2, 2016  Theme for Contemplation: The Golden Rule

    Sikh:           As thou deemest thyself, so deem others.


  • Peter
    Moderator
    Peter

    Is there a subtle but important difference between these two statements from the Bible?

    “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Mark 12.31)

    “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matthew 7.12)

    ~

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