The Golden Rule, Beyond our Failed Democracy
Rene Descartes, Contributor
We have been told, long enough, that you cannot change Human Nature, but I say to you, Human Nature can be changed, and, what’s more, Human Nature must be changed if we are to reach our full potential. Which I, for one, am determined to reach. Please understand that your thoughts, which you are responsible for, are as real as your deeds. You will soon realize that every word and every deed affects your life and has also touched thousands of lives.
You have heard people say, “You must love yourself first, before you can love others”. Well, we have observed many selfish jerks doing just that, who do nothing to help anyone but themselves, and they’re still miserable themselves. But if you love others first, you become a good person. If you help others, how can you not feel good about yourself also? IT’S IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO LOVE YOURSELF ALSO when you love others first. That being so…..
What we would call true Love, is simply Unselfish Love. Unselfish Love radiates to all without exception, so powerfully that it transcends your separate self and IS The Creator’s Love flowing through you, to others. You become the vessel that is ‘channeling’ the Universal Spirit (while also being the Universal Spirit). It gives to all who would receive. It is like a Sun that gives warmth, light, and life to all, in all directions, simultaneously.
If your love is not one that gives to all and loves all, then it is a selfishly based love. If you experience jealousy or possessiveness, then it is selfishly based love, not true Love, not pure Love, not unselfish Love. That fact that virtually no one truly loves, or experiences receiving true Love, is unfortunately true.
Being Giving and Unselfishly Loving warms the heart and is beneficial to the giver and the receiver. Unselfish Love is its own reward. The Universal Spirit is Love. We are like faucets and the Universal Spirit is like water. When you open up, by using your free will, and let the water flow from you to everybody, you are constantly being filled with the water as it passes through you. But if you close the faucet off because you mainly desire to keep the water for yourself, it doesn’t flow through you, and you are left empty. Which, sadly, is what many people do? And the people, who are thus empty because they don’t outflow their Love, then start looking in a different direction for something to ‘fill them up’.
If a relationship diversion won’t do it for them, if they are not loving and getting love from their relationships, which always eventually happens, they will do other things. Even if they stay together with someone, they must look for diversions to fill the emptiness of the lack of love and God in their hearts and lives. Desperately, they start thinking ‘intellectually’, constantly keeping the brain busy so they won’t be aware of their emptiness. They may pursue selfish pleasures and amusements of all kinds.
They go from diversion to diversion – food, games, clothing, movies, TV, sports, parties, social clubs, hobbies, lovers, shopping, cars, candy, you name it. But there is never any peace, and never any real or lasting satisfaction – only a temporary fix. And like the drug addict who needs a fix, the more it gets, the more it needs/wants. But the pleasure never lasts, and the feeling is never the same as the joy you get from giving, and, ultimately, the connection to the Universal Spirit that is made through giving. They are left with that hollowness again and with the need to find some other distraction.
Most are looking for love, looking to replace love, and doing everything but what they really need to do to find it – give it.
Relationships can involve a mixture of selfish love and pure love, but many start with (and are actually based on) primarily or totally selfish love. And many relationships break up because of that.
When a relationship is based on the self-gratifying pleasure you get from your partner, it results in a sort of addiction to some extent or other. You can then end up with addictive behaviour – jealousy, possessiveness, rejection, and all the other selfishly spawned causes of pain and turmoil that come with such addiction. Pure love, being the opposite of selfish, creates no addiction. It craves nothing for itself. It thus heals rather than hurts. It cares rather than blocks out and ignores. It can improve your life, the lives of those around you and, ultimately, the whole world.
Totally pure love is not contaminated at all with selfishness or selfish love. This is important, because like any contaminant, selfishness can taint and ruin everything. Love and compassion are the highest vibrations we can manifest in our physical, conscious life. When we do so, we are in harmony with the Universe and the will of the Creator and our co-creators.
It is best explained in THE GOLDEN RULE: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” if you were in their situation. Just do it, and see what happens.
“As ye do it unto the least of these my children, my creation, ye do it unto me.” This is the law of the Universe and nature. “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so onto them.”
It is simple in words, yet so deep in meaning, so far reaching in its application in every phase of human experience. The golden rule is to love unselfishly, to focus on and give pure love. Pure love encompasses all the spiritual virtues involved with simply being a good person. For example, caring, kindness, compassion, tolerance, sharing, giving, harmlessness, respecting the free will of others (if harmless) etc. are all results of loving unselfishly. Pure love isn’t unconditional love – you can be unselfishly loving and still put your foot down. In other words, one who applies the golden rule in life is reasonably kind, reasonably giving, but not unconditionally kind, unconditionally giving, etc.
This teaching gives examples of the benefits of living by the golden rule, and how to apply it more in your life, in many different circumstances. But you can take it even further if you want to. In my opinion, working on applying the golden rule with others of a like mind can provide you the greatest opportunity for personal, spiritual development.
I strongly believe that if even a few people committed their lives to developing the virtues of being a good person, and then secretly recruited friends and family, with time it would spread from one person to the next, and eventually create a new and better society.
This is a striking allegorical fantasy to clearly illustrate a fundamental difference between a world of people who are looking out for themselves first and a world of people who make caring for others their first priority. That’s what the golden rule is all about. In a nutshell, this exemplifies living by the golden rule, or not living by it. But it’s more than that. It truly represents the real difference that living by the golden rule could make in our world.
It shows us how loving others unselfishly is not only pure love, but pure and real spirituality. And even if you cannot change the world so profoundly, it still represents what kind of a spiritual world we can eventually live in if we live by this rule, thereby making ourselves deserving citizens of the Universe. One of the beauties of the golden rule is its total universality. It goes beyond being just non-denominational and Omni-denominational. As you will note, the issue of religious persuasion or faith is irrelevant.
Assuming that people were of various persuasions, it was their pure love or selfishness that ultimately made the difference in their circumstances. The division between the happy place and the miserable place wasn’t between Christians or Buddhists, Jews or agnostics.
The thing that separated those people (as it does in reality as well) was whether or not they’d learned that living by having pure love was more important than the variations in their belief systems. And that’s what this is all about.
The concept of the golden rule applies to all good, caring, giving people, regardless of religion, faith or lack of it. It is a universal law and principle that anyone anywhere can use to improve their life, the lives of those around them and, ultimately, the whole world. Isn’t that incredible, exciting, amazing and wonderful. The golden rule has a variety of typical definitions, which essentially all have the same meaning. Sometimes it’s interpreted as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, or “love thy neighbour as thyself”. We would add “do no harm to others” and “think of others first” to that list.
They are all good definitions in our opinion, and you can see how they are reflected in the above. But those definitions and sayings are really by-products of pure love or unselfishly loving others. Pure love covers them all, and is the mother of them all. So to clarify the definition used, when we say living by the golden rule, we basically mean living by unselfishly loving others.
But the concept itself (pure love or living by unselfishly loving others) is not exclusive to any religion.
The same principle is also a belief of all basically good people, religious or not. It can include those of any faith as well as those who have no faith. In any case, following the golden rule means being a caring, spiritual person regardless of label or affiliation. In that sense, as we said earlier, the golden rule is strikingly (and wonderfully) Universal. If you really think about it, there are few things that are so cross-cultural and Universal. Perhaps the most Universal is a smile. Raising your hand as a sign of friendly greeting might be considered an insult or hostile gesture in some cultures, but a smile means the same thing to all people everywhere, and no language is necessary to communicate its meaning. Music can often cross cultures too. But when it comes to a cross-cultural spiritual or moral concept, the golden rule has no rival. While people often disagree on religion and politics, almost everyone can agree on the goodness and rightness of living by the golden rule, regardless of culture or religious belief.
Thus it’s an ideal in which all kind-hearted people can join together towards the common goal of manifesting pure love and its virtues (kindness, compassion, tolerance, peace, sharing, giving etc.) in tangible ways, for the mutual betterment of themselves and all creation. The great need for the golden rule is as simple as the rule itself. All over the world people are suffering. Even those who seem to be happy often actually have a painful, empty pit inside them that they attempt to ignore by constantly chasing after diversions, distractions and fun.
Alcohol and drugs are used to try and cope with it sometimes too, even in the best of families and amongst the wealthy who have everything they want (materially). Then, of course, there are the various wars and oppressions. So, what’s the problem? Why can’t people be happy and live in peace and cooperation? If you look at the world objectively, and at people’s lives, you can trace all problems to one thing – selfishness. That’s right, just that one thing. If you thought greed or hate were the big problems, you’re right, but think further.
Greed is just one aspect of selfishness, one branch. So are hate, lust, theft, starting wars, killing, jealousy, envy, arrogance etc., etc. All of those branches of selfishness have sub-branches too. For instance, the reasons some people lose their jobs, the destruction of a rainforest or over fishing to extinction are branches of greed. But again, greed is just a branch of that one thing. You name the problem – its real source is selfishness. Unlike the common phrase “fight fire with fire”, you usually get better results fighting fire with water. So what better way to fight selfishness with than it’s opposite – unselfishness.
Enter the golden rule, the answer and the cure to all of life’s problems. Once that is clearly understood, the only trick is implementing it in your life and helping others do the same. Which brings us to the next prerequisite – understanding the source of selfishness.
Selfishness is a result of separation, an outgrowth, and outcome, of being separate. Separate from what? From everyone and everything else. Separate from others, separate from nature/the universe. If you totally feel and believe that you are a separate being from everyone else and everything else in the universe, it’s naturally you against the world. Me first. Look out for number one. From that separate perspective it all makes total sense. However, the truth is that we are all one creation – scientifically and spiritually speaking.
Looking at it scientifically, without a religious or spiritual view, scientists know we are all made of the same essential stuff. They also know that the universe is one thing, one energy, forming unimaginable numbers of parts of creation. Even if you take the stance that humans have simply developed self-awareness through evolution, nevertheless it is this self-awareness that is behind humans seeing themselves as separate, and getting out of harmony with everything else in the universe and nature. With that self-consciousness, you have the separate self-contemplating it is me- against-the-world (or against the Universe) scenario.
Rebelling against the Oneness, suddenly, there was the separate self-contemplating it’s me-against-the-world (or against the universe) scenario.
So, anyway you look at it, the result is the same. The I, me, mine thinking and behaving begins and with that, greed, jealousy, fear, intolerance, hate, arrogance etc., and all the problems that creates. But we all have both a selfish side (that contributes to those problems) and a soul, spirit or good side. Other than the humans who let their selfish side control them, everything else in the universe functions as one harmonious system. Disjointed, separate thinking and behaviour interferes with that harmony, and creates disruptive ripples in the pond that can cause pain and suffering. And when those ripples we create hit the edge of the pond, they bounce back in even more complex patterns.
Again, selfishness and its endless cycle of desire and fear causes all the problems in our personal lives, as well as the world. For those who don’t deliberately make themselves blind, because of their selfishness and fear, it’s easy to see. Once you have identified the problem, you can find a solution.
In this case, since the real problem behind everything is selfishness and separation from the universe, the solution is unselfishness, transcending the illusion of separation, and returning to oneness and harmony with the universal force. Anything that can help that process (as long as it’s harmless) is a good thing, as far as we are concerned.
The golden rule and its resulting virtues are thus a big key, and the perfect way to achieve the above goal. Even if living by the golden rule doesn’t achieve that lofty goal, it’s still a win-win situation, because you become a better person and feel better for helping others. It just makes common sense. Ironically, while the golden rule is intellectually well-known by almost everyone, it seems to be stuck in some intellectual filing cabinet within the dusty archives of people’s foggy memory and brains. It’s amazing when you think about it. The golden rule is probably the most vital, positive, constructive principle in the world (in both a spiritual and practical sense), and it’s always been just sitting there right before us, waiting for us to notice it, take it and use it. It’s likely we even heard about it from our mother or family when we were children.
There in the recesses of our mind is this incredible, powerful, yet simple, universal, commonsensical means of developing true spirituality, improving our lives and the lives of others. It’s so simple, so basic yet profound (in a real sense) but it’s often not even thought of by most of us as we search for spiritual knowledge, truths and beliefs. And even if it is thought of, it’s often not thought of as being as significant as it really is. Or it’s just misunderstood, ignored, or given up on. But all that is now changing.
The golden rule seems to have been lying dormant within the hearts and minds of many good people, like some kind of spiritual time capsule waiting to be opened. Well, the useful truth of the golden rule has been around a very long time, yet it seems that only now is it really beginning to be generally received and practiced by many people. Its time has finally come.
The response I have been getting to the idea of people implementing the golden rule in their lives is remarkable. People everywhere are experiencing an awakening of the rule within them. And as they start living by this rule, and discussing its simple beauty with acquaintances, friends, family and neighbours, some of them respond to it too. In this time of so much change and turmoil in the world, the common sense embodied by the golden rule is creating a common spirituality, and is spreading at a grass roots level.
Many can see that it is a movement that will eventually spread among like-minded individuals throughout the world. The time you spend developing your own unselfish love, and on spreading it to others, is invaluable. It is simple in words, yet so deep in meaning, so far reaching in its application in every phase of the human experience.
“The greatest service we can do for the Universal Spirit is to serve others. The greatest services to others is awakening them to the Universal Consciousness that lies within them, and helping them free themselves from their selfishness and their separate self”.
Identifying the highest love in this often quoted passage: “No greater love has a person, than to give up his or her life for another” — not literal death, but giving up self’s or egos desires for another’s. It is thinking more of what another may need than what self may want. Selfless loving is the ideal — giving, caring without expectation of getting something in return.
Yet, this must not be self-destructive. No one should accuse you of being a doormat of self-deprecating love. You must often radiate a tough love. Those around you often need truth, justice and a clear position on the ways of the Universe, not pampering.
From the other side with Love
About the Author
Rene’ Descartes is a frustrated desert veggie farmer in South Africa who ponders and wonders much about truth. Having sailed around the world on a small yacht over a 4 year period, Rene’ is now interested in healing the terminally ill and in being of assistance to the all the souls entering earth right now. Email Rene’ at Shamballa@wispernet.co.za.
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