Levels of Morality and Ethics.
Aug 18, 1994 02:45 AM
by Aki Korhonen
Ethics and morality.
Ethics and morality are related to our worldview. When we look at
ourselves in relation to the world, we notice that outside of us is the
physical world with its inhabitants and things. When we look to other
direction, inwards, we notice that we have a subjective, inner world.
We can call it our mind. In our mind we think, sense, feel emotions,
suffer and feel joy. When we further examine our mind, we notice that
it is subjective, we can't directly feel other's mind, nor can they
ours. The outer world seem to be pretty objective and stabile, but
when we analyse it further, we may notice that our view of it is always
related to our viewpoint. If we change our position, our view about
the world changes. Also no other person can look the world exactly
same way as us. So we can say, that the physical world is objective,
but our perception of it is only partially objective. So we get:
1. Physical world.
2. The subjective world of mind.
When we analyse our mind's contents we may notice, that some ideas and
thoughts seem to be more general than the others. Our thoughts in our
mind can also refer to different levels, or kinds of things, e.g.
physical phenomenon, concepts, feelings, thoughts. .. We may notice
that some of our thoughts are so general that they are objective, in a
way that every other thinking being are bound to end to same
conclusions. An easy example of this kind of general, objective ideas,
is mathematics. It is natural to think, that mathematics exist without
our thinking of it, as a kind of independent world. I call this kind
of immaterial, yet objective existence "objective world" or "world of
ideas". Anyway, it differs radically of our subjective thoughts. Our
feelings don't exist outside of our mind. Analogically I believe, that
there exists others similarily objective phenomenon.
So we get
1. Physical world-matter
2. mind- soul
3. Objective world- spirit
When we speak about morality or ethics, we easily confuse these
different levels of our subjective worldview. When we examine the
sciences related to these worlds we have natural science to world1,
psychology to mind level, and philosophy to objective world. Morality
or ethics related to physical world is law, the law that can applied at
courts, etc. Morality related to mind's level is subjective. It is
the code of selfishness. It can be the good for ourselves, or the good
for some group of people - but thi s is only extension of our self.
Anyway, it is always kind of one-sided. Real morality starts, by my
opinion, when we can reach the objective thinking- spiritual level.
The morality of this level can be called karma. Also, if you think in
objective terms, there is no certain cases, or certain individuals,
also there is no good or bad, everything is eternally balanced. The
disharmony appears when we interpret these things at physical and
subjective levels. Our Atma, and everybody's Atma is always at peace,
The way to preach about morality is best done by explaining general
rules. The application of those is always done at our subjective
level, individually. It depends of our situation, and it is strictly
personal. By my opinion, to others we can only say general things, but
we can't take up concrete examples, because those cases are always
subjective and case related. And - we really don't know the others'
My favourite story about morality goes like this:
At far East there was a little village in which lived a Guru. The Guru
had a favourite disciple. One day when the disciple was out of the
village, the Guru left the village and told the people, that those may
not in any case reveal where his has gone, even not to his favourite
disciple. The villagers promised so, and the Guru left.
The disciple returned and started to inquiry villagers where the Guru
has gone. Village people didn't tell, even if the disciple threatened
to curse the village, if they wouldn't tell. They didn't, so he cursed
the village and the neighbourhood. Soon thin gs started to go bad;
there was no rain, people starved and died to diseases and famine.
This lasted for many years. Then the Guru returned, saw what has
happened and removed the curse. Then the disciple realised what he has
done, and regret very much. He pleaded for mercy and forgiveness and
felt very sorry and lousy.
The Guru replied:" Don't worry, these villagers were bad people and
they deserved punishment. In your heart you knew this, that is why you
The point in this story is, that how we really can know which is right
at the end?
I can't see that there is an other way to act, but to always do what we
Peace, Bliss, aki.
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Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application