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Re: Entering the Pit of Sickly Sweet Ethics, once again...

Jul 31, 1997 07:37 PM
by Jerry Schueler

>It seems that you attach a lot to the word "ethics" that I don't. Ethics
>not exclude compassion, nor does it imply seeing things in black and
>white. "Sickly sweet" is what I use to describe hypocritical, false
>compassion. True compassion also has a bit of salt in it. "If the salt
>lost its savor, thenceforth it shall be good for nothing ..."

First of all, "sickly sweet" is not my phrase, rather I have read this
several times by authors who dislike HPBs emphasis on being "pure of 
heart" and so on (Israel Regardie, for just one).  
Secondly, yes, I do see ethics as being black and white. A person
who considers himself/herself "ethical" always sees good and bad
in others, and thus everything tends to be black and white.  This is
true for all deeply religious folks, with very few exceptions.
Thirdly, there is a very big difference between ethics and compassion.
Neither are necessary for the Path, but compassion just makes
plain common sense, because of the safely that it allows.  Ethics
(i.e., personal sets of moral values) just get in the way, which is why 
most religious folks are not terribly spiritual.

>> Plain common sense is all that is needed to make one develop compassion.
>It takes a lot more than that. At a minimum it takes strenuous
>that engages your whole being, and a will to love in spite of the bruises

Whoops!  You misunderstood my intent.  I agree with you. What I meant
to say was that common sense is all one needs for motivation to
develop compassion.  We don't need the ethical rationale that it is the
"right" thing to do.

>Religious wars have come not over ethics, but because they wanted to
>defend their creed. Creed and ethics are different

Actually most all wars are faught for economics at the top, with moral
concerns only being taken into account at the grunt levels.  The problem
here is that wars ARE faught with ethics, in the sense that each side
thinks that it is "right" and God is on its side, etc.  The moral sense
of being "right" is what allows an otherwise nice guy to shoot a person
he doesn't even know.

Jerry S.
Member, TI

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