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Sickly-Sweet Ethics Defined

Aug 02, 1997 08:15 AM
by Jerry Schueler

>I've been following this thread with fascination. IMHO, ethics stem from
>compassion and compassion stems from the quality of love. I don't mean
>at all in the astrally-based sickly-sweet sentiment that masquerades as
>love or compassion. (The astrally-based sentiment has a strong component
>lower-self interest in it, including when based on the desire to further
>ones own spiritual progress.) I'm referring to love as the esoteric or
>occult principle of attractive force and the realization of the oneness of
>all, upon which the concept of brotherhood is based. IMHO, by working to
>express the Egoic quality of love from the causal or levels of the Higher
>Self, compassion and ethics (right interaction with ones fellow humans)
>will follow.

Lynn, glad to hear you are fascinated.  And I like what you say.
"Sickly sweet" ethics do not necessarily include "astrally-based" or 
misguided, or wrong, or lower, or any other perjorative term.  Rather, it
the over-emphasis of ethics, and the annoying underlying notion that if we 
all got ethical, we would be Adepts.  Most Christians are ethical, and 
Chrisitanity (as well as all other religions) emphasize ethics to the
point--their teaching is that if we go to church, and are ethical, we will
go to 
heaven when we die.  This misguided reasoning is also found in Hinduism 
and in Theosophy where the idea is that if we are "good theosophists" and 
are ethical, we will have good karma, and have a better life next time
and be well on the path of chelaship.  This is well-intended, but

I agree with you that we have a downward flow in the order of Love->
Compassion->Ethics.  HPB, Judge, and many others suggest that by
forcing ethics, we will be able to rise to compassion, and then to love as
you have defined it.  I would suggest that it just doesn't work that way.
Tibetan Buddhism, for example, has techniques with which we can
develop compassion.  They emphasize ethics, but never imply that
morality is an end-all in itself.  Most occult schools distaste the sickly-
sweet theosophical emphasis on ethics because ethics should come
naturally, and not be forced.  When you suggest to a Seeker of Truth
that s/he should begin by developing ethics, and a strong sense of
right and wrong, then that person feels forced to construct and follow
a set of ethical behaviors, and misses the forest for the trees.  Rather,
we should develop compassion, and let ethics take care of itself.

What you say above, is exactly what I have been saying on theos-l
since its inception--that we need to work on universal love and compassion
and let ethics develop naturally all by itself.  If we care for another
chances are high that we will act ethcially with that person, without
thought of reward, and without thought for whether we are right or wrong.

Jerry S.
Member, TI

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