Re: Sickly-Sweet Ethics Defined
Aug 04, 1997 11:31 AM
At 12:58 PM 8/2/97 -0400, Titus wrote in response to Jerry:
>Love, compassion, ethics all require both inner and outer work. Ethics
>require a conscience (the inner state) and a will to follow them (the outer
>fulfillment). To develop love you need to both make the obvious gestures of
>love and cultivate the inner state. Actions, thoughts and emotions all play
>off one another.
I agree that this is a multi-faceted process that requires work on all
levels. And, I hope that no misinterprets what I said in my responses to
Jerry to mean that one should just sit and wait for some cosmic blast of
love before attempting to express that quality outwardly. ;-D Your
statement about "actions, thoughts and emotions playing off one another"
addresses the interplay of energies involved in bringing about the
alignment of vehicles I mentioned in my message to Jerry and service is the
outward expression. It's a sort of ongoing feedback loop in that, as one
attempts to express and cultivate the quality of love/compassion, this in
turn refines the matter of the vehicles, enabling an even higher expression
of these qualities, enabling even greater service. An ongoing upward
spiral, so to speak.
However, I still believe that an attempt to "first" create an ethical
system is useless and pharasaic unless it is motivated by love and
compassion. But, I don't think we're in actual disagreement here because
you mentioned "conscience". As long as that conscience is informed by the
principles of love and compassion, a right system of ethics will be
expressed. And that brings in the inner work that you described.
>> 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
>> 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.
>Ethics and compassion play off one another. One cannot develop without the
>other. People who try for compassion *alone* end up in an enantiodromia,
>meeting its very opposite: sentimentality.
I'm truly sorry for my ignorance, but could you please define
"enantiodromia"? I looked it up in my dictionary, but it contained only the
connecting form "enantio-" and entries for words containing this prefix
that are specific to chemistry. I think I do understand what you mean and
agree with you, with sentimentality as a do-nothing state based on pure
> Ethics are the bones, compassion is the flesh.
Hmmm. I think this analogy works well if we're thinking of creature with an
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