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Dec 10, 1999 09:07 AM
by JRC

> Exactly what are the reasons why the GOLDEN RULE is abhorrent to
> you?

Abhorrent is your word, not mine.

> You have written a lot of what you "feel" about them, but I do
> not read there any "reasons."

Actually wrote several reasons. And could name a dozen more. But a few:

1. All available evidence shows that we are, and a fairly fundamental
level, a race that *grows through conflict at the personality level*.

2. People that perpetually try to *avoid* conflict, do not in fact avoid
it - they sublimate it ... and it often winds up coming out in far
worse, far more subtle ways, than it would if they were open and honest
about it - both with themselves and others. Even on this list, for
instance, I've seen a number of people that attempted to depersonalize
what were really clearly personal attacks - simply stripping out
personal pronouns and trying to say things in general terms, when it was
clearly evident they were responding, often sharply, to one individual.
If that individual then blasts back, they would then play the poor,
suffering, attacked victim. And preach some form of the "golden rule". I
far prefer things to be completely overt, above board, and in the light
of day. The road to any eventual harmony is not traveled by *avoiding*
conflict, denying "unelightened" feelings and thoughts that genuinely
exist, but by walking *through* them. In fact, the willingness of people
on this list to *engage* one another is its highest virtue. A bit of
growth actually *happens* here. Not when Kym is snuggling with Alan
(nice as that is), but when she is fighting with Grigor. (Just and
example (-:)).

3. Individuals, and groups (government or otherwise), that attempt to
*impose* ideals on themselves and/or others, *never* achieve their
"visions", and in fact quite often the ultimate effect is to produce
situations *diametrically opposed* to those visions. The greatest evils
on earth have been perpetrated by people who claim that the world is
"supposed" to look like xyz - and usually this is a vision of harmony,
or some utopia, where everyone gets along and is happy.

4. One of the hugest fallacies is that "deep down, we're all the same".
We aren't. In fact, it is only at the most surface level that we
resemble each other at all. The deeper one digs into people the more
unique they appear. At both surface and depth, we all have very
different perspectives. This renders the practice of any universal
"golden rule" absurd. What is harsh to some people is completely missed
by others. Everyone, depending upon many factors (including race and
family upbringing) has utterly different standards for what "conflict"
or "the golden rule" is ... I was at a dinner a couple of weeks ago, for
instance, at an Italian family's house (first generation in the US). I
was there with several other folks - including this English guy (sorry
Alan (-:) - who by the look on his face was appalled and very
uncomfortable at the loud voices, the vehement arguments with waving
hands that ensued (about the political situation at the WTO in Seattle),
the appearance of what (to his eyes) was horrible family discord. But I
know this family well ... its a very strong family, whose members have
gone to extraordinary lengths to help one another in times of need. It
wasn't a massive battle - it was, for them, a *normal dinner* .. and
they'd probably be quite surprised to hear that anyone thought they were

4. We are in an unprecedented world - yet it seems so normal that we
keep attempting to apply old standards to it. For most of history,
people lived in very small enclaves, within groups of people with whom
there was largely agreement about very basic issues. It was common for
people to be born, live, and die, within narrowly defined social and
economic classes, religions, even to stay within a few miles of the
places of their birth. Whole lives were spent without any awareness that
there *were* totally different ways of thinking, or believing, or
acting, all over the planet. We now have the existance of global
telecommunications - the ability to instantly see pictures of people and
customs from all over the globe - and with the internet, the further
ability to *interact* with them. Has this lead to peace? Hell no! This
has been the most violent century in history. A huge rise in
fundamentalisms in not only religion, but politics, culture, and world
of arts and letters ... all responses to people that have been made
aware, almost against their wills ... that every assumption and belief
they thought was unquestionable (and was often so unconscious that they
didn't believe it *possible* to be in question) *is* not only open to
question, but were faced with people that believed almost
incomprehensibly different  things about the same issue. People *long*
for the days when there were comfortable truths "everyone" accepted.
Fact is, there has never been such a thing - that "everyone" was always
a narrow, insulated group. The true "everyone" is now 6 *billion*
people. Attemping to establish *any* "universal" standard of "manners",
or discourse, only makes sense if you think the world is still what it
was several centuries ago. It's not. There are *ENORMOUS* conflicts
looming, because there are *ENORMOUS* differences of fundamental belief
within the human kingdom, and we are just now reaching the point of
*beginning* to be able to see their full scope. From my perspective,
this list, and others like it, containing people from all over the
world, with large differences of backgrounds and fundamental beliefs
(and even very different interpretations of the same beliefs) - is in
many ways one of the means by which the inevitable conflicts can be
elevated from the physical level to the emotional and intellectual.
There are huge clashes looming ... far better that there be places where
they are aired, where they argue and fight and blast each other ... but
stay engaged, and ultimately (as surprisingly often happens on this
list) either come to an understanding that at a deep level they actually
believe the same thing, or come to a final realization that they are
terribly different, will never agree, but have learned internally how to
accomodate that very different worldview (without necessarily accepting
it) within their own. Its *EITHER* going to be this, or its going to be
physical plane *WARS*.

There are many, many more reasons - if you really want to *think* about
this. If you are willing to challenge one of those ideas (that the
"Golden Rule" is an unquestionable "good") that has been thoughtlessly
accepted and preached for centuries.

> If you reject Individual immortality and the continuity of the
> growth of experience for each individual, and if you also reject
> Karma as a universal law in which everything operates, then what
> is the basis for human progress, then what have you left?

And you said all I gave was feelings? No reasons? Most of your post is
nothing but "feelings", emotional reactions cast in intellectual terms.
Where did I ever say I rejected individual immortality, or karma - these
are your interpretations - not my words. The talk about "bear cubs" was
not as simplistic as perhaps it seemed - it was a theoretical model, a
perspective. And a well thought out one at that. I don't reject
"individual immortality" - but the question is *what* is "immortal"? The
personality - and all its concerns? Hell no! *ITS* standards are not
"spiritual* standards. What *IT* considers to be "good", or "nice", or
"spiritual" is often nothing other that highly temporary values that
have little to do with eternal verities, and more to do with emotional
comfort zones. For our *spiritual* levels to grow and flourish usually,
if not always, *requires* discomfort, sometimes *serious* discomfort, at
the personality levels. Raising awareness is a psychologically
uncomfortable, sometimes even *brutal* act ... in the same way as the
germination of a seed, *from the perspective of the seed's hull*, is an
utterly destructive event.

If you wish to return to the days when you were held in your mother's
arms, safe and sheltered and protected from the enormity of the world -
then the golden rule is for you ... it is a longing to return to that
state. But, as Emerson said - "Choose Truth or Repose - take which you
want ... you cannot have both". If you want spiritual growth - don't
lecture, rather, inwardly *thank* those that take enormous amounts of
time to blast away at you at the personality level, they are the
jackhammers doing more to drill through the seed's "hull", heat lamps
doing more to quicken the seed, than any hundred people you agree with
and engage with in nice, polite, impersonal "Theosophical" discussions.

Ride the Bronco, -JRC

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