In this Pulse of Spirit, I am using the pronoun you. There are various ways you could read what I’ve written. The most obvious is that I am writing to you. But you could also read it as me addressing my own human soul, which I am. And if that is the case, you could join me by addressing your human soul. You could also be thinking of people in your life who are suffering because there is something they do not understand about what brings fulfillment. So you could understand the word you as a way to address them vibrationally.
Think of anything that you wish for in your human experience. Depending on what it is, you may be able to satisfy your urge simply by reaching for the object of your desire. But if what you wish for is of larger significance in your life, you cannot simply get it for yourself. It has to be given to you by the Universe—by the cycles of time, another person, the natural world, or by the mystical source of life.
You can’t make another person love you. You can’t make the birds sing or the tides ebb and flow. You can’t force someone else to see you for who you are or appreciate your presence in their life.
But here is what you can do yourself. You can give the gifts you have to give to the Universe.
The Golden Rule is a principle found in virtually all the world’s major religions and ethical traditions. In Western culture, it is often put this way:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Here is a corollary to this articulation of the Golden Rule:
Don’t treat others in ways you wouldn’t like to be treated.
This principle is so simple that it is often told to children. And perhaps it rings in our minds as something we really “should” do but often don’t, as if we were an unruly child admonished by their parent.
But what if we understood this ethical teaching as something more than a moral imperative, often ignored? What if we understood it as a powerful principle that transforms the human experience with ultimate reliability?
If a person sees this greater significance to the Golden Rule, that enlightened understanding will become a powerful force for spiritual regeneration and renewal.
The Golden Rule is not just a teaching for moral goodness. It is a principle that operates in every dimension of human experience. Think of anything you might desire. It operates there.
Jesus taught this related to forgiveness. Did you ever wish someone in your world would forgive you for something you did? You can’t make them. But here is what you can do:
…if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you….
This is how the principle works. For anything important in life, you have to give it to receive it. And how do you know it is important? How do you know that the people in your life need it? You want it. And your want is a guide to understanding the ungiven gift within you.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Don’t withhold the gift.
I notice in my own heart, and in the experience of people in my world, the desire to have our place. This carries with it the yearning to be given our rightful position in the social structure in which we find ourselves—our family, community, organization, or circle of friends. It includes a craving to be seen and acknowledged for who we are and for the creative gifts we give to the world.
We can demand that our friends and associates respect us and give us what we see as our rightful place in the social structure. We can attempt to fit in to please other people or show up enthusiastically to capture their attention. And there is nothing inherently wrong with demanding respect from others, pleasing others, or showing up enthusiastically. But as an ultimate strategy for finding one’s place, attempting to fit into a social structure is a loser.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
A person obsessed with their own place in the world probably fails to notice that the people around them are feeling the same need. That person doesn’t see that their desire is telling them something about the need any human being has to know their place.
And so, on our spiritual journey, we begin to ask ourselves, How can I assist the people around me to know their place? How can I tell them that they have a place in my life? How can I help them know they are seen, acknowledged, and respected by me?
Say the words that the human heart wants to hear. And how do you know what they are? Simple. Your experience of your own heart and soul is your guide. We are not all that different from each other, you know.
This is the Golden Rule at work in the world of human relations. What we discover when we awaken to it is that we are divinely empowered to give the gifts we are desiring. And when we give them, we realize they have been given to us all along. In the act of forgiveness, we confirm that we are forgiven, and we have forgiveness to share. In giving someone else their rightful place, we know our place. In seeing them for who they are, we know ourselves for who we are.
You are not just being a good person when you follow the Golden Rule. You are empowered. You are transformed and fulfilled. You are participating in spiritual regeneration.
The Golden Rule does not operate only between people. It is at work in our relationship with the invisible source of Being that we sometimes call God. Think of what it is like to feel lost on your life journey and then what it feels like to be right where you belong, in the place that is just right for you. What turns one experience into the other?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
God can seem so mysterious. And yet, when you make a place for the source of your life—when you begin to make friends with it—your experience of your place changes. The more you acknowledge and respect the vastness of the Universe and the power and presence of the Creator, the more you feel your own power and presence. The Great Mystery has a place in your life. And now you are granted a place in the life of the Great Mystery.
Your prayers will be met with a deafening silence if you demand that the Great Mystery acknowledge and answer you. But as your prayers acknowledge and answer the Great Mystery, you hear its call.
These words are from my poem The Calling. They portray what I hear from the Great Mystery.
Take your place.
Be where you belong
In answering the calling of your life,
The calling of the reality you are,
And which you serve.
Join me, dear one,
At the center of the storm,
Inside the clamor and the noise,
Cloaked in my love,
Bathed in my peace,
Overflowing with my joy.
You belong here.
Letting the Golden Rule work in our relationship with the Great Mystery, it is a mystery no more. Something else happens, too. Knowing your place, knowing you are part of the Great Mystery, you have that reality to share in your world—that Presence, that greater Love, that greater Light. And you are empowered to see the rightful place of everyone you meet.
So the next time you desire something from people in your world, try giving it to someone. See what happens.
Being decent, caring, loving people seems like it can be so easy – the guidelines are there – and yet, on this planet – it seems like its a difficult concept. I am so grateful to live in a community that ‘gets it’.
What is language? Surely a supreme gift. We learn to communicate in surprisingly complex ways. Out of letter-sounds we have created words and meanings; words which ascribe meaning not only to the world we inhabit, but to the world of our mind. This is quite incredible.
I wonder if, like letters and sounds, then words, then sentences… humanity may connect and tell the story of true creation? A giant game of Scrabble! What letter do you have to complete a word?
How many ways can you rearrange your letters to bring life more abundantly?
Bring words that flow. Use words of love and appreciation. Fill the gap. Connect.
I appreciate the comments here.
I find myself reflecting on something we have been presenting in the Pulse of Spirit over the past few weeks. While there is the realm of personality and social structure to navigate as a human being, the primal matter is far deeper than that. It is the realm of Being that we are a part of. Yet distraction and even obsession with personality and social structure take people away from an experience of this primal reality.
The Golden Rule, when really practiced, transmutes consciousness from the distraction and obsession so that the practitioner returns to an experience of Being. Then they can navigate the world of personality and social structure from an entirely different perspective instead of being lost in it. The magic of it is that it invites us to stop fixating on our own needs, however real or imagined they might be, and then contemplate how we might learn to play our part in fulfilling the real needs and truest desires of the people in our world.
Thank you David
Tuning in to your invitation, I am happy to likewise acknowledge that my greatest desire is to freely give what I most deeply desire…. to give love, understanding, forgiveness, to see in another their beauty, kindness and generosity that likewise may too set free the deepest desire in another; to bring a smile that may break into shared loving laughter, to release a self-imprisoning habit of being trapped inside a dry ageing skin, a learned culture of stifling self-absorption that uses all available oxygen to feed a painful lesser desire and need, never to be fully satisfied, to ‘get’ respect or be valued by others ,,,
I choose simply to let the joy of being awake and alive, release into my connections with others, this life-giving energy, to warm another’s heart, maybe help stimulate their own deeper desire to give their gift, and know they too are …as sublimely portrayed in the Calling,
‘Cloaked in my love, Bathed in my peace, Overflowing with my joy, … you belong here.’ …. too.
May this gift of the Golden Rule flow freely between us all ‘on the wings’ of this life-giving Pulse of Spirit …. I thank you.
The Golden Rule – and ‘Don’t treat others in ways you wouldn’t’ like to be treated’.
Here in South Africa, I consciously promote the Spirit of Ubuntu – an African philosophy akin to the Sun Cross. It’s essentially a philosophy of Oneness – One Family of Mankind in collaboration with Nature.
Ubuntu is the Art of Being Human, a journey for each of us to take and discover who we truly are. We may discover and honour our ancestors and build on what has brought us here to this point.
Being on this journey we may find a multitude of opportunities to bring our unique and diverse gifts to one another, restoring Oneness.
I believe that when we focus our attention on this restoration, we eclipse the habits of accusation, blame and criticism, which only exacerbate the separation and pain.
I am joining you all to reveal the significance of the Golden Rule, Ubuntu in Action on Earth in real terms.
Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is the very essence of compassion. What is it that we would have others do unto us? Wouldn’t we have them forgive us our trespasses, treat us with kindness, love us? Well then, if that is what we want from others, we must offer the same to them.
How simple. How beautiful. How perfectly just. Thank you David.
I think when considering the golden rule of ,’Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ It is also important to consider George Bernard Shaw’s corollary to this
Do not do unto others as you would expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.“ – George Bernard Shaw.
I am often surprised how people react, and have the curiosity ‘I would not have reacted like that!’ (Good or bad)
So aswell as acting according to my highest moral intention, I also have to consider ‘this person is not me’ – how will they receive this – and sometimes I do not know! I am taken by surprise!
I would like to wrap this up with a tidy certainty of knowing right action, but I am left with the mystery of human relationship. Searching for inspiration I turn to Jesus saying ‘Love thy neighbour, as thy self’, knowing that I am also often surprised by my own actions and reactions.
Loving myself can take work of deep personal excavation, coming to the Presence of Love within, from which I can extend the radiance of love to all my quirks.
This I can offer to another
“…we are divinely empowered to give the gifts we are desiring.”
What has driven me from one subject to another, to give my gifts through my life journey?
I have not really asked where I belong, I have just belonged where I have lived, using opportunities offered me there.
I belong where I am !
So I have given my gifts through art and design, cultural events, health and outdoor-life, our spiritual heritage, inner martial arts and “new spirituality”, music and dance, youth programs, education, and community development.
Can I identify my deepest desire?
Yes, now I can! What has driven me through my life journey is my desire to contribute to a thriving community, where we share the understanding that we are all Creator-beings.