Message given as an Adult Studies lesson at Arlington Metaphysical Chapel in Virginia on Sunday, 22 January 2001, posted on my website back in 2005 and now slightly revised on 5 August 2019. Today, the Monday after two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, I am reminded that we know better, can do better. It is, simply, as the title states, a matter of doing unto others as we would want to done unto us.
Declaration of Principles
The United Metaphysical Churches has no doctrine but adheres to “The Declaration of Principles.” The sixth principle states:
We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule:
“Whatsoever ye would that others do unto you, do ye also unto them.”
When we say, “We believe…”, what do we really mean. Kahlil Gibran put it well when he wrote: “When you know a thing, you believe it, and the true believer sees with his spiritual discernment that which the surface investigator cannot see with the eyes of his head, and he understands through his inner thought that which the outsider examiner cannot understand with his demanding, acquired process of thought. The believer acquaints himself with the sacred realities through deep senses different from those used by others.” I will be referring to Gibran’s writings again, to show that the beliefs we are professing here are not new, but we take them up here to help us to better understand why we call ourselves “metaphysicians.”
To define morality, I went to Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia, under the heading of “Ethics and Morality”: “How to behave toward oneself and toward other individuals is a matter of making choices: whether to be friendly or unfriendly; whether to tell the truth or lie; whether to be generous or greedy; whether to study in order to pass an exam or to spend valuable study time watching television and cheat to pass it. These, and all other questions about how people act toward themselves and one another are dealt with in a field of study called ethics. Another name for ethics is morality. One word is derived from the Greek ethos, meaning ‘character,’ and the other from the Latin mores, meaning ‘custom.’
“Aristotle defined it as a “true and reasoned state of capacity to act with regard to the things that are good or bad for a man.” Compton’s went on to say that “In societies where the major religions—Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism—are predominant, the duty of helping the needy and the distressed has been implanted. These obligations extend beyond family to acquaintances and even strangers.”
The meaning of morality, especially in referencing the “highest morality,” becomes clearer by this last statement…”even strangers.” Every major religion-if not all long-standing religions or societies—have this principle as its core moral foundation. Which leads us to the next part of the principle, “The Golden Rule.”
One of the first rules established to help people get along well became known as the Golden Rule, in one of its many varied pronouncements: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Old Testament Book Leviticus Chp. 19, verse 18, said to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Additional other forms of the Golden Rule appear in several of the New Testament books and can be found among the writings of early philosophers such as Confucius and Plato.
The Master’s Words
Bear with me while I read from the King James Version of the Bible, two Gospel passages, both ascribed to Jesus. These contain within them the core message of why we should do unto others. The first is from the seventh chapter of Matthew, verses seven through twelve:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, with he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore, all things men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is ye law and the prophets.
The second passage is from Luke, chapter 6, verses 27-35, Luke wrote:
But I say unto you which here, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye?
For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? Or sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Both passages tell us how the Universe operates, that is, what you give out will come back to you, without regard to your personal belief system. It refers to our relationship with God, that we are his children, and like the perfect parent, we are treated equally, even if we are ungrateful or “evil.” As metaphysicians, we do not believe in a god who judges us based on our words and deeds, but rather in our taking responsibility for ourselves…and that we have freewill, that we choose to be a positive influence to those close to us, as well as those who pass through our lives…whether we realize it or not.
Listen to the Universe
Kahlil Gibran wrote:
“Humanity is the spirit of the Supreme Being on earth…” We believe that “God” is everywhere and in everything, the person sitting next to you, the man you passed on the street, and your most-feared enemy, are all “god” as well.
How would you treat someone, knowing that he or she is, in fact, “God?”
…Knowing that the Universe is speaking directly to you?
…Knowing that your very thought, word, or deed, is part of God-consciousness being expressed through you?
Gibran also wrote: “It were wiser to speak less of God, Whom we cannot understand, and more of each other, whom we may understand. Yet I would have you know that we are the breath and the fragrance of God. We are God, in leaf, in flower, and oftentimes in fruit.”
A Unity of “Mind”
Another great resource for discovering our relationship to the Universe is found in the text of Science of Mind, which is still in print after 87 years (originally published in 1926, the year my father was born). Remember that we are each one of us is on a personal path of discovery and you will each choose different methods and resources to reach the same ultimate destination.
Under the heading of “Unity” you will find a now-familiar theme: “The whole of God is present at any and every point within God. It was to this Indwelling Spirit that Jesus prayed, for God is within man as well as throughout all creation.” And goes on to tell us, “We are a point in Universal Consciousness, which is God, and God is our Life, Spirit, Mind, and Intelligence. We are not separated from Life, neither is It separated from us, but we are separate entities in It—individualized centers of God-Consciousness.”
We are born of human parents who raised us, much as humans have done from the dawn of time, passing onto us the information and skills they learned from their parents. Most parents want the best for the offspring, they want us to not only survive, but to thrive in an often-unforgiving world. They also teach us, knowingly or unknowingly, their religious and spiritual beliefs. It is likely that those of us here in this room, who make these declarations of principles, are not following our parents’ beliefs. But we probably share a sense of social morality that we refer to here as the “Golden Rule”…and in the universality of “One.”
How we defer may be less important as how we are similar. If you come from a Christian-Judeo background, the One your parents believe in is what they refer to as the one “true” God, the God of Moses and Abraham. The One we metaphysicians are referring to is the Universe, of which we are all make up its sum.
Gibran put is eloquently when he wrote: “All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things. In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.”
Just One Drop in the Ocean
How then do you treat yourself, as it is reflected in the eyes of another…seen or unseen? If we accept that we are all aspects of existence, then we cannot move, think, or just plain live, within impacting…creating…the Universe. This is a huge responsibility, for sure, one that would be much easier for us not to acknowledge. We are that one drop of water in an endless, and ever-moving, ocean which we call life.
We are reflections of God, each one of us, from the reflection you see in your bathroom mirror each morning, to the mass-murderer reflected on your TV screen on the evening news. If you want the world…the Universe…to treat you “fairly,” you must treat the Universe with equal respect. This is what is at the heart of the “Golden Rule.” Try to remember that when you are being yelled at by a boss, or have someone cut you off in traffic, or feel like someone is “pushing your buttons” in some way. They are, as each one of us are, a “perfect child of God.”
Go in Peace
We are manifestations of the God-consciousness, co-creating the Universe moment-by-moment, day-by-day. As the song said, “Smile and the whole world smiles with you.” Go, then and Do unto Others. May the Peace that Surpasses Human Understanding be with you, always!
- The Bible, King James Version
- The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes
- QPB – Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Henrickson, et al
- The Writings of Kahlil Gibran
- Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia
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