Theos-World Ethics & Compassion
Mar 15, 1999 06:47 AM
by Gerald Schueler
>>Interesting Idea, Compassion without ethics! I wouldn't have thought
such a thing would be possible. If one actually experiences compassion,
rather than intellectualize it, is it reasonable to expect unethical
behavior to flow from that experience? Hmmmmm.
Well, its not a question of compassion without ethics. Obviously
as children we learn ethical behavior first. The egocentric nature
of children has to be outgrown before compassion can develop.
What I am referring to is when we first tread the Path in any
real meaningful way. Ethics, by definition, are sets of codes
or ways of behavior--good and bad, shalts and shalt nots.
They are usually ethnic or cultural, and change as a society
changes. We in the West usually try to tread a spiritual Path
using ethics, and it just doesn't work very well. Why? Because
as long as we think of ourselves as ethical, we probably
won't feel the need to develop compassion, which is essential
for any real spiritual development. Ethical development, when
done consciously, almost always is accompanied by feelings
of superiority. Compassion does the opposite.
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