I have been hunting for years for Spiritual clarity. Frequently I feel like I am making headway along that path. I speak about the Path a lot because it has become clear that we are on a path to a grand future. That part has become clear, indeed. But in my search for Spiritual clarity I keep coming around to, or through, historical references of a rise in a culture or society and then a collapse—a rise and then a fall—a rise and then a fall… It appears that we are never able to overcome this pattern. I have studied that rise-and-fall pattern and found that nearly always the conditions leading to the rise are similar, as are the conditions preceding the fall.
It seems to me that a creature, as intelligent as we appear to be, that insists on repeating obvious historical events, time and again, is not really very intelligent after all! It seems like the phrase “History repeats itself” and “Learn from your mistakes” are just for hearing ourselves speak clever, catchy phrases and what a waste of time that is. Clearly, one does not continue to return to the hot stove and burn oneself over and over again. But as a species we are doing just that. Over and Over again…
We have been taught by every wise teacher throughout history to observe certain principles and philosophies. I understand that it gets all confused and convoluted—Freud said the doctrines were “distorted and systematically disguised” so that sometimes the principles are difficult to fully conceptualize. However, most conscious people will admit that there are fundamental things we should be doing and others we should be avoiding. We should be telling the truth about all the important stuff not attempting to trick and deceive folks to have our way. We should be fair with everyone and this is where the Golden Rule comes up many times. “Do to others as you would want done to you.” It is a statement that is clear and true and simple.
- If I say I want peace—then I should want that for you, also.
- If I say I want property rights—then I must want that for you too.
- If I say I want liberty—then I must wish that for you as well.
But this goes the other way as well; a principle called reciprocity. If I think that I can sit on my butt and have others take care of me that means that everyone should be able to sit on their butts and be taken care of, also. Do you see how that can not work! So if your neighbor works to support his family the principle of reciprocity says you should work to support yours, too. Confucius gave the rule in the negative: “Do not do to others what you would not want done to you.” Saying the Golden Rule in this way makes the previous statements more clear. I wouldn’t want my neighbor sitting at home for me to support so I won’t do that to him, either. Pretty simple right?
Well we have created a culture that has once again forgotten the wisdom of the ancients, a culture that refuses to have respect for others, a culture that seeks mostly self gratification over charity and integrity, a culture that wants to trick and deceive people rather than cooperate and encourage.
Another principle we are about to discover again is that “History always repeats itself.”