Ethics… Part I
Referring back to a previous article, “Energy Shifts and The Balance”, humanity is definitely experiencing problems at the present time. Ethics, to me, is the area which is being most severely compromised. The resultant “ripple effect” is evident on a planetary scale. Individual ethics are damaged, spreading out to families, local communities, states, countries, continents, the world. It’s almost as if we’ve reverted to an “I, Me, Mine” mentality, the survival of the one, but not necessarily the fittest.
The energy transmitted by people who are concerned only with their own welfare and best interests transmutes into the plant and animal world, and then into the planetary energy fields. Energy follows thought, remember?
Focusing a life path with that particular concept in mind makes me reluctant to pursue bringing attention to what’s going on around us. What energy gets sent to grows and flourishes. I certainly do not want the current events to continue. However, an essential part of being able to make corrections to an event, circumstance or condition is first and foremost identifying all of the combined elements involved. What’s going on? Is this good/positive or bad/negative? What/who does it affect? How does it affect? What can/should be done? How can/should it be done? Is this my personal “stuff” that is making me view this as bad or negative? Is my reaction based on putting my own best interests first, or does it come from a place of wanting what is for the best and highest good of all?
Being a Witch and following a Pagan Spiritual Path has led me over the years to working with area groups and organizations, with my primary goal being helping people to grow and become the best that they can be. Part of that is finding commonality and making connections that foster understanding and promote unity. My personal path is an eclectic one, blending aspects of Wicca, Druidry, Celtic, Native American and Kabbalistic practices.
One of the tenets, possibly the main one, of Wicca is “An’ it harm none, do as ye will”. The modern day ‘translation’ or applied phrase is “For the good of All, and the harm of none.”
Pertaining to Druidry, “Athelia Nihtscada turns to Irish source material to explore Druid ethics. The old Brehon laws, which were recorded by Christian clerics in the 5th century CE, pre-dated Christianity and offer a fascinating insight into early Irish society. By studying these laws and seeing how they might be applicable to modern living, Nihtscada has articulated eleven principles or codes of conduct for the contemporary Druid:
1. Every action has a consequence that must be observed and you must be prepared to compensate for your actions if required.
2. All life is sacred and all are responsible for seeing that this standard is upheld.
3. You do still live in society and are bound by its rules.
4. Work with high standards.
5. Make an honest living.
6. Be a good host as well as a good guest.
7. Take care of yourself. (Health was held in high esteem amongst the Celts, so much that a person could be fined for being grossly overweight due to lack of care.)
8. Serve your community.
9. Maintain a healthy balance of the spiritual and mundane. (Nihtscad writes: ‘Ethical and self respecting Druids did nothing without being properly schooled or aware of the consequences ahead of time. They knew when it was appropriate to visit the Otherworld and immerse themselves in the spiritual as well as when it was appropriate to be fully in this world.’)
10. Uphold the Truth, starting with yourself. 11. Be sure in your convictions, particularly when judging or accusing someone, but also when debating. Ask yourself: are you really sure? Do you really know that this is the case?”
** From The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, Ethics and Values in Druidism http://www.druidry.org/modules.php?op=modload&amp;name=PagEd&file=index&topic_id=1&page_id=50
Modern Day Native American Spirituality follows for the most part the Christian tenet of The Golden Rule “Do until others as you would have them do unto you”, and hold that all beings (man, animal, plant, earth) are sacred. This appears to be common to at least the Jewish Kabbalistic traditions also.
If you go to http://www.religioustolerance.org/, their page on “Shared Belief in the “Golden Rule”: Ethics of Reciprocity”, http://www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc.htm shows pretty much the same philosophy among the majority of what are considered the “major” world religions.
Now that we’ve reviewed that information, I’ll continue on…
So, in our current world, we have events occurring and circumstances coming into existence which, in view of what is claimed to be held sacred by spiritual traditions (I like that word better than “religions”) around the world, go totally against the “grain”. Warfare, chaos, killing, theft, assault, deceit, the disintegration of families, lying, environmental decimation, the promotion of self above others… all are in direct and undeniable conflict with these tenets. And yet it goes on and on and on.
It has been said “people are people”, and that all of these things are “part of what being human is about”. I’m not seeing much positive there.
From The Virtues Project http://www.virtuesproject.com/virtues.html
Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Character
How many of these are traits or characteristics that really and truly exist within humanity today? I know that there are many people who, on an individual level, strive to be able to claim these attributes as part of their being. (There are, unfortunately, days when it just simply doesn’t work, but not for lack of trying.)
Is this what is happening? No.
I hear a voice saying, “There’s no trying to it. Do it”. If we all could “do” everything we wanted to perfectly, without any missteps, we’d be perfect beings, and there’d be no learning, no growing, no evolving. My perspective here is that trying your best is the goal, give it your best shot, to the best of your ability, with best interests and the highest possible good as the intention and goal.
Again, is this what is happening? No.
To take it down to the simplest level possible, people do not truly care about anyone or anything except themselves.
- Don’t care about the vitality and health of our planet – how much of our existing natural resources can we possible use up and how much damage can we do to our environment so that companies and individual people can make money and get rich? Yes, climate change is real, it’s a fact that it’s happening.
- Don’t care about the vitality and health of individual nations – another country doesn’t “do things” the way we think they should, so we wage war against them to get them to conform to our views, killing innocent people and destroying cultures in the process. Or they have something that we want (oil), so we’ll come up with the best possible excuses, or outright lie about it, for attacking them.
- Don’t care about the people who live within our country – send money and aid all over the world, while our own economy suffers, people lose their jobs and homes, and end up living on the streets, starving. Cut the budget for essential services for the people, and transfer it to the military or into the pockets of big business.
- Don’t care about people in communities – they don’t hold the exact same religious beliefs, they’re not the same color, so they’re wrong and they’re bad. Do as I say, not as I do. Criticize, ostracize, condemn, attack what someone else does because it’s different, without learning the truth about them from them.
- Don’t care about animals – get a pet, then don’t take proper care of it, or just decide that it’s too much of a problem and then dump it out on a street or road somewhere, leaving it to fend for itself or die. Pets are a huge responsibility, regardless of the size. Puppies and kittens and other baby animals are so very cute, but they do grow up!
- Don’t care about families – I’m sorry, but this one is a real tough one for me. Kids acting the way they act these days is the responsibility of no one but the parents. Kids are not taught what is right or wrong, they’re not taught respect, discipline, or proper behavior, and these are family issues that have to be taught at home, not in schools.
- Don’t care about individuals – what can I do to help/promote me; how can I get what I want with a minimal amount of effort; I want what someone else has, so I’ll just take it; someone else is getting all the attention that I want, so I’ll take credit for what they’ve done. Well, I’m all in favor of personal growth, getting a better job, a nicer house, etc. But I will not do something that will intentionally hurt another person. I believe in earning what I get, whether it’s a better job, an education, a nice home, or recognition within my community because I did a good job on my part of a project or event.
Do you see the pattern here? Are you beginning to see where this is going?
To Be Continued…….