Esteemed Reader | February 2020 | Esteemed Reader | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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Esteemed Reader | February 2020 

Esteemed Reader of Our Magazine:

Just about 2,500 years ago there were great changes in the life of humanity. This epoch, which has come to be called the Axial Age, was characterized by a common message in disparate societies around the world. The message, coming from teachers and leaders and expressed in the linguistic and cultural syntax of each society, has come to be called The Golden Rule. 

We have reference to some of the myriad formulations that appeared simultaneously from various teachers between the 8th and 2nd century BCE. A small selection from innumerable others follows. 

I wish to acknowledge the Golden Rule Project (Goldenruleproject.org) for their valuable work. 

Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, India (563-483 BCE)

"All beings love life. All beings fear death. Knowing this hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." —Dhammapadha

"Comparing oneself to others in such terms as "Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I," he should neither kill nor cause others to kill." —Sutra Nipata v. 705

"...a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?" —Samyutta Nikaya v. 353

Confucianism, Confucius, China (551–479 BCE)

"Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state." —Analects 12:2

"One word which sums up the basis for all good conduct...loving-kindness. Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you." —Analects 15.23

"Tse-kung asked, 'Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?' Confucius replied, 'It is the word shu—reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.'" —Doctrine of the Mean 13.3

Early Greek, Greece 

"We should behave to friends as we would wish friends to behave to us." —Aristotle (470-386 BCE)

"Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you." —Socrates (384-322 BCE)

Hindu, India

"This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what which would cause you pain if done to you." —Mahabharata (circa 400 BCE)

"Wound not others, do no one injury by thought or deed, utter no word to pain thy fellow creatures." —The Ordinances of Manu (circa 300 BCE)

"One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire." —Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8 (circa 400 BCE)

Jainism, Mahavira, India (599-527 BCE)

"In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self." —Lord Mahavir 24th Tirthankara

"One should treat all beings as he himself would be treated." —Agamas Sutrakritanga 1.10.13

"A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated." —Agamas Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

Judaism, Palestine, Babylon

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." —Leviticus 19:18 (circa 538-332 BCE)

"Take heed to thyself, my child, in all thy works; and be discreet in all thy behavior. And what thou thyself hatest, do to no man." —Tobit 4.14-15

"What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor.  This is the whole Torah [Law]; all the rest is commentary." —Hillel, Talmud, Shabbat 31a (300 BCE)

Taoism, Lao Tzu, China (circa 6th century BCE)

"Regard your neighbor's gain as your gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss." —Tai Shang Kan Yin P'ien

"Recompense injury with kindness." —Tao Te Ching

""To those who are good to me, I am good; to those who are not good to me, I am also good. Thus all get to be good. To those who are sincere with me, I am sincere; to those who are not sincere with me, I am also sincere. Thus all get to be sincere."—Tao Te Ching, Chapter 49

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