10676Re: The Golden Rule (reciprocity)
- Feb 13, 2005Hello gich
On 02/13/05, you wrote:
> You write: 'Do we ever see the idea of reciprocity mentioned in
> Gnostic literature?'
> I don't know whether reciprocity is mentioned in Gnostic literature
> and now that I know what the concept is I'm not sure of its worth;
> so maybe it's good that its not part of Gnosticism. Both versions
> (1) and (2) of the Golden Rule sound very laudable and noble at a
> first reading but when you try to apply them as a life ethic in the
> real world they don't work.
> Following on from Mychael's comment and your own it seems to me that
> I've been spending most of my life using version (1) as my main life
> ethic and as a result I have suffered innumerable confrontational
> problems with people I love and have been trying to help. I am
> reminded of the well-known statement: "The road to hell is paved
> with good intentions" and increasingly I'm coming round to the view
> that this is one of the truest statements ever uttered.
> Version (2) of the rule, as Mychael says, is just a no-action rule
> and does not function at all as a way-of-life ethic. If you follow
> it through logically, it's a rule advocating no contact with others
> for fear of causing offence or upset. Alright for a hermit I
> suppose. But if you're a social animal ...?
> At present, it seems to me that the only way to get through life
> without continuous problems is to just ignore everyone else and do
> your own thing. Participate in conversations; yes; but be very
> careful not to discuss anything that just might possibly be
> confrontational. The weather is usually, but not always, a fairly
> safe topic.
> Part of the reason for my interest in Gnosticism is a desire to try
> and find some sensible life ethics that will work in the real world.
> Maybe not having the equivalent of the Golden Rule is a good start
> for Gnosticism and augers well for my future investigations.
Think about this, one thing I would not want others to do is to mettle
in my affairs trying to help me. The rule still applies, if we
divorce it from reciprocity, and look at it reasonably. Basically
all it means it be nice to others, not nasty. Reciprocity is a bit
harder to deal with, as you point out. Things can get stickey.
Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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