Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Reverance for Life : The Universal Ethic

Expand Messages
  • medit8ionsociety
    By Albert Schweitzer Every philosophy has its mystical aspects, and every profound thought is mystical. But mysticism has always stopped with the passive, on
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2014
      By Albert Schweitzer

      Every philosophy has its mystical aspects, and every profound thought is mystical. But mysticism has always stopped with the passive, on an insufficient basis, as regards ethics. Indian, Stoical, mediaeval, all the great mysticisms, have aimed at achieving union through passivity. Yet every true mysticism has instincts of activity, aspiring to an ethical character. This fact explains the development of Indian mysticism from the detachment of Brahminism to modern Hindu mysticism. Mediaeval mysticism, in the same way, comes in its great exponent, Eckhardt, to the point where it longs to comprehend true ethics. Failing to find the universal ethic, it has commonly been content to exist with none. But in the universal ethic of reverence for life, mystical union with the Universal Spirit is actually and fully achieved. Thus it is proved to be indeed the true ethic. For it must be plain that an ethic which only commands is incomplete, while one which lets me live in communion with the Creative Will is a true and complete ethic.


      … The important thing is that we are part of life. We are born of other lives; we possess the capacities to bring still other lives into existence. In the same way, if we look into a microscope we see cell producing cell. So nature compels us to recognize the fact of mutual dependence, each life necessarily helping the other lives which are linked to it. In the very fibers of our being, we bear within ourselves the fact of the solidarity of life. Our recognition of it expands with thought. Seeing its presence in ourselves, we realize how closely we are linked with others of our kind. We might like to stop here, but we cannot. Life demands that we see through to the solidarity of all life which we can in any degree recognize as having some similarity to the life that is in us.


      … This, then is the nature and origin of ethics. We have dared to say that it is born of physical life, out of the linking of life with life. It is therefore the result of our recognizing the solidarity of life which nature gives us. And as it grows more profound, it teaches us sympathy with all life. Yet, the extremes touch, for this material-born ethic becomes engraved upon our hearts, and culminates in spiritual union and harmony with the Creative Will which is in and through all.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Fair Use Notice: This document may contain
      copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically
      authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that
      this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web
      constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material
      (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law).
      If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes
      of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain
      permission from the copyright owner.

       



    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.