RE: Writer and researcher requests your help.
- Nov 25 2002
I would appreciate some answers so as to better help you.
Would not "practices" follow the choosing of "values."
How are "values" selected and identified impartially?
Is there a scale that provides us with great impartiality and entire
accuracy such definitions?
One of the best sources in legend and fable are of course the Aesop
Fables, or the "Fables de La Fontaine." The Chaldean, Assyrian,
Egyptian, Chinese and Japanese traditions abound with these.
World-wide parallels are made clear by comparison. Joseph Campbell
has already done some of this work. But it can be improved.
A comparison of the Theogonies and "Creation Myths" from the past
ought also to be considered.
Then half a world away one will find: the Hittopadesa, and the
Panchatantra, and the stories of the great Kings: RAMAYANA and
MAHABHARATA, also the Buddha's JATAKA STORIES, in India. A good
number of translations of these are currently available. [ See also
Ethel Beswick: TALES OF Hindu GODS AND HEROES - Jaico Books,
One of the best books to consult is Sister Nevedita's CRADLE TALES OF
HINDUISM (Advaita Ashrama Press) .
Personal stories -- unless appended to the first two items above as
illustrations, will swim under their own power of course, but there
ought to be enough similarities to make groupings.
But what is central to this?
Our eyes now sweep over the legendary and the historical past. We
then rise over the Earth, and in a day we encompass the many places
where legends and places originated -- where they then took place
(and in which we may have participated if reincarnation is a fact and
the Soul of man is an immortal) -- as the modern Earth revolves under
us. And we sadly realise that many a secret from our past has been
lost to us by the crude fanaticism of invaders and the march of
ignorant and careless troupes. One need only visit a few truly
ancient monuments around the world (even using the NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC) to realize that the science of mathematics and
architecture was alive and well centuries ago.
What criteria shall we adopt?
Can we distinguish, can any philosophy or science distinguish
accurately vice from virtue? What criteria shall be adopted. Shall
we use the shifting sands and speculative floods of the various tides
of psychology? Where is fact and wisdom stored ?
Lets take the Theosophical suggestion that we live in essentially a
mutually interactive and cooperative World. We then, looking closely,
discern innumerable evidences of mutual support in the world's life
and present living. Brotherhood - is a porte-manteau word -- that
includes all such.
There is a long way between observation and the recording of events,
and finding out what DRIVES THEM.
Are there ANY LAWS OF ETHICS AND MORALITY that transcend argument?
Your research appears t me to be another way of investigating
"purpose" in the fragments of the past.
Does Nature (meaning the Universe in all its aspects) show evidence of
impartial cooperation and general support? How do "accidents" occur?
How are "providential escapes" arranged for ? Is there any underlying
logic in these ideas? Do the ancient Hindus have a good idea when
they spoke of karma, and the impartial justice and fairness of the
I do hope these discursive words and ideas are of some help.
As an example try reading Mme. Blavatsky's ISIS UNVEILED, and, 2,
the small collection of stories under the title THE TELL TALE PICTURE
I am taking the liberty of spreading your request to some others
interested in what you are doing.
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 6:14 AM
Subject: Writer and researcher requests help.
Please excuse the impersonal quality of this e-mail.
I am writing to ask your help for a book I am writing about Life
I am looking for examples of those simple things that we all do that
essential to expressing and maintaining our values as we face life's
downs - our Life Practices.
What I am seeking is a bit like folklore. Something with a story and
to remember slogan or catchphrase. I am asking you to contribute out
of your own
personal experience not as an official representative of an
organization. I am especially interested in those practices which help
you deal with others - in your family, at work, in your immediate
community, in the larger global community, etc.
This is the only e-mail you will receive from me unless you choose to
participate in this project.
So far I have gathered over 150 practices from people all over the
world: These are
examples of contributions I have received so far that may help clarify
what I am looking for:
" 'Water what you want to grow' is my motto. Whenever I see something
done well I acknowledge it as soon as possible and in some tangible
least that I do is to complement the person doing the thing well. What
to do more often is write a note to the person or give them a small
"My life changed when I went from seeing mistakes as awful to seeing
as the first chapter of a textbook on a new subject. I even had this
into a sign that hangs on the wall in my office. 'Mistakes are just
one in a textbook on a new subject' Now I get bothered if I don't have
sort of royal screw-up every few days. It's like I am not trying."
"I learned from my grandfather to 'use the best materials you can
This has provided a model for my life's work. Even in my late 70's I
still actively building things and more to the point of your book, I
still building my life out of "the best materials I can afford."
These practices come from people from many places and with a wide
variety of backgrounds. I am grateful for that. I want to show the
view of Life Practices from around the globe. And, at a time when
there is so much
mistrust in the world, I hope my book does some small part in
reminding us that we even though we have differences, we still have
much to learn from one another.
The book will feature some of the material I gather with some
I will be grateful if you would send me a practice that you use as a
foundation in your life.
Please include some brief biographical information as well. Also, if
you would like to share in what I am learning, please let me know as
And please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Thank you for your consideration.
Steve Lawler an ethics consultant and writer based in St Louis,
He regularly gives workshops on issues of ethics, values and culture.
been quoted in a number of related pieces in publications including
the Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor and Cape Talk
Radio - Cape Town. Lawler has worked with companies in the US and
Europe - including Monsanto, Pulitzer Publishing, and the Danforth
Foundation. He has been a lecturer at Washington University and at
Webster University. He has written for numerous publications.