Friday, September 26, 2014

Doing no Harm. Spirituality and complexity.


     Of course we all want to do not harm. Right? I mean none of us really wants to hurt anyone right?

     Or perhaps this isn't entirely true. Or not true at all.

     Recent I sat with a Zen group that spent some time processing the precepts. We spent a whole lot of time on "doing no harm." Not the first time I have spent time on this one. In general the group started out examining this precept and as time went on the discussion became increasingly complicated. And more complicated.

     Is this a simple precept or an increasingly complex subject?

     Do no harm. The closer you are to your own experience the easier this becomes. I mean after all you can pretty much decide if you are going to harm someone in the here and now. It's a matter of paying attention. It's that simple. We ask ourselves "what am I doing right now?" The minute we start to move out from the center of where we are the issue becomes more complicated by degrees. And. The more convoluted the concept becomes.

     There are some people on this planet who have every intention of doing harm. They are actively pursuing it right now as we speak. Watch the news. See how that goes? For a single person speaking to a group of people the concept is fairly easy. Do no harm. You look at the people in your sphere and do no harm. The people in the next city? Maybe not.

     Is doing no harm going to be a universal principle that we (planet earth) can live by? I'm not at all sure. The concept itself has been around for a really long time. Thousands of years. How's it going? Not so hot. Why?

     Well Greed. The ego is built by greed and in turn supports greed. Greed, or wanting, is the only
thing standing in the way of universal "do no harm" rule.

     Now if you think about it greed is a very universal principle. There is no where you can go where greed is not alive and well. Everyone seems to want more than they need. Because, well, they need more. Communication has done little to disperse the feeling for more. If anything it continues to exacerbate the problem with advertising.

     I really believe in small groups that, in general, we can expect to do no harm. I also believe that the more people, places, and things we add that greed inevitably raises it's ugly presence and conflict occurs.

     I think we need to adopt a more universal concept of how do no harm works. I think that without addressing the concepts of projection and conditioning that the best we can to is resolve the issue among very small groups of people.

I welcome any comments or input.

In Loving Kindness