Not As Permissive As It Sounds

"For the good of all, and the harm of none, As I do Will, so be it done."

I am sure the other members of this group already know what this means, so this is for the benefit of browsers and the curious.

This rhyme, or variations of it, is meant to be a safeguard.  The first rule of my spiritual practice is the same as a doctor's: "Do No Harm".  And one of the first teachings is to develop your "Personal Will".  (Not the power to impose your Will over others, but the power to recognise your intentions and then see them through to completion - without harming anybody.

The rhyme is not permission to do whatever you want regardless of how it may adversely affect others.  It is a prayer that you will "Do Your Will" without hurting or depriving anybody.

61-65, F
6 Responses Jul 15, 2008

Excessive pride makes people want to puncture that pride, which could be very hurtful to YOU. Please read Tzech's wise comment above. YOU are someone.<br />
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When some young (or older) people first come to this particular spiritual practice, they want to learn to use their Will to attain certain things. For example, "Make Ricky love me." So, Ricky falls for you, leaving his present girlfriend behind, thus breaking her heart. He is now in love with you, but you find that YOU are not in love with HIM, so you dump him, and now HIS heart is broken, and his former g.f. keys your car and slashes your tires, etc. etc., endless nasty scenarios. <br />
Other people wish for money, and then sure enough, Uncle Fred dies and leaves a small fortune to you. Great for you. Tough luck for Uncle Fred...... <br />
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These are pretty obvious examples, but there are plenty of subtle ways your wishes can redound upon you. This is where the second Rule comes in - "The harm you do will return to you tenfold."<br />
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Using the "for the good of all and the harm of none, as I do Will so be it done" safeguard is for your own protection as well as those around you.

excessive pride, for example. It hurts no one, but is not right.

Can you give a couple of examples?

Interesting...interesting. I believe something can be morally wrong and harm no one, so, it is interesting to hear this.

Absolutely true! So many complexities in one simple statement. And so misinterpreted by so many.

When I first began to study I thought this was just the greatest party line there was. My mantra (at 15) was it's not hurting anyone. Ah....but then my mentor explained I (bold faced I) was someone. So then it became the most restrictive sentence there was. My growth through the years has changed my perspective as well. Noting that there is nothing that says I have to be a door mat. But then the whole imposing my will thing. Now that I have taken on a student I see yet more meaning behind and inside the rede.