Aldous Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy emphasises the point that the Golden Rule transcends cultures. This is deep wisdom. Do unto others. The thinkers of the Ages have come to the same conclusions. Living with hubris and selfish ego has no future. Spartan Greeks are not the model for a meaningful & lasting life.
Our pre-modern myths are replete with parables where self-centred, entitled, ‘above the gods’ hubris has led to a fall. It matters how we care for others. If you centre your life on only the self, then do not expect that life to end well.
We’ve lived in a modern world where the very reverse of this rule has been treated as a virtue. Especially since the rise of a Gordon Gecko economic creed of egoism. Neoliberalism; an economic creed as destructive, as mechanical, as power-concentrating and as unstable as the worst totalitarian regimes of the 20th Century. The *vices* of selfishness, avariciousness, coveting, otherising, exploitation, extraction, privatising gains and socialising costs – have all been treated as virtues.
We know those who position such vices that way. Most of us can work out that the consequences are dire – to our future as well as to the others we exploit.
These vices enable the true vicious (vice-filled) scum to rise, those without a care for others or tomorrow. They rise on the back of our world and our communities.
And it is oh so profitable to exploit and destroy in the short term. To drift net the ocean, ransack the Kauri, degrade society and working conditions. It looks oh so ‘rational’ to do so with dollar figures in a narrow spreadsheet that sees nothing complex, no connections and feedbacks over space and time.
Mine, mine, mine.
I really think there are change in the winds. Back to a more inclusive, broader, more long term, connected, wise, resilient, sustainable way of seeing, thinking and being.
It requires us to look far more broadly than the technocratic world. Put the technocrats back in the position of servants. Bring wisdom, the Humanities, the arts, the poets, the Spiritual and deeply wise Perennial Philosophies back as the rudder to direct us in our complex and ever-shifting, ever self-organising, dancing, seeing, feeling, joy-filled murmuration world we live within, on which we depend, and in which we share.
There is where lies grace.
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