Expanding Horizons — James A. Long

The Golden Rule

The great religions all teach the priority of spiritual over material riches. They all teach the worth of the individual and his capacity to grow nearer to God. And they all agree on the principle of unity, the unity of the universe, the unity of the human family. To this unity all men are taught that they belong. To help make progress toward it is a personal contribution that must come from each of us. — Edward R. Murrow

The strong souls coming to birth these days are storming the barriers of doctrinal theology. Many of them will join the great number of the "unchurched" who, while not adhering to any denominational regimen, are yet not to be classed as "atheists," but rather as those who prefer to find their God in the quiet of their own souls. For out of the heart come the issues of life, and when men and women everywhere seriously try to penetrate to the roots of spiritual issues, the quality of their faith will outdistance the patterned "faith" of creeds. Despite diversities, we all share a common heritage, as instanced in the universal expression of the Golden Rule — a spiritual courtesy whose guidance could greatly diminish the ills of our civilization:

American Indian:

Great Spirit, grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.


In five ways should a clansman minister to his friends and familiars — by generosity, courtesy, benevolence, by treating them as he treats himself, and by being as good as his word.


All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.


"Is there any one word," asked Tzu Kung, "which could be adopted as a lifelong rule of conduct?" The Master replied: "Is not Sympathy the word? Do not do to others what you would not like yourself."

Greek Philosophy:

Do not do to others what you would not wish to suffer yourself. — Isocrates

Treat your friends as you would want them to treat you. — Aristotle


One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of duty (dharma). All else results from selfish desire.


No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.


Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: ... but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.


That nature only is good when it shall not do unto an other whatever is not good for its own self.

When a sufficient number of liberated thinkers give open expression to their innermost beliefs, we shall find that the brotherhood of thought now in process will provide such a bulwark of spiritual strength that no storms of national differences will prevail, and emancipation from separatism will be assured.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition