Authentic Morality

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Authentic Morality

#1 Postby Phillip » Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:08 pm

Morality is obviously a concern to people today, since in Ohio and many other states, 80% of the voters who voted for Bush did so for “moral” reasons according to polls. But what is communicated in this isn’t only that people have concerns about morality, but that people are gravitating towards a particular definition of morality. This definition is communicated in most of the churches across America; it is the definition that states that right and wrong, good and bad are clearly defined, and people who don’t adopt the same view are morally wrong.

I’m a huge supporter of discussion, contemplation and living by a strong moral code; however, if we are actually thinking and working seriously to discover a true morality that we can practically live by, I think we find that strict definitions of good and evil are far too simplistic for real life. If we’re really struggling to live a moral life, we will inevitably be deeply troubled not so much by our “sins” or our moral failings, as much as by our “good” decisions that we strangely find ourselves regretting. What is troubling in living a moral life isn’t as much when we do the “wrong” thing, but the moment our moral code itself is called into question. It isn’t so bad to know we made a mistake. What is worse is dealing with the possibility that everything we did in the name of “goodness” was wrong. Yet this is an inevitable development in living an authentically moral life, and this is the struggle I believe we avoid when we cling to a simplistic moral code.

So I question this “moral” position people are taking, and wonder to myself, are we looking to truly be moral, or to have a clearly defined code that others recognize so that we can appear moral? In the immortal words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must question if it be goodness.”


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#2 Postby Michele » Wed Nov 03, 2004 4:38 pm

I seem to recall something about developing a kind of moral compass within our own hearts that allows us to live according to the light revealed in our experience. The problem with most ideas of morality is that most people hold every one else to their idea of what morality should be. It might occur to me that it is modest for me to wear long sleeve shirts, long skirts and a veil, but who said I should go out and expect other people to live by that standard?
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#3 Postby Rebekah » Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:36 am

Greetings Philip and Michele!

I, too, was curious about this "morality" that inspired people to vote for George Bush. It seems that the majority of people seek a morality that is defined and imposed outwardly, as if morality is nothing more than a consensus opinion.

True morality is discovered within our own hearts and minds. We know inwardly what is good and true, if we are willing to look and listen and act accordingly.

While this isn't the "easy" way most people prefer, perhaps it is the very struggles you mention, Philip, that serve to strengthen and illuminate our genuine morality.

Many blessings!
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#4 Postby charlie » Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:08 am

this brings to mind a story/conversation with a friend about imposed/introduced consensus morality...

imagine a homeless person who's been sleeping wherever he can, finding food wherever he can, etc. then someone offers to let him stay in a dirty small chicken coop. to the homeless person, the chicken coop is like a mansion. now he has a place that's a bit warmer and safer, and he's allowed to be there. in his own heart, he's happier, life is going real good now.

now introduce another person who's trying to 'help'. someone comes along and imposes their morality on the homeless man, points out all the things 'wrong' in his life, tells him how much better things could be, etc. suddenly the king in his mansion feels like a bum in a dirty chicken coop.

if a man has found something of heaven on earth in a chicken coop, is it morally acceptable for the other guy to destroy that view? I wonder if that's even in line with the other guy's morals that he's trying to share/impose... there again is the point about the difference between outwardly appearing moral vs. actually inwardly living according to such morals.


but everything will be ok... the pope said to vote for bush, so apparently god is a republican. it must be true, given all the 'miracles' that seem to occur to get bush in office. I'm sure we'll all feel much better once the world is converted to catholic/protestant democracy/capitolism. :P

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True Morality

#5 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:51 pm

Greetings Everyone!

It is interesting that of the five dimensions defined by the Tree of Life Glyph in the Kabbalah, that which is designated by Keter-Malkut (Crown and Kingdom) is called the "Spiritual" or "Moral Dimension." The implication is that morality defines ones proximity to the Divine, whether near or far. Generally this is understood to be the principle of likness to God, which if indicated by Keter is the All-Giver.

In this light Lord Yeshua says to his disciples that they are to love one another as he has loved them, and then states, "No one has greater love than this, that he lays down his life for his friends." This clearly reflects the idea of the All-Giver, for he is speaking of the gift of our all in a self-offering of love.

Thus, it would seem that the Gospel and Kabbalah define true morality as love or compassion, which is the light of the law and transcendence of the law. As it has been said, "The law is for the lawless, those who lack love." Perhaps we may say the same of religious creed and doctrine which is imposed from the outside - it is for those who cannot see the Truth and Light directly, or in whom the fullness of spiritual love and compassion has not dawned.

Quite frankly, true morality is simplicity - the simplicity of being loving and compassionate, as Lord Yeshua taught and demostrated. For this no law is needed, nor any creed or doctrine, just an open heart and clarity of mind and spirit.

The only way to vote for this is to choose it and cultivate it in our own lives. Perhaps, today, we have more inspiration, more passion to do so...

Blessings & shalom! :)
Tau Malachi
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