The Golden Rule and Universal Empathy
Updated: May 21
Welcome to the 8th key, where we will delve into the essence of the 'Golden Rule' described by avatar Jesus of Nazareth - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Basically, to treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. The Golden Rule sets a universal standard which can be embraced by the religious and non-religious alike. Following and living this rule is easier said than done, and I'll attempt to explain why in this key.
If everybody in the world were to practice this rule even imperfectly, we would see the world transformed into a paradise. So why hasn't this happened yet ? Hindu theology explains it most clearly, in my opinion. The reasons this rule isn't followed is because we humans are born into the illusion of separation. That is, we think, feel and act separately from other humans. This attribute is just one of many in a grand illusion which is called 'maya' in Sanskrit. Under this illusion, not only is it difficult to abide by the rule, but it's also extremely easy to do quite the opposite ! Imagine a world where every harm you did to someone was felt by yourself directly, whether physically or emotionally. Things like torture and violence would be nearly obsolete. Anger and abusive language would be under control and self-regulated. Hunger and sadness would be a concern of everyone, even complete strangers. Needs, felt by all.
This brings us to the perfect words to describe this ideal state - universal empathy. I want to focus on the word empathy itself, which is defined as "the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position" (Wikipedia). It goes beyond mere sympathy, because as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, empathy allows you to actually feel the other person. From empathy, we derive another word - empath. An empath is described as "a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual." This word is so uncommon that the definition states it as usually found in science-fiction, and the spellchecker shows it underlined in red as I type this blog-post. Spiritual mediums - or sensitives- are often called empaths as well. It's an enhanced, energetic sensitivity.
It is said in certain spiritual beliefs - especially Hinduism and Buddhism - that advanced worlds exist where universal empathy is a reality, and we can assume these realms would be Utopian paradises. I for one, believe that they do exist in such an expansive, mysterious universe. This type of empathy would also encompass many traits we consider supernatural, such as telepathy and clairvoyance. Among humans, it would be very rare to find somebody who understands, much less remains in this state of empathy. Nonetheless, saints, mystics and avatars have been known to reach it. In our modern world, we need to strive for a greater empathy. Without feeling the slightest empathic connection to each other, we are terrifyingly capable of the worst crimes and numb to the spiritual and karmic consequences. While we may not create a utopia of universal empathy in our lifetime, we can individually take a conscious step in the right direction. Collectively, it would change societies, and the world.