Chapter 3.4 The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

The similarities amongst the religions born throughout the millennia are somewhat amazing.  A good example is the Golden Rule (excerpted from, chronologically beginning with the oldest:

“This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”
Mahabharata 5:1517   Hinduism 3100 BC

“What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.”
Talmud, Shabbat 31a   Judaism.  1400 BC

“Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
Udana-Varga 5:18   Buddhism 600 BC

“Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.”
T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien   Taoism 600 BC

“Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
Analects 15:23   Confucianism 500 BC

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
Luke 6:31, King James Version   Christianity. 0 AD

“None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
Number 13 of Imam Al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths   Islam.  600 AD

“Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.”
Native American Pima Proverb.

“One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.”
African Yoruba Proverb (Nigeria)


“Great Spirit, help me never to judge a person until I have walked in his moccasins.”
Sioux Indian Prayer

Granted, these have all been translated into English from a Western Civilization interpretation.  The dates of course are approximate and in the western civilized calendar, but it would appear that this message of tolerance has cropped up “originally” in many different parts of the globe.  And guess what? We’re not listening, or learning, all over the world.  One just has to believe that some force is trying to tell us something important here … and it’s not soaking in .

“There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who believe they are sinners, the sinners who believe they are righteous.”
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)   French Philospher/Mathematician

My contention is that the great spiritual leaders (and maybe a few sage philosophers) were guiding souls that had reached an extremely high level of spiritual enlightenment.  When the world arrived at major times of confusion or misdirection, these spiritual powers have arisen to teach us and to lead us in the right direction.  They all taught the same truths.

“There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)   Irish Playwright

So what has happened?  It’s the old game of ‘Telephone’, where one person whispers a statement to the person next to him in a circle who forwards it on to the next until the message comes back to the first person. Rarely does it come back the same.  Each person hears what they can process or want to hear, then, they usually summarize it, omit a couple of items, add a couple of their own beliefs, and pass it on to the next.  Now, in the real world, you throw in power and the driving forces of greed and fear, and you can understand that things could often come out quite differently.  .

The differences come from the way these scriptures are interpreted and the methods purported that one must use to achieve the promised land.  Human interpretation by a select few has generated much of the confusion and the differences around the world. Yet, still, major ethical and moral truths lay at the core of all religions. Their fundamental natures are similar. It would appear that:

“The devil is in the details.”
German Proverb

Most of us would do well to actually try to follow the essence of the truths within the scriptures, rather than the strictly literal translations.  Too often we run across people who carry a label of being religious because they go to church or temple or mosque. Yet they don’t always walk the talk. We all know a few of those, don’t we?

A driver did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.  The tailgating woman behind him went ballistic, pounding on her horn and screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to drive through the intersection with him.

Still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.  The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.  He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door.  She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.  He said, “I’m awfully sorry for this mistake.  You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.  I noticed the “Choose Life” license plate holder, the “What Would Jesus Do?” bumper sticker, the “Follow Me to Sunday School” bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.”

“Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.”

Don’t give me a quick S-K here … this little joke could be altered to fit the false-positives of many people in the world. Remember, we’re leading up here to our third heritage …


2 Responses to “Chapter 3.4 The Golden Rule”

  1. greencat3 Says:

    I especially like the George Bernard Shaw quote, “There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.” It seems like each religion has one main character who represents giving and peace (ie. Jesus, Buddha, even Ghandi!). All we have to do is pick our favorite of those main characters, and emulate their life practices. That should be easy for us all to do, right?! It sure would make my life easier…

  2. alpinerainn Says:

    Your example of the Telephone Game is the one I have always used to explain why I can’t believe the details of all of these religions. I agree with greencat3….we should emulate the message and forget the petty differences and details.

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