What if, at the end of the day, you will not be held accountable for what others did to you, only what you did to them—no matter what they did to you?
I don’t know about you; but frankly, this kind of accountability is scarier than the claim that God will burn my soul in a fiery hell. (By the way, if there are any physicists out there, please leave a comment or a link explaining how a physical element such as fire actually burns a non-physical soul. Or is that complication why it takes all eternity to accomplish this task?)
I admit that I probably spend more time thinking about this stuff than most folks, but I am absolutely fascinated by the way humans behave, because it’s such an accurate reflection of what they believe about Life and about God. Anoint my little pointed head with oil if you feel I’m off-base here; but if God is Love, “He” would not use torture as a tactic or a threat to correct errant behavior. And let’s face it: It hasn’t been very effective. That’s proof enough for me that the real God, the one and only God, does not solve problems this way.
What seems more a godly and powerful way to address sin/error, and what makes better sense to me, is the Law of Reciprocity. What is that, exactly? It must be important because all of the major religions of the world warn us to respect it. Perhaps these words are familiar to you:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and
the prophets.” Christianity
“What is hurtful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. That is the
whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.” Judaism
“Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for
others what you would reject for yourselves.” Islam
“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.” Buddhism
Tzu-Kung asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s who life may
proceed?” The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle?—what you do
not yourself desire do not put before others.” Confucianism“This is the sum of all true righteousness—Treat others as thou
wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor that hereafter Thou
wouldst not have thy neighbor do to thee.” Hinduism
Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions
Most of us don’t take these words seriously. By the way we treat our friends, co-workers, employees, lovers and even strangers, it’s clear we haven’t noticed that we hurt ourselves significantly when we ignore the potential pain that the Law of Reciprocity can usher into our lives.
“Do unto others only what you’d want done to you” is the clearest and
simplest way to avoid the flip side of reciprocity. In Loud Mouth-speak, it
boils down to: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” But I’ll let the
“It’s nature’s rule that as we sow, we shall reap.” Buddhism
“Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Christianity
“A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be
“What proceeds from you will return to you.” Confucianism
“Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow; as thou dost plant the tree
so it will grow.” Hinduism
“Whatever man soweth, that shall he reap. If he soweth trouble, trouble
shall be his harvest. If a man sow poison, he cannot expect ambrosia.” Sikhism
It’s difficult to ignore the simplicity and universality of the Law of Reciprocity when you see that so many religions teach the same message. And did I mention how divinely fair this law is: An eye for an eye, not eternal damnation for several decades of sin.
Besides being fair, the Law of Reciprocity, also known as the Law of Attraction, sets God free from a theater of endless tragedies. It lets God be godly, and maintain “His” focus on the Divine rather than the depraved. The Law requires no mind-numbing recordkeeping for numerous millennia, and it involves no demonic child abuse or other torturous tasks that do not befit a Spirit as divine as God.
If God can implant a steady stream of ideas into the minds of mere mortals to make our Internet speed faster, telephones and cameras smaller, and overall quality of life easier, it’s possible that “He” could also implant a self-correcting system of accountability in our souls that would make “His” life a lot easier. That system: The Law of Reciprocity/Attraction.
We can embrace the stories that depict God as an angry, vindictive, conditionally forgiving brute who helps some of “His” kids pass their cosmetology exams and win football games and lets pedophiles prey on “His” other kids, or we can write a different script—like this one, which has greater potential for attracting more joyful reciprocal circumstances than the script we currently have adopted:
INTERIOR: GOD’S LIVING ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT
God is relaxing when one of His kids runs into the room breathlessly. He looks up, smiles and lovingly strokes the child’s head.)
You’re strong and powerful. You’ll be able to overcome him if you remember that you’re mine, and he has no power over you. Just don’t let him trick you into giving him your power, OK?
JOY waves and reaches for the door knob.
I won’t, Daddy, I promise. I love you!
I love you more, Sweetheart. Have fun, and remember that:
- Life is always fair, so don’t do anything to anyone over there that you wouldn’t want done to you!
- God is never far. I am the Light and the Love within you.
- Don’t believe anyone who tells you that death on planet Earth is “the end.”
- And this is very important, Baby Girl: Remember that absolutely nothing is unforgivable. No matter what anyone does to you, forgive them as quickly as you’d want to be forgiven if you’d made the mistake, OK?
I will, Daddy. See you shortly!
Absolutely. You’ll be back here before you know it. Now scoot, so that you will be home before dark.Have a wonderful time today. When you get back, we’ll talk about all the things you did over there. OK?
LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS