Saturday, November 9, 2013

Principles of Virtue

Link to Introduction

1. The Promise of Virtue

1.1. If you live virtuously you will have more freedom and greater happiness, and so will your descendents.

2. The Three Basic Laws of Virtue

2.1. Be mindful of what is right in everything you do.

2.2. Respect, love, protect, and befriend all people, cultures, species, sciences, and religions.

2.3. Remember that perfect knowledge or virtue is impossible for any mortal being. Remain humble before the infinite and the sacred.

3. Family and Social Relations

3.1. Honor your parents. Respect your siblings. Love and care for your children.

3.2. Raising a family leads to a fulfilling life. Families should stay together and support each member.

3.3. If you have the resources to raise a family, you should not put it off.

3.4. Sex is the ultimate expression of a bond between two people. To have sex with someone is to marry them. Marry only one person.

3.5. Avoid pornography, prostitution, unclean fantasies, and adultery. They are addictive and can weaken or destroy a marriage.

3.6. Do not beat your spouse or children.

3.7. Love your children and teach them kindness, rational dialogue, and compromise.

3.8. Teach your children virtue.

3.9. Pass on your knowledge and skills to the next generation.

3.10. When a family member errs, forgive them. Children and teenagers should never be ostracized.

3.11. Honor the talents of your family members and help them  flourish, even if they are different or unusual.

3.12. Help family members when they are in need.

3.13. Love your neighbor as yourself.

3.14. Stay faithful to your friends.

3.15. Do not rob, steal from, trick, attack, or kill another human being.

3.16. Help strangers who are in need.

3.17. Give excess wealth to the poor and needy.

3.18. Keep your contracts.

3.19. Be fair in your dealings. Be just and uphold the law.

3.20. Respect all people and treat them as the same regardless of their wealth, rank, abilities, religion, nationality, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or other distinguishing category.

3.21. Do not take revenge. Appeal to the law for conviction and punishment.

3.22. Abstain from mind-altering drugs.

3.23. Alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine should be used only in moderation. It is wiser to abstain completely.

4. Heroism and Leadership

4.1. Heroism is the courage to risk your own well-being to help someone in need.

4.2. Be willing to make sacrifices for others.

4.3. Do what is right even if it meets with disapproval.

4.4. Keep the martyrs and heroes of the past in memory.

4.5. Do not take bribes.

4.6. A hero or leader does not seek personal gain, glory, fame, power, or wealth. Instead, you should seek to serve those who look up to you.

4.7. If you do achieve fame, power, or wealth, do not be afraid to sacrifice them – they have no worth in themselves. Use your gifts to serve others.

4.8. Be careful when you oppose corrupt leaders and practices not to become corrupt yourself.

4.9. Leaders should never despise their followers. They should value each one for the abilities or virtues they have.

4.10. Leaders should be humble, not proud.

4.11. Leaders should have powerful desires and creative minds, but they should always show humility, fairness, and generosity.

4.12. Leaders should not be admired for their power, but only for their virtues.

4.13. Leaders should never control, dominate, or manipulate the lives of their followers. They should only utilize their power during those brief times when it is necessary.

4.14. It often takes great courage, heroism, or self-sacrifice to bring a corrupt or immoral leader to justice. All men and women have the duty to oppose tyranny if and when they can.

4.15. Governments and leaders should grant their people the right to seek the truth, express the truth, and live in freedom.

4.16. Governments and leaders should heed the grievances of their subjects and followers.

4.17. War should only be waged in self-defense, and never preemptively.

4.18. A society should seek peace and friendship with neighboring societies, no matter their differences in belief, opinion, ideology, or religion.

4.19. Wealthy societies should always share their riches with poorer societies.

4.20. One society should never dominate or control another, whether militarily, economically, or culturally.

4.21. Each culture should be valued for its uniqueness.

4.22. Leaders and governments should never keep secrets from their followers or subjects.

5.  Simplicity

5.1. Strive for simplicity in thought and action.

5.2. Seek poverty, humility, low rank, obedience, and practical skills.

5.3. Do not take prosperity for granted. Strive to be self-sufficient and ready for hardship.

5.4. Try not to depend on distant or powerful sources for knowledge or wealth. Work with your neighbors instead. Avoid politics and war.

5.5. Prefer barter to money.

5.6. Do not charge interest on loans.

5.7. Do not seek or accumulate wealth or power. Do not depend on wealth or power, but on your own mind and hands.

5.8. Specialize in a trade if you have talent, but do not forget your traditional knowledge and skills.

5.9. The duty of the powerful is to serve. Do not use your station to live in more luxury than others.

5.10. It is better to let things follow their natural course than to seek complicated solutions.

6.  Sincerity, Discipline, and Diligence

6.1. Allow your life to be guided and shaped by the sacred. Strive for what is best and most divine.

6.2. Discipline yourself and your children to do what is right even when doing the right thing is hard, frightening, or time-consuming.

6.3. Be diligent and steadfast in your work and in upholding your values.

6.4. Do not be lazy or careless.

6.5. In uncertain times, seek the divine for guidance. Turn to ancient wisdom when modern knowledge fails.

6.6. Cultivate a set of skills and talents that will make you useful to those around you.

6.7. Welcome criticism of yourself from others and heed their advice.

6.8. Do your share of the work.

6.9. Be honest and never lie.

6.10. Be sincere and earnest in your relations, your work, and your conflicts.

6.11. Make time for recreation. Recreation should be both edifying and enjoyable. It should be active and creative, and not tedious.

6.12. Be straightforward about your intentions. Avoid intrigues and conspiracies. Do not manipulate, control, or trick others.

7. Prayer and Meditation

7.1. Contemplate your life now and then, and how you can live more virtuously and sincerely.

7.2. Read scriptures regularly and contemplate their meaning and how they can be applied to your life.

7.3. Prayer or meditation (they are the same) should be done quietly either alone or with immediate family.

7.4. When you are blessed, pray to thank and to become humble and not proud.

7.5. When you are in distress, pray for comfort and guidance.

7.6. Pray in humility, recognizing that the divine is greater than you.

7.7. Don’t let prayer become a forced or mechanical thing. Pray from your heart.

7.8. Pray for forgiveness of past wrongs.

7.9. Do not ask for worldly things when you pray, but for spiritual strength.

7.10. When you pray the mind should be reverently quiet.

7.11. One should pray to, or meditate on, the highest Good you can conceive (such as God, the Tao, or the Buddha-nature).

1 comment:

  1. Written beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I especially like how you worded 3.4, not many people are able to convey that message in a way that does not come across as judgemental.