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The word "Love" has come to mean two very different things. In fact, the meanings are essentially opposite of each other. But most people don't ever think of it, and continue to use the exact same word (love) for both things.
The first kind of love could be called "Pure love". Pure love is an outflowing, giving, caring kind of love--it could also be called "Unselfish Love". Pure love is the kind of love that is related to things like: "Love thy neighbor"; Santa Claus; Caring love for your family and friends; Charity; Helping disaster victims; etc.. It is the kind of love that the selfish side of yourself gets nothing out of, but that the "good" side of yourself gets a "warm" feeling from.
The next kind of love that is commonly referred to, is actually nothing like "Pure love". It is really just a feeling of pleasure that comes with "getting" something you want or like (physically or emotionally). It doesn't matter if it comes from someone else somehow giving you something you like, or it is from self-indulgence. It is all self-gratifying. So let's call that kind of love "selfish love". Here are just a FEW quotes that are examples of this: "I love ice cream", "I love football", "I love presents", "I love chocolate", "I love the islands", "I love BMW's", "I love beer", etc..
Such selfish "love" crosses over into our relationships also. "I love Sam" (or "I love Marsha") for instance, can actually mean you just love the attention, energy, and pleasure they give you. Relationships can involve a mixture of selfish love, and Pure love, but many start with (and are actually based on) selfish love primarily or totally. And many relationships break up because ofthat. When a relationship is based on the self-gratifying pleasure you get from your partner, it results in a sort of "addiction" to one degree or another. You can then end up with addictive behavior--possessiveness, jealousy, rejection, and all the other selfishly spawned causes of pain and turmoil that come with such addiction.
Pure love, being the opposite of selfish, creates no addiction. It craves nothing for itself. It thus heals rather than hurts. It cares rather than "blocks out" and ignores. It can improve your life, the lives of those around you, and ultimately, the whole world.
Totally Pure love is not contaminated at all with selfishness, or selfish love. This is important, because like any contaminant, any selfishness can taint and ruin everything. It's like putting drops of poison in an entire jug of pure water--it contaminates the whole jug. Or like e-coli bacteria in a batch of hamburger--the whole batch gets contaminated, and becomes unhealthy.
We'll define it more later, but basically, the "rule" part of the "Golden Rule" is to "love unselfishly"--to focus on and give Pure love.
Pure love encompasses all the spiritual virtues involved with simply being a "good" person. For example, caring, kindness, compassion, tolerance, sharing, giving, harmlessness, respecting the free will choices of others (if harmless), etc., are all results of loving unselfishly.
Pure love isn't unconditional love--you can be unselfishly loving and still "put your foot down". In other words, one who applies the Golden Rule in life, is reasonably kind, reasonably giving, but not unconditionally kind, unconditionally giving, etc..
This workbook gives examples of the benefits of living by the Golden Rule, and how to apply it more in your life, in many different circumstances. For instance, the techniques and methods included here, can help you have more caring interactions with everyone everyday, from cashiers or "bus boys", to your spouse. But you can take it even further if you want to.
In our opinion, working on applying the Golden Rule with others of like-mind can provide you the greatest opportunity for personal spiritual development. If you want to work with others, you can join or create anything from a weekly Golden Rule study group/club, to a Golden Rule fellowship or intentional living program. It all depends on how "in-depth" you want to get with it. Golden Rule Workgroups can be comprised of your spouse alone, your present friends, family, or members of your religion. If no one you know wants to do it with you, you can make new friends at an already existing Golden Rule study group, or a cooperating spiritual fellowship.
All "good" people are essentially just one big "family" within the human race. And all good people, relate to the Golden Rule. It's a non-denominational universal concept that involves individual spirituality, rather than religion. Practicing the Golden Rule doesn't require anyone to change religions, leave their religion, or join a religion if they don't have one. If you belong to a church, synagogue, temple, ashram, etc., and you like the idea of the Golden Rule, you can talk to the appropriate congregation leaders about starting sanctioned Golden Rule "clubs" or "study groups". If you don't have a religion, but would like to participate in a Golden Rule oriented fellowship with like-minded individuals, we are building a referral database of both independent Golden Rule Study Groups/Clubs (not affiliated with any religion), and Golden Rule groups affiliated with known sympathetic churches/temples/etc..
Benjamin Franklin once set out to write a book very much like this one. He had developed specific techniques for perfecting oneself through the development of virtues. It was to be called "The Art of Virtue", but was never finished. More importantly perhaps, Franklin also intended to create an organization and "secret society" based on that idea. He strongly believed that if even a few people committed their lives to developing the virtues of being a "good" person, and then secretly recruited friends and family, over time it would spread from one person to the next, and eventually create a new and better society. Part of his plan was for the program to be universal--not to be limited to any one religion, and to avoid alienating any religion. The need for secrecy was primarily due to the threat of being charged with heresy in those days. That particular threat is gone in this day and age, and we can openly pursue such a wonderful non-denominational program. It is our hope and belief that this book, and the creation of Golden Rule Organization (GRO), fulfills his goals and dreams.
If you intend to use this workbook to help you apply the Golden Rule in your life, please read it all the way through one time, and then re-read it again. This is necessary because many of the concepts presented here, cross-over with each other, and are subsequently scattered throughout the book. Thus, if you aren't familiar with all the concepts, you may not fully understand everything until after you've read it through once, and read it again.
Posted January 4, 2010
Not only is this book built around the premise of the "Golden Rule", it is a practical guide to understanding your fear and emotions. It has concrete instructions to help you improve your self and relationships.
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Posted December 15, 2009
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