A Collective Golden Rule

The Golden Rule — Love your neighbor as you love yourself — has popped up in different ways the last month. I can see the beauty in it, but what I also see is a very individualistic and anthropocentric rule. It’s one persons relation to other persons.

Yesterday I started to think about how The Golden Rule would look like in the context of Big Heart of Humanity. How to formulate a collective Golden Role? A Golden Rule about the relation between all of Humanity and Everything else?

Love Everything as you love Humanity?

Looks nice … but when I start to think about it … how many humans loves Humanity? We love parts of humanity; our friends, people doing good things, poor people in foreign countries … How does your list looks like? And who is on your list of “non neighbors”? Can we become One Humanity as long as we have those two lists? Or is it enough if the first one is a bit longer than the second one? When does Big Heart of Humanity comes alive?

So I guess it would be a good idea to include the personal Golden Rule into the collective one. A Humanity at war with it self will always be at war with Everything around it. Just as a single human at war with her self can’t love others, as the Golden Rule points out — Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

If we’re not at peace with each other as Humanity, loving nature only becomes a personal escapism. I know, I’ve been there.

If the relation between Humanity and Everything is not based on love it won’t be sustainable.

Love your self, so You can love Everyone, so We can love Everything


PS I know there are many ways to formulate The Golden Rule. I’ve chosen the one that makes most sense to me. 

17 Responses to A Collective Golden Rule

  1. gisela January 4, 2012 at 11:15 #

    Wow, what a reflection on the Golden Rule! The last blog opened some questions about the flavour, the texture of the experience of ONE Humanity. So I am very happy about this continuation. Your sharp and precise sentences open up “books”.
    I found out about myself in which ways I stick to perceiving and thinking the differences between me and others. I know well about my “lists” and can see the egocentric point of view. It is all about the single human and its relationship to other single humans (but instead of “it” we think about me, you, he, she). In a collective Golden Rule the single human is not that important, is not to be taken too serious, it´s not about feelings and needs. Though there is an obligation to care for the feelings and needs, not because I love myself or I love you but because I love Life (god or however you will name it) and because I realize that to care for myself is a service to Life itself.
    Let´s love ourselves, everybody, everything not in a romantic way, not in a needy way but as a service. I am at the very beginning of learning how to. How exciting!!!

  2. Stina Deurell January 4, 2012 at 11:33 #

    Wow Gisela,
    Thank you for your thoughts and reflections, beautiful! They make my view on this more clear. There are so many layers to be aware of … and to explore!
    Big Heart, Stina

  3. Michael Högberg January 5, 2012 at 11:32 #

    Thank you Stina for tickling reflections that takes height and challenges to how we could incorporate everything to bring love to more and more, of everything. Thank you. M :)

  4. Hanna January 5, 2012 at 20:03 #

    That is beautiful and very profound, Stina. I believe you are right in the order: first love yourself, then love more and more others until you can include everyone – or rather every being, including slugs and moskitoes, ghosts and demons. (Some people find it easier to love animals and nature than humans and man-made things – that is an interesting and disturbing phenomenon, but maybe going too far off the main subject). And from that place of truly universal love for every being, love all of creation as an expression of Spirit.

    One important thing in our culture needs to be pointed out, that the attitude “I hate myself” is even more selfish and immature than “I am the best”. Something is broken at a very early age in so many of us Westerners, leaving us with a weak sense of self-confidence.

    So the usual formulation of the golden rule “do as you would be done by” is too narrow, makes us act in a business-like way “I give you what I want you to give me”. Instead we learn to be happy with what we have, appreciate our wealth and give freely from our abundance without asking for anything back. Without neediness.

    In Integral terms, the golden rule is the move from red (egocentric) to blue/amber (ethnocentric) – learning to take someone else’s perspective and developing the ability for compassion, justice and generosity. So the new, higher golden rule should be more like:
    “do as you would like everyone to do to the world” or
    “love all of nature and each being, (whether your neighbour or someone very far away that you have never met) as you love your True Self”

    or something like that.

    Such are my spontaneous thoughts in one of these darkest nights of the year, before the first small spring flowers renew my courage and energy.


  5. Stina Deurell January 6, 2012 at 10:12 #

    Hi Hanna,

    Thank you for all your reflections! Wonderful to read and see how you think about these questions.

    Yes, I know those people who loves nature more than humans, I was one of them until a year ago. I think I write a blog post about that. It’s a very important point.

    Your other point about “hating myself” and the critique about the “personal” golden rule is very true. That is why I formulated The Extended Golden Rule so it’s clear that you have to love yourself before loving others.

    You suggest “do as you would like everyone to do to the world”. This formulation leaves out the collective. Of course each human has to behave nicely to Everything. But my main point is that Humanity becomes a “We”. And that this “We” relates to slugs and trees and Everything. Using integral language; Humanity becoming an object to herself. What I point to is a shift in consciousness, when we become aware of the Human we-space.

    Big Heart, Stina

  6. Pelle Billing January 9, 2012 at 20:02 #

    Somehow this post gave me a deeper understanding of what you are doing, Stina. Or at least it communicated it more clearly.

    So many people love nature, sincerely or as escapism or as a mixture. Others sincerely love humanity, or distract themselves with human made gadgets, or a combination of the two.

    However, to really progress we need guides who can point out a path towards sincerely loving nature (with all its faults) and sincerely loving humanity (with all of its faults) at the same time. This means that you cross or combine to systems, or even two paradigms (for lack of better words).

    This is truly something new, to my knowledge and in my not always humble opinion.

    What you seem to be going through at the moment Stina, is something that more people need to go through, and if you can help show the way through your art and through your various channels of communication then it is truly valuable. Beyond valuable.

    I kind of knew that before but now you are starting to find the words that speak to my masculine part as well, which is more dominant in me and more dominant in the public sphere. And that is an important process I believe, since ultimately you want to reach men as well, and the public sphere.

  7. Gert Olsson January 10, 2012 at 07:56 #

    I really like the way you reflect over the Golden Rule. I think that a new era which is putting this rule first, is taking place. I know, it’s hard to see but there are signs of change, slowly towards a mote loving planet!

  8. Stina Deurell January 10, 2012 at 08:25 #

    Pelle, Thank you!

    I’m so happy that my journey starts to resonates with you and with your masculine side. And I see now that I have comments from three men on this post, that is new …

    Yes, Big Heart of Humanity is a combination of two very different views. The view of seeing the world entirely from inside Humanity and the view from seeing Humanity from the outside as them. And my aim is not that we shall try to have both. But take a third view.

    So depending on which view is your’s right now, there are two very different moves to make. I think I’ll make a blog post about that …

    Big Heart, Stina

  9. Stina Deurell January 10, 2012 at 08:27 #

    Gert, yes!
    There is for sure a big shift going on and this is a part of it!
    Big Heart, Stina

  10. Hanna January 10, 2012 at 09:01 #

    You suggest “do as you would like everyone to do to the world”. This formulation leaves out the collective. Of course each human has to behave nicely to Everything. But my main point is that Humanity becomes a “We”. And that this “We” relates to slugs and trees and Everything. Using integral language; Humanity becoming an object to herself. What I point to is a shift in consciousness, when we become aware of the Human we-space.
    Dear Stina,
    so that changes the golden rule altogether! mindblowing! It is about becoming able to think and act in a non-separate way. In the Integrales Forum in Germany we are very much looking into these new ways of communication where you create a “field” in which something new develops, a shift takes place and the group can think up ideas and solutions that go beyond what any individual could have done.
    In that case the old formulations lose their meaning. There is no need for an imperative “do this” and “don’t do that”. The golden rule becomes obsolete – like saying “remember to eat food if you are hungry” Of course you do as you would be done by, because you quite naturally empathise – you feel directly what your words and actions do to the other person and even to all other people and beings that are not even present.

  11. Stina Deurell January 10, 2012 at 11:48 #

    Wonderful Hanna,
    Yes, exactly that. And I’m inspired by experiences of entering into a field with others. The strongest experience I’ve had was when we were working with http://www.integralt.se trough a video conference system.
    So we just need to do it on a bit of a larger scale …
    Big Heart, Stina

  12. Carol January 20, 2012 at 19:01 #

    I’d be very interested in understanding the words “love yourself” translate into actions. How do you make loving of yourself a reality? How do those actions help you build stronger relationships with other people and with the natural world?

  13. Stina Deurell January 22, 2012 at 14:19 #

    Thank you for the question Carol! There is so much to this … I give an answers here and then I write about it in future blog posts.

    I see “love yourself” not as actions, more like a deep acceptance of myself; my strong and weak sides, my shadows and light. If I can love myself and include all of me in that love, it’s easy to love others. If I deny and hate parts of myself, I’m very likely to project this upon others.

    So one way to work on loving all parts of myself, is to look for what I dislike in others. And then use any form of therapy I like to look into it. I don’t need to get rid of anything, but I need to see it and own it. To love it.

    To be able to love all of Humanity I have to love all of me.
    Because I’m a part of Humanity ;-)

    And when I write “Love” I don’t mean some airy fairy not interfering just walk around and smile thing. Love can act profoundly.

    Hope you got something out of this, the subject is huge …
    Big Heart, Stina

  14. Robert Holmin January 22, 2012 at 20:54 #

    Thank you Stina for starting this!
    Just after reading Carol’s last entry I thought “acceptance”. Then I read your reply Stina and got confirmation that: yes this must be it. You can’t love yourself if you don’t accept yourself in full. Quite logical isn’t it? Non-self-acceptance renders the Golden Rule useless. So we have to accept our faults with our goods and pick ourselves up from there. Otherwise we contract and can’t embrace humanity in an expanded Golden Rule. Forgiveness is a close friend of acceptance. How do you feel they relate?

  15. Stina Deurell January 25, 2012 at 21:42 #

    Hello Robert,

    “Forgiveness is a close friend of acceptance”, yes, I think they are like twins — sometimes it’s hard to see the difference …

    I don’t think we can “non-accept” our selfs so much that we can “render the Golden Rule useless”. There are always in all of us a stream of love and that stream, even if just a dripping tap, is a part of the flow in us, to others, to everything.

    But why being just a dripping tap? Why not going for becoming a full river of love :-)

    Big Heart, Stina

  16. Jackie Bergman February 8, 2012 at 13:26 #

    Hi Stina!

    I really like your expanded rule!

    Integral Stockholm will discuss different fears tonight and I will absolutely mention it. It fits neatly with my concept of there only being two directions of fears and loves, the (inter)subjective “good” and the objective “true”.

    Loving = being capable of including and accepting = path to enlightenment. Still, I find it extreamly important to express the love in the outer world. This implies not staying with the acceptance of what is, but changing it to the “better” acording to your expanded rule.

    Yes, travelers we are, you and I. Yesterday I got back from one month in Havanna. Lots of impressions of love! It is funny that the two socialistic countries where I have presented my book on fear and love, the response and willingness to publish it has been instant (Bulgaria and Cuba).

    Other than the book, I plan to do some work with a group/congregation in Cuba that has conserved their African religious traditions very well. They have a deep understanding of how to connect to our deeper spiritual levels.


  17. Stina Deurell February 8, 2012 at 19:41 #

    Hi Jackie,
    The last days I’ve actually got a new view on love and on The Extended Golden Rule. There is a deeper level of love, with Leonard Cohen’s words “That I am not the one who loves – It’s love that seizes me”. Will write more about that in a blog post later on …
    Love, Stina

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