With any religion, you tend to find a few rules tacked on the belief system in which to guide you along the spiritual path.
Wiccan have the Wiccan Rede. The Asatru have the Nine Noble Virtues. The Druids have Brehon Laws. Many paths have some sort of basic understanding of an ethical code or guidelines to follow, to give a framework to work within.
People, however, tend to learn them only to decide later if they agree with them or not. Some years later, they may decide those rules simply work or don’t apply to them. They may find other guidelines to follow, or incorporate new rules to abide by.
Either way, each person must decide what rules they must follow to adhere to the principles of their belief system. I’m not as orthodox as to think people will stray, even myself, but generally I feel people are good at heart, and strive to find that common ground with their fellow human beings.
Learn from other spiritual paths. I often suggest this for people of any and all faiths to explore other religions if only to hone their own beliefs. You may find this weakens or strengthens those beliefs.
Ask the big question ‘Why?’. With any rule, I believe its essential to ask why the rules was set into place. Why ‘harm none’? What does that mean to you, or what instances do you feel you’re allow to harm, if only to defend yourself. What happens if you no longer uphold the Noble Virtues? Without the threat of damnation, what is to stop any of us from doing whatever we wanted?
Learn the history of the rule/guidelines. Many rules started for a specific place and time, and culture, which dictated a purpose. That purpose may not be valid, so you need to question that from time to time.
Debate the rule/guidelines. Just as we question, I believe its important to have an open discourse on the subject as well. Debate allows us to voice the doubt or understanding of the rule, and you can learn a lot from someone else’s viewpoint.
I myself don’t adhere to ‘harm none’ as a law, but as a guidelines. I take a mindset of mindfulness in my actions, taking a moment to consider how best to resolve a situation. Sometimes this means violence.
I endured a bully for two years in high school, until I finally stood up to her and punched her in the face. From then on, she left me alone. The next year, she even wanted to be friends. Go figure.
This shows that sometimes you become part of that karmic threefold law, and form into a lesson for someone.
What are your thoughts? What rules do you adhere to, or what do you think are important? Post below.