Friday, May 8, 2009

Altruistic behaviour

"Altruistic behaviour undoubtedly exists. Many people in all cultures often give a helping hand to others in need without demanding anything in return. Where does altruistic unselfish behaviour originate? The conceptual schema that tries to incorporate altruistic behaviour into our usual norm is called ethics."
"Of course spiritual traditions make ethics more complicated than just the conceptual context for the study of altruistic behaviour. In most spiritual traditions, for example, ethics is about discriminating between good and evil. We humans have a discriminative function called conscience; we suffer pangs of conscience if we fail to choose good. Thus we have the simple statement of spiritual ethics, 'Be good, do good' (to yourself and others), from the Hindu Swami Sivananda. Another statement, this one by the Rabbi Hillel, expresses the same concept: 'If I am not for myself, who am I? If I am only for myself, what am I?' And still another statement, this one from Christianity: 'Do unto others as you want others to do unto you.'"
"It is this discriminative conscience that enables us to do good. Where does conscience originate? It is the bidding of the supramental or soul level of being. In this way, our altruistic behaviour proves the existence and reality of the supramental domain."
(Amit Goswami in 'God is not Dead: What quantum physics tells us about our origins and how we should live,' p. 178 Jaico)

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