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Walking Meditation

Sustainability and the Golden Rule (1)
A spiritual preparation for a next step in evolution


Henk Bak (Trentham Newsletter May 2012)

A farmers market can be a monthly reminder, that economic life can be just that: life, alive, humane, convivial – different from most of the time, when “the” economy operates as an impersonal and often anti-humane system. We get a sense of split between our personal lives, in which we – most of us, most of the time – practise the Golden Rule and an economic system that breaks this rule on a huge scale.
All religious and spiritual traditions know the Golden rule, including non-religious humanists and atheists. The economy as a discipline and a system is historically very young, between 3 to 4 centuries old, which perhaps explains its rather adolescent behaviour. Before this time and in non-Western regions much more recently, economic life was embedded in cultures where spiritual or religious wisdom guided its operations.

It is interesting, that the Golden Rule has been formulated quite differently according those religious or spiritual cultures: Indigenous, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Tao, Jewish, Christian, Islamic and secular expressions of it which all may have the potential to inspire the 6 billion people, practising the Rule within those different traditions, to transform the current economy from an inhumane, destructive and unsustainable system, that runs our lives, into an shared instrument for making the Golden Rule work at all levels.

The movement towards associating people with farmers stems from Japan (and Switzerland) in the 1960s. In Japanese it is called 'Teikei' = 'Put the farmers face on my food', thereby echoing a Shinto expression of the Golden Rule:

The heart of the person before you is a mirror.
See there your own form.

photo of golden wattle blossom

Forest Street, Trentham.

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