The chart is a 3D image that covers five developmental levels of maturity – Immature, Adolescent, Adult, Mature and Sage, and three levels of present Environmental Stress – Pleasurably stressful, Dangerously stressful, and Overwhelmingly stressful, and four levels of where current attention is placed – Objects, People, Perceptions, and Ideas.
This blog post will explore the Golden Rule in relationship to this Chart of Maturity. Here is a link to my earlier (February 28, 2010) post, How many Golden Rules are there? Many but there’s one really good one.
Every culture has some form of how we as individuals should treat other people. Here in the Christian West it is called the Golden Rule, but if the basic idea is pursued it varies greatly, and here is a list arranged by date:
Egypt – 2040 BC – The Eloquent Peasant – Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.
Mesopotamia – 1780 BC – the Code of Hammurabi had a balancing of one’s personal behavior with a reciprocity “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth“. That is, you get what you have given.
China – 500 BC – Confucius – Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.
Greece – 500 BC – Sextus – What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either.
Iran – 500 BC – Pahlavi – Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.
India – 500 BC – Mahābhārata, – Treat others as you treat yourself.
Tamil – 200 BC – Tiruvalluvar – Do no evil, even in return, to those who have cherished enmity and done them evil.
Rome – 43 BC – Publilius Syrus – Expect from others what you did to them.
Israel – 30 BC – Hillel – That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.
Chicago – 1893 AD – Parliament of the World’s Religions – We must treat others as we wish others to treat us.
Wikipedia – Golden Rule “All versions and forms of the proverbial Golden Rule have one aspect in common: they all demand that people treat others in a manner in which they themselves would like to be treated.”
What was Jesus’ Golden Rule?
What Jesus was reported to have said in his Golden Rule was best stated in the King James version. Here is a link to 53 Bible versions of Matthew 7:12; 11 of these English translations use the word should, 6 use like and 21 want.
The difference between should and want is critical to your human development, because at every level from infant to sage a person knows what they want, and they have an idea of what they should want. They know that what they should want is available to them if they try to achieve it, but to reach that level will require some personal effort and knocking at the right door.
To see the above chart go to the original click Google Ngram.
In the year 1820 the favorite Golden Rules were “should do to you”, “should do unto you”; the popularity crossed over in 1940, and in 2000 the favorite renditions were, “want them to do”, and “would have them do”. What has happened is a total revision of what the Golden Rule told us to do in the last 200 years.
Here is how the concept of the Golden Rule has changed over the last four millennia:
Mesopotamia – 1780 BC – the Code of Hammurabi had a balancing of one’s personal behavior with a reciprocity “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth“. That is, you get what you have given. — It would seem fair to place this moral method of operation into the Immature – Dangerously stressful area of the Maturity chart.
Israel – 30 BC – Hillel – That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This view has an fundamental understanding of the other person’s feelings, but it has an underlying tone of extreme stress, thus Adolescent – Dangerously stressful.
Chicago – 1893 AD – Parliament of the World’s Religions – We must treat others as we wish others to treat us. This group agreement recognizes the inherent worth of other human beings, and is basically adult in its tone of reciprocity of treatment. By the trajectory of my proposed idea the Golden Rules that are post 1940, “want them to do”, and “would have them do”, are Adult – Pleasurably stressful, as they are positive, but they seem weak because they seem motivated by selfish self-interest.
The favorite Golden Rules before 1940 were, “should do to you”, “should do unto you”, which have an element of responsibility built into their basically positive self-controlled world view. It would seem reasonable therefore to place them into the Mature – Pleasurably stressful location on the chart.
To the Sage – Pleasurably stressful person, the Golden Rule would approach the problem as – Propagate a method that will help humanity live a long and interactive life.
The moral quality of humanity is still improving and humans are becoming more humane.