Treat others as you’d like to be treated. So counsels the Golden Rule, dating back two-thousand years before the birth of Christianity.
It’s a prominent ethical tradition cultivating the development of character and purportedly providing for a peaceful society.
By treating others with kindness, we hope, and perhaps expect, respectful reciprocity.
Yet how do we feel when the Golden Rule is thoughtlessly tarnished? Particularly through willful disregard.
Certainly unfairly treated, reasonably justifying the expression of negative emotions.
Might we even conclude others treating us poorly represents their own impoverished self-worth?
Or possibly there’s another interpretation for our thorny thoughts.
As we read in A Course in Miracles:
Unfairness and attack are one mistake, so firmly joined that where one is perceived the other must be seen. You cannot be unfairly treated. The belief you are is but another form of the idea you are deprived by someone not yourself. (T-26.X.3)
How others regard us does not display their internal disposition; it mirrors our own. They show us ourselves.
Any anger, annoyance, or disappointment we experience has nothing to do with the behavior of others. We are upset with what they remind us of within. They present a picture of ourselves, from which we rabidly recoil.
We cannot experience a reflection of love and concurrently harbor any negativity toward anyone or any-thing. A repellent reaction masks an inwardly venomous view. As the course further reveals, deeply within we believe ourselves to be “the home of darkness.”
But that need not be.
There is a way of walking in the world full of lightness and peace. Where the behavior of others has no bearing on our divine disposition. And that’s by changing perception, wonderfully encapsulated in these lovely lines:
When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. ( T-8.III.4)
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore how others mirror our self, and lessons we can practice to attain blissful peace. I look forward to seeing you then.