The differing levels of meaning attached to the interpretations of the rule of living — “do to others that which you desire others to do to you” — are:
- The level of the flesh. This is a purely selfish and lustful — evil-intending — interpretation.
- The level of the feelings. This plane is one level higher than that of the flesh and implies that sympathy and pity would enhance one’s interpretation of this rule of living.
- The level of mind. Now come into action the reason of mind and the intelligence of experience. Good judgment dictates that such a rule of living should be interpreted in consonance with the highest idealism embodied in the nobility of profound self-respect.
- The level of brotherly love. Still higher is discovered the level of unselfish devotion to the welfare of one’s fellows. On this higher plane of wholehearted social service growing out of the consciousness of the Fatherhood of God and the consequent recognition of the brotherhood of man, there is discovered a new and far more beautiful interpretation of this basic rule of life.
- The moral level. And then when you attain true philosophic levels of interpretation, when you have real insight into the rightness and wrongness of things, when you perceive the eternal fitness of human relationships, you will begin to view such a problem of interpretation as you would imagine a high-minded, idealistic, wise, and impartial third person would so view and interpret such an injunction as applied to your personal problems of adjustment to your life situations.
- The spiritual level. And then last, but greatest of all, we attain the level of spirit insight and spiritual interpretation which impels us to recognize in this rule of life the divine command to treat all men as we conceive God would treat them. That is the universe ideal of human relationships. And this is your attitude toward all such problems when your supreme desire is ever to do the Father’s will.
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