Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can achieve much, and what is done in love is done well.
—Vincent van Gogh
Throughout your life, you've probably been told to live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Variations of this include What goes around comes around and As you treat others, so shall you be treated. Some refer to this circular motion of energy as “karma.”
The idea is that by releasing positive thoughts and actions into the universe, something positive will come back to you. Conversely, if you emanate negative thoughts and actions, you can expect to encounter something ugly down the road.
The problem with these concepts is that they're built on an unstable foundation of guilt and fear. They're societal constructs designed to keep you from harming others.
While that's a laudable goal, you have to be careful not to be so focused on doing “the right thing” that you harm yourself. Too often we make choices based on guilt or fear of retribution rather than on what's truly right for us. In this chapter, I propose an alternative way of thinking that will serve you more effectively.
The Not-So-Golden Rule is the principle of eliminating fear or expectation as a motive for your actions.
Consider the Golden Rule and karma for a moment, and think about what they have in common. To my mind, the most important ...