A Spiritual Basis – Towards the Gift Tensegrity (1)

Timothy Wilken

As children we all are taught that it is better to give than to receive. Certainly, that seems likean excellent philosophy for making close relationships and living in the social world. Jesus of Nazareth is credited with saying:

It is Better To Give Than To Receive.

Whether you believe Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ foretold in biblical scripture or just another human who lived far ahead of his time, we can all agree he said some remarkable and wise things. His followers were called Christians because most of them believed he was the Christ foretold in the scripture.

“Early Christians lived in a world far different from ours. Lots of people, in and out of the church, suffered on a daily basis without any ”safety nets” between them and poverty. But Christians were especially susceptible to deprivation since discipleship took away any last vestiges of help due to the alienation from family and nation. One of the worst financial decisions to be made by anyone could be that of becoming a Christian. Yet it is from this crucible of suffering that Luke draws one of the greatest themes of the Book of Acts: benevolence. New Testament Christianity forever becomes our model of a people who took care of its own, who breathed life into the teaching of Jesus that ”it is better to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).”

Jesus of Nazareth may have been one of the first humans to embrace synergy. His words seem to capture the very essence of synergic morality. Synergic morality is more than not hurting other, it requires helping other. Jesus was one of the first humans to state the fundamental law of synergic relationship. It is known as the Golden Rule:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law.”

What would you have others doto you? The best one word answer I can find for this question is help. “Help others as you would have them help you.”

Confucius 579-471BCis credited as the author of the negative formof the Golden Rule:

Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you!”

“This negative form of the “golden rule” is next found in the Jewish Book of Tobit 4:15 from the Old Testament Bible (3rd Century BC): “And what you hate, do not do to anyone.” It is also found in the writings of the Jewish scholars Hillel (1st century BC) and Philo of Alexandria (1st centuries BCand AD), It occurs in the 2nd-century documents Didache and the Apology of Aristides. It also appears in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, and Seneca.”

We can restate this a little more clearly as:

Do not doto others what you would have them not doto you.”

What would you have others not doto you?

Here the best one word answer is hurt. “Donothurt others as you would have them not hurt you.”

The negative form of the Golden Rule is true and correct as far as it goes. In fact, it is the underlying premise for the Neutral Moralityfound in the western world today. But, Synergic Morality requires more of us than simply not hurting. It requires more of us than simply ignoring others. It requires us to helpothers—to helpeach other. Jesus of Nazarethunderstood this on the deepest of levels. He called for more than a prohibition against hurting others. He ask all humans to helpeach other.

Synergic Morality rests then on the premise—that when you help others, you will find yourself helped in return—“As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” Synergic Morality is morethan the absence of hurting. It is the presenceof helping.

World Scripture on The Golden Rule

World Scripture of Giving and Receiving