If you personally have to take a moral decision, then (by definition) that decision
involves you and one or more other people. This is called the moral situation.
The point where morality is relevant is when you actually do something. When you
act, think about each person whom your decision affects. The definition of goodness
is to ensure that each person receives the maximum benefit, and the minimum harm,
available to them. Always remember that you are as important as everyone else, and
you have needs just like everyone else.
The definition of sin is to fail to follow this formula.
This formula is justified by the principle that we must take responsibility for our
He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbour remains hungry by his
The Prophet Mohammed
Accept yourself. Learn to love yourself. Be good to yourself.
Use your deep intuitive compassionate wisdom to answer the question, “what would
be the best long-term outcome for each person concerned?” This is your higher self
If we are vulnerable to cravings, attachments, confusion, or hatred, it is better
to think about “what is right for me to do” rather than “what I want to do”.
Tulku Thondup – The Healing Power of Mind
“Heal the Situation” from the perspective of the ego
Heal the Situation
Long-term consequences – good.
uses its functions to give to each person the maximum benefit and minimum harm available
gives consideration to each person in the situation including Self
“No man can realise all his desires without the help of others. Hence if he desires
the help of others, he must have sympathy and compassion for them. ... With the elevation
of humanity the individual rises in the scale of being.” – “The Essence of Buddhism”
Long-term consequences – not so good.
gives consideration only to your Self
only sees others through the lens of your own Self-interest
The teaching “love thy neighbour as thyself” is not only vague, but may also lead
to mischievous consequences. If a man love himself meanly, childishly, timidly,
even so shall he love his neighbour. If a man hate himself, it must follow that
he hate others too. The teaching of Buddhism is definite, and requires us to love
ourselves with a love that is healthy and wise, that is large and complete. To be
effectually generous one must have a confident, tranquil and clear comprehension
of all that one owes to one’s self. If you are asked to love your enemy and return
good for evil, it is because, as the Bodhicharyavatara says, “an enemy is one who
is capable of helping you to acquire bodhi, if you can only love him.” One should
hate hatred and not the person who hates him. This does not mean that one should
show the left cheek, when smitten on the right, but it means that we must fight evil
with good. Passive non-resistance of evil is no morality at all. The meekness of
the lamb is praiseworthy, but if it could lead only to becoming a prey to the rapacity
of the tiger, it is not worth possessing.
... A sound, good, fruitful self-love is the necessary basis for every virtue, and
therefore also for a true, sound, good and fruitful love to others.