Life is full of dos and don´ts. Our actions are judged as good or bad. These rules we follow most often originate from our tradition, family, religion and laws. From a young age we are educated and conditioned to follow these commandments and laws. There is no doubt that almost all of us have been taught from a young age that murdering or stealing and various forms of disrespecting the life of others are forbidden by religion and the laws.
If so, why do so many of us cause so much harm to fellow human beings and our environment? Why is it so common that people who have been law abiding suddenly commit the worst possible offences? Why is it that awful deeds happen in some seemingly religious and law abiding settings (i.e. priests abusing children)? Morality is the reason why some people are not conscious of the harm they are doing until they are caught and brought to justice.
The problem is that the message of what is good or bad is taught at the superficial level; actions are merely classified as good or bad. For some, if you keep behaving according to what is written down in the commandments you have been conditioned to follow you are good and if not you are bad. Is that not oversimplifying human nature?
This superficial understanding is what we refer to morality. Morality is a set of beliefs about what is considered good and bad. If you look at modern morality carefully it is just a set of rules, stripped of meaning, maintained at the superficial level and completely disconnected from human nature. Morality does not dive deep into “why good?” or “how good?”.
If you look at kindness as a set of rule, often coming in the form of some heavy book, imposed by the outside world and detached from your true self and true nature it is very likely that at some moment in time you will fail to follow these rules. The probability to commit a bad action will increase. It will feel oppressive and unnatural to have to follow rules all the time. Abiding to morality is not the natural way to be kind to others and your environment.
We have to focus where it matters. It is the self we should be focusing on instead of trying to align our behaviour to morality. If you are in a pleasant state, happy or blissful, you will naturally do what´s right. If you see yourself as part of existence, part of the whole and not separated from others you will also do what´s naturally right. Have you noticed that when you are genuinely happy you want happiness for everyone and everything looks beautiful and meaningful? In contrast, when we are unhappy we are more likely to be nasty.
Instead of being taught of superficial rules we should be taught to see how each one of us is part of the whole and that happiness comes from within. Our education systems and society condition us to perceive happiness as something depending on external factors. These factors are related to our possessions, financial or social status. If we have money we are happy if we lose it we are unhappy. If I am in a relationship I am happy if I am separated I am unhappy.
The external world is impermanent; everyone on the face of this planet has failed to keep the word unchanged. If our happiness depends on the event of the ever-changing world we have no chances of being happy for more than a few moments. If you come to the realisation that happiness comes from within and you form part of the whole kindness will flow naturally. You will not have to follow a set of rules. By perceiving everything as part of yourself and finding happiness from within you will not want to cause harm. You will be naturally kind.