The need for positive harmlessness is obvious in the world today. At the personal level, we need to ask ourselves whether our thoughts, our feelings, our actions are causing hurt or damage to others. If so, what steps must we take to effect the needed changes? Answering these questions and initiating right action actually creates the fulcrum of change for the whole of humanity. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn once wrote: “If you want to change the world, who do you begin with, yourself or others?”
But these days it’s simply not enough to look at harmlessness from the personal angle. We are not just individuals. We all belong and contribute to the larger groups that make up society – our families, our work organizations, our communities, the particular nation and religion to which we belong, and so on. Do we need to ask the same questions of these groups? And on a larger level still, what are the motive and attitudes of humanity as a whole towards the other forms of planetary life? From a historical point of view, we have only just started to ask this question.
But the longest journey has to start somewhere, and a major step we can all take concerns the practice of harmlessness. We are at a time when the initial, joyful reaction to the ending of the cold war and the disappearance of super power confrontation has given way to a perception of all the unresolved problems of ethnic hatreds and narrow nationalisms erupting as ugly sores within the body of humanity. It is right here that an attitude of constructive harmlessness is so needed, and one of the keys to true harmlessness is the quality of forgiveness. This is not a passive state where we repress unpleasant memories of the way we have been treated in the past – what has been repressed has a habit of surfacing where we least expect it. Forgiveness is a positive intended act of consciousness that redeems the thoughtforms of aggression and revenge, and transmute and re-channels the released energies into a positive direction.
How well our Triangles work is designed to foster this! In fact the triangle is a marvelous symbol of forgiveness and harmlessness. The two base points represents the opposite poles while the apex stands for the soul, transcending the opposites and relating them in an attitude of positive harmlessness. Through the lighted network built by the daily ritual of Triangles workers throughout the world a framework for forgiveness and right relationships has already become powerfully established. It allows that the energy of soul to spark between opposing groups and to transform antagonistic selfishness into co-operative work for the good of the whole. Let us all continue in this special service to humanity and the world.
Thoughts on Harmlessness
Right thought — right speech — right action
Be ye therefor wise as serpents and harmless as doves. – Matthews 10:16
A thought of hatred does more harm than a blow, for a bruise is swiftly healed, the the power of thought is terrible, and working as it does in finer matter has more powerful results. We swim in a sea of thought, and every thought is purifying or making fouler still that sea. – Christian Humphries
My optimism on my belief in the infinite possibilities of the individual to develop non-violence. The more you develop it in your being, the more it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by oversweep the world. – M. K. Gandhi
Practice that positive harmlessness which works out in right thought (base on intelligent love), right speech (because governed by self-control), and right action (because founded on an understanding of the law). – Alice Bailey
The non-violent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him. At the center of non-violence stands a principle of love. The non-violent resister would contend that, in the struggle for human dignity, the oppressed people of the world must not succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter or indulging in hate campaigns. To retaliate in kind would do noting but intensify the existence of hate in the universe. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our being. – Martin Luther King
Harmfulness is based on selfishness and on a n egocentric attitude. It is the demonstration of forces concentrated for self-enforcement, self-aggrandizement, and self-gratification. Harmlessness is the expression of the life of the one who realizes himself to be everywhere, who lives consciously as a soul, whose nature is love, whose method is inclusiveness, and to whom all forms are alike in that they veil and hid the light, and are but externalizations of the one Infinite Being. This realization, let me remind you, will demonstrate in a true comprehension of a brother’s need, divorced from sentiment and expediency. It will lead to that silence of the tongue which grows out of non-reference to the separate self. It will produce that instantaneous response to true need which characterizes the Great Ones who (passing beneath the outer appearance) see the inner cause which produces the conditions noted in the outer life, and so, from the point of wisdom, true help and guidance can be given. Harmlessness brings about in the life caution in judgement, reticence in speech, ability to refrain from impulsive action, and the demonstration of non-critical spirit. So free passage can be given to the forces of true love, and to those spiritual energies which seem to vitalize the personality, leading consequently to right action. – Alice Bailey
Reprinted from Triangles
Source: The Unicorn, Bulletin 2, August 13, 1992