How To Live A Good Life



“I am thankful that thus far today I have not had any unkind thoughts or said any
harsh words or done anything that I regret. However, now I need to get out of
bed and so things may become more difficult.”

-Sylvia Boorstein

If someone wants to ‘be a good person’ and live a moral and virtuous life, they
are generally advised to do two things:

1. Consciously choose their moral code

A moral code is any collection of clear statements about what constitutes ‘right
and wrong’, ‘good or bad’, or (depending on the code) ‘good or evil’. One of the
simplest moral codes that seems to turn up in nearly every religion is the
‘golden rule’ – “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

2. Do their best to live by it

This is, of course, where the advice breaks down for many of us. No matter how
clear we are about how we ‘should’ live, actually living that way is considerably
harder.

This is why (in order to ‘encourage you’ to live by them)many moral codes come
with built in punishments for violating them, ranging from feelings of guilt and
prayers for repentance to eternal damnation and divine retribution.

Yet how much easier might it be for us to live ‘a good life’ if we changed our
two part formula to this:

1. Consciously choose your state of being
2. Do your best to live *from* it

In his book ‘Happiness is a Choice’, author Barry Neil Kaufman shares the work of
a biblical scholar who radically re-interpreted the ten commandments based on his
own translation of what was written on the famous stone tablets.

In this version, the ‘commandments’ were in fact descriptions of how people would
behave ‘when they took God into their hearts’.

Here are the ten commandments reworded as ‘the ten descriptions’. (If you’re not
a ‘God’ person, substitute the phrase ‘when you put love into your heart’ for the
first part of each description…):

1. When you take God into your heart, you will have no other god before him.

2. When you take God into your heart, you will not create or worship false images.

3. When you take God into your heart, you will not take the name of God in vain.

4. When you take God into your heart, you will honor the Sabbath day and keep it
holy.

5. When you take God into your heart, you will honor your father and your mother.

6. When you take God into your heart, you will not kill.

7. When you take God into your heart, you will not commit adultery.

8. When you take God into your heart, you will not steal.

9. When you take God into your heart, you will not bear false witness.

10. When you take God into your heart, you will not covet.

While I have no way of evaluating the historical accuracy of this interpretation,
it passes one important test – it actually works for the vast majority of people
the vast majority of the time. And when you begin by connecting with the highest
and best within you, you are naturally guided to live in the highest and best
ways possible…

--------------------
Today’s Experiment:
--------------------

1. Think about times when you’ve felt deeply loving and/or connected to your
spiritual source. In those moments, did you want to kill, steal, lie, or cheat?

Were you more or less inclined to be respectful of your parents (and for that
matter, all people)?

Did you take time out to acknowledge or celebrate the sacred (what mattered most)
in your life?

2. If you knew that by taking the time to put love and/or God into your heart
before acting, your every action would be enhanced, enriched and ennobled, what
would you do to connect with that ground of being more often?

Have fun, learn heaps, and ponder this:

What if living ‘a good life’ is simply the natural consequence of coming from a
‘good’ ground of being?

Until next time,
michael

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