I was recently requested to repost this here. It comes to mind that many of the people on this site may not have seen it beneath the muck on the other site, so I don't feel too bad about reposting it now.
For a long time now I've been a teacher, of sorts, to various people, those who recognize what I have to offer.
I often have to re-educate them in how to think, and how to understand the philosophies that directly tie into the skills and abilities that intrigued them to learn from me in the first place.
I've been considering writing out a book of such teachings, both of the practical and conceptual sort, and realised a few years ago that such a book would be an entire expose of my personal philosophy.
After meditating for a while in preparation for sleep I was staring into a candle flame and letting my mind wander. I realised that to a certain extent, if I never began to write anything down I wouldn't, obviously, ever finish it, and so I got a notebook and my favourite pen and began to write by candlelight, sitting in my bed.
The thoughts are written in the notebook in the jumbled order in which they occurred to me, but that wouldn't have made much sense to anyone else reading it. So, I reorganised them in the process of typing them up.
Of course, this is by no means anywhere near complete, for any philosophy will grow and change with the person who holds it, but...it's a nice start, and an accomplishment of a useful sort. I figured I'd toss it out there for everyone to see.
I'm not saying that I manage to follow this entirely or consistently, but it is what I tend to hold myself to as much as possible. I'm fallible too, and make mistakes.
Anyway, feel free to ask questions or make comments. I don't expect you all to agree with everything contained herein, but many of you might find new methods of thought that you hadn't formerly considered, and oftentimes even understanding a concept is interesting, even to those who do not choose to hold it for themselves.
Lastly, please enjoy reading it, and know that if you do, you will know me in some ways better than anyone who may have met me but never heard these thoughts expressed.
And, in all honesty, I lay bare part of my soul here for your view. Please treat it with the respect you would wish yours to receive. Not that I expect differently from the people on this site, but it bore being stated.
That said, welcome to the most basic of the philosophies of Ma'ateo MacDougall.
The Pillars of Responsibility are three: Honor, Duty, Benefit.
Honor is the first, and a high good, for it is the honor you gain and the honor you give that inspire others to good works. Give honor where it is due in full measure. Give honor more than it is deserved to any and all. Accept honor with grace and dignity. Do not demand honor, for in demanding you forfeit any right you may have had thereto.
Duty is the second, and a higher good. Do not hesitate to sacrifice your honor to fulfill your duty. Do your duty to the best of your ability. Your duty will be revealed in due time by natural occurrance and process. Do not be afraid to ask for aid in the completion of your duty, but only ask for such aid if it is truly required. Do not hesitate to give aid in the completion of another's duty, but not at the expense of your own, and only give such aid if it is requested.
Benefit is the third, and the highest good. Sacrifice, if you must, your own honor and duty for the greater good, without fear or hesitation, yet be aware that the most common and effective way to work for the greater good is to perform your duty and maintain your honor.
Work for the benefit of those around you and for your own, but in everything place others above yourself. Thus you may inspire others to do the same. Sacrifice of self is necessary for the benefit of all. Be selfless, for selfishness benefits no one on the whole.
Be aware that at times the ends justify the means, and at times they will not. Do not expect your ends to justify your methods, on the whole, for such thinking leads to personal corruption of the most vile sort.
Be aware, also, that if unjust means are taken for a right end, the act is nonetheless tainted. Use such methods only as a last resort, for it will still not be a wholly good act. For an act to be truly good, both goal and method must be truly right.
There are two levels of thought; to understand, and to know. To understand is to comprehend with the mind. To know is to experience in full. There is little we understand, and still less we yet know. Seek always to understand and know more, and more fully.
Choose, and act. Choose, for without conscious choice, actions are erratic and unguided, instinctual and base, reducing you to the level of a beast. Act, for without action, choice has neither purpose, nor effect.
Above all things, understand and know the teachings that follow hereafter:
You are fallible, and imperfect. You can and will make mistakes, you can and will be wrong. Accept proof of such events with grace, dignity, and contrition.
Forgiveness is only truly forgiveness when undeserved. To hold a grudge even until reparation is made is to the benefit of none.
Truths are always greater than the words we use to describe them, for we can only perceive part of the truth from our own point of view, and to express it understandably is yet more limited.
To live is to know pain. Pain always has both cause and purpose. Understand one, and you may eliminate pain. Understand both, and you may begin to tolerate pain, even to welcome it as an old friend. Do not cause others pain unnecessarily.
Steal at need, but only for need, and only from those who can afford. Explore all other options before resorting to theft, and make reparations when you are able.
Never steal from one who possesses less than you.
Material possessions are not worth the life of another.
Do not lie. If you are questioned in any matter, speak only truth, thereby to keep your conscience clear.
Give generously to those who have not, keeping only for yourself what you need.
Know the motives of those around you. If you cannot know, do not assume. Judge only by a person's actions and what is certain of their mind and heart. Do not presume in arrogance to know the full.
Keep your vows. To break a promise is to become a liar.
Show care and courtesy, even to those who deserve it not. Thereby you will keep your conscience clear, and may influence others to greater deeds.
Do not crush hope that has any chance of truth. Explain fallacies in false hope once, but no more. If one clings to such hope still, there may be a reason you do not understand, and you may be surprised by the events that transpire thereafter.
Do not allow any hope you hold to be crushed.
Persevere in all things, to their fullest extent. Having begun a task, follow it to completion. Begin only those tasks which you are sure to complete or which you know to be right.
Be compassionate, lending strength to those below you and giving support to those above. Even the strongest beam may break without the proper bracing, and even the weakest link has its purpose.
Reduce strain on others as much as is possible without inflicting undue strain on yourself. To overwork yourself is to become useless.
Follow logic to its fullest extent. When it leads to no end, follow your heart. If that, too, should prove fruitless, make choices as best you can for the benefit of those around you. Do not discount the profound guidance of intuition.
Know always that your choices will invariably have greater effects than you can perceive.
Be just and fair, but remember that not all justice is thine to dispense, and not all wrongs are yours to right.
Listen to those around you. They will always have more to teach you than either you or they can know.
Do not refuse aid to any who ask it humbly and honestly, unless it is at another's expense.