Wednesday, August 3, 2011

'Alternative' Precepts and Commandments

There are several ‘alternative’ Ten Precepts and quite a lot of ‘updated’ Ten Commandments going around today. About the best I have come across is from Hal Urban’s book The 10 Commandments of Common Sense - Wisdom from the Scriptures for People of all Beliefs. Hal Urban’s Ten Commandments are informed by a tolerant, open-minded Christian faith and I would recommend his book to anyone. I’m trying to get his earlier book Life's Greatest Lessons but have been unable to find it yet.
1. Don’t be seduced by popular culture. It prevents you from thinking for yourself.
2. Don’t fall in love with money. It will make you greedy and shallow.
3. Don’t use destructive language. It hurts others as well as yourself.
4. Don’t judge other people. Its better to work on your own faults.
5. Don’t let anger get out of control. It can wreak relationships and ruin lives.
6. Keep a positive outlook on life. It's the first step to joy.
7. Bring out the best in other people. It's better to build up than to tear down.
8. Have impeccable integrity. It brings peace of mind and a reputation of honor.
9. Help those in need. It really is better to give than to receive.
10. Do everything in love. It is the only way to find true peace and fulfillment.


Joe Lim said...

well said bhante,
sadhu sadhu sadhu

beforewisdom said...

I've seen several lists like these over the years. The better ones are based on wisdom and well as looking at the original spirit of the dhamma with an eye toward adjusting things to modern times.

For example, slipping something in about the internet in regards to cultivating good states of mind, being mindful and right speech.

The absolute worst lists are when someone projects their "shoulds" on other people.

Those lists end up reading like a Maoist riot act rather than an experience/wisdom based set of precepts for avoiding the unskillful

Katinka Hesselink said...

Just letting you know I featured this post and your blog on my list of best buddhism blogs:

GiDo said...

As usual, this list has the same fault as the ten "commandments" or suggestions in other religions, including Buddhism. There are the ones that clearly help you to "feel good" (like the positive outlook on life) and somehow stay within yourself without missing a point outside. And there are the others, of course welcome by Bhante, like getting rid of anger, where it is overlooked that anger can be a powerful force to change society and people, so when it is used in a conscious and "selfless"
way, it will have an effect. In other words, getting rid of anger can have negative results on the outside world. That's why one should also read strategy books like from Sun Tzu to get the full picture. If you don't understand the "positive" ingredients of anger, it is like saying that one should never eat chilli because it is too hot. This touches the problem why Buddhists so rarely really significantly change the bad state of affairs. They overlook the most powerful forces that nature has given them because the canon doesn't insist on how to use them inspiringly.
I could go into detail and tell you how with strategy and anger and even causing fear we for example changed the outcome of jet ski scams here in Pattaya, but it would take too long. Just imagine and remember situations in your own life where anger really helped. You then know what I mean.