A good friend of mine, who has passed from this biological experience we call 'Life', used to say crazy things like, 'Love God and do what you want'! Now, coming from that same Christian ( more or less ) worldview, I understand that he was referring to the God of the Bible, or 'Yahweh' of the Hebrews. All religious differences aside, one should note the striking similarities ( differences as well ) between these statements; 'Love God and do what you want' & 'An ye harm none, do what ye will'. The latter focuses on how we should treat 'others' in this biological experience ( experiment? ), while the other seems pretty ambiguous. 'What does it mean to 'love God'?' 'Who, for that matter, IS God?' We may say, 'Love God' & then 'do what you want', but that seems to grant quite a bit of lee-way'; if their 'God' is a bit more 'liberal' than yours, maybe He/She/It would allow them to harm anyone who got in the way of them doing what they wanted! Then again, 'what is 'harm'?
The accepted dictionary definition of harm is 'physical injury, especially that which is deliberately inflicted.' In this scenario, it should be fairly simple, right? If you don't cause physical injury to anyone, especially deliberately, by doing what you want. then, 'no harm, no foul'; 'just do it'! So, by this strict dictionary definition, if no one is harmed in the process, then it's all good, right? Well, for instance, what about hunting? How can we take our rifle into the woods with the deliberate intention, not just of causing physical harm to, but of killing an animal? 'But, that's different', one might object, 'it's just a dumb animal; plus, it's only so we can eat'. Well. 'dumb animal' arguments aside, it's still a Life, it's still physical injury ( not only that, it's deliberate ), so how do we justify deliberately causing harm in this instance? How about 'self-defense'? If we cause physical injury or death to someone who is trying to harm us or a loved one, even though it may be termed 'justifiable', we're still causing harm to someone!
How then, do we justify killing someone or something, so that no harm will come to another? The Circle of Life entails the Law of Sacrifice. One thing must die, or offer it's life so that another might live. To use a simple biological example, plants, for instance, need the water from the clouds, the nutrients from the ground ( ? ) & for the seed itself, in essence, to die. in order to be ( trans ) formed. Human life, on the other hand, speaking gestationally, feeds off of human life. Though the mother doesn't usually give her own life that her child might live ( though this does happen, however infrequently ) in a sense, she does give of herself so that her child will prosper. ( Without going into all the biological intricacies of the human anatomy ( I am ill-equipped for that ); throughout the gestational period, the fetus feeds off the available nutrients that the mother's body holds, most of which are necessary to her own life. )
How can we, then, justify this 'Circle of Life' while holding to 'An ye harm none............'? This dilemma may be solved by looking at 'harm' in somewhat the same way as we do 'murder', Then again, if we go hunting, for instance, with the intention of killing an animal ( whether it be to eat or not ).................... On the other hand, though, we're back to 'The Circle of Life' & 'The Law of Sacrifice'. Something must die, biologically speaking, in order for something else to live. From the minerals that make up Mother Earth, to the plants which are consumed by animals and human alike, to what most call 'dumb animals', which often serve as 'food' for the human animal; call it 'transformation' or 'death', 'as above, so below'; in order for something to live, something else must die.
'What if the term 'harm' has become 'lost in the translation', so to speak?' As we are 'spiritual beings having a human experience', are we really harming another by causing physical injury to their biological machine, whether it's intentional or not? Without flirting with the nuances of things like war & abortion, let's take a short look at the concept of self-defense. In this scenario. which may be variously 'colored'; harming another may be justified, whether in defense of oneself or their loved ones, even a complete stranger. In such a scenario, though, especially that of the 'complete stronger', one must beware lest they themselves partake in another's karma!
It should be understood, then, that harming another entails 'intention'. If we go into the woods with the intention of harming ( killing ) a 'dumb animal' for the sake of causing physical injury ( or death ), this might rightly be connoted 'harm'. However, if we were to take the same action with the intention of feeding our family in the great 'Circle of Life', it should be noted that this would be 'transformational', rather than 'harmful'. In the case of 'self-defense', where the intention would be more along the lines of preventing physical harm to oneself or a loved one than in causing harm to another, this too, could be termed 'justifiable', though, in this case, you must judge for yourself, The same would apply in the 'theatre' of war & abortion.
'As above, so below'; 'are we really harming another by causing physical injury to their biological machine?' Humanly speaking, it would be extremely difficult, if not entirely impossible, to debate this question. In fact, it seems somewhat ridiculous to even countenance such a query! With the understanding that we are primarily spiritual ( spirit ) beings, not physical ( human ) beings, we should note that the intention to cause physical harm to another comes, not from our spiritual ( divine ) nature, but from our Ego, which entails our human nature. In the same vein, 'harm' is relative; what, in one's perception would be denoted 'harm', may in another''s perception, simply be 'self-preservation', a necessary part of the 'Circle of Life'. Either way, 'as above. so below', it is in the the intention that the harm lies ( or not ).
'Death is an illusion'! Biologically speaking, one might note, like Energy Itself, everything. from the lowly mineral to the human being ( the highest form of Life? ) is simply transformed into what seems to be something else entirely. Some might ask, at this juncture, 'What then is 'death'?' That might require another story for another day. Suffice it to say for now though, 'death is not the end of anything; it is simply a transition from one form to another, a transformation, like a caterpillar to a butterfly. To quote from a recent movie, with obvious Christian under-tones, 'End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.' Metaphorically speaking, one should note that this could be, in fact should be understood to describe our own inner transformation or 'awakening'; in biblical terms, 'dying to oneself'.
So, not to justify the taking of a human life, or any biological entity, for that matter, when we view 'harm' from the perspective of 'The Circle of Life' & 'The Law of Sacrifice', we may see that 'death' is not the end of Life, it is simply the beginning of a new one, a transformation. From a spiritual standpoint, however, 'death' should be seen in a whole new Light: since 'death', as we know it, is encompassed by this physical experience alone, may not the same be said of 'harm'? This may seem an exercise in futility, but can we really harm anyone without them perceiving it as such? With trepidation, concepts like 'mercy killings' come to mind!
In conclusion, whatever one's perspective of Who ( or What ) 'God' is, whether it be a Higher Power out there somewhere, or their own Higher ( Divine ) Self, it should be clear that if we live by the Law of Love, we are free to live in this human experience as we will, yet harming none.
Namaste' & Blessed Be,