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Teaching Hut Village Gate


The Ethics of Huna
by Serge Kahili King

From time to time I am asked about the ethical side of Huna because at first glance the Principles seem to be amoral. That is, it bothers some people because there do not seem to be any clear guidelines for behavior, no shoulds or oughts.

However, as is appropriate for "hidden knowledge," the ethics are implicit in the Principles. If you use them logically, you can't help but be ethical. Let's examine them one by one, in that light.

If you accept that the world is what you think it is, consciously and subconsciously, then it only makes sense to work on changing your beliefs for the better in order to have a better life. After all, we are really talking about your subjective experience of the world, not some imagined objective world. Like it or not, subjective reality is all you're going to get. A fascinating implication of this is that your subjective experience itself will tell you clearly how well you are doing in the thinking department. Life will be good to the degree that your thinking is good. You can't hide from your beliefs.

If there are no limits, then the universe is infinite. Some scientists like to speculate about multiple universes and even multiple infinities, but they are just playing with words. "Universe" means the whole thing, and "infinite" means, well, infinite. The idea of an infinite universe implies that all of it is everywhere and everywhen, which implies that every part of it is infinite. And that implies that you are, too. Which finally implies that you are always encountering yourself, in some guise or another. So it makes sense to be kind to your neighbor, because your neighbor is yourself.

To say that energy flows where attention goes implies that the effect of sustained attention, conscious or subconscious, is to give power to the object of attention. Dwell on sickness and sickness will increase in your life; dwell on happiness and you will have more of it; focus on lack and the lack will be more evident; focus on abundance and abundance will abound. Of course, if your focus is mixed, you will get mixed results. It doesn't take a lot of smarts to figure out that it pays to pay attention to your attention.

If now really is the moment of power, then every moment is an opportunity to change your life for the better, which is what everyone is trying to do anyway. In any moment unfettered by past or future considerations change can happen instantaneously. The most interesting thing about that is that when the mind or the body have such an opportunity they automatically move toward peace and happiness, as if ethics were already built in.

If you define love as the behavior of being happy with someone or something, then increasing your loving is a practical thing to do, if you want to be happy. The ancient wise ones who developed these ideas noted the curious fact that happiness increases as happiness increases, meaning that you have to spread it around to keep it going. This kind of happiness does not imply a giddy, carefree, positive band-aid kind of happiness. The word "aloha," love, from which the principle is derived, also includes the concepts of mercy, compassion, grace, charity, and all of the other good things that come under the name of love (it does not include any of the bad things). As you practice love, you increase love and happiness for all concerned.

If all power comes from within, an idea that logically follows from the second principle, then everything has the same source of power. The difference lies in the manner and skill with which it is applied. However, there is an aspect of power that is frequently overlooked. Power is the ability to use power to empower. Hydroelectric power comes from the power of falling water to empower machines to generate electricity. Political power comes from the power of a society to empower individuals to give orders or pass legislation. Power has no single beginning or ending or source. It keeps changing focus. As more people become aware of their power to empower, they will naturally give it more careful consideration.

If effectiveness is used as the measure of truth, which is often the case in our daily lives in some areas and not in others, then the feedback from our experience will easily guide us toward more effective behavior. This idea is based on a Hawaiian word, "pono," a concept of goodness, rightness, or appropriateness. As used in the ancient culture it meant the greatest good for the greatest number, not as defined by some arbitrary rules, but by the actual experience of success, prosperity, health and happiness. In this sense, then, the truth of your actions will be demonstrated by the results as they are experienced by all involved.

In the history of ethics, according to Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, "there are three principal standards of conduct, each of which has been proposed as the highest good: happiness or pleasure; duty, virtue, or obligation; and perfection, the fullest harmonious development of human potential." The ethics of Huna include all three.

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