Jnana-Yoga : - 1-9.


Utilitarian standards cannot explain the ethical relations of men, for, in the first place, we cannot derive any ethical laws from considerations of utility.

Without the supernatural sanction as it is called, or the perception of the superconscious as I prefer to term it, there can be no ethics.

Without the struggle towards the Infinite there can be no ideal.

Any system that wants to bind men down to the limits of their own societies is not able to find an explanation for the ethical laws of mankind.

The Utilitarian wants us to give up the struggle after the Infinite, the reaching-out for the Supersensuous, as impracticable and absurd, and, in the same breath, asks us to take up ethics and do good to society. Why should we do good?

Doing good is a secondary consideration.

We must have an ideal.

Ethics itself is not the end, but the means to the end.

If the end is not there, why should we be ethical?

Why should I do good to other men, and not injure them? If happiness is the goal of mankind, why should I not make myself happy and others unhappy?

What prevents me?

In the second place, the basis of utility is too narrow. All the current social forms and methods are derived from society as it exists, but what right has the Utilitarian to assume that society is eternal?

Society did not exist ages ago, possibly will not exist ages hence.

Most probably it is one of the passing stages through which we are going towards a higher evolution, and any law that is derived from society alone cannot be eternal, cannot cover the whole ground of man's nature.

Swami Vivekananda
To be continued  ...