inability to cause harm; having neither a harmful nor a beneficial effect
- See also: Ahimsa and Nonviolence
Harmlessness denotes the quality of lacking capacity or intent to injure, or to cause any beings, any harm, including death, pain, disability, loss of ability, freedom or pleasure.
- Harmful magnetic conditions, as the result of man's wrong handling of force, are the causes of evil in the world... How can we, as individuals, change this? By the development in ourselves of Harmlessness. Therefore, study yourself from this angle. Study your daily conduct and words and thoughts so as to make them utterly harmless. Set yourself to think those thoughts about yourself and others which will be constructive and positive, and hence harmless in their effects. Study your emotional effect on others, so that by no mood, no depression, and no emotional reaction can you harm a fellow-man. Remember in this connection, violent spiritual aspiration and enthusiasm, misplaced or misdirected, may quite easily harm a fellow-man, so look not only at your wrong tendencies but at the use of your virtues.
If harmlessness is the keynote of your life, you will do more to produce right harmonious conditions in your personality than any amount of discipline along other lines. The drastic purgation brought about by the attempt to be harmless will go far to eliminate wrong states of consciousness... Therefore, I say to you at this time, I – an older and perhaps more experienced disciple and worker in the great vineyard of the Lord – practice harmlessness with zest and understanding, for it is (if truly carried out) the destroyer of all limitation.
- Alice Bailey, A Treatise on White Magic, p. 101/3. (1934)
- Harmfulness is based on selfishness, and on an ego-centric attitude. It is the demonstration of forces concentrated for self-enforcement, self-aggrandisement, and self-gratification. Harmlessness is the expression of the life of the man who realises himself to be everywhere, who lives consciously as a soul, whose nature is love, whose method is inclusiveness, and to whom all forms are alike, in that they veil and hide the light, and are but externalisations of the One Infinite Being. This realisation, let me remind you, will demonstrate in a true comprehension of a brother's need, divorced from sentiment and expediency. It will lead to that silence of the tongue that grows out of non-reference to the separate self. It will produce that instantaneous response to true need which characterises the Great Ones who (passing beneath the outer appearance) see the inner cause which produces the conditions noted in the outer life, and so, from that point of wisdom, true help and guidance can be given. Harmlessness brings about in life caution in judgment, reticence in speech, ability to refrain from impulsive action, and the demonstration of a non-critical spirit. So, free passage can be given to the forces of true love, and to those spiritual energies which seem to vitalise the personality, leading consequently to right action. Let harmlessness, therefore, be the keynote of your life.
- Alice Bailey, A Treatise on White Magic, p. 101/3. (1934)
- I have so emphatically impressed the need of harmlessness upon all of you, for it is the scientific method, par excellence, and esoterically speaking, of cleaning house, and of purifying the centres. Its practice clears the clogged channels and permits the entrance of the higher energies.
- Alice Bailey, A Treatise on the Seven Rays: Volume 4: Esoteric Healing p. 40
- What shall I say concerning harmlessness? It is not easy for me to show or prove to you the effectiveness of the higher aspect... The harmlessness with which I have earlier dealt, has relation to the imperfections with which humanity is wrestling, and is difficult for you to apply in and under all circumstances, as well you know. The harmlessness to which I refer in connection with you is not negative, or sweet, or kindly activity, as so many believe; it is a state of mind and one which in no way negates firm or even drastic action; it concerns motive and involves the determination that the motive behind all activity is goodwill. That motive might lead to positive and sometimes disagreeable action or speech, but as harmlessness and goodwill condition the mental approach, nothing can eventuate but good.
- Alice Bailey, A Treatise on the Seven Rays: Volume 4: Esoteric Healing (1953) p.670
- There comes a time when... the man or woman in incarnation... ceases to make too much karma of a negative nature, and becomes more and more harmless. We can see, therefore, the need for Harmlessness|harmlessness in all human relationships.
- Benjamin Creme in The Ageless Wisdom, An Introduction to Humanity's Spiritual Legacy, (1996)
- The Law of Karma is the Law of Cause and Effect. The effects from our previous deeds, good and bad, create the conditions of our life today, and the results of our deeds today create the conditions of the next period of life, either now or when we return in our next body... When we learn to be harmless, we overcome karma. There comes a time when... he or she ceases to make too much karma of a negative nature, and becomes more and more harmless. We can see, therefore, the need for harmlessness in all human relationships. By being destructive we create negative karma, which means we have to work it off. We come in with this karma, and all the misfortune of our life, the pain, the suffering, is put down to bad luck. It is not bad luck but the direct result of our karma.
- Benjamin Creme, in The Ageless Wisdom Teaching, Glossary of Esoteric Terms, (1996), p.13-15
- The great Law of Cause and Effect (the Law of Karma in the East) and the connected Law of Rebirth [are] the basic laws of our... existence. The correct understanding and following of these two laws are prerequisites for the creation of harmlessness in every sphere of our lives and thus also for the creation of right human relations, itself the prerequisite for human happiness... If we do not know that there are laws and rules, we end up as we are today and at all times previously, in a mess, a catastrophic situation, totally out of kilter
- Benjamin Creme, The Art of Living: Living within the Laws of Life, (2006)
- We have to be aware and we must try to be harmless.
- Benjamin Creme, in https://share-international.org/magazine/old_issues/2016/2016-12.htm Share International Magazine, (December 2016)
- Through the midwestern United States, Kansas and the central states, there have been hundreds of tornadoes one after the other for days, leaving paths of destruction 400 miles wide and killing many people. These are called acts of nature, acts of God. But they are in this case a result of the Law of Karma. The crisis that manifested itself as the SARS infection in China and elsewhere, for example, the epidemics of flu throughout Europe, are the direct results of the fear generated from the crisis conditions set up by the US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. It is not a question of God punishing the aggressor. It is a simple law of the interconnectedness of all atoms in the universe. What happens here sets up something that will inevitably happen elsewhere by the law of action and reaction. When humanity truly understands this law, the Law of Karma, not just as an intellectual idea, it will see that every thought, every action, sets into motion a cause or causes. The effects stemming from these causes make our lives for good or ill. The need for harmlessness in every action in our lives becomes apparent. When we act, we have to know what the result of this action could be. If the action is destructive, it produces destruction in the world. If the action is not destructive, if it is creative, if it is harmless, it creates harmlessness, it creates good in the world. p. 11-12
- As we think. Moment to moment, as we act... we set into motion causes. Effects stemming from these causes make our lives for good or for ill... individually and socially and globally. So whatever we think has to be harmless.
We now have no option but to end war forever because with the nuclear bombs and armament today, we can destroy all life... it's up to us... It's obvious that the number one thing we have to do is to get rid of war.
- Benjamin Creme, The State of the World 2010, lecture in New York City, (July 2010)
- The fundamental law of life is the law of cause and effect and therefore we have to be harmless, because if we are destructive, we're destroying the equilibrium of everybody.
- Benjamin Creme, The State of the World 2010, lecture, New York City, (July 2010)
- I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
- Jesus, to his disciples, as quoted in Gospel of Matthew 10:16].
- The first step with which to counter the forces of evil is by confronting it with an attitude of 'harmlessness'. When the daily thoughts, words and activities are positive, and based on love and goodwill, no evil can gain entry into the mind and the results can only be constructive and harmless. It will therefore also be readily understood that if harmlessness is the keynote of life, more will be done to obtain harmonious conditions in the personality than by any other form of discipline.
The life of the man who consciously lives as the soul is expressed by its quality of harmlessness. This is one of the most potent forces in the world today and will demonstrate in daily living as right motive, goodwill, discriminative judging, reticence in speech, ability to refrain from impulsive action, and the manifestation of an uncritical spirit.
- People try to excuse their brutality by saying that it is the custom; but a crime does not cease to be a crime because many commit it. Karma takes no account of custom; and the karma of cruelty is the most terrible of all. In India at least there can be no excuse for such customs, for the duty of harmlessness is well-known to all. The fate of the cruel must fall also upon all who go out intentionally to kill God's creatures, and call it "sport".
- Jiddu Krishnamurti, At the Feet of the Master (1911)
Encyclopedic article on Harmless on Wikipedia