There are nine principles that are characteristic of self development and are generally believed by most major systems of self development. Although some take a limited view of self development as being "psychology," the effectiveness of any such system is proportional to the degree to which it incorporates these nine "Jewels of Wisdom."
This wisdom teaches us that life is meaningful and purposeful and that we can develop to better things. They teach us that even death cannot prevent us from doing this. By living by them as PRECEPTS we can greatly improve our lives; by using the procedures developed from them we can progress to enlightenment.
This is a brief introduction to the nine jewels. They are not completely different from each other, and some jewels are a re-statement of others to emphasize a particular learning.
1. THERE IS A PATTERN TO EVERYTHING (Predictability).
This is the first jewel. It tells us that the universes are replete with patterns. The patterns appear and reappear at various levels. They govern our minds, our bodies, our societies, our countries and our universes. These patterns are often cycles that exist at all levels. They appear at the lowest level and exist as a higher harmonic at all the higher levels. This jewel tells us that we can understand the world, ourselves, our relationships. It also tells us that by following orderly procedures we can attain what we wish.
The world is replete with patterns which often repeat. These patterns are sometimes archetypes. By understanding patterns and archetypes we can understand the world.
2. PSYCHIC PERSISTENCE (Life after death, reincarnation, other worlds).
The second jewel is that the spirit is immortal. It continues after bodily death in some form. It tells us that we can never escape our debts nor lose our merits. It also tells us that life is always meaningful in that we will not lose our merits or escape our debts.
In different systems, there is emphasis on the afterlife, reincarnation or the between-lives state.
3. KARMA (Cause and Effect).
The third jewel is that everything is due to Karma: that is, to Cause and Effect. Every effect is due to a PERTINENT cause. Things do not just happen, they happen for a reason.
Broadly the law of Karma is that all things tend to an ideal state. Although all things tend towards the Ideal, they may be held back by forces which oppose the Ideal. For example, water tends to flow from the mountains to the valleys, according to the laws of Cause and Effect. However it can be dammed so it does not follow its natural course for a time. But eventually the laws of Cause and Effect will prevail, and the water will reach its level. As humans, we fail to attain our Ideal because of our present and past actions that hold us from that ideal.
We attain our Ideals by DOING those things that lead us towards the Ideal and by AVOIDING those things which prevent us from attaining the Ideal. This statement is obvious to the point of banal, yet it is frequently forgotten or ignored.
There are many levels of Karma. There is Personal Karma and, at the highest level, Spiritual Karma.
We enjoy the benefits of good Karma and suffer the pains of bad Karma depending on what we do now or did in previous times. Because the spirit persists, death does not free us of the effects of Karma. Misfortunes and benefits that we enjoy in this life may be due in part to past actions in previous lives. Any merit we might enjoy in future lives is caused by what we do in previous lives, including this present one.
This is the most wonderful aspect of Karma, cause and effect ... it means that we can bring about effects by creating the appropriate causes. Karma encompasses our personal responsibility for the choices we make. These causes WILL lead to the corresponding effects.
Of all the jewels, the third jewel sparkles brightest and it is the one that leads us to freedom.
4. HIERARCHIES OR LEVELS (Order).
This is the fourth jewel: All things are organized. It means there are right ways and wrong ways. You can go up, in your spiritual quest, and go down. You can also move around in circles at the same level. This jewel says there is an order to things.
The fourth jewel teaches us that there are many levels from the lowest to the highest. We can choose the right level to handle and understand. It tells us there is a way out. There is an answer.
5. PERTINENCE (Suitability, appropriateness, rightness, justice).
Consciousness takes the most suitable form for it at the time, to accomplish its learning task. A human consciousness becomes a human form; a horse consciousness becomes a horse; an orchid consciousness becomes an orchid. When they are ready to move to higher levels, they take the appropriate form to do this. So minerals may become plants. Plants become animals. Animals become human. And human become beings at a higher level, and so on.
Another way of saying this is that whatever happens, occurs for a reason. Whatever happens- whether it is apparently good or apparently bad - happens because it is just what we need in our spiritual development at that moment. It does not occur by blind chance; it occurs for reasons. We are here now because being here and doing what we are doing is the appropriate thing for us, in our present state of development. According to Karma, we continue to experience the same problems again and again until we have found the solution. We continue to encounter the same problems because these are what we need in order to find the solution.
6. EVOLUTIONARY PROGRESS (Self Development).
It is consciousness that is the moving factor in evolution. Evolution is a spiritual process of development through various species.
In some systems there is the belief that we, as humans, are degraded super-beings. In other systems we are viewed as developing into super-beings. Whichever system is adopted there is the belief that we are evolving (or re-evolving) towards an Ideal state, or a re-connection to our true nature.
At all levels there are etheric templates that are the Ideal for that level. We evolve to the level of our current template, at which point we can move on to new evolution. What holds us back is bad Karma.
In summary, the sixth jewel tells us that there IS progress (and decline) and that our lives are meaningful. We are not merely the product of blind chance and meaningless genetic mutation. Every aspect of our lives is meaningful and purposeful.
7. DUALITY IS THE BASIS OF MANIFESTATION.
Where there is a negative, there is a positive and where there is a positive, there is a negative. The basic unit of the universe is a dyad - a pair of opposites. This jewel tells us that in the universe there is no such thing as absolutes ... everything has its opposite. (This is not true outside the universe, though, where there are absolutes).
8. KNOWING THE ESSENCE OF ALL LIFE (World View).
The eighth jewel teaches us that each being can know themselves for what they really are - that is, they are spiritual beings which are different from the current forms they assume (such as their body). We CAN know our true nature and the nature of the universe in which we live.
The ninth jewel tells us that we are responsible for what we think, say, do. It tells us that we as spiritual entities (not physical identities) are responsible for our creations. We relish in the repayment of the 'good' that we do, and suffer the consequences of the 'bad'. This 'little jewel' appears here to emphasize our responsibilities as individuals. It tells us that our Karmic debts and merits are carried with us until they are dissolved. Responsibility stresses that we are the effect of OUR causes.
In summary, the nine jewels of wisdom teach us that life and existence is meaningful, organized, fair and purposeful. We can LEARN the meaning of life, and our true nature and we can PROGRESS to higher and better things.