Note... what I share is how I run MY life. I am merely sharing. Everyone is allowed to use their own rules. None of this is implied as being "better" than what anybody does.
Dictionary.com has "A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct" as a definition for morality". This is the one I'm using today. In my morality I determine what I need to do in life's situations. I feel elation/comfort when I do "right" and guilt/morose when I do "wrong". The overall goal of my life is to stay on a harmonious path, one of "right conduct". The avoidance of wrong conduct is also the avoidance of all the karmic stuff that springs from that wrong conduct. It is nice to be able to sleep at night without worrying and remorse. This would seem to be my goal in pursing my morality.
I seem to use two main methods for determining right conduct, with the first being intuition. I believe that life is a series of choices that have more harmonious and less harmonious outcomes. A mundane example would be deciding where to eat lunch. Typically I run through the list of possible places looking for a "no" or a "yes" reply. Invariably, there is one place that has the strongest "yes" reply. Sometimes I get a "it doesn't matter, choose from either". Early on in my esoteric career I was taught that there were called "hunches". They are not so strange. The Christian equivalent would be to say a little prayer asking for guidance and then "listening" to the answer. These hunches get me through much of life. Sometimes they confirm the obvious choice and sometimes they point to the improbable choice. The clarity of the answer is the same in both cases. This method of "morality" has taken me years to fine-tune. While I trust it do a degree that approaches implicitly, I realize it is hard to teach or translate this to other people. Does this make me a foolish crazy man? Perhaps, but intuitive morality works for me!
The second method I embrace is what I would call the "golden rule". I don't mean the one that say, "he who has the gold makes the rules". The golden rule I live by is defined by Dictionary.com as, "a rule of ethical conduct, usually phrased “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or, as in the Sermon on the Mount, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them.” Matt. 7:12; Luke 6:31. ". I almost cringed when I realized that I live by this rule. The "proof" was that I judge myself by how I would like to be judged. I show compassion where I believe I would like to see compassion. I am dispassionate when I believe it is appropriate for others to be dispassionate towards me. Life isn't fair, people are human, and so am I. The whole "people are human" thing allows for me to minimize judgment (I hope!) while forgiving myself my own transgressions. There is a given-n-take in the golden rule.
This opens me to be compassionate much of the time and cold/selfish/neutral the rest of the time. I don't have a problem with this. I live by my own experiences. The times that I do get hurt help inform me where I am potentially being hurtful. The golden rule challenges people to learn from their experience. Again, for the most part I am OK with this.
The thing that sucks big time is that I am getting my friggen ass kicked by this morality. This is occurring where I've gotten myself into situations of supporting others in ways that are not healthy for me. The primary example is the financial support of my separated wife. While we've been separated for a long time, and there are no children, there is shared property. I have my name on way too much sh*t. I've tried to reason. I've tried to compromise. She holds on the security that I represent. At this point we don't even talk, and yes, this is the core of the problem. Would talking fix things? I don't know. I am sick to f'ing death of going around with her. Anyway, to unilaterally pull the rug out from under her little wagon would turn her life upside down. Very wise people tell me that I am being used. This is true. My sanity suffers and I am held in a place of reduced resources. My healthier relationships are held captive to the enabling role I embrace.
Why can't I easily walk away from this screw-fest? The answer is this... I wouldn't want my wife to do to me what I could do to her. Make sense? Yeah, she's doing a number on me, but I don't feel "right" doing worse to her. Intellectually I know all of the reasons why this thinking is dead wrong, harmful to me, harmful to other people in my life, and just really really bad news. I am being the "nice guy" with very little reward. My previous writings tell me that at some selfish level there is a reward for me. There probably is, but it's not one of fun-joy. Madness is the more likely outcome.
So I have two methods of morality. In the case of my relationship with my wife, the intuition says "run, sprint, flee". I've seen enough glimmers of possibility to know that life would be much better without the situation. My damn "golden rule" side seems to have precedence, saying, "don't be a colossal jerk". ACK! And then the "golden rule" part says, "you'd be better off dead". Hmmmm... this sounds suspicious, but is quite attractive. Personally, I think that is fear and exhaustion talking. "A permanent solution to a temporary problem". Well heck, it doesn't feel so temporary.
So this is my morality. Most of the time, a large majority of the time, I am perfectly happy with it. I get along with people and they get along with me. I learn from my mistakes, take emotional bruises when I need to make adjustments, and life goes on. The catch seems to be that the golden rule does not work with those "BIG" screwed up situations. I wouldn't want somebody to screw me, so I resist screwing them over. The Catch-22 irony is that I am only supporting a system that holds both myself and the other person in a place of stagnant death. Neither of us are helped.
This is one of the things I would like to work on during my upcoming Vision Quest. It is an integral part of the good side of me and an integral part of that part that threatens to kill me. It is my Gordian knot, and I don't seem to have the knife on hand to cut it.