It fun to see something as seminal as the Domai pledge being taken up again. It was one of the very first things I wrote for Domai, way back in 1997.
As suggested by my recounting of my recent experience in the stacks of my favorite used bookstore, I've fashioned my own personal version of the flip side of the DOMAI pledge. As will quickly become evident, I figure that I should also hold to the original pledge as it relates to my own appreciation of beauty in others. But then I've etched out the other side of the coin, so to speak, personally feeling that the responsibility and pleasure of the appreciation of beauty has two sides to it, not just as pledged by the one who sees, but as also pledged by the one seen. Whatever. Just a personal thing, not a religion or philosophy or anything like that.
I had already verbally expressed most of what follows, but had not put any of it down in writing until expressing the first tenet of the pledge in my letter about the bookstore. Urged to write down the rest of what I had previously verbalized, I sought assistance from close friend Maggie, whose own recent letter had inspired me to write up my bookstore letter, and whose writing talents I admire far above my own, Maggie was eager and willing, but is currently on the road heading to the Pacific coast, so has had only sporadic contact between long stretches of hitchhiking and sleeping. But credit her with the style and some of the content of what follows.
Anyway, for what it's worth, from a collaborative effort of friends Maggie and Sara, here's our own take on the flip side of the DOMAI pledge, emphasizing the fact that we consider ourselves subject to the original DOMAI pledge by expressing our response in the context of the original -
DOMAI - I hereby promise: never to my willful knowledge let a beautiful girl pass without enjoying the sight.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To the best of my willful knowledge, to never let a chance go by for someone to encounter the beauty I have to offer without presenting that person the opportunity to fully appreciate all that may be seen.
DOMAI - I hereby promise: never to speak slightingly of or underestimate the importance of beauty and grace, and always support it in conversation when needed.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To always accept a compliment, to never insult or underestimate the importance of beauty and grace both to myself and to others, and to always be open to honoring and supporting beauty's value in my conversation and in my actions.
DOMAI - I hereby promise: to keep beauty near my heart and always be aware that it is what is keeping us happy and content, and much of what makes life worth living.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To openly share beauty with the hearts of others, to always be conscious that beauty is what keeps them happy and content, is much of what makes their life worth living.
DOMAI - I hereby promise: never to let merely intellectual pursuits, important as they may be, distract me for any undue length of time.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To never permit purely emotional impulse and response, important as feelings surely are, influence me any more than necessary.
DOMAI - I hereby promise: to keep in mind that beauty is a spiritual thing, no more and no less.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To never forget that the spirit of a man dies without beauty, as life without breath.
DOMAI - I hereby promise: to always keep a pure mind when seeing beauty, or, failing that, at least take pleasure thinking what I am thinking.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To always promote a pure mind when sharing beauty, or failing that, at least to give pure pleasure to those thinking the thoughts that beauty provokes.
DOMAI - I hereby promise: to remember that seeing is the only form of having that is actual. Thus, what you can see you can have. The reason for possessing anything is to prevent others from having it too, a pointless exercise.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To remember that being seen is to be given, but that being possessed is to prevent being given.
DOMAI - I hereby promise: to not be bothered when they go away. There will always be more.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To not be jealous or hurt when they look away to other's beauty or other truth. There will always be more - another time of appreciation or another person who appreciates.
DOMAI - I hereby promise: to enjoy life and what it has given me, and in return to support life and be constructive.
I echo that same promise, and I pledge - To do whatever I can to help others enjoy life and all the best of what it has to give them.
Sara (and Maggie)