Jesus, in his teachings, distilled all of spiritual Law into just two commandments. They’re short, but they contain more depth than we might see on a first reading.
The greatest commandment, he said, is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. “And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” That suggests that there should be a prerequisite for that second commandment – perhaps a commandment 1.5. In order to love our neighbor at all, we must first expand our very ability to love. For when we truly embrace the first commandment, we find to our astonishment that we are looking in a mirror. It’s our innate Spirit that is the God we are called so love so completely.
This can often be a tremendous sticking point in our spiritual work. Many people hold what they truly believe to be love for a distant being they name God. But in comparing themselves with that perfection, they negatively judge themselves – and assume that it’s God that is doing the judging!
God does not see us as flawed or negative in any way. “God is Spirit,” Jesus taught. There is no judgment in Spirit – only the perfect Love, perfect Peace, perfect Power that is our own identity.
This is a Season of Nonviolence for many people. (I sincerely hope the rest of the year isn’t a Season of Violence!) It’s important that we affirm the spiritual Truth that we are. And it’s equally important that we refrain from empowering this dualistic, right/wrong experience by judging or condemning others. Nonviolence doesn’t allow for judgment. We simply claim our own role at the center of the two commandments, and allow ourselves to be the new choices, new behavior we choose to express.
Today I choose to love Spirit in all the universe, and Spirit expressing as me, and the same Spirit as the true identity of my every neighbor – which is simply everyone that is or has been or will be sharing this mortal journey with me.