How can we learn to love our neighbor, learn to love our enemies?
How can we learn to love our neighbor, learn to love our enemies? It seems beyond our human capacity.
But for those of us who are seeking the presence of God, these questions are vital. Finding an answer is beginning the first step toward knowing God aright, toward letting God live its life as us.
Since we were little children, we've absorbed judgment and condemnation, so we're wounded, carrying a sack of self-blame on our backs. We desperately seek out someone who's "in the wrong," quickly dump out our guilt on their head, and momentarily feel we've escaped the pain. But we've reflexively copied generations of accusers and validated their anger at us, so our heavy sack is soon refilled with a vengeance by our ghost life from the unreconciled generations. Like junkies needing another fix, we keep confronting our enemies, still trying to "unload," while our lives only get worse.
These conflicts aren't cured easily, facilely or superficially because the engines of blame are so deep-seated, unconscious and ancient. Also, now that we see why our sacks empty and then re-fatten, we realize how these struggles involve, simultaneously, the "enemy," ourselves, and those critics long ago.
A solution that gets to the root of the trouble waits for us in the practice of prayerful meditation. We may think it's untested waters for solving such problems. Yet when familiar patterns inevitably fail, aren't we really being led to travel to the source within us, which can be the most practical way to unfold our lives?
Contemplative inquiry, contemplative meditation, is a way we delve into a principle of truth, leading into contact with our own infinite self. Spiritual truths are perceptions of the life divine, for God is truth, just as it is love and life. If we investigate a principle, ask and ask until answers bubble up from within, it can teach us forgiveness and reconciliation. We can reach a healing of these battles, an out-picturing expression as we reach inner invisible communion. Other principles could address problems of health or supply, for example.
Leviticus says, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am God." Do we see the meaning hidden in plain sight? The greater self of myself is the same greater self of yourself. And the Hebrew can translate as "You would love your neighbor as yourself." Wouldn't you want to? So we find here, not an order, but something for our core wisdom to inquire into.
First, we ourselves feel absolved. The self-judgments that have been impressed upon our clay are smoothed off when we are washed in unconditional love. The inner opening to the one life does the work, for God is a forgiveness that never did blame. And we are washed, and washed again, in the experience of union which loves us as the only self.
With this certitude of self-love, we notice the fearsome weapons of the old attacks, and see they are really powerless — images only — without any substance. This war in the recesses of our minds has been draining us, and now we are blessedly relieved. Our need to defend ourselves is greatly diminished. We can now have compassion for those who hurt us, living or dead.
When we again meet individuals or groups we'd opposed, if we feel our hair-spring reaction about to snap, we can step back. Everyone has differing foibles and virtues. Are we still lugging around judgments? Then we have more work to do within ourselves.
So on the meeting ground of meditation, we are forgiven, along with others past and present. In the eye of the hurricane, we meet ever at peace. We all climb the ladder together ascending and descending from heaven. We are the whole and holy process.
"Really Being With You" is the title of Moshe's book, as well as his program on KSKQ, 89.5FM, Saturdays 9:30 to 10 a.m.
Send 600 to 700 word articles on all aspects of Inner Peace to Sally McKirgan at: firstname.lastname@example.org.