An Admirable Life (3)

   And the second command is like unto the first. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

   If it is true (as Jesus says) that the first commandment under the law is to lose yourself in the love of God, it is equally true (as Jesus says) that the love of one's neighbor is to be felt as keenly as our self-love.

   It is no stretch, I think, to interpret the second commandment in light of our flawed humanity. We are created in the image of God (imago dei) but our choice of sin mars our decision making. We try to make our sin choices out to be moral, so that they may conveniently disappear in our indecisive morality (the vacuum of tolerance), when we know our moral problems, our sin problems, are spiritual.

   That is to say, if God exists, we are sinners all, for we spend much more time on our needs/wants than on any plan of God.

   If God is real, if sin strong, if humankind be flawed, then no one can be said to serve a man who does not keep him from himself and so save him for God.

  (Yes, I checked the meter and made it rhyme. So hate me.)

   Man is a meaning seeker and, so, soon disappointed. He despairs when he thinks there is no reason to live. He despairs just as wretchedly when he thinks there is a reason to live (God), but sees himself as living lower than God can approve.

   When we seek a man to lead us, we ask him to forgo the baser elements of his human nature. We cloak him in the "will of God." When it occurs we have chosen a childish man, God seems silly. When we select a transient man, God seems confused. We ought to choose a human man and keep him from himself. 

   He must be human, not divine. His selection may be an epiphany but it cannot be seen as a hierophany,  a revelation of the divine. He must once be called and set in place. He must often be kept from himself.

   The ancients built ziggurats, seven tiered ladders to God, as high as their efforts could construct them. Each step up the ziggurat lessened the natural barrier between Man and God, but by means of human exertion. Man had actually to build, first, and then to climb, repetitively. In fact, man's construction brought him no closer to God in power and his repetitive ascensions did nothing actual to make him nearer God in proximity. Religion had to become inner, and so personal, and each man had to struggle with building and climbing inside himself. 

   Men called this character, etching on the cavern of the soul. Later men learned to paint the etching red with blood. So, finally a Savior came with the deep etchings already graven and perfect blood for deep cleansing. It is worth noting the earliest followers of Christ were the first disciples of any great Master who went out to make disciples for Him and not just followers for themselves. 

   Alas, the flawed ego of Man needed to believe he was right and true, so he who followed often transformed into he who formed it all. In this, he proved himself chillingly human. He needed someone to love him, and so to keep him from himself.

Opinions expressed here are mine alone.




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