THESE TOTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD WORDS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF JEWISH IDENTITY – At least in theory.
We take them for granted but do we merit the pride we take in having given this message to the world? Do we actually practice this? – And really what are these words asking us to do?
The sources tell us that we can only come to the love of G-d through the love of others, and that ultimately they are the same thing – that the very identity and survival of our people depends only on this because it’s the sole purpose of the nation and our only role in the human family. This is how Divine Providence has always worked with us. If we don’t provide the actualized example of a unified humanity and help everyone reach that, then the rest of humanity responds by feeling how we are blocking their development and they’re correct when they say they don’t need us. But they do.
They don’t need or care at all about our disproportionate contributions to science or culture or social justice or any of the things that are fundamentally their role. They’re more capable at all that than we are. Those gifts can never change what they rightfully feel in their bones, because that’s not what they need from us.
This need has never been as self-evident as it is today now that the world is so tightly interdependent. Love your neighbor as your self is no longer a nice saying of a particular religion. It’s become impossible to move forward in any area of life using the organizing principles that got civilization to this point – without triggering global disaster. Instead of feeling elation at reaching the clear awareness of our inextricable unity we all feel hopelessness and fear. The one thing that’s needed from us now is an example of how to live in this new level of development.
The method of adaptation is something we’ve inherited and safe-guarded till now. It allows us to shift what we identify as SELF from personal to interpersonal. This is the profound change of attitude and concern that frees us to embrace and live in our new, complete interdependence feeling it as peace and well-being.
Giving this to the world seems completely impossible and yet we are uniquely positioned to do it.
The “Jewish People” were founded on this inner sensation of unity. The ancient nation was organized and governed by the tangible sensation of the needs of the other as my needs. The Temples symbolized the peak of our loving state. Their destruction simply means we lost our shared self and the positive affects it brings to the world. We lost that connection but we never forgot it. It’s in our DNA and we can quickly re-activate it now that there is a dire need for it.
Imagine a tight knit, loving family. Would a brother withhold concern from his sister? Would children hoard wealth at their parents’ expense? Obviously inner connection is the universal remedy. When you care about the needs of others as if they are your own, not by coercion or external ethics and actions, but by genuine love – there are no problems that can’t be overcome. Once we experience this between us as neighbors living in a global village the connection we generate will take care of the rest.
That’s what Love Your Neighbor As Your Self means and what the Connected Wisdom Method is all about.
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