1. Standard memberhakima
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    30 Jun '14 20:08
    DeepThought mentioned the Second Commandment on the Islamic Text thread. Since the reference comes from the Christian tradition, and I wanted to discuss it, I thought a new thread was in order.

    34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

    35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
    --Matthew 22:34-40

    I imagine there isn't a soul who has ever lived who hasn't experienced suffering at the hand of another person's violation of the second commandment. In my own life, others have suffered because I failed to remember and apply it. So I've wondered why...

    ...recently when I have re-read this particular verse, the phrase "love...as thyself..." is emphasized and I think perhaps that is the key. So many people don't observe the second commandment well because they don't love themselves well.

    I think that many religious tenets, social mores, and legal mandates focus on how we should treat others and fail to address the issue of how to treat ourselves. Especially in the Western traditions, we focus of working harder and longer, strive to produce more, and fail to take the breaks we need. At times, in conversations about meditation, I hear, "Oh, I would like to do that but I just don't have the time..."

    A couple of years ago, I decided to return to school to get my degree and license in social work. God willing (and with a great deal of hard work), I will graduate in May. Graduating from college is my adult life's dream and at 52, there are times I feel that I'm running out of time...for what...I can't reasonably say...But I felt that last semester and succumbed to the temptation of taking on too much. I worked at least 40 hours a week and carried 18 semester hours (equal to six classes). I did well but at the price of a breakdown that might have resulted in losing much of what I hold so dear in my life.

    In my social work courses, the instructors are constantly reminding us to assess our performance AND our personal well-being. The work is mentally taxing and failing to "love oneself" through self care can result in very unloving actions toward others. I learned a vital lesson last semester that I dearly hope will not have to be repeated.

    Keeping in mind my personal assessment for the need to relax more, I have quit working until after graduation, returned to yoga classes, to playing chess (if not well, at least with greater awareness 🙂 ), beautifying my environment in various ways, reading for fun, and preparing for a trip (even if it IS a study abroad course, I plan on at least half a day on a Caribbean beach).

    I wonder if others here find ways to love themselves more and wouldn't mind sharing. In the interests of social science (always the student here 😉), I am wondering if anyone else finds the correlation between self care and "loving their neighbor?"
  2. Standard memberRemoved
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    30 Jun '14 20:52
    I wonder if others here find ways to love themselves more and wouldn't mind sharing. In the interests of social science (always the student here 😉), I am wondering if anyone else finds the correlation between self care and "loving their neighbor?"[/b]
    I am not there yet, but am learning to love who God has made me.
    The bible says it is Christ in me!
    If you are speaking of loving the old me, then that I cannot do. I hate who I was before I got born again.
    Jer 17:9

    9 The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?
    NIV
    God gives us a new heart, a new nature. We are to "put off" the old man and "put on" the new man, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory!
    This is accomplished by renewing our minds to believe we are who God says we are.
    Col 1:27-29
    To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
    NKJV

    1 John 3:1-3

    3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
    NKJV

    Rom 12:1-2

    12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
    NKJV
  3. Standard memberhakima
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    30 Jun '14 21:19
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    I am not there yet, but am learning to love who God has made me.
    The bible says it is Christ in me!
    If you are speaking of loving the old me, then that I cannot do. I hate who I was before I got born again.
    So, as you are learning to love yourself through this rebirth in Christ, as you say, do you find it correlates with your observance of the Second Commandment? What actions toward your neighbor changed, if you would be willing to share here?
  4. Joined
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    30 Jun '14 22:341 edit
    Originally posted by hakima
    DeepThought mentioned the Second Commandment on the Islamic Text thread. Since the reference comes from the Christian tradition, and I wanted to discuss it, I thought a new thread was in order.

    34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

    35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a q ...[text shortened]... am wondering if anyone else finds the correlation between self care and "loving their neighbor?"
    ".., I am wondering if anyone else finds the correlation between self care and "loving their neighbor?"

    I think you hit the nail on the head with that hakima. If I may offer but one observation. I think that, in reference to the quoted passage, it is assumed that we love ourselves already.

    Good post, thanks!
  5. Standard memberRajk999
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    30 Jun '14 22:45
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]".., I am wondering if anyone else finds the correlation between self care and "loving their neighbor?"

    I think you hit the nail on the head with that Yakima. If I may offer but one observation. I think that, in reference to the quoted passage, it is assumed that we love ourselves already.

    Good post, thanks![/b]
    Yakima? 😀
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    30 Jun '14 22:49
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Yakima? 😀
    I think my spell check did that. But thanks for catching that Rakj. 😉
  7. Standard memberRajk999
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    01 Jul '14 00:34
    Originally posted by josephw
    I think my spell check did that. But thanks for catching that Rakj. 😉
    Blame it on the poor computer.
  8. Standard memberRajk999
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    01 Jul '14 00:391 edit
    Originally posted by hakima
    DeepThought mentioned the Second Commandment on the Islamic Text thread. Since the reference comes from the Christian tradition, and I wanted to discuss it, I thought a new thread was in order.

    34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

    35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a q ...[text shortened]... am wondering if anyone else finds the correlation between self care and "loving their neighbor?"
    Im going out on a limb here but I would wager that the Bible contains nothing about loving yourself, self love, neither is loving yourself described as a requirement to love others.

    Also I would strongly disagree with this statement you made :

    ..So many people don't observe the second commandment well because they don't love themselves well.

    People dont love others because they dont love themselves well? Hell no. People dont love others because they are selfish, selfcentered and greedy. It has nothing to do with loving yourself. Maybe in your case it does but to apply that generally to people is not correct.
  9. Standard memberhakima
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    01 Jul '14 01:21
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Im going out on a limb here but I would wager that the Bible contains nothing about loving yourself, self love, neither is loving yourself described as a requirement to love others.

    Also I would strongly disagree with this statement you made :

    ..So many people don't observe the second commandment well because they don't love themselves well.
    ...[text shortened]... oving yourself. Maybe in your case it does but to apply that generally to people is not correct.
    Rajk999, thank you for your thoughts and response.

    People who truly love themselves have no need to act in ways that are self centered and greedy. They are already content with who they are, so they don't spend a lot of time or energy focusing on how external events or other people are treating them. They don't act with greed because they don't try to fill needs created by self hate with material things.

    It is said that you can't buy love, and yet it seems as if that is exactly what is done when people are self centered and greedy.

    For me, self love includes deep gratitude for life and every divine gift, including the very air that I breathe. It includes accepting things I cannot control and exercising faith. Self love includes taking the risk of opening myself up to new ideas, even when they are not gracefully presented or are uncomfortable to consider. In this way, I am offering myself every possibility with the understanding that I have the ability to make choices and accept the responsibility for their consequences.

    One more thing, and so very important, self love involves relaxing my mind from needless worry. When I can do that, I find myself more open to the needs of my fellow human beings because I am not burdened by selfish desires brought about by self hate.
  10. Standard memberhakima
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    01 Jul '14 01:24
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Yakima? 😀
    LOL! I love the praxis here.

    I have been known to go on about a subject at length...Yakima might well have been entirely appropriate. 😉
  11. Standard memberCalJust
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    01 Jul '14 18:141 edit
    Originally posted by hakima
    Hakima, I think you are spot on. Only people who have a healthy concept of self, who are secure in their own awareness, with all its faults and virtues, are open to loving others well.

    When Rajk says that people don't love because they are selfish and greedy, then he is saying the same thing - it is precisely BECAUSE of hidden self-hatred that we have this strong ego to defend, and let nobody else come close.

    When I can see myself as being connected to all living things, and the subject of a Divine love affair, that I am free to share this love liberally.

    Alas, I am still on the journey, but isn't it an exciting one?!
  12. Standard memberhakima
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    01 Jul '14 21:38
    Originally posted by CalJust
    Hakima, I think you are spot on. Only people who have a healthy concept of self, who are secure in their own awareness, with all its faults and virtues, are open to loving others well.

    When Rajk says that people don't love because they are selfish and greedy, then he is saying the same thing - it is precisely BECAUSE of hidden self-hatred that we have thi ...[text shortened]... o share this love liberally.

    Alas, I am still on the journey, but isn't it an exciting one?!
    CalJust, Thank you for your response on this thread and thank you for saying what I was trying to say in response to Rajk.

    I love that you refer to this journey as a Divine love affair. It's so Sufi! We say,

    Ishq Allah ma'bud lillah! Which means "Love is Love, Lover, and Beloved!"
  13. Standard memberRajk999
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    02 Jul '14 11:48
    Originally posted by CalJust
    .. it is precisely BECAUSE of hidden self-hatred that we have this strong ego to defend,..
    I would say that it is more complicated than that and I cannot say that I understand what is the root cause of greed and selfishness. But to claim that if you love yourself then you would love others is also wrong. There is far too much evidence which proves that many who have self-esteem, and all of this worlds goods etc etc, and are still selfish. What is the reason for that?
  14. Standard memberDeepThought
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    02 Jul '14 12:06
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    I would say that it is more complicated than that and I cannot say that I understand what is the root cause of greed and selfishness. But to claim that if you love yourself then you would love others is also wrong. There is far too much evidence which proves that many who have self-esteem, and all of this worlds goods etc etc, and are still selfish. What is the reason for that?
    I don't think that Hakima is suggesting that it is a sufficient condition, but a necessary one. It is difficult to let someone into your room if it is full of baggage, but even if there is space one still may not let people in - which is where the second commandment comes into play.
  15. Standard memberhakima
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    02 Jul '14 13:59
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    I would say that it is more complicated than that and I cannot say that I understand what is the root cause of greed and selfishness. But to claim that if you love yourself then you would love others is also wrong. There is far too much evidence which proves that many who have self-esteem, and all of this worlds goods etc etc, and are still selfish. What is the reason for that?
    I will suggest that the perception of self love which the world holds ("self esteem and all of this world's goods etc etc". )is precisely the false self love that Jesus preached against...In fact, it is my belief that Jesus presented authentic self love, which challenged the Sadducees and Pharasees (the affluent leaders of the church and state of Jesus' day) and upset the status quo which was essentially oppressing the people. Such a redefining of authentic self love (compassion, charity, faith, etc, etc) was such a radically revolutionary proposal that it eventually led to the leaders putting him to death.

    You are right to say that self love as defined by the world only produces more greed and selfishness. The result of false self love creates as much misery and oppression as it did in Jesus' day.

    One of the components that made Jesus' redefinition of love so appealing and therefore so threatening to the powers that were, is that it is not complicated at all. It's very simple. Basically, he stripped away all the complications of the laws that had been convoluted through the greed of mankind and replaced it with a simple rule...love God, love your fellow men as you love yourself. Or, as rookie says in another thread, "Love is the only rule."

    Now, as then it be hooves us to reject the world's definition and embrace the proposition of Jesus (and other wise and holy men and women) to redefine and embrace true love in order to keep the second commandment; "love your neighbor as yourself."
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