Although humanity is one, it is divided in this way: those who do not believe in God but put all their hope in their neighbor; those who believe in God but do not trust their neighbor; and those who neither love God nor believe in their neighbor. And it’s very strange to find those who love God and their neighbor as they love themselves. Why is it so difficult to fulfill the first and great commandment taught by the Great Master Jesus?
“… ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matt. 22 NIV) Equally, the second is similar: “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matt. 22:39 NIV)
Perhaps we can find the answer to this important question in the correct interpretation of the word similar, which is surely not well understood or comprehended, esoterically speaking. For example, how am I similar to you and how are we not alike?
If the mind has not “understood” our similarities, and also the consciousness—which is not the mind—has not “comprehended” our similarities, then the reason we do not know how to simultaneously love God and our neighbor as ourselves is explained. Still, it also happens that we might understand and comprehend that God and our neighbor are alike but, despite everything, we do not have the love needed to live the experience of loving God and our neighbor as we love ourselves. That is why I must properly answer this question—how are we similar, and how are we not?
We are similar in the immortal divine essence, whether or not it is already developed as a Soul, and it is from this that we must love. And we are not similar in that which is perishable but nevertheless necessary for the expression of the immortal.
Now that we know we are uniquely similar in the immortal divine essence, we will better comprehend the definition of the word neighbor. Etymologically, it is related to near, which can be used as a synonym for similar, close, or neighboring. Now we also know that love between all creatures created by God must be sustained in the immortal divine essence. And that by loving God in us, which is the right way to love ourselves, we will also know how to love our neighbor. Because we do not love what is differ- ent, we love what is similar. And the love of God knows how to recognize that immediately.
Therefore, we cannot love each other from the perspective of the perishable, the transient. We can only love in the imperishable, in that which has never had beginning nor end, simply because love is like that, it exists only in the infinite. Therefore, it’s hard to love God in our fellowmen when we only see in our fellow beings the finite of their lives. How difficult it is to love our fellowmen in God if we have a finite vision of God, represented in an anthropomorphic mental form. And to love our fellowmen as we ought to love God, or to love God as we should love our fellowmen, is only possible if within ourselves we love without borders.
I wanted to learn to love my God within me because I discovered I did not really love Him. And by loving Him, I discovered He loves me in the same proportion as I love Him for, truly, the love with which I love Him is not mine but His. In other words, I love Him with His borrowed love because two different loves do not exist—mine and His—it’s always one love. It’s just as I’m saying: love is unique, singular, and yet universal. I repeat, His love and my love do not exist. And when I became aware of that, I also began to become aware of my fellowmen. And by loving them I also loved my God. And loving my God, I love them, but always with the same love. So, I always start and end with my God.
And by loving my God, I live in my fellowmen, and they live in me. And if I do not love my God, I will not be loved by my God or my fellowmen. Now their joys are mine, and mine are theirs, provided I love from my God. But when I do not love my God, I am alone, very separated from that love; I am like one who contemplates a beautiful rosebush at a distance without perceiving its delicious perfume. But how long do I live with my fellowmen in that state of consciousness from my God? Little, very little, quite little, but enough so as to never stop looking for it. And it aches so much to know, and so many times to lose, that way of love taught by the Logos through Jesus.
… ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
New International Version (NIV)