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Contemplating Love

heartI have completed the most recent My52WOW Book Club pick: “God the Father- or Happiness in Your Hands,” and although it is clear this book was written decades ago, and included some curious information (many references to communism, for example), it did also challenge and intrigue me and include the author’s perspective on how to be happy, and the role that God plays in that.

One section that I would like to share was titled, “Love in Religion.” One of the first questions that I am asked about the first 52 weeks of My 52 Weeks of Worship (after where did you go, and what did you like best) is “was there some unifying theme that you noticed?” Although I always answer that in a way that is a bit more complex than simply, “Love,” I did find this section of Dr. Dominguez’ book interesting:

Love in Religion

The golden rule of all religions is: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” This applies to the oldest known religion, Hinduism (3,000 B.C), as well as to the most modern one, Islam (600 A.D.).

All of them base this golden rule on the fundamental and incontroversible fact that we are all brothers whether we like it or not.

Every religion expresses it in its own way but the end result is the same:

The Hindu says: “Do good and don’t look to whom, you will be good and happy if you do good unto others, persons and animals.”

Judaism, 1300B.. would say “Love thy neighbor as thyself,, although your neighbor might be of a different nation…a Jew cannot say he loves God if he does not love his neighbor.”

In China, Confucius, 600 years B.C would say: “Do not do unto another what you would not want another to do unto you.”

In India, Buddha said in 500 B.C.: “Hatred cannot be fought with hatred, but with love…defeat hatred with love, defeat evil with good…if you are insulted or attacked with fists or stones or swords, continue loving without grudge, without the least resentment.”

The entire life and teaching of Christ is a song of love to our neighbor: “Love thy neighbor as thyself…love your enemy….return good for evil…he who says he loves the God he does not see, but does not love his neighbor whom he sees, is a liar….This is how you will known to be my disciples: In that you will love each other as I have loved you…and Christ loved us until his death, and he died on the Cross,” adds the New  Testament. The brotherhood advocated by Christ is very deep, as deep as the members of a single body! So that we are as much brothers as my right hand is a sister of my left hand! as my left eye is the brother of my right foot! as my eye is the brother of my heart!

Mohammed, in Africa, in 600 A.D., reiterated the same Golden Rule of all religions by saying: “Noone can call himself a believer until he loves his brother as much as he loves himself.” During his famous last sermon in Mecca, he declared the brotherhood of all believers as bound with stronger ties than families or carnalaties.

The chapter goes on to discuss the study of love in various religious traditions. I found it all very interesting. Let me know what you think.

image source: http://onpasture.com/2014/06/23/bits-of-your-heart/

 

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