“Vanity, vanity.. all is vanity.”
(Ecclesiastes 1.. Old Testament)
Excessive pride in, or admiration of, one’s own appearance or achievements.
Eg: “It flattered his vanity to think I was in love with him”.
conceit, conceitedness, self-conceit, narcissism, self-love, self-admiration, self-regard, self-absorption, self-obsession, self-centredness, egotism, egoism, egocentrism, egomania;……
No matter what we do or say or think; the underlying motive is basically the same.. ‘SELF!’
Ever caught yourself attempting to humbly acknowledge a ‘thank you’ from someone, by responding, “The pleasure’s all mine”, or even just, “My pleasure” ?
Some forms of self-centredness are maybe more genteel than others, but… it’s the same(albeit often subconscious) agenda that drives all that we do, say or think!!
UNLESS…. we don’t allow “the left hand know what the right hand is doing.’
The true message of this illustration of the left hand and the right hand, is that we live our lives without any conscious effort to do good, be compassionate etc….. Just ‘be’.. unselfconsciously!
If you realise later on, that something you did had a positive outcome for someone else… fine.
But.. the moment that an action is a self-conscious one, it can never be the real thing, however much it may appear to be compassionate or helpful.
“Love your neighbour as yourself”, is almost always totally misinterpreted!!
Firstly, your neighbour is your co-human beings.. ALL of them!!
Then we need to realise that it does NOT say, “Love your neighbour as much as you love yourself…”, neither does it even say, “Love your neighbour more than you love yourself”(so often, to understand what something IS, we need to remove what it is NOT!)
NEXT….. we need to try to understand two things…….
Who/what is our neighbour?
What is Love?
In that we and our neighbours are all part of ‘the one life’.. we are all one.
We are all each other!!! And I include everyone and everything from the life of the universe to the life of the atom… it is all the same life!!
So.. closer to the true interpretation of the original phrase from scripture, would be: “See yourself AS the other(from galaxies to trees, to animals, to everything!!.) or.. see the other as yourself.
BE the other and allow Love to be the guiding force in the life that everything shares.
“God is Love”, is also almost always misinterpreted!!
It does not say, “God does Love”, or “God has Love”, or even “God Loves”!!
God IS Love!!
It tells us that where true love exists
God and Love are interchangeable terms.
The only thing we now need to understand is the true meaning of “Love”.
It certainly explains how “God” can be everywhere at once, and is eternal.
It also helps to explain the fact that we can all be as God, and that we, too, can be eternal.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg!….
My suggestion to you now, is to acquire for yourself the little booklet of the last meditations of Anthony De Mello, entitled, “The Way To Love”… it is also conveniently available in a Kindle Edition for a nominal cost. I can’t recommend this little gem highly enough!!
Give it a go. I know you’ll be glad that you did!!