Love thy Neighbour as Thyself – 2020
This paper has been created by myself for presentation to a Masonic audience as and when the opportunity may arise.
For some time I have thought upon the commandment given by Jesus and recorded in the New Testament (John 13.34) which states “A new commandment I give you, Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” and the additional admonition given by Jesus and recorded in the New Testament (Luke 10.27) “Love thy neighbour as Thyself “ and have pondered the question.
What does this look like, for each of us, in our daily lives?
For many this poses no problem at all, however, for many it presents many issues, in that they may have no concept of what Love even looks or feels like, and worse, may have no sense of Love for themselves.
It is this concept of “Self Love” that I wish to address in this paper.
To begin, and to give some foundation to the subject, my research has led me to the following material, which is taken from a book by Michael J. Gelb, titled Da Vinci Decoded and the Chapter is titled “Practical Love and Self Assessment”
I feel connected to something greater than my own ego.
I consciously nurture my connection to something greater than myself every day.
I practice conscious loving kindness with my colleagues and associates.
I practice conscious loving kindness with the people I interact with on an incidental basis (waiters, salesclerks, attendants of whatever kind, and so-called strangers.
I allow myself to experience the fullness of love, giving and receiving, in my life every day.
When I read this “Self-Assessment” and began applying it to myself I started to realize just how difficult these standards can be and how, in my opinion, few people could honestly give themselves high marks to all five of the questions being posed.
In addition, and in the hope to make this subject more understandable, I have chosen, for this audience of brothers, to link the words LOVE and RESPECT as being synonymous.
As I see it, in order to be even able to begin to live our lives we must have LOVE and RESPECT for those with whom we are interacting and, above all, for our creator.
Continuing on this line of thought, it has been my experience through my association with family, friends, associates, employers, employees etc. that many people, for whatever reason, have little or no LOVE or RESPECT for themselves.
For them this presents a huge problem, in that, in my opinion, without LOVE and RESPECT for ones self, a person finds themselves constantly seeking love and validation and, by being a constant SEEKER, cannot ever get themselves to the point of being able to GIVE and SHARE.
For me this realization came about in 1988 when through, what some would call a coincidence, I came into possession of an Audio Tape titled “Learning to Live & Love” and authored by Dr Wayne Dyer.
Since that time, I have read much of what Dr Dyer has written and have developed a relatively good collection of his Books, Audio Tapes and CD’s.
All of this material is geared to assist the individual in his own self development and value of self and it is here that I see their value to us all, and especially to us as Freemasons who are dedicated to making ourselves as good as we could possibly be.
I perceive the smoothing of our personal ashlar to be a, never ending, objective for us all.
Dr Dyer is very allegorical in his presentations and on no occasion can I recall him ever telling anyone anything. His method is very Masonic in nature, in that he teaches by the telling of stories & giving examples.
Over the past approximately 30 years, I have on numerous occasions found myself doubting or questioning myself and have turned to this material for support & confirmation.
Also during this same period, and again within the past few days, I have had occasions where friends, family, and acquaintances have discussed their issues on this subject with me and I have referred them to, or provided them with support material.
Dr Dyer passed away some years ago, however I am certain his works are still available
I recall having shared this paper in The Educator some years ago & in my deliberations as to what to share with you all, at this time & place, I spotted it in my library of used presentations & felt the message was even more important than its earlier sharing. There is much happening in the World around us and we are all in a position of sharing our LOVE with those less fortunate, in so many ways.
Have a Wonderful Day & God Bless