Wednesday, March 16, 2005

transgressing into theology

i apologise for the theological sidetrack... but this seems like a question worth consideration. When Jesus said "Love your neighbour as yourself" was he simply saying the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Or was there something more to what he was saying? I don't speak any ancient languages but perhaps someone can help me with this. Every translation that I could find reads "Love your neighbour as yourself" - Not "love your neighbour as you love yourself." which is the common understanding: "do unto others...", or even "be willing to do the same for you neighbour as you would do for yourself."

Could it in fact mean that you are to identify yourself collectively with your neighbour? That you are to love him/her not as much as you love yourself but to see your identity as intrinsically connected? Loving your neighbour as a part of your self - non individualistic, but collective/communal?


Anonymous said...

Yoshi, maybe you can explain a little better, yes? Is there a revelatory distinction between 'as yourself' and 'as you love yourself'? Really, what's the big deal? If I love someone the same way I love myself, then how would it change anything if I identified them as part of a collective? I think I'm missing your point.



josh said...

remember that part in I [heart] huckabees where he has the blanket and he's like this is me, this is you, this is the eiffel tower? well, forget the eiffel tower. but me and you as one? this is what i meant by the post.

Love your neighbor AS your SELF. Not as much as, not in the same way, but that you, to some extent, are part of the same SELF - not individually them, but as part of a whole. maybe it's time to use upper case 'I' versus lower case 'i'... big SELF vs little self? if one part of the body is sick... the whole is sick. why punch your SELF in the eye?

is the distinction worth making? i think so. it's about a way of seeing things differently. non-individualistically. even non-tribally. one whole.

ultimately though, a headless horseman has no reason not to punch himself... he's already headless.

Dilys said...

I've heard that this particular commandment in the original Hebrew is correctly translated as "love your neighbour as being yourself" ( Lev. 19:18). This would confirm that indeed, in loving each other, we are to identify with each other and reach for self-understanding in loving each other. The Eastern Orthodox Church have a developed theology of community that takes this particular interpretation of Lev. 19:18 to heart. I once read a very interesting article about "Forgiveness" by Fr. Thomas Hopko (Eastern Orthodox theologian) in which this commandment is discussed. If you wish, I can e-mail you a copy of the article.

Dilys - surfed onto your weblog via Mike Todd