Love your neighbor as yourself. Lev 19:18
What is needed to love your neighbour? Several things actually.
First, you have to be aware that your neighbour is not you. That is not as trivial as you might think.
Babies do not know that things are separate from them. They have no self-consciousness. Actually, they only have photo-consciousness which has to develop into what we as grownups have.
Soon, babies recognise that their mother is not just an extension of themselves and they start to socialise. They start to be capable of love.
At first, this love is very much egoistic. You fulfil my needs, you provide food, shelter, warmth, security. I love you.
Reminds me of JHWH Jireh, El Shaddai, JHWH Rapha.
Soon thereafter, the little one starts to challenge this love, starts to test his own strength, starts to love himself.
It is absolutely necessary to love your self in order to love your neighbour as yourself.
To develop an ego is necessary to love. How can love be love if I never thought of giving it up?
One thing that is apparent here: love comes from a first person perspective. Consciousness at that level is only capable to see things as I see it myself.
An ego shooter perspective only.
In this perspective, the world is experienced as a given.
New challenges bring forth further growth in consciousness and complex thinking.
All this ego development has led the strongest to become tyrants, and it is necessary to organise hierarchically both to sustain power as well as channel it.
Monotheism evolves, and laws are given to give structure and hierarchy not mainly based on raw strength, but anointing and appointment. There is one absolut truth that keeps things in order.
People learn a new perspective: they learn to walk in someone else’s shoes. This is called second person perspective. They can see and feel a situation from where the other is.
We learn to love people out of compassion, suffering with the other because we understand what they are going through without having gone through it ourselves.
We love Jesus because he suffered for us.
Children learn to do so around 5 to 6. Now they get integrated into the parents believe system.
A first person perspective can be demonstrated very practically:
Show a child a a book with different colours on the front and the back, let’s say red and blue.
Show them the red side and ask for the color: they will say red.
Show them the back and ask, and they will say blue.
Now show them the front again and ask them what color you see, and they will answer red until they are about 5-6 years old and have developed a second person perspective.
At that age, the focus also grows from family or tribe into interest groups. Kindergarden to school, kids learn to be in groups with common interest.
Rules, social norms and expectations of the collective influence action.
This again is going to be challenged through the early teenage years.
Next, kids start to be able to take on a third person perspective, one of an observer.
This new perspective also allows them to strategically imagine another’s next moves and work out what that means for them.
The world is no longer fixed nor is it rule based, it is an evolving process.
Thi is necessary to love people for what they are going to do or even intended to do that maybe went wrong.
Next, we will grow again to develop a fourth person perspective. We can recognise, analyse, and understand whole systems.
Now, we see that our actions influence the whole context they take place in. We become part of the system, too. We recognise that we cannot observe the system from the outside as we are a part of it.
The world becomes a discourse, and we can lovingly plan our actions knowing the impact and consequences.
We start to think humanity and environment, not interest groups only.
A fifth person perspective adds time to all of this as a new dimension. We recognise that we have evolved together with everything else. We become the system ourselves. We shape it through our thoughts, feelings, and actions and influence our own evolution. We tell the story, we build the future.
The further we develop, the more we can love.
We start to love because the other provides for me.
We then love because we can imagine ourselves in the others position.
Then we love because we can catch the others intention.
Next we love because we can see the system at work and how others influence the system as a whole.
And next we love because we see the value of each part in telling the narrative.
And it will not stop there.
It is our responsibility to grow to love more.