What does loving the “Lord thy God” entail? What does it mean to love God with all of one’s heart, and with all of one’s mind, and with all of one’s strength? A deeper question yet: Who is the “Lord thy God”? If this is the first and great commandment – which, presumably, precedes the second one that commands we love our neighbor as our self – then it seems important, even essential, that we know what the first commandment means and entails.
For me – the only one I can speak for – it entails coming to know oneness with the Lord that I am and identifying with my divine Self. It hasn’t always been that way with me. I was brought up to believe that God was separate from who I am. I developed a strong pattern of love response for this image of God that I had fabricated in my mind based on what I was taught in my youth: that God was separate from me, up in His heaven, and so I prayed to and came to love this God with all of my heart and all of my mind and with all of my strength. While it felt good and lifted my consciousness up a bit to love some divine being who is supposedly much greater than me, it really never felt honest, nor complete. I always felt that I was being attracted to something or someone outside of myself, “up there” somewhere.
Awakening to the truth of the matter was galvanizing for me. There is no one “up there” outside of myself. There is only who and what I Am here and now. In the Biblical story of Moses’s encounter with God on Mount Sinai – or Jehovah as God was known to the Israelites – when Moses asked God for his name, God answered “I AM THAT I AM.” God is the Essence of existence in all forms of life. He is the I AM is all things living, including human beings. That is your and my identity as one made in the image and likeness of God, a son or daughter of God. It is the identity of each one of us as individual expressions of God. Accept it. BE it and love it with all of your heart, mind and strength. Give it expression in your daily living in acts of kindness and appreciation. Then you cannot but love your neighbor as your very Self because your neighbor is your very Self.
The truth is simple. We are divine beings incarnate in human forms. Why have we made it so complicated in our theological doctrines and religious dogmas? Perhaps it is because you can’t sell the truth. You can only sell doctrines and dogmas as truth, which makes them mere beliefs in and about the truth. When one comes to know the truth one is set free from his or her beliefs and moves beyond them into the experience of one’s true divine Self: one with God, one with neighbor, one with All. So is it. So let it be.
Be love. Be loved.