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The Twelfth commandment in the twelfth hall - Love unto the neighbor
103,1. Here we are in the midst of this great and splendid hall, again with a sun tablet, and written in the midst of it with red-lettered writing: "This is equal to the first, that you love your neighbor as yourself; therein is the law and the prophets." Now, someone can immediately rise and say: How should this be understood: love one's neighbor as oneself? The oneself or self-love is a vice, so the basis love of the neighbor can also be nothing more than a vice; in this way, the charity so evidently has self-love or love-for-your-own as foundation. If I want to live as a virtuous man, I must not love myself. But if I am not allowed to love myself, then I am not allowed to love my neighbor because the love relationship with my neighbor should correspond to the self-love as perfectly identical. According to this, one would not love one's neighbor as one loves oneself because one should not love oneself either.
103,2. See, that would be such an usual objection, which certainly would not be too difficult to meet. Since the self-love of man is as much as one's own life itself, natural self-love is self-evident in this degree, for having no self-love means having as much as no life!
103,3. It is therefore a matter of recognizing the difference between just and unjust self-love.
103,4. Self-love is "just" if it has no greater desire for the things of the world than what the right measure of the Divine order has assigned to it, which measure was adequately shown in the seventh, ninth, and tenth commandments. If self-love demands beyond this measure, then it transcends the definite limits of the Divine order and can already be regarded as sin at the first crossover. According to this standard, therefore, charity must be divided; for if someone loves a brother or a sister beyond this measure, he commits idolatry with his brother or sister and does not make him better, but worse.
103,5. The fruits of such excessive charity are for the most part all the present and all-time rulers of the peoples. How come? Some people have loved one out of their midst because of his more brilliant talents over the just measure, made him the ruler over themselves and afterwards had to let them be punished by him or by his descendants for this vice.
103,6. It will be said here: But there do have to be kings and princes to guide the nations after all, and they are instituted by God Himself. I will not directly oppose that, but I want to shed light on how it is and what it should be like, I will describe with this opportunity.
103,7. What does the Lord say to the Israelite people when they required a king? Nothing other than: "To all the sins that this people has committed before Me, it has added even the greatest, that, dissatisfied with My guidance, it demands a king." - From this sentence, I think, can be sufficiently proved that the kings are given by God out of the people not as a blessing, but as a judgment.
103,8. Question: Are kings necessary at the side of God to guide humanity? This question can be answered with the same answer as another question, which is: Did the Lord have need of any helper in the creation of the world and in the creation of man?
103,9. Question: Which kings and princes, at any time and how present, help the Lord to preserve the worlds in their order and guide them on their paths? What duke does He need for the winds, which prince for the emanation of the light, and which king for the surveillance of the infinite space of the world and of the sun? But if the Lord can gird Orion without humanly princely and royal support, to feed the Big Dog, and to keep the great world and solar people in the most unerring order, should He need kings and princes among the people of this earth to help Him in His business?
103,10. If we go back to the prehistory of every people, we shall find that every people was originally of a purely theocratic constitution, that is, they had no other master over them than God alone. It was not until the time when peoples became dissatisfied with the most free and liberal government of God, because they were too well off among them, that they began to love each other excessively. And usually a man became special for the sake of the general love of reward. He was required to be a leader. But the leader did not remain only a leader, for the leader had to make laws, the laws had to be sanctioned, and so the leader became a lord, a lord, a patriarch, then a prince, a king, and an emperor.
103,11. Thus, emperors, kings, and princes have never been chosen by God, but only confirmed to the judgment of those who, by their free will, have chosen such emperors, kings, and princes from among them, and have given them all power over them.
103,12. I think that this illumination will suffice to realize that any excess of both self-love and charity before God is an abomination.
103,13. To love one's neighbor as oneself, means to love one's neighbor in the given Divine order, that is to say, in that just measure, which is assigned by God to each person from the beginning. If you do not yet understand this thoroughly, I will add a few examples by which you can clearly see the consequences of this, as well as other excesses.
103,14. Suppose a millionaire lives in some village. Will this make the village happy or will it bring disaster? We want to see. The millionaire sees that the public money banks are staggering; what does he do? He sells his bonds and buys realities, goods. The sovereign to which he used to be only a subject is, as usual, in great need of money. Our millionaire is approached to lend capital to the ruler. He does it for good percentages and on the safe mortgage of domination itself. His neighbors, the other villagers, also need money. He lends it to them without decency on land register entry. This situation lasts for several years. The ruler becomes ever poorer and the village neighbors no wealthier. What happens? Our millionaire first seizes the rule, and the ruler, not in the possession of even a penny anymore, must be at mercy and disgrace, gets at the most out of sheer magnanimity a travel allowance, and our millionaire becomes ruler and at the same time lord over his neighbor indebted to him. These, because they are unable to pay him either capital or interests, are soon appraised and seized.
103,15. Here we have the natural consequence of the happiness which a millionaire or an owner of the excess of self-love has prepared for the villager. There is nothing more to say about it. - Let's go over to the second case.
103,16. There lives somewhere a very poor family. They barely have enough to manage her daily miserable life. A very rich and rarely charitable man gets to know this poor, but otherwise good and respectable family. He, in the possession of several millions, takes pity on this family and thinks to himself: I want to make this family truly happy all in one blow. I want to give them an estate and a fortune of half a million. At the same time, I want to have the pleasure of seeing how the faces of this poor family will cheer up. He does as he have decided. For a whole week, the family did nothing but shed tears of joy, even to the dear Lord God is spoken out many a "Thank You, God".
103,17. But only about a year later, when we consider this happy family again, we will discover all the luxuries as it is always at home in the homes of the rich. At the same time, this family became more and more hard-hearted and will now seek to avenge secretly on all those whom who did not want to see them in their distress. The "Thank God" will disappear, but for it equipage, liveried servants and the like is introduced.
103,18. Question: Has this great excess of charity benefited or harmed this poor family? I mean, here you do not need a lot of words, you just have to reach for all the luxuries with your hands, and you'll find out what benefits this family has received for eternal life through an excess of charity. But from this it becomes evident that charity and self-love must always remain within the bounds of the just Divine measure of law.
103,19. If the man loves his wife excessively, then he will spoil her. She becomes vain, will appreciate herself and becomes a so-called coquette. The man will scarcely have enough hands to reach out everywhere to satisfy the demands of his wife.
103,20. Even a bridegroom, if he loves his bride too much, will make her audacious and in the end, unfaithful.
103,21. So the just measure of love is needed everywhere. Nevertheless, charity is something quite different from what we have come to know. But in what is internal and spiritual charity, we want to learn clearly in the course of this communication.
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