Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Dark Side

Sorry about the title—it's a little dramatic. There really isn't a dark side to love. Not in any way. Nor do I believe there is an opposite to love. More later on that.
But there are dark things that keep us from love. To my mind the biggest one is judgment. That is, the very practice which Jesus said we must not do. I remember the old version best. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." I remember reciting it in Sunday school. One after the other around the table we recited it from memory.
Then the next sentence: "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged" That's pretty plain. And the inference is that it is God Himself who will judge us with the same kind of judgment we meted out to others.
But do we even need divine intervention to prove the point of this principle? I think it stands up on natural grounds. When we are harsh to others, meting out our own brands of private justice, then that action in effect places us in the hell of our own choosing. We choose sides and draw lines in the sand; we become enemy to our enemy plus any of our friends who also happen to be friends of our enemy. And yet any action has its equal and opposite reaction, especially with judgment.
Kierkegaard said that any father who disowns his son actually places himself in a prison, because he can think of nothing else but perpetually exonerating himself while he condemns his son. Add to that the fact that the father alienates all his friends with his constant harping. Then the father's misery is greater than the son's.
And so it goes on and on, what with every possible way one person and judge and be judged by others (or by oneself), our communities are filled with an infinite number of separate little sects—secular or religious—makes no difference. There exist an unlimited number of possible permutations, departmentalized into different life-sized containers. You might be my church friend but you are my political enemy. I might be your smiling next-door neighbor delivering garden vegetables to your back door, all the while believing you will burn in eternally hell because we are in mutually exclusive religious systems.
We may speak civilly to each other but we share no real love because of various degrees and types of judgmentalism. Nice is sham without love.
So how to turn the tide? Drop the charges.

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