The Greatest Commandment Edit
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, and expert in the law, tested him with a question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
As our understanding of reality expands and deepens, so too, naturally and inevitably, will our understanding of the meaning and significance of many of the core insights of our tradition, such as what it means to love God with everything we've got and to love our neighbor as our self.
A God who is merely outside nature (i.e., transcendent only) is impotent and inconsequential compared with a God who is both transcendent and immanent, both infinitely more than, and truly revealed in, matter itself.
Any God who can be believed in or disbelieved is a profoundly trivialized understanding of divinity. "God" as I'm using the term is what every human being and every creature on this or any other planet experiences every moment of their life and at the moment of their death as well.
Do you believe in Reality or do you not believe in Reality? This question, of course, is pure nonsense. No matter what you believe, and no matter what your attempts to shape it according to your will, ultimately there's no escaping Reality. In every moment we are confronted by it. If we open our hearts and trust Reality (have faith in God), we can find comfort, healing, and salvation from sin, addiction, and self-absorption. But if we close our hearts in fear, or try to run from Reality, or persist in our self-centered ways, we will pay the price. Whether we are transformed by Reality or crushed by Reality is our choice.
You may think your mind or your ego is in charge, but make no mistake about it, Reality is Lord! (No matter what you believe.) And if the gospel of Jesus Christ is eternally true, as Christians proclaim (i.e., true for all people everywhere at all times), then Reality accepts us just as we are and receives us with open arms when, like the Prodigal Son, we wake up, humble ourselves, and come home.
Loving God (the Wholeness of Reality) with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourself (i.e., extending our sense of "self" to include our human and nonhuman neighbor) is the one true path into a just, healthy, beautiful, and sustainably lifegiving future.
Who is our neighbor: the Samaritan? the outcast? the enemy? Yes, yes, of course. But it is also the whale, the dolphin and the rainforest. Our neighbor is the entire body of life, the entire Universe. We are to love it all as our self because, in fact, it is our Self. Creation as a whole is the primary subject. We are Creation becoming aware of itself and the divine Mystery in which it exists.
"Let's Stop Trivializing God, the Universe, and Our Role in Evolution!" - foundational essay