Saturday, January 11, 2014

Met. Georges Khodr: God is Motion

Arabic original here.

God is Motion

I am always struck by the words of the Nazarene, "Love your neighbor as yourself." He never once said, "Strive for your neighbor to love you." Love is an act of going to the other, not of attracting an emotion. Christ never once said, "Seek to be loved." You come into being by abandoning yourself. This is the mystery of humanity, that one of us subsists in himself or for himself. You exist in and with others. Human existence is communion: Your Lord knows you if you love. You exist if you forget yourself in your act of going to the other.

Individualism is true if you mean by it the independence of each one of us from the tyranny of the group, but individualism is not withdrawal or isolation. Personhood is contemporary philosophy does not mean isolation or inward withdrawal. It is the confirmation of the self in love because the self exists in communion.

There is no contradiction between sound individualism and existing in society, because a good society does not eliminate the rational and loving self. Indeed, it can only exist in it. The group is not a herd because the herd has no love in it.

"Love your neighbor as yourself" because he is your equal, because the two of you are one before the Lord. The one whom you love is not necessarily your friend. You love because you come into existence through love insofar as it is going out from the "I" into the "we". Truth is in the "we". Egoism is exclusionary, but love is confirmed and confirms the other at the same time. It is not possible for you to love the other unless you subsist within yourself (and I did not say "subsist in yourself"). For you to subsist within yourself also means that you subsist in the other. You cannot be in yourself if you are not one with the Lord. If the Lord is not within you, you are deadly for yourself, you eat yourself.

Love is not in rejecting the self. It is in rejecting the closed-off ego. If you go out to the other by casting egoism out of yourself, you return to yourself free. The one who loves does not hate himself. He hates to monopolize himself. Loving yourself, insofar as your self is from God, is loving God. It is gaining God for yourself, since if you do not make God your own, how can He be? If you do not understand that He is motion, He will not reach you. He is fixed in His motion.

God is a movement of love. We have only known Him in His supporting His people and no one knows Him unless the Lord Himself moves towards him. God is constantly in a state of coming down. This is the true meaning of inspiration. God is revelation. Yes, the Lord is fixed. This fixedness is His love.

Love is movement. It is you believing that the other is fundamental for you, even for your breathing. If you move toward the face of the other, you find the face of God. In your isolated tower, you have no god. It is your suicide. You do not face God by Himself. You find in Him others, because God is in the group, in love. There is nothing that will be revealed to you if you do not go out of yourself to it and to others.  You have no existence with your Lord if you are not with others. He is on their faces-- it is there that you read Him.

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