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Essays by
Stan Tenen
Essay Index
Learning by Copying vs. Learning by Reading 1997
Scientists and Wordsmiths 2003
A Few Notes on Literalism 1994
A Purloined Letter: The Evidence is Not Hidden 1999
Damning By Faint Praise 2003
Man Bites Dog 1996
The Purpose of Prayer 1997
Foundations of Jewish Survival 1997
Determinism vs. Freewill 2003
The Dirac String Trick - First Hand 1997
The Most Assymetrical Spiral 1997
Dini's Surface, Mt. Sinai, & the Human in the Gorilla Suit 1997
Who Wrote the Bible 1994
Squaring the Circle: A Philosophical Solution
2000

The Three Abrahamic Covenants and The Car Passing Trick
1996

Making Peace With Geometry - Index
Spirals as Metaphors:
Some Notes on the Logarithmic and Golden Mean Spirals 1997

Notes on Golden Mean Addendum September 1997

Bible Codes
Index of Collected Articles
Alternatives to Biblical Scholarship 1999
When is the Textual Approach Not Appropriate? 2000
On Immortality 2000
Which Way Up? 2000
The Three Pillars of Love 2001
Eating Our Words: A Purim Drash 2002
HOQ 2002
Shabbos & Resonance 2001
Informal Essay by Stan Tenen: Three Pillars of Love
21 May 2001
©2001 Stan Tenen
A science of consciousness must include a clear understanding of love.  Some suggest that "all you need is love," and that this must be "unconditional love".

Of course love, especially as lovingkindness and compassion, is universally recognized as a vital part of what all mature healthy humans have in common.  But this is not the only quality necessary for healing, or to restore the Whole.

In The Three Abrahamic Covenants and the Car-Passing Trick, and The Foundations of Jewish Survival, I try to make it clear that each of the three phases of the Abrahamic traditions necessarily includes the highest qualities of the other two, while at the same time, each is the primary representative of only one.  So, I associate the conceptual stage with Judaism, and I identify it embryologically with the seed, and functionally with reason and law (Torah), the priestly tradition, and integrity.  The Christian tradition is associated primarily with passion, compassion, "good works," and what the Eastern traditions call "Dharma".  Embryologically, it is identified with the tree that manifests the seed's life-force in the world (the tree as the cross is the symbol of Christianity).  Moslems must submit to Allah, and let go of their ego and worldly attachments.  This is the function of the fruit, which must let go of the tree to provide the fertile ground for the next cycle of life.  The Moslem covenant specializes in community and hospitality.

Put simply, Judaism is known for its Torah of integrity, Christianity is known for its Gospel of love, and Islam is known for its Quran of submission.

Of course, all three phases also include the other two.  Jewish tradition is clear that not only are the law, reason, and integrity essential, but so too are lovingkindness and compassion for all life, as well as yirat Hashem -- awe, and submission to God's Will.

Christianity is clear that not only are Christians expected to be loving and compassionate, but they are also supposed to honor the law (it is said that Jesus came to fulfill the law), and they can be reborn in their faith by entrusting their lives fully to their lord.

Islam is clear that not only are Moslems expected to submit to Allah, but they are also expected to exemplify hospitality, community, and compassion, and they are also supposed to think and act with honor and integrity.
 

THREE ABRAHAMIC COVENANTS – THREE PILLARS OF LOVE

T R U T H F U L N E S S  /  L O V I N G K I N D N E S S  /  H U M I L I T Y

All three pillars are essential teachings in each of the three Abrahamic Covenants

 
JUDAISM
CHRISTIANITY
ISLAM
OUTER TEACHINGS
TORAH
TALMUD
GOSPELS
BIBLE
QURAN
BIBLE
INNER TEACHINGS
KABBALAH
GNOSTICISM
SUFISM
PRIMARY
ASPECT OF LOVE
EMPHASIZED
TRUTH
LAW
INTEGRITY
REASON
GOOD WORKS
LABOR; DHARMA
COMPASSION
EMOTION
SELF-SACRIFICE
SUBMISSION
HOSPITALITY
ACTION
SYMBOLS
LIGHT
Menorah
CROSS
Star
STAR & CRESCENT
Green Flame
EMBRYOLOGY
LIFE CYCLE
ORGAN
SEED
CONCEPTION
HEAD
TREE
GESTATION
HEART
FRUIT
BIRTH
BODY
MANIFESTING
PRINCIPLE
CLEAR
THINKING
HARD
WORK
LETTING
GO

These days, it is politically correct to suppose that all that a person must do to make the world better is to act with unconditional love, and submit to the Will of God.  The problem with this mode is that it is often advocated as enabling a reconciliation among all three of the faiths that derive from Abraham, when in fact it only represents two, and thus excludes one.

"Unconditional love" is, as the logicians say, a self-contradiction.  For here we find the adjective "unconditional" as the condition required for this sort of love.  "Unconditional love" is not the higher love referred to in all of our traditions, but rather a self-defined perspective that politely overlooks, and then excludes, reason and integrity.  Its invocation is naturally (and often unconsciously) anti-Jewish, because it implies that reason and integrity, the basis of the law, are not necessary, and because historically, it implies that the Holocaust was the fault of Jews and others for not acting with unconditional love towards nazis.  "Unconditional love" is the limited condition of love that mistakenly forgives the crime while the crime is ongoing.  Thus it is the opposite of love, because it unconditionally encourages continued unloving behavior.

The higher love, the love advocated in all three of the Abrahamic phases, the love that can be a unifying force, includes not only unlimited compassion and submission, but it also includes reason, integrity, and context.  Neither the tradition of Moses, nor the tradition of Jesus, nor the tradition of Mohammed, ever endorsed unconditional love for an adversary while they were engaged in attack.  All require a higher standard of love that takes into account not only compassion for both the victim and the victimizer, not only submission to Allah and/or yirat ("awe of") Hashem, and/or giving one's life over to Jesus, but also consideration for the future, for both the victim and the victimizer, and for the rest of society.

Compassion and submission without integrity can easily lead to unintended perversion or unbridled lust.  Integrity without compassion and without submission to God's Will can easily lead to cruelty.  Thus, each of the specialties of each of the organs in the Abrahamic body politic must be fully engaged by all three.

While "unconditional love" is not unconditional, love as a condition can be.  After all, one of God's Names is Emet -- Truth.  Thus, love of truth is a true form of love.

In all faiths, a saint or tzaddik is known by their lovingkindness.  In the Talmud, a tzaddik is said to have the quality of integrity, exemplified by the phrase toku k'varo ("their insides are like their outsides").  The love of the tzaddik is the identity of Beauty and Truth.

Contents of this page are ©2001 Stan Tenen, and licensed to Meru Foundation, POB 503, Sharon, MA 02067 USA.
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