In the Biblical New Testament you can find reference to what is called "The Greatest Commandment". This comprises the following two commandments: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." and "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." I shall leave the first part for another time and shall instead focus on the latter half of this greatest of all commandments.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." is often shortened to the common "Love thy neighbour" or "Love your neighbour". But what does that actually mean?
I shall consider four distinct types of love, and while arguable there are more, these should suffice for the message I wish to give you all today.
I shall use the Greek rather than the English or we may both get very confused about which love is the "love" I am talking about!
There is "Eros" love for lovers.
There is 'Storge' love for trusted companions.
There is "Philia" love for friends.
There is "Agape" love as unconditional.
We can go into more detail on the exact accuracy of these different meanings but for now let us continue.
To draw the distinction between "Storge", "Agape" and "Philia" consider this: in a "Storge" situation, such as being with your spouse you would likely say "I love you" often. By contrast in a "Philia" situation, such as here within the Temple you might say also "I love you" but you would not give it the same connotations and meaning as you would with your spouse. With "Agape" love you would love someone because each person was deserving of love as a basic characteristic of their nature.
In English you can sometimes find people talk about "love" and "Love", the difference? One is a verb, "to love" someone i.e your spouse, and the other is a noun "Love" as an eternal unprejudice 'thing' which exists in the universe. Storge is "love", while Agape and Philia are different types of the same "Love". One part unconditional and the other part virtuous - of course in many spousal relationships you will have several different kinds acting together, but now that you understand the difference I am trying to express I will use those new terms instead.
Why would love be difficult for all of our neighbours? Well I think that is because having that level of affection with someone is a difficult thing to achieve -at least for myself. How am I going to replicate that to every person and thing on the planet?! That is why I just think loving your neighbour as you would love your spouse is entirely impractical.
I have heard criticisms of the Abrahamic religions that their God is too perfect, God is such the utmost point of perfection that one can have a hard time explaining the reason for evil and have an even harder time trying to live up to the expectations of a perfect God.
But now what does this mean for Jediism? What does this mean for our doctine? Should we not strive for the perfection as described in God (whether you believe in such a deity or not)? Isn't that what the doctrine of our Loved Temple means? No. I like to think that we are more practical than perfection.
Some, or more commonly few, can strive for perfection and they may well be successful, but at least for myself I like to teach that Jediism can appeal just as well to the many as to the few. We are all imperfect, but it is our strive for betterment that shall truly define is. Jediism for the many is not just for those that wish to join but for those we wish to help and what is more numerous than Love?
If there were one word I might use to describe The Force then it would be that one: "Love":
Love from virture for the virtuous and unvirtuous alike; Love as a friend to all those connected through The Force.
Is this not Love: "Jedi Believe: In the Force, and in the inherent worth of all life within it."?
Is this not Love: "Jedi Believe: In the sanctity of the human person."?
Is this not Love: "Jedi Believe: In a society governed by laws grounded in reason and compassion, not in fear or prejudice."?
Is this not Love: "Jedi Believe: In a society that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or circumstances of birth such as gender, ethnicity and national origin."?
What can Love teach us?
To be better Jedi.
To be better Humans.
I am a Jedi and I shall never seek so much to be Loved as to Love.