Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.1 John 2:15-16
At a glance, it sounds provoking. Can’t we love this world we live in? How can we love our neighbors and ourselves, even God, without loving the world? Recalling the Garden of Eden, should we consider this world as the place with full of threats?
Since the birth of our consciousness, the world we live in has never been without any sufferings. Ever since, there has been a series of starvation, disease, and violence. Buddha has also said life is suffering primarily because of those birth, death, illness, and aging. And, we have to separate ourselves from someone we love. We have to meet someone we don’t like. We can’t gain what you want. People and things are uncontrollable.
Perhaps one would cry out, “Why did God create the world with full of sufferings?”
If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, then why does He save us in the first place? Is the world not under His control? Was the Garden of Eden under His control? Well, strictly speaking, even in the Garden of Eden, He was not able to stop the free will of Adam and Eve.
Is the world the product of Satan and Devil? Therefore, we should not love the world? Is that what John says in his scriptures?
The answer is yes, and no.
Our consciousness feels like the world is an extreme cliff where we are climbing without any safety ropes. Nobody helps us. We must rely on holding the wall tight and stepping on a few tiny spaces carefully. Once we stop climbing, there is no choice but falling into hell.
At this very moment, however, what if we could notice a beautiful flower in front of us? In the middle of the extreme cliff, this tiny, fragile piece looks innocently calm despite its circumstances. Probably at this moment, we would feel the real beauty of this flower. At this very moment, perhaps, we forget ourselves. We forget the fact that we are climbing on the deadly cliff, don’t we?
Or, what if we look up the sky and see the shining stars that decorate the majesty of the universe? Do you still think the world is the product of Satan and Devil? No, it must be His handy work, indeed.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.Psalm 19:1-5
C. S. Lewis commented on Psalm 19, saying, “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.” I agree. And the Psalmist ends this entry with the following verse.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.Psalm 19:14
At this moment, again, we forget ourselves. We forget the fact that we are climbing on the deadly cliff. Instead, we see the world in the way God sees the world, the universe, and Himself.
At this moment, the world passes away. We no longer love the world our consciousness sees. But we love the world God sees Himself.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.1 John 2:17
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