I am not a biblical scholar and have, frankly, never been a fan of the Bible. But I have recently discovered the writings of Aramaic scholar Neil Douglas-Klotz. Writings that have given me new appreciation for the scriptures. To date, my only encounters with the Bible have been the King James version which was written for…well, King James. An English translation completed in 1611, centuries after the first Catholic monks arrived in Ireland.
Douglas-Klotz takes us back to the original language of Jesus and, based on the depth and complexity of meaning in the Aramaic language, offers new interpretations for familiar scriptures. Interpretations that hold profound insights for these times. Interpretations that were likely brought to Ireland by those early monks. Interpretations that would have resonated with ancient Irish spiritual doctrine.
Love your enemies (Luke 6:27,35, King James Version), is a passage many of us are grappling with. But consider this interpretation and explanation by Douglas-Klotz.
From a hidden place,
unite with your enemies from the inside,
fill the inner void that makes them swell outwardly and fall
out of rhythm: instead of progressing, step by step,
they stop and start harshly,
out of time with you.
Bring yourself back into rhythm within.
Find the movement that mates with theirs –
like two lovers creating life from dust.
Do this work in secret, so they don’t know.
This kind of love creates, it doesn’t emote.
And he goes on to say in his textual notes: “In this simple statement, Jesus presents the mystical law of relationships. To get along with other people, find the rhythm that harmonizes with their own and then bring them into harmony. Find within yourself that which fills their inner void and address that in them. The statement does not say anything about being ‘nice’ to an enemy or letting that one walk over you.”
There is a mysticism here that speaks to my soul. There is an approach here that speaks to my warrior. Wisdom, rooted in ancient truth, for these times. For all times.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org
With appreciation for this sculpture, Love, by Ukranian artist Alexander Milov.