You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)
It is said that when Cain killed Abel, Cain lost his humanity in that instant, for his heart hardened, which is the center of one's humanity. The human being is said to be the image and likeness or God. Therefore, to kill another human being is to destroy an image and likeness of God, and thus to cut oneself off from divine being. If our divinity lies in our humanity, then to diminish or lose our humanity is to sever our connection to the divine and to violate the purpose and meaning of life. On the surface, the commandment not to murder is an obvious truth.
When fear is allowed to become anger and anger in turn becomes hatred, murder and great evil are conceived. Allowing this process to unfold in our mind and heart can easily lead to the circumstances which would be conducive to murder, whether in the heat of passion or by way of premeditation. The truth is that anger and hatred arc poisonous to our soul and unhealthy to our bodies, and, if allowed to continue over time, entertaining them murders our own humanity.
Yeshua teaches that any negativity we inwardly conceive has already affc ted our minds, hearts, lives, and even our souls. Likewise, according to more mystical and metaphysical teachings, negative thoughts may actually cause harm to others. At the point that negativity becomes speech or action, we can become a vehicle for darkness and evil in the world rather than light-bearers.
We spoke previously of the Gnostic view that we link with spiritual forces through our thoughts, emotions, imagination, words, and deeds, and that human beings are the primary agents of spiritual forces influencing and entering into the material world. As anyor.i can surely agree, human beings are certainly the vehicles of the greatest potential of good or evil that transpires in the world. This commandment reminds us of this truth and encourages us to be conscious of the spiritual forces we embody and bring into play in this world.
While on the surface this commandment is speaking of the physical act of murder, there are many ways we can bring down and destroy a person, or serve to undermine the humanity of ourselves and others. Many people with some metaphysical awareness speak of experiences of "psychic attack." While actual psychic assaults are possible through a peiversion of mystical and magical knowledge, in truth, all-out magical attacks are relatively rare. Yet, every time we harbor negative thoughts and t . :ions towards someone, we are committing a psychic assault. Likewise, malicious gossip and negative speech, whether true or untrue is also a form of psychic assault. In a certain sense, we do murder people by holding ill will against them and, without a doubt, we do harm to ourselves. Recognizing this, Gnostic initiates seek to dispel all forms of inner violence and to cultivate an inner peace and joy as the foundation of their lives.
Although this commandment relates directly to the killing of a human being, by extension it re! :es to the taking of life in any form without need or cause and thus extends to our relationship with other creatures and our environment—being aware of the beauty of life and valuing all life. Essentially, it reflects an awareness of all life as divine and calls us to honor the One life-power in all forms of its expression.
The simple and affirmative way of expressing this commandment is: Honor all life and celebrate the divine life.
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