Hebrew Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13: What Is Love?                                                

1 Corinthians 13 THV Version

:1- If I speak with the languages of mankind and of heavenly messengers but don’t have Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, I have become (am existing as) the loud noise of a brass cymbal[1].        

:2- If I possess the ability to speak with divine inspiration, declaring the purposes of The Divine and foretelling of future events and perceiving heavenly mysteries and all moral wisdom; even if I have all conviction of truth and complete certainty of the unseen, confident with hope so that I could remove and overcome the uprising of spiritual warfare from my path[2] and, yet, do not have Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, I’ve reduced myself to nothing[3].                                                

:3- If I give my possessions in order to feed the poor, and even if I give my body to be burned (the ultimate sacrifice), but do not have Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, I still have no advantage[4].

:4- Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, is long-spirited, slow to anger, mild and slow in avenging, patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others; it suffers long, and is kind, mild- desiring to do good to others. Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, is not jealous or covetous. Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, does not brag or feel the need to express self-praise. Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, is not egotistical (driven by Ego)- inflated or puffed up.

:5- Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, does not behave inappropriately and is not self-seeking. Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, is not easily annoyed, provoked, or irritated. Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, does not entertain depraved, injurious, worthless thoughts.

:6- Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, does not delight in injustice but delights[5] in the truth[6]- sincerity of mind and integrity of character; a mode of life in harmony with divine truth.

:7- Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, bears everything by covering and protecting (what it adores) to keep off threats. It bears up and holds out against, and so endures; forebears. Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, believes, is persuaded of and is confident in the Goodness within all things and people. Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, confidently hopes and expects the best in all things. Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, endures. It remains, even under misfortunes and trials. It does not recede or flee. It perseveres absolutely and emphatically with strength and endurance of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage and patience.

:8- Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity, never, not even at any time, falls powerless (without effect): but if there be divine inspiration, the declaring of the purposes of The Divine, and foretelling of future events, they shall be brought to an end. If there are languages they shall cease. If there is deep knowledge and advanced understanding it shall vanish away.

:9- For we know, understand, and perceive (things of the divine and otherwise) imperfectly and, so, we prophesy (teach, refute, reprove, admonish, comfort) imperfectly.

:10- But at the time when that which is complete, mature and full becomes known, then that which is imperfect, incomplete, immature and partial will be inactive and inoperable.

:11- When I was simple-minded, unskilled, untaught, and unaware, I used words in order to declare my mind and disclose my thoughts in the way a simple-minded person would. The way I exercised my mind, my mental disposition- the way I felt, thought and my opinions were that of a simple-minded person. But when I became mature with spiritual intelligence and virtue, my simple-minded ways of understanding were brought to an end.                

:12- For now we mentally discern, observe, perceive, discover and understand as looking into a steel mirror[7] at an enigma, a proverb, a mystery, a riddle, an obscure thing, but then, when the true reality and ultimate conclusion comes to us, we will discern it perfectly as if it is face to face. Up until now and presently I know, understand and perceive incompletely; but then, when the obviousness of Unity comes, I will become thoroughly acquainted with It, knowing thoroughly and accurately just as much as I am thoroughly and accurately known[8]- like staring at my own self.

:13- Moreover, besides all this,  at this very moment, these three exist: faith (strong conviction of truth, unwavering trust)[9], hope (joyful and confident expectation), and Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity. The greatest, largest, strongest, and eldest of these is Love- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity.

                                                 

Commentary

The King James Version translates the Greek word “agape” as “Charity”, which is typically understood be a connotation of “love” but based on the context this chapter shares with with Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians, on the unity/oneness of the body, I believe Chapter 13 is clearly saying “love” is an understanding of unity and interconnectedness. That understanding of “love”, in this sense, is beyond logic and is rooted in a supernatural experience and appreciation that each person has a unique place in the one expression of existence, which we call Life. This naturally leads to “love”- goodwill and affection due to full awareness of Sacred Unity, the interdependent one-in-the-Same-ness- Unity in Diversity.

In Chapter 12, the author discusses the “body” as a unit that is diverse in its parts and each part has its perfect function or place as part of the “body”. To fully know this experience brings about the inner reflection of the “body” as a Self in which your own self and every other self has a perfect place. Knowing that you are a valuable part in the Whole, The One True, “I Am” is true “maturity”. That is what the author is alluding to in Chapter 12:12 when he says, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” This is the “complete” understanding. This is the “perfection”(discussed in verse 10 and further explained in 11-12 of Chapter 13) - coherence versus the scattered and divided nonsense of immaturity, imperfect knowledge; simple-minded, unskilled, and unaware perception.

Quantum science is now helping us return to what enlightened souls of the ancient past have been aware of for ages: that we live in an energy-based universe and, therefore, everything is connected. Spiritual traditions like that contained within the Bible reveal a heightened connection and awareness within groups of people who center around faith, hope, and Love; Love being the Ultimate Reality. The illusion of separation and difference is strong. The Newtonian science of the last 300 years was birthed out of that illusion and so has reinforced our immature way of perceiving Life and ourselves as separate, rather than a Sacred Unit.

See “Born Again” John 3:3-10

Insight

Love trusts in Unity, the Great I Am, and therefore releases everything, has no egoic attachment to anything, anyone, and holds no expectations but for the natural unfolding of what is (being created).


[1] Language is meant to communicate with purpose. It is to be sensible, recognizable, effective, and efficient. The comparison here of language to the sound of a loud clanging of a cymbal is to reduce the beauty of language to that of redundant or meaningless noise.

[2] To see the adversity ahead, which may appear to be an impassable mountain, but because of the strength of one’s faith it becomes nonexistent or of having little effect.

[3] One’s existence has become something akin to worthlessness or is lacking the very purpose for which it is intended.

[4] Any heavenly benefit that may be awarded for such selflessness is lost because without love, what is one’s true motivation for such actions? If one’s motivation is not actually encouraged by true love than it is a selfish act for which there can be no true spiritual advantage or benefit. All of the actions and described gifts must flow from a place of genuine, selfless, love to truly be valuable and authentic.

[5] Greek, sygchairo, indicates this delight or rejoicing is within the context of a group; to take part in another’s joy; sympathize in gladness; rejoice together

[6] "truth as a personal excellence; that candor of mind which is free from affectation, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit" (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G225&t=KJV)

[7] he mirrors of the ancients were made, not of glass, but steel (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G2072&t=KJV

Love itself does not change. Only people do. Love does not fail. Only people do. Love is perfect. Only people are not. We are trying to “fall in (to) love”- immersed in its’ depths, breadth and height. We hope to become one with It one day at a time, experiencing more of it as we mature; spiritual growth.

[8] We can only know the truth of love and it what it requires of us as much as the reality of who we are, including our shortcomings, is divinely known and supported. Are we willing to take a divine look at ourselves?

[9] The Amplified Version reads “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”