Story 2a - In the Brilliance of a Night
Steve suggested that during the ensuing interval between the first introduction of the Decalogue, and the time when the book of the cruel law was written, the gentle law of the Decalogue had become politicized for the purpose of maintaining a hierarchical power structure. He said that this hierarchical power structure has no basis to exist without the authoritative notion that legitimizes the ownership of people as property. "The last commandment, therefore, becomes tremendously important when it is scientifically understood."
Then Steve stopped and turned to me. "Can you think of a better way for maintaining a hierarchy of power than to attribute the authorship of it to God, including all the distortions that you want to promote for this purpose?"
"No, I can't, Steve. But if Moses' moral law was abused and distorted by shallow perceptions, its underlying principles continue to exist regardless of the distortions, so that these principles cannot forever be concealed."
I told Steve that Erica was telling me that God's standard is love. One cannot escape that. One cannot change a fundamental reality. I told him that Erica is researching the dimensions of love.
Steve nodded. Then he began to smile. "Here comes another surprise for you," he said, and took the old German Bible back from me. "Pay attention to the sequencing of the last five commandments," he said. "In their original sequence these commandments are arranged in order of difficulty and in the order of their severity in consequences." Steve read them in the original sequence. The commandments counsel us not to kill, not to break what is honorable, not to steal, not to lie, and not to covet property. He said that I should pay attention to the active principles involved.
"Not to kill one another is a basic element of civilization," said Steve, placing the old Bible back onto the table next to his reading lamp as if he didn't need it anymore. "The principle that is involved in the directive not to kill, is to respect life.
That is an active principle. Most people understand this principle. They
undersatnd that it is a basic element of civilization that one respects one another's right to live." He said that we were fast moving away from this understanding in the political arena, but he also said that most people today still understood this principle. "It is generally recognized to be fundamental to civilization," said Steve. "Not many people have difficulties with this. It is also by far the easiest requirement of the Decalogue to understand. For this reason, I am convinced, the royals' depopulation drive will ultimately fail," added Steve.
Steve said, that the next requirement is a little more difficult, but is still one of the easy one's to understand. It is the requirement not to break what is honorable. "Most people have no difficulty in honoring the bonds of love that bind people to one another. They even celebrate these bonds with ceremonies in spite of the fact that the concept has become corrupted. In the natural setting, this requirement extends to all bonds of love. That's more difficult to understand. Still, people who scientifically understand the natural setting have no problem with this either. So you see, the original marriage principle is not really that difficult to comprehend. As a matter of fact, it is one of the easier ones. Its outcome is beautiful and enriching and provides great freedom."
Steve paused and said that the next commandment of the Decalogue is a much tougher one to comprehend and to implement. "Not to steal from one another, is a tough assignment if it is to be more that just a passive requirement." Steve repeated that the Decalogue should not be regarded as a collection of passive requirements. He explained that this change in focus changes everything. It makes the passive, active, in such a way that the directive not to steal is really the requirement to develop a deeply seated commitment to enrich one another's existence. "The principle of enriching one another's existence is an active principle, and it is unrelenting," said Steve, "even to the extent that all human needs are thereby met." Steve said that a lot of people have great difficulty with that. They can't get themselves to do that.