The dimensions of life

Published: Monday, January 14, 2013 at 10:04 AM.

“But don’t stop here; it is dangerous to stop here …

“The breadth of life is that dimension of life in which we are concerned about others. An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to broader concerns of all humanity.

“As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people in this world cannot expect to live more than twenty-eight or thirty years, I can never be totally healthy even if I just got a good checkup at the Mayo Clinic. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be … No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are interdependent … When we discover this, we master the second dimension of life.

“Some people never get beyond the first two dimensions of life. They master the first two. They develop their inner powers; they love humanity, but they stop right there … They seek to live life without a sky.

“But if we are to live the complete life we must reach up and discover God. H.G. Wells was right: ‘The man who is not religious begins at nowhere and ends at nothing.’ … In a real sense everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. Plato was right: ‘The visible is a shadow cast by the invisible.’

“Love yourself, if that means rational, healthy and moral self-interest. You are commanded to do that. That is the length of life. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. You are commanded to do that. That is the breadth of life. But never forget that there is a first and even greater commandment, ‘Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy mind.’ This is the height of life.

“And when you do this you live the complete life.”

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