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May 28, 2023

Daily Wisdom Post: Love the Stranger as Your Self

First we need to claim our body as part of our core identity.  “Through my body I vision God,” a verse from the biblical book of Job, is one of the most important mantras of the Kabbalists.  Nineteenth-century master Elimelech of Lishensk teaches that only by trusting our body can we decipher the word of God.

The second step in the redemption of Shechina would be to reclaim all of my psyche.  This includes the furthest reaches of consciousness, including the unconscious.  You must embrace all of your light as well as all of your darkness.  Any part of me that I split off and reject is in exile.  By placing it on the outside, I am emptying my self.  The more I place on the outside, the more empty I become.  Using the Shechina language of our quest, I de-eroticize my self.  My life becomes boring, vapid, and empty.  The more of my psyche I include on the inside, the more erotic I become, and the “holier” I become.  To be holy = to be erotic = to be on the inside.

Biblical myth expresses the same idea in the language of love.  There are three love mantras in biblical myth:  Love God; Love yourself; Love the stranger.  Deeply understood, all three are of course the same thing.  To love yourself is to love all of you–the God in you and the stranger in you.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 315

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at

About Marc Gafni

Marc Gafni is a visionary scholar, philosopher, and wisdom teacher. He is teacher-in-residence and co-initiator of the Center for Integral Wisdom. He is the leading theorist and teacher of Unique Self enlightenment, an emergent post-postmodern wisdom lineage which builds on his national bestseller Soul Prints, winner of the Nautilus Award for Best Spirituality Book, as well as the highly acclaimed Your Unique Self (2012) and Radical Kabbalah (2012), which is based on his doctoral dissertation at Oxford University.

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