Logion 25: Jesus said: Love your brother as your soul; watch over him like the apple of your eye.
- Brother: The language back then probably needed to be a little sexist for people to be able to hear it. So, could be a few things, I think: Literal siblings or soul siblings. Back in those days when people became Christians they were called brothers and sisters, right…?
- Watch over: keep them as safe as we keep ourselves.
- I read into this some sort of message that keeping each other on track with a loose, guiding hand is part of our task as humans.
Jesus wasn’t Christian and Christianity didn’t exist back when he was teaching. He always thought he was reforming Judaism, his own religious tradition. Yes, however, Judaism of his time was very patriarchal, hence the sexist language.
But notice what he is doing here! He is teaching very nondual thinking to a culture/religion that was mired in dualistic/separative mindsets. He says, “Love your brother as your soul…” What could that mean? Well, he is saying, just like the Ra group, that we are all other-selves. That is, we are facets of the same Self. If I love my sister and brother like my own soul, then I am loving the Self, of which we are all a part. This is the same kind of saying as “love your neighbor as yourself.” We usually interpret that Gospel passage as “love your neighbor ‘as much as’ yourself,” but that is not what Jesus is saying. He is saying, in effect, love your neighbor as the Self since you are already one!
“Watch over him like the apple of your eye,” seems to me that Jesus is laying out our responsibility to care for our brother and sister–our other-self. We care, show compassion, and help her/him bear their burdens. The apple of the eye is our pupil. The eyes have been said to be portals to the soul. The pupil would be the center of this portal.