The Ten Commandments come from The Bible, the text/scripture of religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There are other religions that use the Bible as its sacred scripture and followers live their lives in accordance with the principles found in this sacred text. There are many more, but these are the ones most people will recognize.
God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai to serve as the model for moral and spiritual behavior for the human race. The Ten Commandments of God are the foundation of the moral code and legal system of justice for Western civilization.
We can see the moral fiber of our country erode, as these principles are not followed. Some people see these as constrictive, but they are truly guidelines for peace and harmony.
As I’ve journeyed on my spiritual path, I have been able to see these principles differently and they have taken on new meaning for me. I would like to share that with you. Of course I will not be able to do that with all of the Ten Commandments, but I will pick one that has changed drastically for me over the years.
Thou Shall Not Kill
I became a vegetarian when I was about 16 years old and continued the practice two years later as a Hindu Bramachari, and a follower of The Hare Krishna Movement. Vegetarianism (no meat eating of any kind, no fish, meat, fowl, or eggs) was part of their diet and one of the four regulated principles (no intoxication, no meat eating, no illicit sex and no gambling) that was strictly followed. So back then I always thought Christians and Jews to be hypocrites because they didn’t follow one of their main principles. That was my arrogance and ignorance.
Later in life, as I studied more of the scriptures of my upbringing, I came to realize that most of the spiritual leaders throughout the Old and New Testaments ate meat, fish, or both, and were God Conscious, also bringing others to a place of God Consciousness. So there had to be more to this commandment. And there was; one of which was “do not destroy gratuitously,” meaning not to kill for sport, recreation or your own selfish purposes.
Recently another piece of this commandment fell into place for me. Thou Shall Not Kill also means not intentionally hurting someone mentally or emotionally (which is killing another’s spirit), not talking bad about others, lying about others, or even thinking bad thoughts about others.
That realization enabled me to consider that Commandment in a whole new light, which certainly helped me be more compassionate, helpful, and less judging of others. All of this brings about more peace in my life and I know it can bring more peace into your life as well.
Commandments and laws are meant to help us, guide us, and bring about more peace to all. Keep an open mind and heart.
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