An Integral Interpretation of the Ten Commandments (Precepts)

As a spiritual exercise I attempted to translate the Ten Commandments using an integral approach whereby I analyzed Biblical (religious/historical), Talmudic (moral/philosophical), and Kabbalistic (mystical/metaphysical) sources of the texts related to the commandments and then attempted to integrate them. In addition, I analyzed the original Hebrew, which has no tense, from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person tense/perspectives; and I also explored the multiple translations of each Hebrew word, since in Hebrew most words have multiple meanings. This word/meaning/tense analysis included exploring the multidimensional meanings of the text using Kabbalistic letter/number calculus.

I started this process by delving into the multidimensional meaning of the Hebrew word for commandment, mitzvah, which can be translated as: commandment; precept; duty; or blessing. The word mitzvah simultaneously recognizes both a sanctified action and the blessing that arises from that action; so when one performs a mitzvah, one receives the blessing that arises from it. But this goes even further; from the mystical perspective, every mitzvah raises up one of the sparks of Divine Light that has been separated from its Source and hidden within the fragments that make up the world of form; so that every mitzvah “repairs” the world and brings it closer to its return to the Divine Source. In Hebrew this process is called Tikkun Olam or “repairing the world.” The concept of mitzvah is also very close to the Buddhist concept of Dharma; in that these Holy actions not only bring blessings to the individual and the collective, but also on a deep level, they represent the natural and most true path of the individual whose true Self is considered one with its Divine Source.

With this multidimensional concept in mind, I went through each commandment using the above method of interpretation, and combined the process with deep meditation and contemplation. This is what I came up with…

The Ten Precepts:
  1. Let me strive to recognize and honor the Unity within and beyond the diversity
  2. Let me strive to recognize and honor that which is beyond form
  3. Let me strive to recognize and honor that which cannot be named
  4. Let me strive to take time for both doingness and beingness
  5. Let me strive to honor the sacredness of all beings
  6. Let me strive to honor the sacredness of all of life
  7. Let me strive to honor my commitments to others
  8. Let me strive to recognize and honor the boundaries of others
  9. Let me strive to know and speak the truth within me
  10. Let me strive to release all attachment and aversion.

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