Under the Law, you are a creation of God, a soul alive and incarnated as a flesh and blood man, born free of any duty to any other man or corporation, with free will and absolute responsibility for his actions before God. In law, these commandments are expressed as:
Your duty to God, which comes first – the ‘great commandment’
Your duty to humanity, which follows
Your duty to your family  is part of your duty to humanity. Where your duty to humanity and your duty to your family clash, your duty to humanity prevails. In a global culture, those far away can be affected by our actions so your ‘neighbour’ could be working in a sweatshop in Asia, especially if he has made the cheap jeans you are wearing. Your duty to humanity does not take precedence over your duty to God.
Spiritually, you are on a soul journey in which your duty is to be like God: to be as loving, wise and compassionate as God. Of those three higher qualities, the only one we can hope to emulate in this world is Love. We cannot have God’s wisdom or compassion but we can love like God: unconditionally.
The Law reflects this. It does not impose a duty on you to be wise or compassionate – those are goals on the journey. It does though impose a duty we are all capable of: Love, which includes a love of Justice and Truth, the bedrock on which Justice is founded.
The Second Commandment
If you are observing the sovereign law laid down in Scripture: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’, that is excellent. […] For if a man keeps the whole law apart from one single point, he is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10-11, New English Bible
Although the above passage refers to ‘Love your neighbour…’as the sovereign law, it is clear from context and reason that this refers to the Old Covenant with Moses . The great commandment to ‘Love God’ comes above the normal commandment of ‘Love your neighbour…’ precisely because it is referred to as ‘great’ in the Bible itself.
In other areas, the Bible, the Oath and insurance contracts make it clear that God is a higher authority than man so it is axiomatic that your duty to God comes above your duty to humanity. Additionally, the duty to God includes a duty to humanity as man is a creation of God. In any case, if you live in love, you will love all aspects of God’s creation because love is unconditional and not selective.
As the biblical Christ makes clear in the Sermon on the Mount the commandment of ‘Love your neighbour…’ is not an excuse to hate your enemy. The second commandment is often not quoted in full. The ‘…as you love yourself’ is often left understood. Yet, it is imperative that you learn to love yourself before you can effectively serve God and humanity. If more activists and religious people looked into their own hearts rather than constantly seeking to blame others – usually as a result of their own ideological bigotry — then we could solve the world’s problems overnight.
This commandment also provides an apparent get out clause for those inclined to try and cheat God and karma, when you hate yourself as you hate your neighbour. In other words, you might beat or torture aman and claim in defence that you would expect the same, if you were his prisoner. However, the validity of this interpretation is easily refuted. The second commandment as it is rendered in the Bookof John more clearly expresses the Law of Love:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34
It is simply a duty to love each other. ‘Hate your neighbour as you hate yourself’ as a philosophy is also repudiated by the great commandment’s exhortation to ‘Love God’, which by reason also applies to that which he has created: each individual man.
These perverted and self-serving interpretations of the Bible will in any case be more quickly dismissed under the New Covenant, as God the Son will be there to correctly interpret the will of God the Father. The motivation for misinterpreting God’s Law is usually to avoid taking responsibility for our actions. To be absolutely clear, you are responsible for your actions and words . In its simplest form, divine justice or Karma means: ‘What you put out, you get back’.
Love and you add to the sum total of love in the world. Hate and you add to the sum total of hatred in the world. It is that simple.
Fortunately, the karma doesn’t kick in straight away. The universe gives you a period of grace to consider what you have done. The good news is that the love you bring to the universe is never destroyed but you can destroy the hatred you’ve created by learning the lesson of heartfelt contrition. Once you’ve understood you have done wrong, the karmic slate is wiped clean, your sins – self interest at the expense of the rights of others – can be forgiven in law (but as the Bible makes clear, only by Christ and a process of contrition).
If you don’t learn the lesson, the universe will beat you with a big stick until you do. The universe does not therefore punish you for being a torturer. It punishes you for failing to realise: that torture is wrong. And the chances are – under the philosophy of ‘Do as you would be done by’ – you will be tortured until you learn the lesson.
Remember: the aim of the spiritual journey is to be like God – loving, kind, wise and compassionate from which come Unity, Love, Truth, Justice, Freedom and Peace.
If you do not believe in God (or indeed, love) then you have an even greater duty to Truth and Justice and are still bound by the Golden Rule: ‘Do as you would be done by’, the second commandment in its alternative biblical form.