The Christian message of love has been misinterpreted. Today, it is defined as Christian charity, according to which the poor people of the world must be sustained at all costs. For example, I found this interpretation on the net: “Christian love is giving to others those things that you would want them to give you if you were in their situation - and it’s doing so even if they can’t pay you back.” Obviously, then, it revolves around money and material assets. The message has developed into an ideology centering on materialism and global welfare, thus turning the spiritual content of the message into its very opposite.
But what does Christian love really mean? Around the first century a new psychic economy of the individual began to surface, a modern way of sustaining the ego and psychological wholeness. A new source for psychological energy (libido) appeared in the earthly realm, symbolized by the Christ. The ancient economy of scapegoatism was challenged by a modern relation, termed ‘agape’, defined as the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity. Prior to this, in pre-Christian cultures, scapegoating was the ruling principle. It became institutionalized in different forms, often involving sacrifice, when “sin” was transferred to the sacrificial victim. Sin is what causes devitalization, loss of ego wholeness and health. To get rid of this malignant metaphysical substance was regarded as wholesome, and it had an immediate therapeutical effect. Among the Maya, an old woman was selected. People whispered their sins to stones, whereupon they threw the stones on the woman until she died. Still today, the principle of sin transference is what underlies mobbing and many forms of victimization.
Following the Christian paradigm shift, the sins of humanity are carried by the Christ (“Jesus gave his life for our sins” - Galatians 1:4)). A modern psychic economy took over that draws on a different energy source (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” - Philippians 4:13)). It is the inner life-flame, the spiritual principle of love, which Paul identifies with the Christ (“Christ liveth in me” - Galatians 2). However, the archaic psychic economy of maintaining “ego wholeness” still persists in the modern world. It obtains in morally inferior individuals, immature individuals, and in ethnic groups that lack a Christian phase in their history, corresponding to the European Middle Ages. Mass-immigration of ethnic groups belonging to the ‘phallic-narcissistic’ cultural sphere, together with the ongoing secularization process, contribute to the resurgence of pre-Christian scapegoatism. A phallic-narcissistic economy implies that the ego territory must ever be expanded, its borders always defended, and personal shortcomings must be blamed on others, by way of transfer of sin.
The Christian message of love refers to a psychic capacity of living in sympathy with the surrounding, drawing on an inner spiritual flame, a sense of wholeness that goes beyond the ego. Therefore the naive and vulgar notion of Christian love as “helping the poor” fails its purpose, as it merely contributes to materialism and welfarism. Helping the poor people of the world is worthwhile when it originates in the heart, but if it derives from an abstract moral principle, then it will in the end have destructive and evil consequences. Has good living circumstances ever helped people to find God? No, it’s the other way round, and that’s why poverty and a frugal lifestyle has always been an ideal in Christianity.
When modern Christians forget about the real meaning of Christian love, the spiritual flame in the soul of the individual will eventually die down, resulting in a regress. Christian love was originally defined as the love of God, a spiritual awareness that keeps the inner flame burning. Thus, an energy source is maintained which makes the individual wholly independent of the narcissistic strategy of ego wholeness and scapegoatism. This, in itself, has a salutary effect on the surrounding, while the individual has lost the impetus of egotism, and instead radiates grace, albeit wholly unconsciously. This is the proper Christian way of “doing good”, namely to avoid being destructive and unknowingly to radiate grace. It must not be replaced with the simplistic and vulgar notion of giving material assets to people in need, thus transforming a living spirit into a dead automatic principle of welfarism. If material charity is not rooted in the heart, then it is false and hypocritical. In that case there is no essential difference between the Christian person and the Socialist or Communist politician.