Thursday 12. December 2019

The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

(There is no commandment greater than these!)

From the 30.09 till 05.10.2016 I've visited a Krzystof Kieslowski retrospective in Vienna, Austria. His longtime co-author Krzysztof Piesiewicz was present. The new digital prints of Kieslowskis oeuvre are stunning. But the presence of Krzystof Piesiewicz was the actual special treat during the festival. It's pretty obvious to me now, after hearing him talk and watching interviews with Kieslowski, how similar their wavelength was. It was like hearing the characters from the Decalogue talk through one person. 

For me the event peaked in significance when Krzystof Piesiewicz said the following: "One of the most important commandants is: You should love your neighbor as yourself. [long Pause]  ...but not more than that. 

...and often times that's what we're doing. Especially when we lack some sort of affection in our lives. If we fall into that trap, giving more than what we have, we get angry. Rightfully so. Because we're robbing ourselves emotionally and often financially while asking for things that have no price like affection, attention or respect.
The other side of the token is when we love our 'neighbor' less than ourselves. We lack in that case compassion, justify violence, rationalize greed and even murder. 

So where does empathy start? In acceptance to ones values and boundaries, I find. Such a simple advice, that can cause huge impact on our lives. Each loving or hostile thought, word and action can trigger a wave. A complex pattern of cause and effect. Way beyond our comprehension." 

Another huge influence to Krzystof Piesiewicz, he referred to it as "one of the most sublime poetry written in mankind history" is the passage from the book of the Corinthians. Kieslowski and himself used this passage as a core theme in the film "Three Colors: Blue"

Obviously I had to look that passage up and had to read and listen to it again. And again. And again. Indeed, there is no other text that sums it all up in such a profound way:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be restrained; where there is knowledge, it will be dismissed. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial passes away. 

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love."

What a great collaboration between two soul-mades. 

Photo Krzystof Piesiewicz:
Photo Krzystof Piesiewicz & Krzystof Kieślowski:  
Movie Poster "Short Film about Love": Andrzej Pagowski
Festival Homepage:
Three Colors Blue: End scene