The love of our neighbor is the only door out of the dungeon of self. A man may think his consciousness is himself, whereas his life consists in the inbreathing of God, and the consciousness of the universe of truth. To have himself, to know himself, to enjoy himself, he calls life; whereas, if he would forget himself, tenfold would be his life in God and his neighbors. The region of man’s life is a spiritual region. God, his friends, his neighbors, his brothers all, are the wide world in which alone his spirit can find room. ‘Himself’ is his dungeon. If he feels it not now, he will yet feel it one day—feel it as a living soul would feel being prisoned in a dead body and buried in a stone-ribbed vault within the last ripple of the sound of the chanting people in the church above. His life is in loving all forms of life, his health is in the body of which the Son of Man is the head. The whole region of life is open to him; he must live in it or perish.
But he may have begun to love his neighbor, with the hope of ere long loving him as himself, and, notwithstanding, start back affrighted at yet another word of our Lord, seeming to be another law yet harder than the first, although in truth it is not another, for without obedience to it the former cannot be attained. A man has not yet learned to love his neighbor as himself if his heart sinks within him at the words, “I say unto you, Love your enemies.”
by Dale Darling
The dungeon of self is without Light, breath, Life, where one is as a zombie going through the motions, wearing garments and perfume to cover the look and stench of death.
But in the dark, where others of the same condition compare scent and apparel in order to find place in order, higher or lower, there is ignorance of Life for the insistence of self.
'Of the world' is singular love of self. Self-medication, self-approval, self-abasement.
It is self that died with Christ and was buried with Him. The new man rose with Him, and is seated at the right hand of the Father in the Son of Man: the head of the redeemed Life.
While each ensuing law may seem yet harder, we must fear not. Jesus has overcome the world. All things are possible with God. All things work together for good for those fault according to his purpose.
Which is to love thy neighbor, whether friend or foe.