The problem with formal prayers, liturgies and memorized creeds is that we learn the words so well, yet we lose sight of their meaning. In The Ten Commandments of God and The Lord's Prayer, Abd-ru-shin goes deep into his own spiritual resources to make familiar words come alive again. The result is not a weighty tome that analyzes semantics and cites all the proper sources, but a highly personal, inviting little book that speaks volumes in every one of its 72 pages. The spiritual leader the world knows as Abd-ru-shin was born Oskar Ernst Bernhardt in Bischofswerda, Germany. As a successful businessman, he traveled widely throughout Europe. After the beginning of World War I caught him unawares in London, he spent five years in an internment camp for enemy aliens. There, he found the solitude to read, to pray, to reflect. Transformed by the experience, he returned to Germany and began writing and speaking. In 1938, he once more ran afoul of the powers-that-be; this time in his native land. The Nazis seized his land and property, placing him under house arrest that lasted until his death in 1941. Today, his work continues to bring people face to face with the ineffable. In these essays on the Commandments, Abd-ru-shin broadens and deepens our perceptions of their meaning. In the First Commandment, which forbids idolatry, he quickly reaches beyond the obvious graven image to focus upon the true nature of idolatry:
Thou shalt have no other gods!
Many a man reads far too little into these words!...One has a child who really means more to him than anything, for whom he could make any sacrifice...Another sets earthly pleasure far above everything, and with the best volition would in the end be absolutely incapable of renouncing this pleasure for anything...A third loves money, a fourth power, a fifth a woman, another earthly distinction, and again in all these things they all ultimately love only-- themselves! Insights like this burrow deep into the heart of each Commandment, inviting the reader to experience anew the power and truth of these ancient words. The Ten Commandments of God and The Lord's Prayer makes a beautiful bedside meditation book and a thoughtful gift for anyone seeking to revitalize commandment and creed with dynamic new spiritual life.