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Sunday, July 21, 2013

You Must Not Be Yourself!

As may have been gathered, I have been extremely interested in the perspective of 'Salvation' through discovery of the Self. What is the Self? Where do we attain Self from? Does someone or something lead us to the Self?  Was Plato correct in his assumptions that all things, including the Self, have an image within which they are created? There are many more questions that could be attributed to this subject.

What I have found most fascinating within my the search for my Self, is the fear of the Self by the masses. There is fear that lies in asking about the Self, seeking the Self. From our beginnings we have been conditioned to fear the Self.

Growing up I spent many moments sitting in the pews of church's, concert halls and gymnasiums listening to an array of pastors, evangelists and other such spiritual leaders. While the events differed and the themes changed, one thing always remained, the underlying message, You Must Not Be Yourself.

That's right. Who you are is evil, wicked, and unholy. You are not fit for the presence of God. You are selfish and were so from the moment you were born. In essence you were evil the moment you were created.

As one could imagine, a steady diet of this can be quite harmful and debilitating, even to the most confident of us.

Allow me to share a portrait that Doug Frank, author of 'A Gentler God', paints of the evangelical God,
"Our heavenly Father scrutinizes us obsessively. He is never happy with what he finds. He wants us to focus on becoming what he has decided we ought to be-his"will"or "plan" for us- rather than who we are. We get the feeling that he doesn't much like or trust us as we really are. His revulsion against sin increases that feeling, particularly since he has told us it is in our very nature to sin."(1) 
How does this make sense? If we were created in God's image then how could we be born selfish? How could we be born evil? How can it be in our very nature to sin? And if we are created in God's image then does that not make God as sinful as you and I? 

You Must Not Be Yourself!

'You must deny yourself' we are constantly reminded and while I agree to a certain extent, I believe there is a failure to look deeper into the matter. To look past the long held perspective of the self being evil; that we must crush it, deny it and crucify it. Yes, let us indeed separate the selfish motives that cause us to betray our selves, from ourSelves. However, one must be cautious not throw the baby out with the bath water! A cart can not lead a horse. 

So why all this fear of the Self? Why do Christians fear the Self? Why does society fear the Self? Why do I fear the Self?

(1)A Gentler God:Breaking Free of the Almighty in the presence of the human Jesus-Doug Frank(pg 161) Albatross Books


Kmarie said...

I love you so much. You know that the self is made in the image of God and very valued FOR its many expressions and individuality. It is true that we can not love our neighbour well as ourself if we do not love ourself in a gentle and godly way:) We have already talked about this so I dont have much to say I suppose but wanted you to know you are heard:)
I love your thoughts and also the new thinkers part of your blog.

My Little Warriors said...

Very interesting thoughts... for sure!
I will come back in the winter time when my brain starts working again and I have the hours to contemplate these things...