People who make a thing of ‘accepting others’ can be the opposite in the one thing that matters: the acceptance of their real self. They devote themselves to – unconsciously it seems - serial rationalisations that justify the status of their ‘self’ as it has always been. This has been called the maintenance of the false self.
Political conservativism is about keeping things the same – for the benefit of vested interests. Conservative governments can fiddle with the tax system because it allows them to appear to being ‘doing something’ while doing nothing about the structural inequalities that limit the growth of the entire society. The parallel in the religious sphere is making a thing out of spiritual gifts while remaining firmly affixed to the law and the old covenant.
ROOTED IN THE TRINITY
If we are apt to speak of the new wineskin and we are living law and old covenant we have not embraced the new wineskin and are on fact over 2000 years behind what God has given us. The kingdom of God grows from the cross and the new covenant – never from spiritual gifts and good works. The vine is Jesus who unites us with God. The branches are the effect of our joining to the trinity.
Jesus talks about being ‘born again.’ This is our emergence from our Adamic self to our Christ our life self. Or as some would call it, the beginning of the real self’s liberation from the false self. Not only can we not see the Kingdom of God in the first half our life. We cannot see our Real Self. Our hearts can see it however. The heart knows it and is always on the alert for an opportunity to discard the carapace and adopt what has always been ours: The spirit of sonship that is us in our true glory. Cynthia Bourgeault observes,
“[We] noticed that our moments of high striving were somehow less authentic than the messy but always surprising emergences of some unknown new person, who stepped forth, not in the subduing of his or my essential nature, but in the creative tension of a love that cut off all escape routes. What we gave each other was joy and confidence, the seeing and being seen that allowed us to face not only the dark parts of ourselves that needed healing, but those light parts that needed birthing.”(1)
This casts a more adventurous perspective on the new birth and our proceeding from ‘glory to glory’ with Christ as our life. Other people – those who are not boorish but who have a sensitive, yet adventurous spirit and an open soul become our companions in a joint adventure that is a discovery of the self and a discovery of new dimensions of life. These vistas and crannies and our delight in them are where we are drawn as sons and daughters of God in spirit and in truth as opposed to a religious and notional sonship - product of insulation from God rather than union with Jesus as a person who is just as real as we are.
Jesus, our Father and Holy Spirit are known personally. We know as we are known when we relate to Jesus face to face and not through the law or religion.
Bourgeault continues the theme of the birthing of the self,
.. “The soul, in its very journey of becoming, is the creative instrument of “the wonders.” In its struggle to discover and bring forth what it truly is, it becomes a unique expression of the heart of God, a visible trajectory of that divine, outpouring love that can express itself in no other way.” She’s talking of the Heart of God expressed as you, George and Syd.
There’s nothing religious, trite or boring about a real life in God. No trivial pursuit here – not when defined and lived as ‘Christ our life.’ The real self emerges in encounter with the real Jesus. The false self is discarded when Christ is our life. The real Jesus reveals Himself to the real you, so that you can be more real than you are already. Jesus says, ‘All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ Matt 11.27 NIV.
This is not an arbitrary sharing. It is the sharing of Jesus’s self with those for whom Jesus is more important than their own ideas of Him.
The self as an expression of religion is a lesser self than the self that is the expression of Christ as you. The self as an expression of the law is dry bones and withered torso’s compared to the self that is Christ come in our flesh. A churched person may live out some modest Christ-like qualities. But one for whom Christ is life will be live as a son of God. As a product of the law Jesus can grace us with drops of sonship. As the representation of Christ as us we will be rivers of spirit and life.
(1) Bourgeault, Cynthia. Love is Stronger than Death (p. 25). Monkfish Book Publishing. Kindle Edition.