To be an authentic woman or a man the Son of Man must be our spirit man. Anything less than this and we are less than we are. We will never be ourselves if we are living from something outside our real selves. To live from the law, a performance regime or the more subtle kind of law that that expresses itself as religion, is to live from our ego. Here we find ourselves paddling hard to keep this self afloat in an identity. But it is an identity sought in externalities, rites and the approbation of those who don’t really matter.
IDENTITIES REAL AND SHADOW
There’s a difference between having a voracious spiritual hunger for Jesus and utilising Jesus to support beliefs to which we are wed. In the former Jesus is the Christ of God. In the latter he is a false christ because he is a construct of the self. We can spend our life relating to a belief system and a tangle of supporting theology. We may believe this to be ‘god.’ But it’s not. The Christ of God is God. The real self is known in union with this God who lives objectively and is subjectively in you. God is known as ‘I AM.’ Never generically but in the person of Jesus Christ. This is the only way we can be known to ourselves and the only way all of us can know each other – when we really do have our being in our Father.
Jesus is the living way to do this. He is the Door through which we walk into fellowship with the trinity and into fellowship with ourselves. Now we are able to rejoice in knowing who we really are. Here we are liberated from an addiction to building identities from places where they cannot be found. Now we are liberated from seeking to form a sense of self where there is only a vacuum and ever more obsessive seeking. Relating to law, religion and theology we will be an abstraction. Relating to the Son we will be sons of God.
DELUSIONS BE GONE
Only in the Spirit can we know ourselves in the flesh – not in the carnal sense but in the sense of sonship in spirit and truth. Here we have the verisimilitude of sons and daughters because we are living from our Father, from the Son and from Holy Spirit. We are part of their being. Let’s be clear. If we are joined by an umbilicus to the law in any shape or form, we are kidding ourselves if we think we are living in the Spirit. Christ has not come in our flesh. We are living in Adam and his tree of woodenness and illusion.
An image of oneself as a law-keeper or a moral paragon is not your design or what God intended for sons. Father’s image for us is to be an expression of Jesus as a son of God. Living from a version of yourself, birthed from the law shrinks your being. You can never be more than a stone lion and a broken one at that. To see Jesus is to see yourself. To live from Jesus is to be yourself as a life-giving spirit.
Viewing yourself as a law-keeper is a perverted mental image. It’s not only a form of self-abuse. It’s burying the treasure that is you in the ground. But the real you has been resurrected in Jesus and the resurrected you is who you are today as a son of God. Richard Rohr observes,
‘Most people spend their entire lives living up to these mental self-images instead of living in the primal “I” that is already good in God’s eyes. But all I can “pay back” to God or others or myself is who I really am. That’s a place of utter simplicity. Perhaps we don’t want to go back to it precisely because it’s so simple. It feels unadorned. There’s no dressing, nothing to congratulate myself for. I can’t prove any worth, much less superiority. There I am naked and poor. After years of false adornment, it will at first feel like nothing.’ (1) But it's the new birth. It is the beginning of you. IT IS EVERYTHING.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (pp. 76-77). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.