THE REAL SELF IS A SON OF GOD
We are fortunate to have a job and even more fortunate to be working at something we like. Even more blessed to be involved in work that is an actual expression of who we are. To be working at something we are good at as well as contributing to the commonweal is satisfying indeed.
Some work is an abomination. We call that crime. There is work that is not illegal but it involves ripping people off in some way, if not as wage theft or in detracting from their person. Here we may think of the bully or the Gas lighter who either suffers from a bad case of legalism/ judgmentalism or is perpetually threatened by those who are much smarter than she.
It’s good to earn a living and excellent to do that which multiplies life in people and in the Earth. But there is more to a good life than earning a living. If this were not so we would be no better off than a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle munching grass under a gum-tree in an Australian paddock. Herbert Marcuse coined the term, ‘one dimensional man’ to describe persons whose identity is little more than a cog in the means of production. We can possess a wonderful house, a smart car and much confidence but be hollow inside. When Christ is our life all, including the poor have substance.
Debate over ‘lock-down’ in the current pandemic uncovered what many suspected – that the Economy, aka money is more important to the Religion of Economy that the lives of people – particularly the aged.
Richard Rohr observes that, “The cultural ideal of the Western industrialized world is the self-made, self-sufficient, autonomous individual who stands by himself or herself, not needing anyone else. . . and not beholden to anyone for anything. . . . This is the ideal that people live and work for. It is their goal in life, and they will sacrifice anything to achieve it. This is how you “get a life for yourself.” This is how you discover your identity…”
YOU OR A PHANTOM
Actually, this is how you lose your identity by becoming a person who has no real self, other than the construct one has made oneself out of one’s performance. This is a self, but it is not the True Self. The True Self emerges as us when Jesus is our life. Religion will not do it. Legalism stultifies it and a quiet pride crowds it out ensuring that we will not be among those who are the poor in spirit – the humble who know God, who know their real selves and are becoming daughters and sons of God in spirit and in truth.