Tag Archives: self

Who Are You?

Question-MarkI woke a few days ago realizing an amazing thing. It was one of those “Upside Down” things we do with God so readily.

If someone were to ask me, “Who are you?” The odds are that within my first three statements I would speak of what I “do for a living”. I would probably first give my “label” (“Little Monk”), and then perhaps my “title” (“Minister of Whatever”), and then I’d describe what I “do”, what my “actions and behaviors” are.

Being human, it seems I “construct my identity” out of my control of what I do. I define myself by my choices of act and behavior.

When I woke up the other day, God pointed out that He works things from the exact opposite direction. He gives “Identity” first, “Relationship” first, and THEN… OUT OF THAT… come actions and behaviors.

For example, Adam in the Garden was first given his identity and relationship

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.[Genesis 1:26-31a]

I mean this is no big deep piece of theological or metaphysical writing, just this really neat thing God put down next to my coffee that I found delightful, and I wanted to share with you. But if God really saw this “identity” thing the way I, for one, tend to do… then Mankind’s Principal Identity would not be “Image of God — Joint Heir with Christ”, so much as it would be “Farmer”… (since gardening was our first assigned task and behavior). See the problem here? I did, once the Lord was kind enough (and patient enough) to point it out for me.

Simply that FIRST, God gave man identity and relationship… as His Image… His Creation… and THEN sent him off to tend the garden to work. It was like he discovered ever more of who he was, as he acted and worked through behaviors.

Jesus first and foremost knew who He was and what His relationship with God was (as far back as the finding of the boy Jesus in the Temple at age 12)… and FROM THAT knowledge, He did the will of, spoke the words of, and did the works of His Father. Jesus never seems to have had the experience of “becoming the Son of God”… by the teaching and preaching that He did or the miracles He worked. Everything worked the other direction round.

Even His statement of us, and the Companion Disciples, He commanded that we love one another as He loves us, and that the world would know we were His disciples by the love we showed. He didn’t say or imply that our love would MAKE us His disciples. Simply that our love would be our hallmark, our means of being “recognized” for who and what we are.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So there you go, Gentle Reader. Just one of those random lovely Roses that the Lord sometimes leaves on the table. You are who you are… Prince/Princess of Kingdom. You have the relationship you do with Him… cherished and beloved beyond imagining or measure. And FROM THAT… can emerge the grace and love of your acts and behaviors. But whether you do that well or badly, His will moves in one direction only.

Our actions don’t “define us”, only He can do that. But when we act rightly in Him, they do indeed help others recognize us, in our right names.

Grace to thee — The Little Monk


Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

The False Self

Richard Rohrer’s Meditations:
The False Self

Your False Self is your necessary warm-up act, the ego part of you that establishes your separate identity, especially in the first half of life. (Sunday)

Your False Self is what changes, passes, and dies when you die. Only your True Self lives forever. (Monday)

Your False Self is who you think you are. Your thinking does not make it true. (Tuesday)

Thomas Merton rightly recognized that it was not the body that had to “die” but the “false self” that we do not need anyway, precisely because it is only a part of us, but trying to pass for the Whole. (Wednesday)

All mature religion must and will talk about the death of any notion of a separate, and therefore false, self. (Thursday)

Most souls are initially “unsaved” in the sense that they cannot dare to imagine they could be one with God/Reality/the universe. This is the lie of the False Self that dies slowly.

Rest: Drawing Empty Space

It’s difficult to see what is not manifest, what is intangible and yet the most objective of all reality. Yet we can learn to see differently, to be present to Being. This simple practice shifts our usual way of literal seeing and invites an inner change in how we see ourselves, the world, and the Divine.

Sitting at a table or desk with a pencil and a piece of blank, unlined paper, look at a nearby object. Turn your attention to the empty or “negative” space surrounding the object. Rather than focus on the object’s contours, look at the lines and curves of the space butting up against the object, the places in between and around the object itself. Breathe deeply and begin to draw these nooks and crannies of air and emptiness. Keep your focus on the negative space as you draw.

You might draw all of the spaces around the object or spend just a few moments drawing. When your pencil comes to a stop, observe the form and detail of the “nothingness” you’ve drawn. Know that your True Self, though perhaps less visible than ego and persona, is spacious and objective. Let your inner witness quietly observe the “negative space” within yourself. Rest in this abundant emptiness, full of Presence.

For further study:

Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (book)
True Self/False Self (CD)

Gateway to Silence:
I am who I am in the eyes of God—
nothing more and nothing less.


Tags: , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: