If we are astute, we can make steady progress towards becoming our real self. This is genuine holiness and the advance from glory to glory. This is an adventure that starts with our first re-birth and continues as we live in the resurrection of Christ and the regeneration that is ours in His life. Thus rebirth is more a process and a progress rather than a leap from beer and sex into church and deeds of charity.
In the world and in religion we may not perceive that we are living from the false self. We need not be a bad person – just a person who is not that into Christ but into working at forming an identity from things that are not Christ. In religion this can take the form of rationalising why its ok to live in system of morality rather than from Christ as us. We’re talking incarnation which is actually the normal Christian life.
The false self is mostly rationalisation and fictions – fictions that we have adopted to retain ourselves in our ‘form of godliness’ that is more religious than Godly. It’s certainly not the real us.
TRIALS ARE BENEFICIAL
James wrote, ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds’ James 1.2 NIV. This refers not only to the trials of life but to difficulties caused by our own fallibility and imperfection.
It’s joy because it exposes us to ourselves, thus providing an opportunity to allow Jesus to be our life in that facet of our being. It becomes a case of utilising sin for our own advancement into holiness.
There’s the false you in Adam and the real you in Christ. Our Adam ‘us’ is the use of religion and christianity. Our Jesus ‘us’ is the ‘us’ of Christ our life. This is our God-incarnated life.
THE BETTER PRE-DESTINATION
You were seen before the foundation of the world and your real self was known before you were born. This is your real identity. Things we add are no more than additions to the core of our being – often called the heart. We can make a ‘self’ from these externalities. But with maturity we can transition from living from externalities and religion to embracing Christ as our life.
This is our commencement of the Second Part of Life, which is our life in the new covenant and the start of a genuine rebirth. If you sense I am implying that we are not reborn until we move to the new covenant, you are right. I am. This is the start of our life in the Spirit, which has nothing to do with the ‘gifts’ and everything to do with the cross and its application to our lives.
We can live a life in which our being is inter-twined with God’s being. Or we can live as an adherent, a promoter of positions and citer of proof texts. This is a parsimonious version of belonging to the Body of Christ. Our treasure is the kind of interwoveness with God that the trinity enjoy with each other and which is now our interwoveness with God. This supersedes the law in the same manner as a living young man exceeds a dead rib cage.
Richard Rohr observes, “We can concoct a quick “salvation,” without ever really growing up or “dying” to our false selves at all. A spiritual self-image gives us status, stability, and security. There is no better way to remain unconscious than to baptize and bless mere form instead of surrendering to the deeper substance.
I know this because I have done it myself. Spiritual seeking, when it is done by the false self, might be the biggest problem of all. In the name of seeking God, the ego just pads and protects itself, which is an almost perfect cover for its inherent narcissism.” (1)
We can live in self-delusion all our lives because we have been lied to and because we think we have a status and identity in their anaesthesia. But we do not enter the ‘deeper life’ because we choose not to embrace the deeper substance who is Christ our life. Rohr continues,
“We can thus concoct a quick “salvation,” without ever really growing up or “dying” to our false selves at all. A spiritual self-image gives us status, stability, and security. There is no better way to remain unconscious than to baptize and bless mere form instead of surrendering to the deeper substance. I know this because I have done it myself. Spiritual seeking, when it is done by the false self, might be the biggest problem of all. In the name of seeking God, the ego just pads and protects itself, which is an almost perfect cover for its inherent narcissism.” (1)
It's also the perfect cover for shading Christ’s Light and maintaining ourselves in delusion. There’s ‘togetherness’ that is real and ‘togetherness’ that is a subversion of the Christ in you.
(1) Rohr, Richard. What the Mystics Know: Seven Pathways to Your Deeper Self . The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.