Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lewis on Self - Orual revelation

Orual found her real self when she was unmasked. It was painfully uncomfortable and painfully freeing. Facing self requires the unmasking of the soul, the very us-ness we hide from God and others.
Friend Lewis says it so much better in this extended quote from Mere Christianity as found in John Piipo's blog:

""There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. [This reminds me of N.T. Wright's idea that, in Jesus, we see what humanity is. Some say, "Well, I'm only human." If only that were true. The Jesus-idea is that, without God's kingdom-rule in our lives, we're sub-human.] Sameness is to be found most among the most 'natural' men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerers have been; how gloriously different are the saints. But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away 'blindly' so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality; but you must not go to Him for the sake of that.

As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. [This is the Jesus-paradox, recently highlighted by the likes of Dallas Willard and J.P. Moreland, that to live the truly good life one must not focus on living the good life. Or, as Lewis once wrote elsewhere, if one goes into a beautiful garden expecting to be blown away by its beauty, this will not often happen. But go into the same garden to say your prayers, and nine times out of ten the result will be to be stunned by the beauty.] It will come when you are looking for Him...Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in." [Thomas Merton has much to add to these Lewis-ideas in his many meditations that caused him to see the distinctions between the "false self" and the "true self."] "

Will I take the risk to expose my self to God and to others? Will I risk being real?

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