What was it you found crazy in the Bible that turned you away before? @hollytree
Some of the commands in the OT like People eating their children as a punishment for their sins. And babies getting dashed to pieces against rocks.
We make great contributions not because we are separate and special but because we are so intimately connected to our world and thus able to embody empathy and compassion for all living beings. ~~ Sandy Boucher
We die to self (ego) and come into union with Christ (true self). In Him we find eternal significance.
Dissolving the Ego in Meditation
While the ego works tirelessly to feed itself, the soul can ‘be’ to embrace itself. Meditation is a great way to ‘let go’ of the world around you. Meditation is the practice of turning inwards to the force that lies within.
It is a tool that every human being has the ability to do, yet so few practice it. Why is that? It’s probably because the ego races the brain, and that most of peoples views of meditation are distorted.
The mind may interpret meditation as something that ‘ weird people ‘ do, or people who need ‘ calming down ‘, or ‘those who do not fit in’. You may have heard how people say “ I’m too busy to meditate ” or “ I don’t need to meditate “. Firstly, there’s a quote by Ajahn Chah, that goes like this: “ If you have time to breathe, you have time to meditate. “, which is completely true.
“ You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour “.
Believe it or not, meditation actually frees up more time for you because it enables you to see beyond your conditioning by using the contemplative eye, that is the eye of observation and awareness. It frees your mind to do plenty of other things. Your days will become more enjoyable. To respond to the second statement of “ I don’t need to meditate “; meditation does not provide a need.
Meditation is the art of returning to your true-self. There is no need involved in this. Arguably, one could argue that it takes more strength to meditate than it does to lift heavy weights in the gym. After all, it must take willpower and resilience to ‘be still’, and observe the mind without judgement, in such a frantic world. Don’t confuse ‘being still’, with sitting still. Sitting still means doing nothing, whereas ‘being still’ implies the withdrawal and retreat to the center of your soul.
One more point that needs to be stressed is how the human brain perceives things. The mind cannot comprehend certain events or circumstances, so it will form its own picture, alienating those who do different things. This picture is generated on the basis of past events and experiences, all of which make up the ‘conditioned mind’.
The ego in the mind makes people believe that some things in life should never be explored. This is a limitation. People are imprisoned by their thoughts. Nobody can tell you what meditation exactly is, nor what you will feel when doing it. You must do it yourself, before drawing a conclusion. If you cannot reach the peak of the mountain and see all of what surrounds you, then your opinion is invalid .
Ego destroys the present moment. How do you let go of ego? Well, the answer lies within. You simply don’t. Being aware of the ego automatically dampens it down, slowing its momentum, and eventually destroying it. You can manually shift the gears in your brain from automatic ‘doing’ mode to conscious ‘being’ mode. That being said, don’t over-think ego. Be still. Be aware. The ego will get bored… And eventually leave too. I bet you have all heard of the phrase ‘a need for a need’? A hidden dissatisfaction of some sort. You ‘want’ something yet you are confused as to what you ‘want’. Maybe this dissatisfaction arises as a result of neglecting the soul?
Once the ego crumbles, your soul will be revealed. So what is the opposite of the ego? Peace. Wisdom. Love. Unity. All of these will arise. If you do not let go of ego, then life will be extremely difficult, and suffering may come (although that may be necessary for you to awaken to your true self). Realize that the present moment is all there ever is, even now, right now, this is a moment of your life that you should cherish. Smile! This realization will empower your inner being and nourish your soul with freedom and prosperity.
Letting go of ego, learning to ground yourself in the ‘here’ and ‘now’, and turning inwards to the deepest-most-inner-depths of your soul, will ultimately, lead to inner peace, and provide a great sense of worth. What a great revelation it is to know that the happiness you had been ‘wanting’ for so long, is actually inside of you. Start appreciating everything in life, even the moments that you think are ‘little’, and don’t take anything for granted. Discover your indwelling spirit that lies within.
Written by Sam Tabibzadeh
When we submit to Christ and He lives in us, we become much more of a “something” that we ever were prior to conversion—not meaning that we become more egoistic, but become more of a real person, the kind of person that the serves the Lord, and is pleasing to Him.
We become SO much more than a nothing. We really become something or better—someone, more of a person than we ever were before—a person whom God can truly use.
This in no way implies that we are then focused on self. But we are much more focused on God than ever.
To go into more detail on how we empty the self (die to self) and find our sense of dignity and identity in being a child of God I recommend the Christian Psychologist Richard Beck:
I think the self has to die. That’s what the bible seems to think. There must be a letting go, a surrendering, an emptying of the self. All efforts to define the self by acts of justification, the accumulation of evidence and data that the self is significant, have to be renounced. ~~ Richard Beck
As someone who has been diagnosed as schizoaffective and received tremendous healing I have to say that the psychologist Richard Beck is spot on here. Here’s the full article:
Self-Esteem as violence
Living in The Present Moment (Letting Go)
Fear and anxiety and worry are about the future. When I’m worried about the future I’m in my mind or ego. In the past this fear of being harmed or plotted against by others has caused me to drink and do drugs. Alcohol released my fears where I could communicate and talk with others but the next day I would feel more fear and shame. Shyness turned into social phobia and social phobia turned into megalomania paranoia. I have found that this fear is uprooted by having faith in God. Such a faith secures the future and gives one hope. Hope pushes the desires that lead to sin out of the heart as one relies on God like Christ did. It’s by the joy set before us. Not only does it push desires out of the heart but it brings strong desires to the heart as one is thrown into the current of love. It’s faith - hope - love. It’s faith working itself out through love. The joy of faith. In the Bible faith produces obedience. The power to love is the confidence that God will take care of my future. It’s the obedience of faith as one trusts and relies on God like Jesus did. It’s faith working itself out through love. Christ’s atoning death secures the future with his blood bought promises. Example:
God says, Vengeance is Mine I will Repay
When my faith is in God the desires for sin is pushed out of the heart. I let go and let God handle it. Rather I love the enemy just like Christ did. Another example:
God works all things together for good for those that love Him.
I place my faith in God and Christ as it gives me hope. God promises to work all my frustrating circumstances together for my good. This secures the future getting rid of impatience and depression as it gives me hope.
Dealing with shame:
If we confess our sins He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
My faith is in God. Indeed. when facing shame that comes from the rejection, and ridicule of others I trust God when He promises to one day vindicate His children. Oh the glory that awaits those who are despised and rejected by others misplaced shaming. It’s faith working itself out through love. When my future is in the hands of an all powerful and loving God who promises to work out all my circumstances for good, anxiety is broken as the heart opens up to love. The desires that lead to sin are pushed out of my heart as God infuses me and covers me with His righteousness. The past is covered in His blood and the future is secure. I’m fee to live in the present moment.
In order to reach union with the Divine
it is necessary to leave the intellect behind.
One must let go of things and empty oneself
of everything in order to make room for
the flood of Divine illumination.
St John of the Cross
True self (love) = united to Christ through faith. Eternally significant
False self (Ego) = Conditioned personality. Fear based. Self-importance. Grandiose delusion. Is reduced to nothing as one comes into union with true self (love). We fall in love with love.
When I accept that my value isn’t dependent on what I do or accomplish and receive eternal significance through faith in God as the ego (false self) collapses (death to self), I am ironically liberated to do much for Christ. I fall in love with love (true self). The false self is reduced to nothing.
The paradox is that when we’re somebody we’re nobody. And when we’re nobody we’re somebody.
I read Richard Beck’s article that you recommended.
It’s not the way I think about the man or woman who belongs to Christ. But if “nothingness” works for you, I’m not going to knock it.
For me, it is supremely important to recognize the new “self” that God has made of me, and to be thankful that it has replaced the previous “self” that served itself rather than serving God.
I think the apostle Paul had it right:
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-24 ESV)
In practical terms… if one’s nothingness is genuinely at work then this might be reflected in ever-diminishing references to one’s self.
As Paidion said, I am happy with whatever works for you. But I reject the concept that we are nothing and that we should empty ourselves of self worth. Although it might work for some, that line of thinking is damaging to one’s self image. I suppose the reason it works for some is that once they think of themselves as nothing, they can’t possibly be disappointed. It seems like a coping mechanism to guard against letting oneself down. I mean, if I own nothing, then I can’t lose anything, right? It seems an idea of escape and retreat from disappointment. Been there, done that, and I don’t find it healthy, at all. It is a lot like people who refuse to love, for the fear of a broken heart. I mean, if you don’t ever love (or depend on) someone else, they can’t let you down, can they? Turning that through inward is the concept of “emptying ego”, IMO.
There’s nothing unhealthy about it. Millions die to ego (false self) and find their eternal significance in Christ. The true self is love. We fall in love with love. People all over the world do it and they are just fine. You’re the one unhealthy and very delusional in your thinking.
Rivers of Love
I’m stripping away all that is not me
So I can be who I was meant to be
And live a new life that is truly free
With eyes of my heart open I can see
Accepting the past and future I let go
With a deeper awareness I now know
The river of love can always flow
With the death of the mind and ego
In union with the love of my true self
I feel sweet beauty like I’ve never felt
A wonder, bliss and joy of mental health
Now that I have rivers of eternal wealth
When we die to self we have eternal significance. The problem is that we try to understand God and people with logic. Ultimate Reality is paradox. Paradoxes are both/and at the same time. Example: We are all both living and dying at the same time. When we lose ourselves we find ourselves. The paradox is that we make great contributions not because we are separate and special but because we are so intimately connected to our world and thus able to embody empathy and compassion for all living beings. When we are nobody we’re somebody and when we’re somebody we’re nobody. When I’m nobody special I die to self (ego) and I’m united to everything as I find eternal significance through faith in Christ. I’m united to love and connected to all. When we lose ourselves we find ourselves.
Lost In Love
I am in love and I don’t know with who
Dead to myself as I am lost in You
Drunk in Beauty my heart is made new
Sweet Divine Mystery I’m in love with You
Reason is gone, love’s arrow goes through
Opposites unite as both sides hold true
United with love we are no longer two
Lost in this ocean I’m in love with You
Added a line here:
Hiding in my nothingness I can see
That I’m freed from paranoid anxiety
Stripped bare of all self glory
I’m Finally off the radar screen
Now they don’t come after me
Because I’ve lost my ego personality
As I become an anonymous nobody
I’m an unknown and can’t be seen
Dead to self I’m significant eternally
Read what you have quoted above and think about it! “Strip away all that is NOT you, so that YOU can be who you were MEANT to be.”
When you do this, you don’t become nothing. You become really someone— the someone that God meant you to be!
I’m referring to my true self which is love. The ego is stripped away. When I become nobody I’m somebody. When I die to self I have eternal significance. I fall in love with love. Here’s Rumi. Watch all the way to the end where he says, “If only you knew what bliss I find in being nothing”
May God empty me of my very self
Of all except His own presence
I am He who I love, and whom I love is I.
We are two spirits dwelling in one body,
If thou seest me thou seest Him;
And if though seest Him, thou seest us both
When the lover is annihilated in Love his love becomes one with the Love of the Beloved
Najam Al-Din Kubra