Excellent book on how neurotic death anxiety controls us producing shame, ego, grandiosity, paranoia, self consciousness, violence, etc etc. I know it has for me anyway. At the root of my schizoaffective disorder is self conscious shame and anxiety. My psychotic delusions are intense shame and anxiety. Self-conscious in the extreme I become the center of the universe where everything revolves around me. Pretty soon they are coming after me. The slavery to the fear of death causes us to be become self absorbed and preoccupied with survival self and self esteem. Our identities become wrapped up in our worldviews or self-esteem projects. For me it was an intense self -consciousness. As Beck describes in the book we die to self by becoming “nothing” or losing self-conscious shame, guilt, and anxiety. When we lose ourselves in Christ we find our truest selves as Children of God. The self and life are received as a gift as they are grounded in God. Beck calls this the eccentric identity because you don’t turn inward but outward towards God in doxological gratitude.
This is what I’m referring to when I say self-consciousness. When I say death to self I’m referring to losing self-conscious anxiety, and shame. Love casts out fear as the self is crucified with Christ and resurrected.
Self-consciousness is a heightened sense of self-awareness. It is a preoccupation with oneself, as opposed to the philosophical state of self-awareness, which is the awareness that one exists as an individual being, though the two terms are commonly used interchangeably or synonymously. An unpleasant feeling of self-consciousness may occur when one realizes that one is being watched or observed, the feeling that “everyone is looking” at oneself. Some people are habitually more self-conscious than others. Unpleasant feelings of self-consciousness are sometimes associated with shyness or paranoia.
When feeling self-conscious, one becomes aware of even the smallest of one’s own actions. Such awareness can impair one’s ability to perform complex actions. Adolescence is believed to be a time of heightened self-consciousness. A person with a chronic tendency toward self-consciousness may be shy or introverted.