Monday, October 15, 2007

Self expression and divine will

Reprieve: In case you're wondering, there were no driving lessons over the weekend—on Friday when we went to get the permit, the computers were down and he couldn’t take the test. And I was sort of looking forward to it! On to Monday…

There is a subject I’m starting to be disturbed about, and I hope I can write about this in a way that doesn't sound critical. Many of you know I'm a freelance editor, and I've been editing a lot of books lately for an online self-publishing company. Because of my strong background in the Bible, I've been assigned many of the books by Christian writers.

I find myself wanting to share Science and Health with all of them, although I can't because the work isn't set up in such a way that I have direct contact with the authors. What I am learning more about is the wide range of theory Christianity has evolved. It struck me this weekend that some of it has been downright damaging.

In particular, an author put forth the concept (complete with the assumption that all her readers would agree with it) that one needs to subsume one's own sense of selfhood in order to hear and obey the will of God. Only as we rid ourselves of self do we come close to what Jesus taught us to do.

I found myself at first objecting to this personally, perhaps because of the life coaching I've been doing. (I'm editing the works as objectively as I can, however.) In the coaching, I'm being encouraged to discover more about my authentic self and to listen to it—to get over my fears and limiting beliefs and fully self express. This hasn't conflicted with my concept of Christian Science, because I believe we each have a unique identity that needs and deserves expression. If we don't discover our own uniqueness, we'll most likely just imitate others in our desire to be virtuous or right.

But beyond that, I'm starting to believe strongly that we need to both discover what God is in His infinitude and greatness and also our own unique reflection of that greatness. We owe it to God, really, since to fully express Him in the way that He has appointed is to do His will.

To say we have no self, then, or that our self is worthless, is to truncate the path of full expression. If this is a systemic policy, where Christians in a particular sect or movement are being discouraged from self discovery, then a whole swath of God's greatness is not being magnified. This is the part I found disturbing. Suddenly I'm beginning to think that theories I might find harmless on an individual level—meaning, I'm sure that particular person will find their way eventually—are actually damaging to humanity's progress if imposed on a systemic level.

Golly, I just want people to find the truth that works best for them, independent of institution or theory or opinion. I want truth to work on the individual consciousness unencumbered. I want self expression to be seen as expressing God, and for those witnessing that self expression to therefore rejoice.

Thoughts anyone?

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
Email this posting to a friend with the envelope icon below.


At 10/15/2007 08:43:00 AM, Anonymous Dennis R. said...

The way I see it is that there is only one Ego, but many spiritual ideas. Each spiritual idea is an individualized expression of Soul. God is unlimited in His expression, and each one of His ideas are unique.

I think that the self referred to in the book could be ego with the little "e" which is a concept that we want to put off that we might put on the Mind of Christ, big "E".

Putting off self to put one Self is not way denigrating God's wonderful expression. It actually helps it come forth.

At 10/15/2007 04:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that perhaps the author might be talking about ego with a small e - in CS mortal mind
but you know more of what the rest of the book says

The removal of ego(mortal mind) is central in many traditions Buddhism, Hindu, Sufi, RC monasticism and found in very early Christian writing.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home