The True Self Says YES/The False Self Prefers NO
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The great wisdom teachers and mystics say in various ways that you cannot truly see or understand anything if you begin with a no. You have to start with a yes of basic acceptance, which means you do not too quickly label, analyze, or categorize things as good or bad. The ego or false self strengthens itself by constriction, by being against, or by re-action; it feels loss or fear when it opens up to subtlety, growth, change, and Mystery. Living out of the True Self involves positive choice, inner spaciousness, and conscious understanding rather than resistance, knee-jerk reactions, or defensiveness.
It is not easy to live this way. It often takes a lifetime of contemplative prayer and honest self-observation to stop critiquing everything. Once you have learned how to say a fundamental yes, later no’s can be very helpful and are surely necessary. But beginning with a fundamental yes is the foundation of mature nonviolence and compassionate action.
The Risen Christ is a great big yes to everything (see 2 Corinthians 1:19), even early, incomplete stages. The Risen Christ is still and forever the wounded Jesus—and yet now so much more. Your ordinary life and temperament are not destroyed or rejected, but instead, “This perishable nature will put on imperishability, and this mortal body will put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15: 52-54)—one including the other, not one in place of the other.
The Risen Christ reveals that we can operate as a part of the biggest ecosystem or force field possible—the Body of Christ.
Compassion and mercy come easily once you live inside the Big Body of Love. The detours of the false self were all just delaying tactics, bumps in the road, pressure points that created something new in the long run, as pressure does to carbon deep beneath the earth.
The diamond of love will always be stronger than death. Diamonds, once soft black carbon, become beautiful and radiant white lightning under pressure. The true pattern, the big secret, has now been revealed and exposed, “like a treasure hidden in a field” (Matthew 13:44). You did not find the Great Love except by finding yourself too, and you cannot find your True Self without falling into the Great Love.
Gateway to Silence:
Alleluia, alleluia, amen!
Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2009), 49-51; and
Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (Jossey-Bass: 2013), 183-185.