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Relative and Absolute Identity
August 11, 2013; cac.org ; Relative and Absolute Identity ; Richard Rohr.
Moving to the level of "participative knowing" is first of all a cellular experience, a full-body knowing. It is nothing you can prove merely with the mental ego. It is something you know by inner experience-by prayer, by love, and by suffering. Paul's line, quoted even by Buddhists, is "I live no longer, not 'I'; but I live with the life of Christ, who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). Our little self that appears to be visible here and takes itself so seriously is merely a relative identity (whether good or bad); it is not our absolute identity that we are eternally in God. The Buddhist idea of letting go of our attachment to our relative identity is almost identical to Jesus' teaching of dying to our self (or even "renouncing the self" as in Mark 8:34). Christians got themselves off of a necessary hook by thinking Jesus was talking about various forms of "mortifications" and little sacrifices, which were usually nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on a Titanic that must and will sink. I must say it that strongly in hopes that you will hold out for a full-body knowing, and not just a minor knowing of yourself as sacrificial, generous, and therefore "holy." Holiness is wholeness in God and not any private perfection. Psychological wholeness is never fully possible anyway. Adapted from Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening (CD, DVD, MP3)
The Daily Meditations for 2013 are now available in Fr. Richard's new book Yes, And . . . .