emptying self


#1

If we do not empty out self, we cannot make room for God.
If we spend our days thinking that others are less than us,
that they know not God, how is that mirroring the Savior?

Jesus scandalized the self-righteous of His day.
"Look. The man eats with tax collectors and sinners."
He is now ritually impure. Was that what they were thinking?

It is not that which a man ingests that makes him sinful,
but the words and thoughts that come out of him.
It is not ritual purity that I demand, but purity and singleness
of heart.
From the overflow of the heart come words of condemnation
and self-righteousness.

The more aware of the holiness that God is,
the more aware of the darkness in myself, and
the more I cry for mercy.
"In Him there is no darkness at all."
He is the light of the world, dispelling the
darkness in human beings. The shadow side of
each of us. We cannot do this of ourself.
We need God. And the more we need God,
the less likely that we will cast a stone at another,
for we will pray that God have mercy on them.

I think that it is so human to think that we can save ourself.
And as long as that thought persists, we cannot know how
much we need God to be God for and in us.

reen


#2

There is a story told in Buddhism, about an important official
demanding of a Zen Master: “Tell me. What is Zen?”

The Buddist master began pouring this notable a cup of tea.
He continued to pour, until the tea ran over the edge of the cup,
spilling out onto the floor.

“Stop! That’s enough! The cup is full,” protested the roshi’s guest.

The master replied: "As you are full of self - and your own fixed ideas - how am I to try to fill a cup that is already full?

reen


#3

We don’t become holy by taking anything away. We become holy by adding God’s love. If we are in a dark room (light is absent), we don’t change that by taking anything away. We add light to the room.


#4

quote: davev

We don’t become holy by taking anything away. We become holy by adding God’s love. If we are in a dark room (light is absent), we don’t change that by taking anything away. We add light to the room.

God cannot fill a self who is full of self with His love.

quote: reen

The more aware of the holiness that God is,
the more aware of the darkness in myself, and
the more I cry for mercy.
"In Him there is no darkness at all."
He is the light of the world, dispelling the
darkness in human beings. The shadow side of
each of us. We cannot do this of ourself.
We need God. And the more we need God,
the less likely that we will cast a stone at another,
for we will pray that God have mercy on them.

reen


#5

Or, another way to say this:

If we are still casting stones, we are still full of self.

quote: reen

And the more we need God, the less likely that we will cast a stone at another…

God knows the emptiness that may exist in a human heart,
and He wishes to fill that emptiness with the light of His love.
We wouldn’t be seeking Him, if He had not sought us first.
We would not even know of the light, if He had not told us.

Yet a human being who is full of self has no room and feels
no need of light. God comes to an empty and broken heart
and fills that heart with His love.

reens


#6

**John 3:30 **
He must increase but I must decrease.

You are right. Following Jesus, we must become an empty vessel for His grace to fill us.

You may want to elabrate on how to empty ourselves.


#7

We empty everything that is not us. Then we’re left with God and ourselves.

Jim


#8

Dear JimR-OCDS and InLight247,

I thought those wonderful responses. Thank you for
replying to my posts.

quote: InLight247

John 3:30
He must increase but I must decrease.

You are right. Following Jesus, we must become an empty vessel for His grace to fill us.

You may want to elabrate on how to empty ourselves.

quote: JimR-OCDS

We empty everything that is not us. Then we’re left with God and ourselves.

Jim

I will offer several different responses to that which
each of you has written.

First is this, in terms of becoming an empty vessel.

Those who experience great limitation in life,
due to physcial or emotional illness are shattered vessels.
And I think that God sometimes uses even a shattered vessel to carry the waters of Siloe. These empty not themselves, God empties them through great suffering accepted.

As to removing all that is not us, that, I think, is a
fine way to say the reality. A false self is not the
self that God has created to His joy.

And, often, I find, human beings try to “realize” a false image of who they feel they “should” be. And these end up finding that they have lost themselves.

reen


#9

Reb Zusia, the Hasidic rabbi once grieved because he
could not please God as Moses did.
Then he brightened.
“But if I were Moses, God would not have his Zusia.”

I would think it difficult to “empty self” until one realizes
who that self is.
What do I really like to do? not what is au courant, not what is
"in" - or that which will puff me up with a sense of “in with the in crowd.”

What do I really like to spend time doing?
Something as simple as ordering wine, when I
might really prefer a soft drink, because wine is
more “sophisticated.”

All the small choices that we make - are these prompted
by our “real” self?
We cannot empty self, until we know who self is.

There is, I think, a humility in a real self.

And what of the temptation to spiritual pride, in
this emptying? Spiritual pride is the Queen of sins.
Why? Because such pride “uses” the things of God
to exalt self, not empty self.

I have oft had trouble reading the literature that
encourages emptying self, because I don’t think
that this can even be begun, until the "real "self
is known. For coming to knowledge of the real self
is to know humility.

And if “humus” = ‘earth’ ‘soil’ is the root of the word
humility, then, in a sense, we must be down to earth
about this emptying.

That is why, Jim, I really appreciated that which you wrote:

quote: JimR-OCDS

We empty everything that is not us. Then we’re left with God and ourselves.

Jim

And the self that we are “left” with, is the self that God
has created for His joy.

It is a humble way to begin emptying self, I think, to
try to discover who our self “is.”

And I realized, a few years back, that I like crayon colors,
not oils and pastels and all the more “advanced” forms of art.
All the primary colors of a small box of crayons.

And I founded and ran an art based business for five years.
Etchings from the nineteenth century.

Yet what I really love are crayon colors. It was, I think, my
first inkling of who I really am. I was relieved and God was
too, I think. I could not begin to empty myself until I could
discover what I needed to “unpack.” :frowning:

reen


#10

You all explain it very well.
Based on what you said, I am looking at this from a forwarding angle.
To me, empty myself is to be obedient to God’s will, to let me decrease so I won’t be so self centered, to allow God increase so I will be more God centered.

Concretely speaking, it is to love God’s will more than my own.
If my will is in line with God’s, that is fine, if not, then always love God’s will over mine.

By doing so, one empties his self by riding of everything not his, not of his true self, as well as everything not of God.


#11

quote: InLight247

To me, empty myself is to be obedient to God’s will, to let me decrease so I won’t be so self centered, to allow God increase so I will be more God centered.

Thank you, InLight247. Well said, I think.
And you know what this made me think of?
A line from Francis Thompson’s poem, “The Hound of Heaven.”

I quote from memory, hoping for accuracy

“I feared that, having You, I must have nought beside.”

For that which I “will” and I “want” may not be consonant
with that which God calls me to both be and do.

Thank you for that insight so clearly stated, InLight247.

reen


#12

I have a question for you, InLight247, and would
appreciate your thought on same.

quote: InLight247

Concretely speaking, it is to love God’s will more than my own.
If my will is in line with God’s, that is fine, if not, then always love God’s will over mine.

There are many things in life, I’ve found, in which the
will of God is as clear as a summer’s day.

Yet how does one discern the will of God in complicated
situations? How does one know to choose this good,
rather than that good?

the real anguish in life, to me, is not choosing between good and evil - for that is a clear choice and causes no psychological anguish. This may be a painful choice, yet it does not
create uncertainty and anxiety - the kind of anguish
that may arise when one is called to choose between
two goods.

In concrete fashion, how do we discern which “choice” is
consonant with the will of God in our lives, when we choose
between two goods?

reen


#13

That is where the free will and our human wisdom kick in. If there are two good things for us to choose one, we have to evaluate with our own value and make the best choice. In such cases, both are in God’s permissible will and God will bless either of our decision. I don’t think God want to micro control our lives. He does not. That is why the Bible said “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” God does want to give us the desires of our heart. That means He allows our own desires.

Among the two good things, God already foresees the different outcome of each choice. One may be better than the other. We cannot foresee it. We may want to ask for God’s direction before making the decision. And God will answer us, however, to be able to hear God clearly or not is a different story. No matter what, we have to make the choice with no regret. And God will help us along the way of our choice.


#14

What is the sound of one God clapping?


#15

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