Thursday, 28 January 2010

More Than Scaffolding

In yesterday's post I said that the usual identity markers of relationship, career, possessions, etc are not our true self, but should be considered as scaffolding around the true self, and that at some point we have to jump from the scaffolding onto the actual edifice of the true self. It is still a useful metaphor. If you do the inner work one day you can wake up and think, 'I don't need to use XX as the explanation of who I am.' It is possible to find a sense of self that is not dependent on the quantifiable. However, the metaphor breaks down if pushed too far. The scaffolding is sacramental and therefore our encounter with God that brings to light the true self is through and within these quantifiable and external markers of identity. (Although not exclusively so.) But both (scaffolding and sacrament) are entirely different from deriving a sense of self from these quantifiable markers alone.

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