Who is our true self?

“Our True self is who we really are. Who we are before God. In contrast our false self is who we think we are. It is our mental self-image and social agreement, which most people spend their lives living up to”

In the post-modern age when we talk about the “true self” we talk about the authentic personality. Am I really an intellectual? Am I a plumber? Am I an introvert or am I an extrovert? Those questions all help. But, what we are talking about proceeds that by 20 steps.

The true self is not anything you can create. The “true self” is only something you can discover. It is not anything you can live up to or live down to. It is. In most spiritual traditions we call this the soul. Even Catholics did not speak of creating our soul. We spoke of finding our soul. More often than not. It is something objective that is already there.

I use “soul” almost the same as “true self”. Almost the same as the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is God in you loving God. God in you already knowing the truth. Loving the truth. Loving you. I do not know how to love me. I don’t know how to love God. I draw on this permanent deeper source. What we mean by prayer is learning to trust that such a source was available. That such a source was there.

When you learn to draw upon it. Though strange and arrogant as this sounds. You know what God knows. But, you won’t tell anybody that. I don’t mean perfectly. You are moving in that direction. You find yourself for example, incapable of hating.

At certain points of my life I have been hurt. You have been hurt. I realise that even the people that hurt me the most. There are little temptations of resentment. I cannot be hateful. I cannot. It is a different me than me. Or who I thought was me.

The false self is entirely concocted. Or made up. We are so good at this now. The cult of personality. The imitation of heroes and celebrities. Sports stars. Handsome and beautiful people.

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03 July 2022

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Father Richard Rohr

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Spend time reflecting on the nature of the 'true self'.

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