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Emptying yourself

Emptying yourself
Photo by Akshar Dave🌻 / Unsplash

Let's get this out of the way in the month of Pride: I love you and respect you. I do not think anyone should live a secret life of shame.

Of course the better antidote to shame is not "pride" but self-acceptance. Full self-acceptance is to live within the universal love that is the greatest of all the graces.

Pride, on the other hand, was traditionally called the chief of the vices because it seeks to elevate the self above all things. As such it is at the root of all other vices.

Pride is the deceptive lie that I am the arbiter of the world, the judge of all people, the measure of all things. Such self-perception grasps at Being itself, seeking to replace it.

This enlargement of self is the logical end point of the idea of the sovereign, autonomous, sufficient-unto-itself self: independent of all, self-created, and utterly free. This is why the bend of liberalism arcs towards chaos.

At its core is the original "fall" of the human condition: the illusion that we can raise ourselves to equality with Being, that we can set ourselves up as the arbiter of all things ("the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"). It is both amusing and devastating to see ourselves carry around the symbol of this, our darkest hour, on the devices into which we pour more and more of our lives.

The true antidote to pride is humility. It is to accept that within us is this temptation of self and to deny ourselves it. The road to humility is to empty yourself, to be in service to others and the world, to put yourself last.

If you deny your self, if you empty your self, what rushes in to fill the void? Listen into this silence and you can hear, ever so faintly, the choir of angels.