Losing or Dying – 10 quotes from Richard Rohr’s book – Immortal Diamond: The Search For Our True Self 

by Mark Votava

51Y9Oq9eiML._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. A social construct

“Your False Self is who you think you are. Your thinking does not make it true. Your False Self is almost entirely a social construct to get you started on your life journey… It is your ‘container’ for your separate self. Jesus would call it your ‘wineskin,’ which he points out usually cannot hold any new wine… Your ego container likes to stay ‘contained’ and hates change.”  

2. Most notions of sacrifice

“Jesus knew that most notions of sacrifice largely appeal to our False Self, are not needed by the True Self, and are almost always manipulated and misused by people, most institutions, and warring nations…”

3. Conventional wisdom

“We pulled Jesus into our ‘conventional wisdom’ and seldom allowed him to be the teacher of alternative wisdom that he always has been.”

4. God’s standing in solidarity with the suffering

“The Crucified One is God’s standing in solidarity with the suffering…”

5. Intimate love

“Intimate love is the true temple that we all desire. I guess you have to want to love and to be loved very badly – or we will never go to this strange temple and will never find our True Selves. So God obliges and created us in just that way, with a bottomless and endless need to be loved and to love…”

6. Always feel like losing or dying

“Your False Self is how you define yourself outside of love, relationship, or divine union. After you have spent many years laboriously building this separate self, with all its labels and preoccupations, you are very attached to it. And why wouldn’t you be? It’s what you know and all you know. To move beyond it will always feel like losing or dying…”

7. Both a scandal and a supreme disappointment

“If we were truly being honest, God is both a scandal and a supreme disappointment to most of us…”

8. In finding your True Self

“…in finding your True Self, you will have found an absolute reference point that is both utterly within you and utterly beyond you at the very same time…”

9. Our False Self does not let go easily

“Our False Self does not let go easily. But that doesn’t mean the False Self should be attacked or eliminated. In time, it will reveal itself for the false wizard that it is. If you go out after it directly, it will only disguise itself further, while you in the meantime get to feel quite virtuous…”

10. The death of the False Self

“What the ego (the False Self) hates and fears more than anything else is change. It will think up a thousand other things to be concerned about or be moralistic about – anything rather than giving up ‘who I think I am’ and ‘who I need to be to look good.’ Seeking any kind of higher moral ground, as we are almost all trained to do, is often a way of avoiding the death of the False Self, which is why Jesus so often mistrusts moral achievement contests…”

Which quote do you like the best?

My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!

“I underlined and highlighted this book like crazy. I’m chomping at the bit to reflect on all that stood out to me. Votava’s book is the kind that demands further reflection. It is deep, challenging, and convicting. Indeed, the Holy Spirit used this book to expand my imagination and to help me better see the sacredness of life.” Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness

My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!

“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline…  without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.”  Shane Claiborne, author and activist