Conversations 1.2: True Self / False Self—Are You Stuck?
Volume 1:2 Fall 2003
The founding editors of Conversations set out to provide a resource that allowed readers to learn more about themes of Christian spiritual formation and explore together the many ways to be with God. This early issue of the journal focused on the theme True Self/False Self, and has a host of writers sharing authentically about their journey toward integrated living: aligning our behaviors, thoughts, emotions with the Gospel. From the first few pages of this issue we read; “Life isn’t working, and it won’t until a counterculture of people who are discovering who they truly are show the way, people who know in their depths that God loves them, people who rest in Christ’s forgiveness so fully that they happily give up autonomy and relax in dependence. We are already loved; we are already forgiven; we are already new creations, participants in the divine nature. Think what it would mean if followers of Jesus became who we already are, if we became our true selves and abandoned everything false.” (Crabb)
Engaging in the process of becoming aware of our true self requires much courage— like Gary Moon and Gray Temple discuss in Keeping the Soul Molten. You’ll also want to take time to read a couple of pieces by David G. Benner— his interview with Basil Pennington is so good, and I just love how Basil summarizes the process of embracing our true self: “relentlessly and joyfully continuing to seek to be who I am—nothing more and nothing less.”
One of the ways we can attempt to expose the false self and get in touch with our true, God-created self, is through the discipline of spiritual direction. In a unique piece written by Jeannette Bakke, she allows us to listen in on a session and even put ourself in the directee’s place with a few questions and exercises. What a fitting way to learn more about this topic, and also dive deeper into it with Jeannette guiding our way toward Jesus.
Dear reader, this issue is full of writers who share vulnerably, but risk nothing—because their ego isn’t on the line. Allow yourself to be changed as you read their words, and seek to engage in whole-hearted living yourself.
For those who want to begin to interact with the content, you may want to join Joannah Sadler’s ‘class’ which focuses on Jeannette Bakke’s article, Through a Glass Darkly. Joannah helps us dive more deeply into the topic and brings to our attention the exercises and questions provided by the author for spiritual directees.