Kenosis – Let it all go!

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Kenosis – an idea important to early Christian writing – in essence means to empty yourself before God, to step away from behaviour and attitudes rooted in egotism. Whilst, I don’t personally believe in institutional religion or necessarily the idea of a personal, monotheistic God, I think the idea of kenosis has a lot of relevance in trying to live from an energy of well-being.

I’ll simply define emptying yourself to ‘God’ as emptying yourself to the highest and best of yourself which isn’t driven by fear and insecurity.

In a modern sense, I would say applying kenosis in your life means mentally and emotionally ‘letting go’ of the ‘ego’ within, which when all is said and done – a tyrant. Unhealthy demonstrations of egotistical behaviour are shown when our thinking, emotions and actions are unduly negative. But, I don’t recommend trying to replace one form of ego thinking with another form of ego thinking in an attempt to understand yourself better. I’ve tried this, and boy, it really is a waste of precious time. It seems pretty pointless in the long-term for your mental health and true potential to replace one fragile way of thinking and acting with an equally fragile way of thinking and acting.

Kenosis requires you to simply attempt to be open-minded about yourself. This means putting aside as much as you can – on a mental and emotional level – all of what you think you know about yourself and what you think you are. It is bloody hard, and most of us will only try it reluctantly.

However, from being open-minded, positive change can ‘enter’ and a different direction can begin to open up. You can’t be open-minded about yourself if you are always telling yourself you are a pretty useless person, unworthy and beyond help.  It’s a pretty inaccurate perception of self based on the most flimsy evidence that an A- level law student would be able to blow apart in the case of Life vs.You.

It also means having the courage to put aside what everyone else in your life thinks about you (the good and the bad stuff). There is a lot of emphasis today on improving yourself, on making yourself better, on ‘living the life’. Apparently this is called aspiration – the politicians call it social mobility (increasingly an expensive pursuit), the advertisers call it living your dream (parting with your wallet for no real long-term gain), the theologians call it following the rules (staying firmly in your place for fear of upsetting the theological applecart and truly changing the world), society calls it fitting in (behaving yourself and not challenging the status quo) family (and sometime friends) call it not letting us down (a lifelong guilt trip you must endure because your family, their family and your families generations before, failed to live the life they wanted and have issues with you daring to have the temerity to try). Apparently all this amounts to ‘being yourself.’ Sounds more like storing up a lifetime of regrets!

With kenosis, the point is not to leave you without a sense of identity. The point is to create enough mental and emotional space to let your own inner wisdom and intuition to come through.  To guide, nudge and inspire you to start perceiving the depth of your worth, and in the process the worth and sacred nature of others.  This means, simply letting go of what I call minor and major ego based thinking. Try it for a long enough period, a few months at least, to see major changes. But, in the short-term just try it for a day. Then two days. Then three. But, make time to practice doing this. So, if you are worried about something, mentally just practice letting it go (I tend to give myself a good talking to). If someone does something to you that shirks, erks or makes you call them a jerk, just practice letting go. Allow the thought, emotion and energy to simply carry on through, much as if you were standing on a train platform observing several trains go past. You don’t analyse those trains, you barely give time to them. Try the same with those thoughts. If something has gone wrong in life in the past or the present, just practice letting it go. Don’t spend time trying to justify, analyse, work it out or condemn yourself – just try to surrender whatever it is through kenosis.

Let it go.

The more you can do this, the more your focus will shift from concentrating on what is wrong or not great. You don’t need to necessarily replace your thoughts at this stage with positive thinking. Be sure that you and your ego will put up a fight to preserve what you think you know about yourself, everything you’ve experienced of yourself so far, what you think about yourself and how others see you; what you expect of yourself and what others expect of you; what you and others think your life is meant to be about and what Life itself knows is right for you.


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