Man's Great Dream of Himself

The problem with our conceptions of identity is that they have been too closely tied our felt need to “make life work.” The Truly Human in each one of us, the Image of God crying out, has neither desire nor intent to “make life work.” It is constantly and holistically aware that because of the incursive and ever-present love of God, it is life that makes us work and that life must spring from within us. When we equate salvation and therefore the resurrection of our True identities with this framework of civilized compartmentalization, we not only lose ourselves, but we lose Jesus in the mix. And this losing, though we know it not, is one in the same. It is this need for us to be men and women of the city, people that have well-managed life, this need has been given the opportunity to be crucified with Christ. We must lose ourselves, and by this Jesus means, our self that is self-supporting, the me-for-me presence that is upholding my well-balanced place in the world. It is this self that must die along the road. We are oh so familiar with our impulse for life to be maintained, for action to define reaction and for our impulses to arrange us successfully in the world. Our commitment so strong that we assume that Christ must want things the same way. This antecedent is our poison, and to the extent that we stay committed to it, interpret the cross by it, and work all our spiritualized efforts toward it, then Jesus becomes only one more option exemplar for man’s great dream of himself. The goodness and humanness (and by that we do not mean opposing forces, but rather one in the same force) embodied in Jesus, the Son of the Man, will not comply with the modes of successful and compliant, making-life-work living. It requires a greatness that must come from the guttural core of every human life itself, a greatness that when made manifest turns life’s structures on their heads and demands reaction from all those nearby. The life calling out is a life of total abandon to the universe itself making us more free than we’d dared, the kind of freedom that we have both feared and despised along the way. To go the way of Christ, we will no longer be able to make life anything, but rather life itself will make us, welling up from within as a force for beauty and truth, for the us-for-us that is the New Humanity Christ intended for us all.

What Jesus seeks in each of us is the frightened shivered creature which, before any of us can remember, huddled into the garment of guilt which the psychic womb wove for it as its only protection against the rude wind of an unknown love. The psychic womb is the God who sewed leaves together to hide our first identity. The gospel is going back to that beginning of us, and calling us out into our end.
— Sebastian Moore, The Crucified Jesus is No Stranger, p. 113