1 Corinthians 1:18–31, The Power Of the Mundane

Verses 28, 30b: “He has chosen things low and contemptible, mere nothings, to overthrow the existing order. And so there is no place for human pride in the presence of God…(in Christ Jesus) we are consecrated and set free.”

How many times have unanticipated feelings or moods triggered by the outer world sabotaged our plans for ourselves and how we move through the day? It’s usually a little thing that throws us off kilter. Something or someone interferes with our plans, we get sidetracked, we misplace something important, etc.

We may even say to ourselves or someone else, “It’s nothing. No big deal.” Yet, feelings of frustration, annoyance, self-ridicule, or inadequacy kick in and we feel flustered. In retrospect, the triggering event may seem minor, yet in the moment, we lose our balance and sometimes our self.

We (with our ego) think if we dismiss or overlook something, whatever we have felt or experienced will go away. The perceptions sensed in our psyche-soma (soul-body) may retreat from consciousness, but they do not leave the body-mind.

To clear what we experience in our psyche-soma, we have to relate to the experience consciously. When we own our body-mind experiences, including the fleeting sensations, perceptions, and fantasies, they are integrated into our ego/self and tempered by all the other experiences of our lifetime. In this way, a singular experience (or series of similar experiences) loses its power to take us over.

This scripture reminds us the “things low and contemptible, mere nothings” are what can “overthrow the existing order.” Symbolically and from the perspective of Jungian Psychology, the “existing order” represents the ego. The ego is formed from our felt experiences (sense-perceptions) and perceptions that are, or can be made, conscious. Conscious means having an awareness experienced in the body and mind. It’s not just a head or intellectual knowing! The ego is the sense of self we have about who we are.

With our ego, we interface between our inner world and the outer world (people, objects, tasks, nature, etc.) Our ego tends to filter out any sense perceptions (felt experiences) not compatible or congruent with our sense of self. What’s filtered out becomes the symbolic “things low and contemptible, mere nothings” that have the power to overthrow our ego.

These things are the body-mind sensations, emotions, and perceptions we have dismissed or overlooked. In a moment’s flash, we deemed them unacceptable, undesirable, or unimportant. But they stay in the unconscious psyche-soma (soul-body) waiting for an opportunity to be acknowledged and related to. They show up in unbidden and undesired moods, affects, impulses, fantasies, and/or behaviors. We can mitigate their negative effects as we build a conscious relationship to them.

Our ego can be prideful; we think, speak, and act as if we (ego) were in charge of our body-mind. It only takes a simple cold virus or an unexpected, unshakeable mood to prove us wrong. The power we (with our ego) consciously have lies in the ability to focus and relate intentionally. When we are intentional about receiving and relating to what goes on inside of us, the bits of self caught in the feeling states begin to be integrated. We are “consecrated”—made holy—made whole. We are freed from the oppressive, self-negating effects of our experiences.

Inner Reflection
Take a few minutes to reflect on your sense of wholeness and freedom in being you. With gratitude, acknowledge the integrating and clearing of past hurtful, limiting experiences. Feel the power of relating to all the bits (emotions, feelings, fantasies, thoughts, sensations, perceptions, etc.) of your inner world. Be in dialogue with any negative felt experiences and moods that haunt and thwart you. Affirm the presence of the Self/God Within that holds you together as your ego struggles to relate consciously to the “lowly and contemptible.” Remember the power of relating!

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