Verses 7–9a: “But all such assets I have written off because of Christ. I would say more: I count everything sheer loss, because all is far outweighed by the gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I did in fact lose everything. I count it so much garbage, for the sake of gaining Christ and finding myself incorporate in him.” [written by Paul]
Carl Jung writes about Christ as a symbol of the Self. In Analytical Psychology, the Self is the organizing principle of psyche (soul) that “is a part of God that God put in us, so that we can know there is a God.” When we live in conscious relationship to God Within, we are called as Paul was, to surrender our ego attachments to know the Self/God Within.
Paul writes about the error of believing that externals connect us to Christ/the Self. He lists the merits he possessed as having been a pious Pharisee who was “in legal rectitude, faultless.” He then makes the statement quoted above. He is pointing out that knowledge (felt knowing, not intellectual ideas) of Christ is what matters, not adherence to prescribed formulas, laws, or ways of acting. He states he has lost everything. He has given up his identity, his raison d’être, and his previous lifestyle “for the sake of gaining Christ and finding myself incorporate in him.” Paul’s ego surrendered to the Self/God Within.
When we follow externally prescribed and imposed ways of thinking, emoting, and acting, we can find ourselves on a misguided path. Paul was living in accordance with the family, religious, and societal norms into which he was born and raised. As a result, he was off track, separated from God Within. When he encountered the Christ/God Within, everything shifted. Paul realized what he held onto in the past was “garbage.”
The experience of knowing the Self/God Within changes everything. In the split second encounter, we have a felt knowing of our heart and soul as one with God. Unfortunately, we often lose it just as quickly, because it differs from our ego’s standards and ideals, values and morals.
The Self/God Within speaks and moves in us through our libido/life force, which we experience in our desires, longings, passions, and instinctive responses. Our willingness to encounter God in these ways is essential for our ego to be incorporated into or consciously connected to the Self/God Within.
Take a few moments to offer gratitude for the “garbage” you have left behind as you have followed the Inner Divine Spirit. Ask for the courage, clarity, and volition to let go of the external beliefs, structures, rules, etc. that keep you from living the truth of your heart and soul. Open to receive an experience of the Self/God Within that can carry you forward and sustain you.