Kenosis

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Kenosis

Postby Bob » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:22 am

Self-Emptying

Less Is More
Sunday,  December 13, 2020
Third Sunday of Advent

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5–8)


Kenosis, which means “letting go” or “self-emptying,” is clearly the way of Jesus. My spiritual father Saint Francis of Assisi lived kenosis passionately, and it is key to my own teaching. I believe all great spirituality is about letting go. Yet many associate letting go with Buddhism more than with Christianity. Sadly, Christianity seems to have become more about “saving your soul” or what some now call “spiritual capitalism.”

Francis of Assisi (1182–1226) profoundly understood this Gospel reversal. He let go of his life in the upper class and joyfully lived in solidarity with those at the bottom, especially the sick and the poor. But you and I have grown up with a capitalist and individualistic worldview, not a Gospel or Franciscan worldview. That doesn’t make us bad or entirely wrong. But it has severely limited our spiritual understanding—and Christianity’s power to transform culture and history. We tend to think that “more for me” is naturally better. South African Dominican writer Albert Nolan viewed our Western crisis of meaning with clarity:

The cultural ideal of the Western industrialized world is the self-made, self-sufficient, autonomous individual who stands by himself or herself, not needing anyone else . . . and not beholden to anyone for anything. . . . This is the ideal that people live and work for. It is their goal in life, and they will sacrifice anything to achieve it. This is how you “get a life for yourself.” This is how you discover your identity. . . .

There have been plenty of people in the past with inflated egos—kings, conquerors, and other dictators—but in the Western world today the cultivation of the ego is seen as the ideal for everyone. Individualism permeates almost everything we do. It is a basic assumption. It is like a cult. We worship the ego.


In our consumer culture, even religion and spirituality have very often become a matter of addition: earning points with God, attaining enlightenment, producing moral behavior. Yet authentic spirituality is not about getting, attaining, achieving, performing, or succeeding—all of which tend to pander to the ego. It is much more about letting go—letting go of what we don’t need anyway, although we don’t know that ahead of time.

The great Dominican mystic Meister Eckhart (1260‒1328) said, “God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.” [2] True spiritual wisdom reveals that less is more. Jesus taught this, and the holy ones always discover it in one way or another. Think of the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Day, and the generations of nuns, friars, and monks who intentionally took a “vow of poverty.” I did so myself in 1965.

Sadly, like so many things that we call Christianity, we find that if we scratch right beneath the surface, it isn’t very much of Christianity; it’s just our local religious culture. Thankfully, there is a real longing today to clarify what is of Christ, what is essential Gospel, and what is historical or denominational accident.

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
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Re: Kenosis

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:22 pm

Buddhism has a term for this concept as well...

They call it “spiritual materialism”; something to overcome.
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Re: Kenosis

Postby felix dakat » Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:41 pm

Bob wrote:Self-Emptying

Less Is More
Sunday,  December 13, 2020
Third Sunday of Advent

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5–8)


Kenosis, which means “letting go” or “self-emptying,” is clearly the way of Jesus. My spiritual father Saint Francis of Assisi lived kenosis passionately, and it is key to my own teaching. I believe all great spirituality is about letting go. Yet many associate letting go with Buddhism more than with Christianity. Sadly, Christianity seems to have become more about “saving your soul” or what some now call “spiritual capitalism.”

Francis of Assisi (1182–1226) profoundly understood this Gospel reversal. He let go of his life in the upper class and joyfully lived in solidarity with those at the bottom, especially the sick and the poor. But you and I have grown up with a capitalist and individualistic worldview, not a Gospel or Franciscan worldview. That doesn’t make us bad or entirely wrong. But it has severely limited our spiritual understanding—and Christianity’s power to transform culture and history. We tend to think that “more for me” is naturally better. South African Dominican writer Albert Nolan viewed our Western crisis of meaning with clarity:

The cultural ideal of the Western industrialized world is the self-made, self-sufficient, autonomous individual who stands by himself or herself, not needing anyone else . . . and not beholden to anyone for anything. . . . This is the ideal that people live and work for. It is their goal in life, and they will sacrifice anything to achieve it. This is how you “get a life for yourself.” This is how you discover your identity. . . .

There have been plenty of people in the past with inflated egos—kings, conquerors, and other dictators—but in the Western world today the cultivation of the ego is seen as the ideal for everyone. Individualism permeates almost everything we do. It is a basic assumption. It is like a cult. We worship the ego.


In our consumer culture, even religion and spirituality have very often become a matter of addition: earning points with God, attaining enlightenment, producing moral behavior. Yet authentic spirituality is not about getting, attaining, achieving, performing, or succeeding—all of which tend to pander to the ego. It is much more about letting go—letting go of what we don’t need anyway, although we don’t know that ahead of time.

The great Dominican mystic Meister Eckhart (1260‒1328) said, “God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.” [2] True spiritual wisdom reveals that less is more. Jesus taught this, and the holy ones always discover it in one way or another. Think of the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Day, and the generations of nuns, friars, and monks who intentionally took a “vow of poverty.” I did so myself in 1965.

Sadly, like so many things that we call Christianity, we find that if we scratch right beneath the surface, it isn’t very much of Christianity; it’s just our local religious culture. Thankfully, there is a real longing today to clarify what is of Christ, what is essential Gospel, and what is historical or denominational accident.

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation


And Paul goes on to assert:
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
[Philippians 2:9-11]


The two passages taken together, symbolically I take to mean that Paul is exhorting the reader to adopt the attitude of self-sacrificial love that the Christ enacted in his incarnation and crucifixion because it is the highest possible value a human life can achieve.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: Kenosis

Postby zinnat » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:00 am

This is perhaps the first time when I am seeing this concept in Christianity.

I tried to search it on the net but found nothing much available there except the defferent definitions and the example of Jesus. There is no explanation/details available how exactly one can practice kenosis.

As far I understand the issue, merely giving up worldly things is not enough. Something must be missing here.

With love,
Sanjay
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Re: Kenosis

Postby Bob » Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:44 pm

zinnat wrote:This is perhaps the first time when I am seeing this concept in Christianity.

I tried to search it on the net but found nothing much available there except the defferent definitions and the example of Jesus. There is no explanation/details available how exactly one can practice kenosis.

As far I understand the issue, merely giving up worldly things is not enough. Something must be missing here.

With love,
Sanjay

Sunyata-emptiness is extremely relevant to the Christian concept of the four dimensions of God’s Kenosis – Its relation to creation, its dynamic of love, its relation to the word of God and its trinitarian structure. According to Nagarjuna, Sunyata is not nothingness, but it is truth or absolute reality of things or suchness (tathata) of the Universe. Sunyata – emptiness is not being as distinguished from beings, nor is it a transcendent God distinguished from this world, nor is it nothingness distinguished from the somethingness of ordinary life. It is not to be found outside oneself, nor is it to be found inside oneself. If it were any of these things, or if it were found in any particular place, it would be a relative emptiness, not ultimate reality.
https://www.thehillstimes.in/featured/s ... nd-buddha/
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
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Re: Kenosis

Postby Dan~ » Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:21 am

Some ideas are like parasites.
Like a virus.

Being free of those, can take a lot of time and effort.
I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio.
https://dannerz.itch.io/ -- a new and minimal webside now hosting my free game projects.
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Re: Kenosis

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:25 am

All Ken knows is it's not kenosis.
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Re: Kenosis

Postby felix dakat » Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:19 am

The chief purpose of theology is to provide an understanding of Revelation and the content of faith. The very heart of theological enquiry will thus be the contemplation of the mystery of the Triune God. The approach to this mystery begins with reflection upon the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God: his coming as man, his going to his Passion and Death, a mystery issuing into his glorious Resurrection and Ascension to the right hand of the Father, whence he would send the Spirit of truth to bring his Church to birth and give her growth. From this vantage-point, the prime commitment of theology is seen to be the understanding of God's kenosis, a grand and mysterious truth for the human mind, which finds it inconceivable that suffering and death can express a love which gives itself and seeks nothing in return.


John Paul II, Encyclical letter Fides et Ratio (September 14, 1998) #93

http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul ... ratio.html
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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