Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spiritual Rhythms of Life for Today - August 22

Desire is a pre-given part of who I am. Its expression can be constructive or destructive, but this does not explain its existence. I am not in control of desire, but merely its outcome, as it’s already there before I am conscious of it. If this is the case, it’s one more nail in the coffin of the prominent, but wayward proposal of a self-authenticating self, which attempts to be the founder of itself and the final foundation of meaning and knowledge. A more accurate hermeneutics of self is one that takes into account the truth that I am a mediator of that which precedes me; that which is given, and that my accountability is connected to what I do with this, not that I make it be in the first place. For example: to desire is not a choice, but what to desire is. This portrayal of selfhood should make room for the transcendent and in doing so therefore, ultimately open up a very real signpost to God.


carter said...

Very interesting note. I was thinking this morning that most things that give me pleasure are probably a dim reflection of what it means that our "chief end is to glorify god and to enjoy him forever." To focus on the pleasure in and of itself is to confuse self-aggrandizement with worship of god,whether it be conscious or not. Is this a valid reflection, or have I missed the mark?

Greg said...

Thanks. Yes, I think that pleasure can actually become self-negating if it's embedded in the confusion you mention.

On another note, I'm not sure that pleasure and desire are the same. Something that we don't desire might give pleasure of the confused sort or something we do desire might not give pleasure. But this don't and do are mediated by us, whereas desire is a pre-subjective given characteristic of who we are - so in this case - transcendent of us - and therefore capable of a critique of self-aggrandizement and affirming God.