God Needs You. In this article, I am going to explain how God needs you to set aside your ego so that God can be in a better relationship with you and the world.My thoughts are going to jump off of the work of Martin Buber, Alice Miller, Carl Jung, the Kotzker Rebbe, and Abraham Joshua Heschel.
The four sections sections below will provide the background. My writing is thereafter. – rB
|Buber & No Self
There is an under-rated, under-seen, yet brilliant Ted Talk by psychotherapist Hedy Schleifer called The Power of Connection. She explains the philosophy of Martin Buber in a way that rabbinical school never quite did – that what keeps us from fully taking in and fully accepting another is not necessarily them or our inability to take them in. She passionately tells that what hinders us from encountering others – what Buber considered to be the face of the divine – is that we pollute the space between us with too much of ourselves. Godliness cannot exist between two people when either brings too much of themselves to that space.
Schleifer advises that to take another person in, what we need to do is to check our ‘self’ and our sense of identity at the door so that we can connect with the other, baggage free. She says that when we are filled with ourselves, our agenda, and even our sense of how the conversation will go, we block the connection.
Bottom line: God can be seen in the holy space between people.
|Miller & Mirroring
Alice Miller, author of “The Drama of the Gifted Child” which I’ve spoken about in a previous article, maintains that children learn emotions and about what it means to be alive from their parents’ faces and emotions. When a child is hurt, their parents – if emotionally healthy themselves – will curl down their lower lip and mirror the child’s world so that the child learns. The parent gives voice to the experience of the child until the child has mastered this skill for him or her self.
(If you didn’t have this childhood experience, Miller explains poignantly how this absence affected your life.)
Bottom line: We are informed about our experience of the world when others reflect us.
|Jung & God’s Need
Carl Gustav Jung, the brilliant protégée of Freud, posited that it is only through humanity’s consciousness that God can be conscious of God’s self. The idea Jung has is that the same way little children need us to reflect to them who they are in order for them to ultimately know who they are, God needs us to reflect God’s self.
Bottom line: God needs us to tell God who God is.
|Rabbis & Us Keeping God OutThe mid-19th century Kotzker Rebbi (Menachem Mendel of Kotzk) asked “Where is God?” and answered, “God is wherever we make room for God.”Similarly, a hundred years later, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish theologian and philosopher, wrote that God is in search of humanity.Both rabbis believed – contrary to the popular notion that God was the one – that we are the ones who are keeping God out.
Bottom line: God wants to be a part of our lives but we keep God away.
|Putting it Together
If we want to experience more God (however we define God) in our lives, here is a set of steps of what we need to do:Accept that God wants to be a part of our life.
Realize that if God is only hearing about God’s self from Bible-thumpers, then God and we will think that that is who God is.
Abandon our egos and attachments outcomes so that we can discover more about God – as opposed to knowing so much for certain.
Actively be in this relationship with (the) God (of our understanding) and reflect back our relationship so both parties can be informed about how things are going.
This week’s #wisdom_biscuit:
Get into conversations with God…
however, that means something to the two of you.