The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 26, 2023 - 4:12:49

Encasement and the person

Katie van Schaijik, Jan 05, 2016

Lately I've been ruminating on the ego and transcendence—the way the shell or crust that naturally encases the ego has to be rent or pierced or shattered in order for us to achieve real transcendence and communion. It's a theme in Pieper's great classic Leisure the Basis of Culture. Guardini dwells on the point. Von Hildebrand too.

I was thinking about it in relation to Christ's wounds, and the way salvation flows from them— "By His stripes we are healed," and in relation to my own wounds too—how they have become avenues of grace in my life, the actual points of connection between my soul and God, between my soul and other souls.

We want so much to stay "intact" and "safe" as egos! But rupture and vulnerability are apparently indispensable. It's written into our bodily being.

A woman's body is veiled in virginity—a veil rent in the sexual intercourse that leads to conception. Ovulation occurs when a sort of sac around the maturing egg in her ovary bursts open, releasing the egg into the fallopian tube, where it can be fertilized. An in utero baby is surrounded and sustained by another sac that breaks open in labor. 

Without rending and releasing there is no joining and no new life. It's true physically; it's true spiritually.