Easter Lightening


From my Theology from the Trenches: “[Wendy Farley] calls attention to a fascinating correspondence between the Buddhist notion of “vajra pride” and the Christian notion of being “in Christ.” Vajra literally means “lightening bolt” and in Tibetan Buddhism denotes a severing (as a knife severs) of the self from self-absorption so that one is liberated or freed for compassion and service. And, most importantly, it denotes a power to serve that is not bound by either selfishness or humiliation. Farley puts it this way:

‘Vajra pride is an image, borrowed from another language and culture, for an order of existence that is not governed by the duality of selfishness and humiliation. It is an image for the joy that comes as we find ways to unhook ourselves from the pathologies of egocentrism. . . . It reminds us of the excessive modesty of our self-understanding. “Who am I to be compassionate and wise? Who am I to shine like the sun?” Who are you that you do not recognize who you are? Who are you that you defraud yourself of your intimacy with Christ, with nature, with beauty, with other people? Who are you that you are sick and exhausted from holding back your stupendous power to love and feel and live? . . . We are God bearers. As our trust in this reality becomes more stable, we will become less afraid. As we discover practices that help us live into this reality, we dismantle the polarity that bounces us between our self-inflation and self-hatred, our addictions and our terror.’ [The Wounding and Healing of Desire]

Farley also contends that vajra pride corresponds to Paul’s notion that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) In Galatians, Paul tells us that when we exist “in Christ,” the flesh (Paul’s word for self-absorption) is “crucified.” As a result, we are freed to live life in the power of the Spirit — a life of love, joy, patience, faithfulness and generosity (Gal 5:22-25). Life that is lived in the power of the Spirit entails Christ-empowered service that gives glory to God.”



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