The empty self is filled up with consumer goods, calories, experiences, politicians, romantic partners, and empathetic therapists…The empty self experiences a significant absence of community, tradition, and shared meaning…a lack of personal conviction and worth, and it embodies the absence of chronic, undifferentiated emotional hunger. – Philip Cushman
7 Steps of the Empty Self:
The empty self is
1. Individualistic. A healthy sense of self is a good thing. But the empty, self-populating American culture is a self-contained individual who defines his/her life goals as if he/she was a human atom, isolated from others with little need or responsibility to live for the concerns of the broader community.
2. Infantile. The infantile part of self needs instant gratification, comfort, and soothing. It is controlled by cravings and continually seeks to be filled up with and made whole by food, entertainment, and consumer goods. This person is preoccupied by sex, physical appearance, and body image. S/He lives by feelings and experiences. Boredom is the greatest evil, and amusement is the greatest good.
3. Narcissistic. Inordinate and extraordinary sense of self-infatuation in which the individual is preoccupied with his/her own self-interest and personal fulfillment. They manipulate relationships with others, including God, to validate their own self-esteem and cannot sustain deep attachments or make personal commitments to something larger than their own ego.
4. Passive. The couch potato, letting others do our living and thinking for us – the pastor studies the Bible for us, the media does our political thinking for us, our favorite sports teams exercise for us, struggle for us and win for us. Our primary agenda is to be amused and entertained. Historically, a holiday is a holy day, but now they are used as vacating, vacation days.
5. Sensate. If it’s on TV, it’s real. Sensate people do not base their decisions on careful research and reasoning. They now decide on advertising images and announcers. Sensate people only believe what can be experienced by the five senses.
6. Lacking an interior life. An interior life through intellectual reflection and spiritual formation is critically important in a formed self. Empty selves become defined by personalities and consumer goods as well as the quest for celebrity status, image, pleasure, and power.
7. Hurried and busy.The empty self is gorged with activities and noise, lives a frenzied life to keep the pain and emptiness suppressed. One must jump from one activity to another and not be exposed to quiet for very long or the emptiness will become apparent.
If you read traits above that have you asking how do you stop being an empty self?
- Admit you are one.
- Choose to be different.
- Change your routine.
- Develop patience and endurance; the mind is a muscle and needs to be stretched.
- Develop a good vocabulary; keep a dictionary handy and look up words you do not know.
- Set intellectual goals; set annual study goals; choose a study partner to be accountable to and to discuss your readings and research.
CITE: Moreland, J. Love Your God with all Your Mind, Colorado Springs, CO. NavaPress, Inc.