17: Formation of the Homemade Self: The Existential Model, Part 1

Séraphine Louis, Feuilles 1928

“We humans are evolution made conscious; hence, our choices for and in the world shape the future of the world… We are to harness the energies of love for the forward movement of evolution toward the fullness of Christ. This means to live from the center of the heart where love grows and to reach out to the world with faith, hope and trust in God’s incarnate presence.”
– Ilia Delio, Making All Things New


Today’s video segment continues the discussion of the evolution of human consciousness and how each person recapitulates that evolution in their individual development from infancy to adulthood.

If the natural, human needs of security, affection and a sense of autonomy were met in early childhood, we would move from one stage of development to the next, seamlessly integrating all the gifts of the Uroboric into the Typhonic, through Mythic Membership to the Mental Egoic and beyond.

Instead, at each new phase, our newly-acquired brain-power (rational consciousness) is enlisted not for evolution, but in service to getting these old demands met. We often find ourselves in recurring behaviors that cause harm to ourselves and others. We are subject to urges and motivations that are largely hidden from our conscious awareness. Despite our best intentions, we walk around with the pervasive sense that something is wrong, and our thoughts, words and actions often run counter to our wish for true happiness.

Fr. Thomas often refers to the human condition as the “false-self system.” It is false because it is a mask that covers the insecurities borne of unconscious, unmet needs, repressed emotions and our striving to fulfill others’ expectations of who we should be. Our true radiant being as a child of God is covered over. We see through the lens of our desperate, immature requirements of life without experiencing Divine Life showering grace upon us.

Now what? We may be ready for a new creation, but how?

At the end of Session 15’s video excerpt, Fr. Thomas says, “We will begin to see our personal diagnosis of our falsity, as we have experienced it, and perhaps are experiencing it, and thus be open to the divine remedy. I suggest that this is the contemplative dimension of the Gospel and which contemplative prayer accesses.”

When Fr. Thomas talks about our “falsity” or “illness” or “disease,” he is referring to the false-self system, or what he also refers to as our home-made self, not the fullness of what God created us to be.

A Meditation

“Amma Syncletica said: In the beginning there is struggle and a lot of work for those who come near God. But after that, there is indescribable joy. It is just like building a fire: at first, it’s smoky and your eyes water, but later you get the desired result. Thus, we ought to light the divine fire in ourselves with tears and effort.”

– Y. Nomura, Desert Wisdom


“Evolution impels us to think of God
as drawing the world [and us] from up ahead,
attracting it into a new future.”
– Ilia Delio, Making All Things New

To Practice
  • View the video excerpt “Formation of the Homemade Self: The Existential Model, Part 1.” This excerpt is about 21 minutes in length.
  • Reflect: Some of the new thought about evolution is that creation was not a one-time event. God is continuing to create the world and everything in it and we have the potential to be co-creators with God. Have you experienced God drawing you from up ahead?


“Formation of the Homemade Self: The Existential Model, Part 1,” excerpted from The Spiritual Journey Part 2, 21.2 mins.
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Audio for this Narrative

"Formation of the Homemade Self: The Existential Model, Part 1," excerpted from The Spiritual Journey Part 2, 21.2 mins.
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Resources for Further Study:
You may wish to read the Introduction and Chapters 1-5 and 7 in Invitation to Love (20th Anniversary Edition), the Introduction through Chapter 6, in older editions.

Additional Resources