Jesus teaches the art of metanoia, or “going into the larger mind.”
.. While Jesus is typical of the wisdom tradition in his vision of what a whole and unified human being looks like, the route he lays out for getting there is very different from anything that had ever been seen on the planet up to that point.
.. Many of the difficulties we run into trying to make our Christianity work stem from the fact that we haven’t realized how different Jesus’ approach really is.
.. What name might we give to this center? The apostle Paul suggests the word kenosis. In Greek the verb kenosein means “to let go,” or “to empty oneself,” and this is the word Paul chooses to describe “the mind of Christ.”
.. Here is what Paul has to say (Philippians 2:6-8):
Though his state was that of God,
yet he did not deem equality with God
something he should cling to.
Rather, he emptied himself,
and assuming the state of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He, being known as one of us,
humbled himself, obedient unto death,
even death on the cross.
In this beautiful hymn, Paul recognizes that Jesus had only one “operational mode.” Everything he did, he did by self-emptying. He emptied himself and descended into human form. And he emptied himself still further, “even unto death on the cross.” In every life circumstance, Jesus always responded with the same motion of self-emptying—or to put it another way, descent: taking the lower place, not the higher.