Those who are alive only in themselves—whose existence is the illusionary fabrication of self-determination and the paradoxically destructive work of self-actualization—are perpetually bound to themselves as source, unable to turn to the world around and too occupied with the frantic, unending work of fashioning their own image. Being slavishly occupied with such pursuits, they are tethered to their inward pursuit, and being pulled ever inward, they become insular, unaware and unmoved by the world outside. The inward center cannot hold, and those who have plunged its depths are lost.
But those who are alive outside themselves—whose existence is found not by self-discovery but rather is a transcendent reality received from a source beyond and outside—are free to give themselves to the world outside and around them. For having rootedness not in themselves but beyond, they are pulled ever outward, generously dispensable, able to give outside and beyond themselves, made glad participants in a reciprocating exchange of receiving and returning life. Such is our life in Jesus who gifts to us his own life—a life which is decidedly other, holy, being from and to all eternity.