Self-emptying Or Self-improvement?

In Philippians 2:7, we read that Jesus “made himself nothing” (NIV). Kenosis suggests the emptying of self-will to the point at which one is nothing but a vessel for the divine will. My will be Thine; Thy will be mine.

This is the heart of meditation: it is the very emptying out of the self so that Big Mind can shine forth.

Self-improvement, self-help, self-optimization, and self-development all share a common mistake: they perpetuate self-will, doubling down on human agency. Doing so, they ensure that there will be more suffering for the one heading, again and again, in the wrong direction.

It is clear, for those who have developed a sense of self during childhood and into adulthood, that self-emptying is the way and that self-improvement is not.

Doing more, being more, and trying more: no. Fundamentally no.

Doing less, being less, trying less: yes. Quintessentially yes.

Doing–being–trying more: born of lack and fraught with craving. Stop. Instead, undergo a fasting of the mind, urges Zhuangzi. Be like a mirror without a speck of dust, Zen masters command. Make yourself nothing as Jesus exemplifies.