Christianity is all about saving the soul of sin. However, most of us have a misconception of what this actually means. When we think of the soul, we think about the self: who we are. The “person” that thinks and feels. That isn’t the “person” Christian salvation seeks to save.
We think the Ego is the self. The ego is the set of thoughts and actions we consider who we are. The ego isn’t consistent. Take a day to watch your “self.” You feel angry, sad, happy. Your thoughts flit to and fro. The self desires many things. The ego is an illusion we hold up and call the self. It seeks to protect itself even to the point of death. It is the part of ourselves that doesn’t want to be wrong. It is the part that desires. Even desiring salvation is a function of the ego.
There isn’t a self for God to save, but there is a Self. This Self is like a window that lets in sunshine. A window dirty with the ego can’t shine in God’s light. Only by cleaning ourselves of the ego – even of the desire for salvation- can we touch our Self. This pure state of consciousness and emptiness is what God seeks to save. Death is when the ego passes away – either through realizing enlightenment or salvation or through physical death. What remains is the soul. That soul is a natural mirror that reflects the true nature of humanity; it reflects a nature that comes from being made in the image of God.
The ego is crafty. The personification of Satan found in Scripture describes the ego more than a fallen angel. The ego does nothing but desire. It desires salvation. It desires to live forever. It desires wealth, food, reputation, and even going to heaven. The Self appears when we stop desiring. Of course, the ego can even desire the cessation of desire.The key to finding the Self is to live and accept reality as it is. Avoiding filters and judgment helps quite the ego. Ego does nothing but filter and judge and desire.
We don’t have to physically die to receive the fruits of salvation. Heaven is found when the ego dies and reveals the Self. Heaven is when we allow God’s love and compassion to shine through the window of our true nature.