Against the background that our destiny is to become like God, we will all - sooner or later - reach a zero point from-which only Christ can transform us.
An analogy is adolescence. Through childhood, our self becomes more and more concentrated and detached until at a point we reach total isolation: the world becomes doubted, as being a delusion of our imagination of our own minds - and then at the zero point we feel that our own minds are a delusion too.
This zero point is one where all seems subjective, and subjectivity itself a temporary illusion.
But to grow-up we must go through this zero point...
(The zero point is very unpleasant to experience and fraught with spiritual dangers; But adolescence is a necessary step in growing up.)
How can this be done? We cannot do it ourselves.
We cannot do it ourselves because at the zero point we utterly lack resources to do it. We have been reduced to impotence - that is indeed the essence of the situation.
Our society is stuck at the zero point. We believe nothing is really-real and despair - and therefore we utterly lack the resources to escape this mental trap.
(But the trap is a necessary step in growing up.)
We deny in our basic assumptions the reality of any external, ordered and benign reality. So, even when we are offered help - we reject the offer as merely another delusion. In fact things are worse than this, much worse... We prefer to reject the offer of help even when we know it to be real.
We therefore respond to the trap by not-thinking about our situation as much as is possible - by distraction, intoxication, frenzied hedonism - and our ultimate hope is painless oblivion after mortal life.
When this fails we despair. And remain trapped.
For modern Man, there is nothing but Man; and at the zero point Man has been brought to nothing.
At the zero point we can only move forward with help - with help from something that is not ourself.
Some agency that will transform us - because we cannot transform ourselves. (It must be an agency; it must be some-thing - some being - that wants to transform us.)
This agency is Christ.
We might consider the transforming agent as God-within - not our human self but the immortal divine self we were born with and accompanies our 'human self' through mortal life; or we might consider it as external God, looking down with mercy upon our plight...
Either way this is Christ - because Christ was himself transformed. Christ was himself brought to point zero such that he had to be rescued and moved forward by God the Father.
(God the Father cannot himself help us through the zero point - because God has not been through the zero point: this is why Christ was necessary for human destiny to be fulfilled. By the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus - God was brought to-and-through the zero point.)
When we are helpless, we must be helped.
Yet even in the extremity of helplessness Men have agency. This is a fact of existence. Men choose.
At zero point Men choose whether or not to accept the help that Jesus Christ offers.
Because Man is always agent; help cannot be given where it is refused.
When we are brought to the zero point; when a society or civilisation is brought to zero point we cannot help ourselves, we can only be helped.
We will be offered effectual help: Christ will offer us the answer: He will bring us through point-zero and to the other side.
But this can only happen if we let it happen; if we agree to the reality, Goodness, love and authority of Jesus Christ.
(Christianity cannot be coerced - and I mean cannot be coerced. We can defy God - and that is the temptation of all temptations - called pride. We mortals can in fact defy the creator. He cannot compel us to acknowledge his reality, Goodness or love.)
This is not to be regarded as something like a threat, a legal condition, or a price to be paid for a privilege but instead as a simple recognition of reality and the consequence of recognition.
Christ cannot transform us if we do not agree to it; and we do not agree to it unless or until we regard Christ as real and Good - which is to acknowledge the actuality and Goodness of God's creation and its plan; and our own destiny in that creation. And if we regard Christ as loving us; that is having our own personal interests in his heart.
Christ can save us if we let him; but we will only let him if we know him as real and Good and loving of us, personally.
Note: The above has been stimulated by some sections of Owen Barfield's Unancestral Voice (1965)