Seek the Self-Knowledge That Is Life's True Treasure
Seek the Self-Knowledge That Is Life's True Treasure
  • Posted: February 17, 2007
  • 285 words
Key Lesson

Nothing is wrong with desiring financial independence, but this kind of freedom isn't what you really want.

What you really want is freedom from a self that torments you each time it compares itself to others it imagines are happier than you are because of what they possess. Truth be known, these people are possessed by a kind of spirit that can never be satisfied, as evidenced by the fact that there is no end to their appetite for more; in this cycle is the seed of greed.

Seek first freedom from fear and find there, in this interior liberty, the lasting fulfillment only Truth can give. Then, in this new richness, you will be able to do in life what it is you really want to do and, without doubt, be successful there because you have first succeeded as a human being.

Summary

In this world, it's possible for you to find physical gold, but without winning the war within yourself, this wealth could not do anything for you other than perhaps produce a more comfortable place in which to continue your struggle with old conflicts. However, there is an inner gold you can find whose possession fulfills you, regardless of your external circumstances. We can call this inner gold "real self-knowledge": truths you know about yourself, for yourself and from yourself through your self-study. It's yours because you've visited the world where this new kind of gold exists; you've mined it yourself, and you've put it in your pocket. This gold can never be taken from you. Its goodness is yours forever. This new inner wealth enriches you by transforming your very own ideas about who you are and what you really want from life. With it, everything gets simpler. And the nicest thing about this special spiritual gold is that you can have as much of it as you're willing to pay for.

On the other hand, and it warrants this short warning, nothing is as easy, and even secretly flattering as it can be, than to read certain books that build our self-images as being wise and "spiritual." These books, however, contain a subtle sort of spiritual "fool's gold" that keeps us trapped in an imaginary world. By contrast, real self-knowledge can be a little difficult to take at first, delivering well-aimed blows to our vanity as it shows us how limited and artificial our self-created thought-world has been. But it also provides a glimpse of the expansive world that awaits us . . . if we will treasure the truth about ourselves that it alone can reveal.

Excerpted From: The Intimate Enemy: Winning the War Within Yourself, pages 163-164.

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