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Are You Wrapped Too Tight?

Part 1

The main problem with being all wrapped up in yourself is that there's no room left in there to care for anyone or anything else besides you!

Part 2

The clearer it becomes to each of us that everyone suffers for a simple lack of everyday kindness, the nearer we are to creating a world in which no one has to suffer anymore over how they've been treated by others.

Transcend the Limitations of Self-Centered Love

How can we begin the process of transcending our own limiting self-centered love to come into a fully conscious and impersonal one?

One of the most shocking and necessary discoveries along the path is that what we love does not love us. We are filled all the time with powerful feelings and emotions that seem to lift or otherwise provide purpose and self-worth. It is not too much to say that most of these inner states are lies. By this I mean that these feelings are hopelessly incomplete of themselves, and so seek completion in some secret opposite that they generate. As we grow and become weary of finding ourselves, only to lose ourselves again and again, a certain spiritual clarity comes that makes the source of this betrayal clear. As it does, we fall out of love with ourselves. In proportion to this detachment, real Love reveals itself within us as having always been there.

Why do I feel let down when I ask a family member for help in doing a task and see that they are not concerned with the request? If they were doing the asking, the situation would be different -- that is, they would be upset if I didn't help them!

One of the major stumbling blocks as we go further with our spiritual studies is the gradual discovery of the undeveloped nature of the human beings around us. It never occurs to us how truly self-centered others are, and when we begin to see this, the observation brings a sense of despair or of being alone. This is inevitable and valuable to your work -- the reason being that as we see through the secret self-interest that possesses our friends and family, we can't help but come aware of it within ourselves. This does two things: First, we begin to become truly self-reliant, and second, at the same time as we learn to let go of our own selfishness, we understand its mechanical and unconscious nature in others. This teaches us compassion.

Would you please explain what it means to "remember" yourself? This idea of remembering myself resonates in me. It seems important to understand and, more importantly, to be able to do.

Yes, you are correct. Here is some help. Working to remember yourself doesn't mean to think about or otherwise consider yourself, as that is all most of us do all the time anyway. Remembering yourself is quite the opposite of this form of self-considering. To remember yourself begins with realizing you have been asleep, taking part in a self-centered life instead of the God-centered one. You may think of the idea of remembering yourself as simply being aware that "you" are both house and its contents, and that if this house (or awareness of yourself) doesn't know it's there, doesn't know it "stands" in and of itself while the contents rattle around and change position within it, then you are identified totally with the contents... which means you are asleep to yourself. Bad dreams are inevitable in this kind of spiritual slumber! To awaken (at least at one important level) is to realize that a house divided cannot stand, and that only when both house and contents are present to your awareness are you truly conscious and capable of really being involved in this miracle called life. So, work to remember yourself. Asking God to help you do this will help you succeed because it is impossible to remember yourself without remembering His Life, in which your life dwells.

This article is excerpted from Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom (pages 134, 154, 38.).

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