by Aart Jurriaanse
Selfishness is one of the most distinctive traits of the average human
being, and those who have managed to eradicate every trace of this
characteristic from their system must surely be close to attaining
Selfishness is one of the earliest attributes of man and was divinely
inspired to allow man to become self-conscious. It also fulfilled an
essential function in providing self-protection, which was particularly
important to ensure physical survival during man's primitive existence.
Selfishness is therefore a natural stage of unfoldment in man, and a
phase that has been with him for many lives, and which he is slow in
outgrowing. In the past it served a useful purpose and was an essential
quality for self-realization. But as man matures and is learning to tread
the Path of Light, he should become more consciously aware that he
forms an intrinsic part of the greater Whole, and he should therefore
increasingly forget about exclusively serving the ‘Self'. Synthesis with
inner groups and service to his environment should now become his
objective, no longer heeding the personality with all its inclinations
towards separative existence.
It is through selfishness that the door is kept open for the entry of evil
into human living. It is through the many aspects of this human failing
that evil obtains the opportunity of expressing itself. So if evil is to be
combated, and if the door of its entry is to be closed, the first task will
be to limit and eventually to eradicate all selfishness from the human
system. To effect this, man must first become aware in which respects
he is falling short, and the attention will therefore be briefly focused on
some of these characteristics which the disciple should strive to
Self-centredness is the characteristic leading to separativeness. It often
makes its appearance after man has been through deep waters and
badly buffeted by the storms of life. Through these adversities he has
learnt to become self-dependent and to walk alone. Although self-reliance
is a commendable attribute up to a point man should, however,
be on his guard not to become over-balanced in this respect, by
regarding himself as the focal point of his little world. This will be an
indication of selfishness, and will be distinguished by a lack of
consideration and interest in his fellow human beings.
Such an attitude may only be rectified by reverting to a life of
sacrificial service; to become out-going and self-forgetting by
relinquishing and self-surrendering; by striving to serve as a soul --
possessing nothing and asking nothing for the separated self.
This same shortcoming is a typical stage in the development of nations;
the majority of nations in fact still maintain the selfish attitude of
considering only the interests of their own particular country, this
invariably leading to clashes with other countries maintaining similar
narrow and self-centred approaches. The only solution, which might
lead to eventual world peace, is for all nations to recognize their
interdependence on other nations and countries; that no nation (or
individual) can in the long run conduct a separative existence; that life
can only proceed with happiness and peace where there is sharing, co-operation
and mutual goodwill; and finally that all men and all nations
form part of the One Humanity and the One World!
Self-pity is a wretched plight founded on a deluding condition which
exaggerates every adverse circumstance, and dramatizes situations
evoked in the mind, thereby isolating the individual in his own life.
Every human being will experience phases of self-commiseration,
especially during periods of depression which are of normal occurrence
in man's cyclic progression through life. These milder forms of self-pity
are usually not serious, although its total elimination should be aimed
Extreme cases of self-pity, however, quite often occur and these may
develop into really distressful afflictions, with individuals losing
practically all self-control. Such dramatic self-pity must be regarded as
but another form of selfishness or self-centredness. The person's
attention is focused far too much on himself. In his self-concern he
cannot see life's adversities in their broader application and effect, but
only regards these harmful agencies as concentrated and aimed at him
personally, so as to cause him personal pain and suffering; he does not
realize that others experience these same vicissitudes, and that these
are but the buffetings of life, which man has to surmount, and in the
process of which his character is being built and strengthened. These
poor individuals really only love themselves.
The best cure for this largely self-induced suffering is to break out of
this piteous condition by concentrating all the powers of the personality
towards the helping of others. With efforts focused on such service, the
disciple will discover that he is not the only one experiencing reverses,
and that there are others who are suffering even worse misfortunes and
that in comparison he is still well off. He will also find that
compassionate interest and dynamic service to others bring joy and
The victim should also cultivate an attitude of acceptance and spiritual
indifference, paying no undue attention to the well being of the physical
body, or to the moods, feelings or mental illusions. These personality
interests should be superseded by external interests and activities -- by
serving the needs and demands of relations, friends, and the

Aart Jurriaanse, wrote a number of compilations from the books of Alice A. Bailey. Among these are: Of Life and other worlds; Prophecies; Ponder on this; Serving Humanity; The Soul; The Quality of Life; and he is also the author of Bridges which is a Commentary on these teachings.   

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"Love is an active force which transforms. Love which does not act is hardly love at all. Love in action is the essence of love. It is an ability to love the world and all that is in it which is the capacity of Maitreya. The deepest desire of the heart of the One who can do that is to unify all. He looks into the world and sees 5.6 billion people: suffering, striving, competing, all the different actions, some positive, some deeply negative. He sees all of that and His urge, His deepest desire, the outflow of His spiritual heart's need, is to bring all of that together, to unify it all." Benjamin Creme, in Maitreya's Mission Vol. III



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