ESOTERIC TENETS HUMAN SHORTCOMINGS Selfishness by Aart JurriaanseSelfishness 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 perfection.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 conquer.Self-centrednessSelf-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-pitySelf-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 at.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 self-forgetfulness.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 community.
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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