There is a coherence beyond neural linkage. Something that persists beyond brain damage. That knows an ‘I’ without defining ‘I’. It is the bit which is left when chat stops in meditation. That is the true self.
With respect to altruism or egotism, we’d be better off just to forget both ideas altogether? They don’t serve anything? Well, people can’t really forget anything, and a lot of new agers become very discouraged from trying.
What would be better to do is take a genuine interest in self. You exist in a world where things have meaning for you. That meaning isn’t an object you can claim, a territory you can stake. That meaning is you. It’s your soul reflected in the world.
You live in a world of pleasures, wonderous diversions and seemingly endless variety of desirable things. All of which come from the most desirable thing of all, life itself. You didn’t create your sandwich, but you may have arranged it to look in such a way as you felt you could call it a sandwich. You should appreciate all that you desire for what it is, a desire for life. And you should respect all that your desires come from, because they are your family. They are your self.
To deny desire is to deny life. To deny belief and meaning is to deny life. We are very clever creatures, but as much as we might like to have it all sorted out into neat little piles, there is no separation between desire and aspirations of selflessness. There is no separation between your MacDonald’s Happy Meal and the teenager who handed it to you. You can’t pick sides because there is no enemy anywhere, except maybe you, and that is only because you have decided that one side of you is better than another. That some part of life is holy and another is evil.
It has been said, you are your own worst enemy. You can also be your own God. Even Jesus said, “Have I not said you are each Gods. Children of the one living God?” Pardon if I paraphrase, but Christianity has no meaning without the potential to emulate their God. The teachings are empty without that. You are empty if there is a side you must express and another you must deny. You are whole. This coming from a man who science believes has a seriously splintered brain.
Ok. So what exactly do you do in this wholeness so you don’t just do the spiritual splits again? Want to avoid crucifixion again? Any takers?
It’s not a balancing act between desire and righteousness. It’s not a question of this or that. All that you desire, you desire either due to the wisdom of nature, or due to the wisdom of your own clarity. In your moments of peace, you consider that something is desirable. You can desire as a path. See that your desires follow a path or lead you off of it. You know the truth of the path by the sense of freedom. The degree to which you feel fully present. The degree to which your life has meaning. New shoes and MacDonald’s Big-Macs don’t do this, but they are not enemies either. It’s okay to stop for that candy bar, or to ignore lunch because you are just so swept up in a powerfully meaningful moment of experience.
Schedules mean nothing outside of being agreements. Agreements are valuable things, but should be made with the wisdom of your own inner nature and recognition of the other. Agreement is a meeting point. You can agree for your own purposes to serve a greater good.
Sorry if I am getting too preachy. Perhaps a parting thought, and I do hope you enjoyed your time here. If you seek truth, if you desire wisdom above all else, this is life. Heed your beating heart, listen to the whispers of your breath, and remember that you stand upon the earth.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.