I was thinking this morning of selfishness, of how it seems to be that from which all evil proceeds, of how it seems to be at the bottom of our every vice and sin. I was also thinking that if we hope to attain to moral excellence in this life we must must root out every selfish feeling from our hearts. Being that selfishness has its root in the sentiment of all personal interest, this is a rather difficult matter though. Some people may think it to be impossible, but I don’t think so.
I believe it is possible to root out all selfishness from our hearts, beloved, and that this is where COMMUNION with the Lord and FELLOWSHIP with beings in HIGH PLACES comes in, for it is in proportion to ENLIGHTENMENT with regard to spiritual things that men attach less and less value to material things (even their material self), and as they emancipate themselves from their BONDAGE to matter and to material thinking, they can reform their entire way of being.
As I have shared, I’m quite convinced that selfishness is man’s greatest evil. I’m also quite convinced that selfishness is far from diminishing in this world, it even INCREASING today with man’s modern civilizations which largely serve to strengthen and intensify it. It seems that this is a necessary part of the divine plan though, for selfishness MUST DO A VAST AMOUNT OF HARM IN THIS WORLD in order for men to see the necessity of completely rooting it out of their hearts. When men shall have divested themselves of selfishness, then they will live like brothers, doing each other no harm, but mutually aiding each other from a sentiment of solidarity. The strong will then be the SUPPORT for the weak, and will not be their oppressor, and none will lack the necessities of life because the law of divine justice will be obeyed by all men. It is of this reign of love and justice that “the Feast of Tabernacles” bespeaks, beloved.
In line with all of this; please consider that selfishness is gradually weakened in us as our spirit (in union with Spirit) obtains predominance over our material life and being, and that we are CONTINUALLY BEING GIVEN OPPORTUNITIES to practice this predominance when, by the experience of the selfishness of others, we feel the need to defend ourself or justify ourself or vindicate ourself. It is at these times that self must be DENIED, beloved, not justified, defended or vindicated. It is at these times that we are being given AN OPPORTUNITY to let the principle of charity and fraternity become the basis of our life. This is when we can experience THE MORALIZING INFLUENCE of these trials by sacrificing our interests for the sake of others. Others may not even express any gratitude toward us for our self-denial. That doesn’t matter though. Self-denial is the way of Christ. It is the way for our spiritual progress and it is the way in which the virtue of the Kingdom of God is opened up in worldly situations everywhere. That is what really matters.