What’s in it for me?
It’s unsettling to consider how many of our thoughts are centered on our own self-interest. The clothes we wear, the words we speak, the food we eat, and nearly all the actions we take belie an underlying contemplation of what’s in it for me?
In the service of others there’s still, paradoxically, a “me” materializing a sense of duty, acquiescence, or charity. Even Mother Teresa is purported to have said there was nothing selfless she had ever done.
All our fears, dreams, joys, and sorrows have the same component at their center: me. My body, my life, my family, my friends, my job, my people, my country, my likes, my dislikes, my identity, my reputation, my death, my legacy. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.
It’s no wonder we recoil from anything that diminishes a perception of the “self”.
That’s why practicing any non-dualistic thought system like A Course in Miracles or non-materialistic exercises such as meditation are so challenging. They take the "me" out of me. And then what’s left?
Which explains why grievances are so attractive, despite their apparent revulsion. Each injustice - all sense of unfairness - loudly shrieks, “Woe is ME. See how I am suffering!”
But there is a way to experience joyful peace while simultaneously unclenching the tightly-clasped fist of me. And that’s by asking a slightly different question: What’s in it for we?
As long as the we is everyone and everything. Otherwise, if there’s any exclusion, then the we is nothing but an expanded form of me.
An all-inclusive we sees the oneness that unites all - not bound by any form or distinction. But you won’t find that we anywhere in the world. It’s in the mind. Easily accessible, readily attainable but for a little willingness to look.
And so the choice is ours. Remain caught up in the distressing drama of me or escape all pain into the joyous union of we.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore the attachment to self and how we can transcend its trauma and experience tranquility. I look forward to seeing you then.