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Self-development and service

Nov 09, 1997 11:14 AM
by Titus Roth

It seems to me that these self-development and service are difficult to
separate and certainly belong together.  How can you truly be of service to
others if you haven't corrected your own errors?  You would be the "blind
leading the blind".  And how can you correct your own errors if you don't
learn how in the school of the world? - and that means motivating your search
for healing techniques out of compassion for others.

Self-development need not be selfish.  As we have discussed before, the
difference is motive.  Jung said (approximately), "The ocean is made up of
individual drops.  It takes grains of sand to make the Sahara desert.  And you
are helping make the ocean better when you become a better drop of water."
When I apply myself to spiritual disciplines, I try to think of it as better
qualifying myself to help others.

One must, of course, be scrupulously self-honest about it.  Selfishness can
disguise itself quite cleverly in an outward appearance of selflessness.  It
can hide motives of egotism, love of power, love of praise or flattery
.. etc.

We have to teach and learn at the same time.  And by the way, I don't mean
"teaching" to imply being in any superior position - only having some
knowledge to benefit others with.  Neither do I mean it to be doing their work
for them.  As Lao Tzu said, "When the sage has done his work, the people say,
'We did it.'"  For the Socratic method, too, depends on knowing what questions
to ask, otherwise again your promptings would be pointless and lead others
"into the ditch."

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