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Re: Self-development and service

Nov 09, 1997 12:37 PM
by M K Ramadoss

At 02:14 PM 11/9/97 -0500, Titus Roth wrote:
>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."

I think that there are a lot of opportunities to serve (help) others and
many of them may not need any special training. In the course such
activities, if self-improvement takes place, however one defines it, it is
ok. I feel that self-improvement may be a by product of the service/help. I
think all of us have enough (self) improvement that we can provide some
service and such service would definitely have an effect on the needy. So I
would jump in and act in any service if I see it as an opportunity to
help/serve without watiting for the day when I am self-improved.

Just my 0.02

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