Monday, August 22, 2016

Self-Advancement or Self-Transformation?

Recently, I Tweeted:

So a friend asked: What kind of questions could we ask ourselves to determine if we're in self-advancement mode or self-tranformation mode?

It's an excellent question. These are not really "ways of thinking" as much as they are states of consciousness. As such they are mostly unconscious and shape our behavior by changing how we see the world. If we think the purpose of life is to get ahead, to succeed, everything will look different than if we think the purpose of life is to learn to love, i.e., self-transformation.

Even spirituality can be approached through both of these filters. If I think the purpose of spirituality is some form of self-advancement, personal salvation for example, I'm going to be much more fundamentalist in my views and much more focused on the legalistic aspects of scripture than on the love aspects. If the reverse is true, I see the love aspect of spirituality as most important because I know that spiritual love is an ego-cide. Radical love, love that costs me my ego, is the all of spirituality.

If I put this into questions the first big one would be:

Am I in love mode or defense mode?

Others are:

  • How cheated by life do I feel?
  • How many enemies do I have?
  • Do I hold anyone else accountable for my own happiness and well being?
  • Do I own other peoples' suffering?
  • Do I recognize my own privilege?
  • How far out do the boundaries of my "tribe" extend?
  • Is service something I do in life or who I am? (Do I see my life as a mission of service?)

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