"Selfishness may begin with the thought, 'As long as my country is benefited, that benefits me;' and then it will narrow down to, 'If my family is benefited, if we become wealthy and have desirable things, that is sufficient for the present!' And then it narrows down again, 'For my father, or mother, or wife or children,' until it ends in, 'Nothing matters as long as I am happy myself.' Man has now become cold, ignorant, and blind to the law that life depends on the happiness of those with whom we live. The whole of life is one. In all these different names and manifestations life is one. The true thought is, 'If my wife is not happy, if my children, my neighbors, my servants are not happy, how can I ever be happy?'


"The Prophets and Masters have warned mankind against the intoxication of self-interest and egoism. The world, the nation, the family can be pictured as one single body and when one part of the body has pain although the other part has no pain, the person feels sick. Therefore you can never be happy unless you see your brother and your neighbor happy also. But very few people think this way; very few see it from the true point of view. ... For man must have a perfect ideal to which he directs his activities. When the ideal is imperfect, the progress is imperfect also. ... The work of the spiritual man is to forget his false self and so to realize the true self which is God, and this true self not only in him, but in his neighbor also.

"Behind us all is one spirit and one life; how then can we be happy if our neighbor is not also happy?"

by Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

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