Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Selflessly Selfish Love

Yesterday’s introductory session of my clerical skills class went better than I expected. Isn’t that often how it is? I waste so much time and energy worrying about something that turns out well. The instructor seems outstanding. There were men and women in there much older than me. The whole approach of the course is self-paced and seems low-key. However, I understand that we’ll be learning an enormous number of procedures and skills involving the Office 2000 suite of business productivity programs. I don’t know how I’ll fare at that, but the only way I’ll ever find out is to give it my best shot. In the first week, we’re concentrating on sharpening our typing skills. I’m trying to learn to genuinely touch type instead of continuing my sadly inefficient and slow approach of hunt-and-peck.

Last night, I transferred our Thailand vacation pictures from CD to my hard drive and, last night and this morning, posted some of them on the MyFamily website. Plenty more are forthcoming.

This morning, Eknath Easwaran concludes his "thought for the day" with the following:

break down not because people are bad but because they are illiterate in love. To become literate in love, we must learn how to reduce our lifelong preoccupation with our own needs and feelings.

For Easwaran, the essence of enlightenment is to see through the illusion that our real self is what Alan Watts used to call our “skin-encapsulated ego” and to act accordingly. That is, we realize in a very deep and powerful way that we are ultimately one with the unified totality of existence, and we live in loving embrace of this totality. We put the needs of others, especially our spouses, at least on equal footing with if not ahead of our own because we know that others are ultimately part of our true identity. I suppose you could call this enlightened selfishness. Yes, we are acting for our own benefit, but “we” are understood to be a unified field or web of interrelationships of everyone and everything.

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