“Question: You seem to advise me to be self-centered to the point of
egoism. Must I not yield even to my interest in other people?
Maharaj: Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-
oriented. You are not interested in others as persons, but only
as far as they enrich, or enoble your own image of yourself.
And the ultimate in selfishness is to care only for the protection,
preservation and multiplication of one’s own body. By body I
mean all that is related to your name and shape— your family,
tribe, country, race, etc. To be attached to one’s name and
shape is selfishness. A man who knows that he is neither body
nor mind cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for.
Or, you may say, he is equally ‘selfish’ on behalf of everybody
he meets; everybody’s welfare is his own. The feeling ‘I am the
world, the world is myself’ becomes quite natural; once it is es-
tablished, there is just no way of being selfish. To be selfish
means to covet, to acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part
against the whole.
I Am That
― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj