That which you are, your true self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is your basic urge. Since time immemorial you loved yourself, but never wisely. Use your body and mind wisely in the service of the self, that is all. Be true to your own self, love yourself absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self- knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.
– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj from I am That
Today, psychologists, economists and environmentalists use the phrase “the tragedy of the commons” to describe the same basic principle: when we use a common resource at a rate that is slower than the rate at which it replenishes, all is well. However, if a few individuals get greedy and use more than their share, the system of consumption becomes unsustainable, and in the long term, everybody loses. In essence, the tragedy of the commons is about two competing human interests. On one hand, an individual should care about the sustainability of shared resources in the long term because everyone, including the individual, benefits from it. At the same time, in the short term, the individual benefits immediately from taking more than his or her fair share. (Social scientists refer to such betrayers of social contracts as “defectors.”) Of course, if we all cared about the common good or thought about the long-term consequences of our actions, we might not run into resource-sharing problems. But because human beings tend to focus on short-term benefits and our own immediate needs, such tragedies of the commons occur frequently.
– Dan Ariely
Meditation is called the Great Teacher. It is the cleansing crucible fire that works slowly but surely, through understanding. The greater your understanding, the more flexible and tolerant, the more compassionate you can be. You become like a perfect parent or an ideal teacher. You are ready to forgive and forget. You feel love toward others because you understand them, and you understand others because you have understood yourself. You have looked deeply inside and seen self-illusion and your own human failings, seen your own humanity and learned to forgive and to love. When you have learned compassion for yourself, compassion for others is automatic. An accomplished meditator has achieved a profound understanding of life, and he or she inevitably relates to the world with a deep and uncritical love. Continue reading