Question: Why do I feel let down when I ask a family member for help in doing a task and see that they are not concerned with the request? If they were doing the asking, the situation would be different — that is, they would be upset if I didn’t help them!
Answer: One of the major stumbling blocks as we go further with our spiritual studies is the gradual discovery of the undeveloped nature of the human beings around us. It never occurs to us how truly self-centered others are, and when we begin to see this, the observation brings a sense of despair or of being alone. This is inevitable and valuable to your work — the reason being that as we see through the secret self-interest that possesses our friends and family, we can’t help but come aware of it within ourselves. This does two things: First, we begin to become truly self-reliant, and second, at the same time as we learn to let go of our own selfishness, we understand its mechanical and unconscious nature in others. This teaches us compassion.