wilderness path

a significant inner journey

  "Have you ever thought about that? That we do not have any original thought?

Would not that be original to discover?"


Desert Spirit 





 Desert Spirit


"Giving something up for the greater good is normal in marriage. In fact, every kind of relationship requires both parties to do that. Does not wanting to give something up, like a hobby or a favourite past time, means that one is selfish?"

     Anya paraphrased this to be you question. So I will assume this is your question.

       Does not wanting to give something up, like a hobby or a favourite past time, means that one is selfish? 

      No, because you can still do the things that are in your heart's desire WITHIN the relationship. This assumes a healthy awareness of oneself by both individuals. A person who expects you to give up anything "for the sake of our marriage" is not accepting you for who you are. A person that demands you give something up "for them" is attempting to define you according to their recipe. That is not who you are. You, on the other hand, would want to DO ANYTHING FOR A PERSON you love, and in this regard you would not feel you were sacrificing anything. Yet your primary desire, to fulfill all you desire to experience in this life, must be not dictated by someone else. 

      As I said, you can still do the things that are in your heart's desire WITHIN the relationship. Otherwise you are not honoring YOU, or your true Self. If you say, "I will give up my desire to be concert pianist for a greater good", you would be saying the greater good demands sacrifice. You would be saying the greater good does not NEED YOUR PERSONAL SELF EXPRESSION, which is your desire to experience life as you have come to the earth to do. Just imagine what a world would be like if everyone said, "I will give up my personal desire for the greater good". It would imply no one is doing what they desire to do, everyone would be miserable "for the greater good" and in fact, to a greater or lesser degree, this IS the current situation of the world.

      My friend went to a proctologist for an exam, and after the exam asked the doctor, "How did it come to be this would be your life's work?" The doctor replied, "Actually I wanted to be a veterinarian." 

     Can you imagine what a world would be if everyone was fulfilling their heart's desire in this world? Can you imagine a zebra wanting to be a sparrow, or a turtle wanting to be a deer, or a fish wanting to be a rock? Or a spirit wanting to be a human? Or a human wanting to be a spirit?

     How does sacrifice benefit the greater good? What IS the greater good?

     It is MY need to encourage IN ANOTHER their need to follow THEIR OWN heart, NOT think or try to satisfy mine. No one could anyway. If you followed your own heart, you could never take advantage of someone else, OR do something vengeful to them.

     The reason we do not follow our own heart's desire is because we think it is selfish to do so. We think it is loving to do things for others and deny one's own wishes. This is completely backwards. Love does not demand sacrifice because it is not selfish. If the sun burns your skin, you cannot expect it to not shine. It is fulfilling its heart's desire. You can blame the sun for not fulfilling your wishes, but you are still the only one who will suffer.

     Love is not selfish and does not demand sacrifice  because it is Self preservation. In truth it is essential we must follow our own inner voice. No one else can do that for us. Nor can we be the inner voice for others. 

      Giving something up for the greater good is normal in marriage. In fact, every kind of relationship requires both parties to do that.

     Really? So my question is, "Who says this? Who wrote this 'rule'? And how does it establish a relationship? According to whom is this idea true?"

     If you will observe, EVERYTHING a person "knows" has been fed to the mind OF that person, and this information that clutters the mind is either directly related TO what someone else has taught us or it has been acquired through various sources. Yet hardly does the individual have any original thought.

     Have you ever thought about that? That we do not have any original thought? Would not that be original to discover?

     So what have you discovered about yourself that is original? It would shock you to discover you, or we, have no original thought, that we are merely following the programmed mania of an insane world.

     There are two level of thought we can follow: the level of intellectuality and the level of truth, or direct experience.

     In psychotherapy, which is the foundation of self-discovery, one discovers his or her own voice, independent of the influence of others. Others can offer you intellectual approach, which is their sharing of opinions and ideas, or they can offer us THEIR DIRECT EXPERIENCE.

     A direct experience is something that DOES NOT IMPOSE ON US.

     An intellectual gift is something that DOES IMPOSE ON US because there is no direct experience associated with it.

     I can tell you how I came to be single after being married, or I can tell you what I think about marriage and being single. One would relate you to a direct experience. The other would relate you to ideas.

     I discovered I had nothing to offer another individual except my own experiences. I was 29. I could tell others how to drink, but not how NOT to drink. Then I discovered how not to drink and this became what I offered others.

     In the beginning of my self discovery, I could not conceive of a life without alcohol.

     Then one day I could.

     Then I could not conceive of a life without my recovery groups.

     Then I could.

     This is a change in consciousness.

     A change in consciousness occurs through self-discovery.

     It cannot be taught to you.

     You must discover it for yourself, directly.

     We spend so much time trying to define things that we have no idea what or who we are. We are ALL just an empty chamber full of echoes of our past contact with others. But where is YOUR voice?

     Until you have discovered your own inner voice, you have nothing meaningful to say, not to yourself, not to me and not to anyone else.

     You cannot discover your own inner voice as long as you are not interested in discovering who and what YOU are. And the reason we do not do this is BECAUSE WE THINK WE NEED TO BE RESPONSIBLE TO OTHERS.

     To be "responsible to others" implies a need to RESPOND TO others. How do we respond TO others if we do not know who WE are? If all we are is the echo of others' thoughts and beliefs, then we cannot possibly know how to respond to others, or others' needs.

     The responsibility must be to discover how we came to think the way we do, individually first, and then collectively, and be willing to QUESTION ALL OF IT.

     You may have discovered you are not happy in your present situation, for whatever reason, and so complicate that feeling by compounding it with ideas that YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT BY OTHERS about how you are to respond to others. Without blaming others for your situation, it would be revolutionary if you discovered that your current situation has been made by you and you alone, based on what and how you think.

     Then to think you can find a way out of it, without even seeing how your thinking got you there, is foolish.

     So the first step would be to discover that YOU MUST BE RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW YOU THINK AND WHAT YOU THINK.

     Then from there you can begin to question how you wish to live your life. Unless you have a clear idea of what you want, FOR YOURSELF, you cannot possibly have a successful relationship with another human being.

     To see this would bring you to disillusionment, and discovering "I am disillusioned about my life's path" would be an original moment of true freedom.

     FROM THAT DISCOVERY, from that moment of freedom you would be led to the unknown, where something fresh could begin.

     Does not wanting to give something up, like a hobby or a favourite past time, means that one is selfish?

     I would say that NOT wanting to give up something is selfish. For example, I would go to A.A. and not want to give up drinking. This would never work. Yet if I give up drinking, which I enjoy, then I feel I am being asked to sacrifice something I like. So I would never be able to come to sobriety.

     Yet if I saw that others who did drink who do not drink are actually happy people WITHOUT DRINKING, then I could consider what they are doing may be beneficial to me. In this way I would not see giving up the drink as a sacrifice, but as something that would be self-preserving.

     So the question becomes, "How do I define what I perceive to be selfish to be self-preserving?"

     In A.A. it is said that recover is a "selfish" program, but what that means is the individual must be SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for his or her recovery. That the individual must do for him or herself.

     A relationship means TO RELATE TO. If you spend your life feeding someone else's insecurities, then you are RELATING TO YOUR OWN insecurities. And each time you serve another person's insecurities, you reinforce your own.

     If you were to pursue your responsibility to your own life, and began with that, you would become a demonstration of freedom and true happiness, and this you would encourage in another. The other person may say, "No, you made me unhappy and you have to now fix this". Yet no one is responsible for another's misery OR happiness.

     To discover this would be liberating.


     And so true freedom is not something we want.