Following is a piece I wrote in my journal in 1990. It is a quote from Laurence Freeman’s book The Selfless Self.
“To be truly interior is complete opposite of being introverted. In the awareness of the indwelling presence our consciousness is turned around, converted, so that we no are longer, as we have habitually been doing, looking at ourselves, anticipating or remembering feelings, reactions, desires, ideas or day-dreamings…(the) challenge is to become other-centered. Becoming other-centered requires discipline (and) later becomes habit (and) authentic.
“Discipline (is) needed to turn our attention off ourselves. We tend to equate growth, fulfillment and development with self-analysis and conscious up-building of a positive self-image. But…we must leave ourselves behind to be whole. Then we find ourselves in everything around us, in every person, every situation, each successive moment.”
I recorded the above in my journal in 1990. I think the turn from self- consciousness to other-consciousness is as difficult as reversing of a large cruise ship to head in the opposite direction. We ford ahead in our habit of swirling around inside our head, looking at all that goes on as it impacts us. Freeman is suggesting a total reversal. I don’t know if I have ever met anyone who is so selfless.
I say “is selfless” as though it is a state of being, but I really know better. One is always becoming something, never arriving. I myself have been becoming more selfless each year of my life. I’d say that my family has required it of me. This may be what the Creator had in mind when he created families: to move us from focus on ourselves to focus on others. In doing so, we become his servants in the world.