Question: In the psychology of family relations the period of people demonstrating their best personal qualities to one another ends relatively quickly because we actually don’t have that many of them. Eventually we begin to discover and to accept each other’s weak points.
Answer: When we reveal man’s essence, we fail to find a single positive, decent quality. Let’s look into the source of such seemingly positive movements like love and compassion. A person helps others, feels love and compassion, makes personal sacrifices, but all of this stems from his egoistic qualities. We can’t attribute these qualities to his personal virtue because he receives them from nature.
If I am created with all of these nice qualities, people say about me: “What a special person!” But if nature granted someone with a different set of qualities, we say: “What a horrible, ugly person!” However, neither I nor he have anything to do with this.
This is why upon marking out a person from all that’s inherent in him, we must simply distinguish an empty outline and attribute all of this not to him, but to his inherent qualities. Initially, a person has neither positive nor negative qualities. We have to accept a person for his readiness to be corrected and not pay attention to his characteristics.
No matter who you are, when it comes to interpersonal relationships, an ascent above oneself has the ultimate value. All of a sudden you reveal that all of your positive qualities are actually worse than the negative ones because they appear to be good on the outside, but in fact stem from a deeper egoism.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” #13, 12/18/11