Question: We condemn the ego as the source of all our problems, but actually what is wrong with worrying about yourself? After all it is our basic natural attribute?
Answer: We should understand that if you constantly worry only about your self-benefit, you are actually harming yourself and limiting yourself in succeeding.
Here hides the evil that a person should feel to its full depth. Indeed, there are people who want to “exit themselves,” their limitations. They aspire to “exit the body,” to expand their horizons and to see the world, “what is it for and why? What else is there outside this life?”
This urge isn’t typical of everyone, but today when the whole world is suffering we should explain to people that the only way to be saved from the troubles is to strongly tie yourself to the environment. If you don’t do that the relations in the family, the country, and the world are destroyed; no one enjoys anything and everyone suffers.
The main thing is that because of these corrupt relations we cannot even provide ourselves food. The food systems, the climate, everything is destroyed. It is the same in the family where the relations are corrupt and nothing works anymore.
Question: But why should I stop caring about my wellbeing because of all that? All the creatures in the world try to feel good and to take care of themselves. Is this basic desire the source of all our problems, for example, family problems?
Answer: Suppose things don’t work in the family. The refrigerator is half-empty, there is a pile of dirty clothes and everything has gone wrong. By the way, the same thing is happening in the world—the lack of good mutual relations destroys everything. One part of humanity throws tons of food in the garbage, and the other part is starving. Billions are wasted on health care, but we are all suffering from some illness.
Clearly, this cannot go on. Therefore, a married couple that is ready for change comes to our courses, and we explain to them that the concern one feels for himself should change to concern for others, and in this case to the spouse.
“Love covers all sins,” this principle is fulfilled egoistically. No one is asking a person to detach himself from his ego, but only to establish a new attitude above it towards what is on the outside, towards one’s spouse, towards other people, towards the world, towards nature, towards the environment, etc.
We must perceive the world as “round,” as integral, which means to start perceiving everything that is outside your ego as your own, like a mother taking care of her child, then you will feel good.
The whole idea is to use your ego correctly and wisely, not to get rid of it. A couple that wants to succeed egoistically continues to adhere to this. Only the approach changes: Considering what is going on in the world and in the family, there is only one method—to rise above your ego and to use it in the opposite direction. Examine your spouse like a mirror of your own attributes and accordingly operate the ego in the opposite manner. Then instead of the evil inclination, it will appear as the good inclination.
The main point here is to create an “incubator,” which means the right environment. No special efforts will be needed by a person if he lives in this “green house.” By its influence, the environment will raise the concern for others in his eyes and lead him in the right direction. Then this approach to life will become natural for him. In the same way a child readily accepts the morality of his group. Yes, there are difficulties: For example, married couples need “redesigning.” But these changes will be relatively easy and pleasant like recovering in a sanatorium.
Of course, a person must also participate in the process, in his feeling and understanding, of his own free will. His support is essential, he cannot just come and say “change me.” but one way or the other, he can certainly agree and nothing super-human is required of him.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 7/11/12