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The Hothouse of Self-Interest

self-interest and spiritual practice
Episode No. 132

What do we lose when we’re overly concerned with me, myself, and I? How is self-interest an impediment to Self-realization? A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

Most people in this country, especially younger people, are really wrapped up in self-interest. Many people spend their days thinking about me, myself, and I. My relationships. My money. My career. My next move. What am I going to make for dinner tonight? Does he, she, or it like me? Worrying about my psychology. Worrying about fixing myself or presenting myself. Most people’s days are made up of these kinds of concerns.

It’s just simply the case that if you’re wrapped up in self-interest, you’re not interested in God. Even if you’re doing spiritual practice, if you’re doing it with an attitude of self-interest, over-concern about yourself, and under-concern or under-interest about anything else, you’re not interested in God. If you’re not interested in other people except your few chosen ones, if you’re not interested in what’s happening in the world, if you’re not interested in anything other than you and your small circle of concerns, even if you’re doing a lot of spiritual practice, you’re not interested in God.

It’s possible to do practice from a completely self-interested point of view. It will eventually lead to something else, that’s true. If you practice consistently for years on end, even if you start out extremely self-interested, you’ll end up somewhere else.

But don’t fool yourself. If you spend your day talking about and thinking about yourself and maybe one or two other people, you’re not interested in spiritual life. You’re not interested in God. And you’re not interested in waking up. You’re doing spiritual practice for some other reason.