Excerpt About Distortion

Exemplifying a Distortion in Perspective

Let's take an example to show the distortion of perspective. The personality can think only of self-esteem as a result of something, usually
a result of certain actions and successes. The self-esteem of the individual rises, say, as a consequence of success in professional or social life. For the individual operating on a subtler level of existence, self-esteem rises as a result of living and acting according to one's own principles and convictions. At still deeper levels, self-esteem accrues as aresult of being true to one's deepest feelings and stirrings. All this is fine, understandable. However, it is not yet the perspective of essence. From the perspective of essence, that self-esteem is not a result of anything. Self-esteem, when it is real, is the value of essence. And the value of essence is nothing but essence itself in one of its aspects. Value, according to this perspective, is not something we gain; value is our nature. Essence is value. And if we try to get value as a result of something, then this value is not genuine. It is just filling a certain hole, the hole that resulted from the loss of our true value, an important aspect of our essence. In fact, any attempt to get value by excelling in any endeavor, inner or outer, will just cut us off from the true value, the absolute value of essence, where we are value, without this value being attributed to anything. This is not an indictment of attempting excellence. It is separating excellence from the need for value. The correct relation is that excellence results from value and not the other way around.

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