Excerpt About Service

Penetrating the Meaning of Helping

Investigating the nature of help can give rise to many interesting perceptions and new realizations. You might, for instance, understand that by helping the other, you are actually helping yourself. I don’t mean this in the usual sense. Some of us think, “Well, by helping the other, I am helping myself, because it is a good deed that helps me evolve further.” Even though that is a self-centered way of looking at it, it is how most people think of service. But I mean something different when I say that you are helping yourself when you help another. I am not saying that you are helping yourself in terms of your personal development, but that you are helping yourself directly. It is literally yourself that you are helping when you help another. I am referring to the realization of nonlocal unity that we explored in the previous chapter. You are inside the other—you are the other totally. Both you and the other are being helped at once. This is a realization beyond the separation between here and there, between self and other. As we penetrate this level of delusion, we recognize in another way that the notion of service and helping is only an approximation of the perspective of Living Being itself. So the thoroughgoing inquiry into the self includes investigating those situations and constructs—like service—that we usually take for granted as bedrocks of reality. There are, of course, such things as service and helping. But as we come to question the subtle concept of separate individuals, we necessarily will question all kinds of relationships between self and other, including the idea of helping. But the view of totality doesn’t say that there aren’t separate individuals with various kinds of relationships. The view of totality simply recognizes and understands the relationships between various perspectives. It recognizes the nondual view, in which there is no separate individual, as well as the dual view, in which there are separate individuals.

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