Selflessness is such a gift. It makes one’s life so much happier. The misery of selfishness, as one can at least view from a distance or get a short taste, looks like a horror, a banishment to hell, a trick in which the tricked thinks he’s rising when in fact he’s sinking. Selflessness lightens the heart, lightens the world, lightens the load we for a short time thought we were carrying on our shoulders. Love it — not all are blessed with the love of selflessness.
Interestingly, just after writing the above, I read this quote from Inayat Khan:
“All the beauty that there is in life is after all what we call love. From it all the virtues spring. The whole beauty of life is in it, and it is as the English song says, ‘The light of a whole life dies, when love is done’. Life’s light is love; and when the heart is empty of love, a man is living and yet not living; from a spiritual point of view he is dead. When the heart is asleep, he is as though dead in this life, for one can only love through the heart. But love does not mean give and take. That is only a trade; it’s selfishness. To give sixpence and receive a shilling is not love. Love is when one loves for the sake of love, when one cannot help but love, cannot do anything but love. Then one is not forced to love; there is no virtue in that. One does not love because another does. It is simply there. It cannot be helped. It is the only thing that makes a person alive. If a person loves one and hates another, what can he know of love? Can you love one person fully if at the same time you cannot bestow a kind glance on some other person? Can you say you love one person fully when you cannot bear him to be loved by someone else as well? Can you hate a person when love is sprinkled like water in your heart? Love is like the water of the Ganges. It is itself a purification. As the Bible says, ‘God is love’. When love is awakened in the heart, God is awakened there. When a man has journeyed, he reaches the goal as soon as his heart has reached love.
“The Sufi says, ‘The Kaba, the divine place, paradise, is the heart of the human being’. That is why he has respect for every heart. Every heart is his Kaba, his shrine. The human heart is the place toward which he bows, for in this heart is God.”