>>>>Tend Your Own Garden

Tend Your Own Garden

Many times I have seen people encourage service. This is a noble and laudable goal. Service moves one down the path to personal perfection, or self-realization. It enables one to subordinate the personal in favor of the universal.

One can serve in many ways: feed the homeless, join the military, do social work, give medicine to the poor. Yet one thing that I notice time and time again, is people who are generous and noble to those outside their immediate circle and cold or even insensitive in their personal relationships.

It is easy to be nice and understanding and compassionate to those you do not know, you have no personal stake. It is much more difficult however to offer this same compassion to those you know and who know you.

Individuals in these relationships know the good and the bad about each other. This makes it harder to exercise compassion. When you know your brother never pays his debts, it is hard to give understanding. When it is your own son, it becomes even harder.

I have neither all the answers, nor do I believe that it is easy to do these things. What I do know, is that enlightened detachment and compassion are truly harder to exercise in one’s own personal relationships as opposed to at work, or under some organizational umbrella.

Yet when you learn to be open, accepting, and understanding to those close to you, you truly gain an understanding of what compassion is. This opens you up to a whole new world of fulfillment. So, before you are so quick to point out the weeds in your neighbor’s garden, pull some of your own. Or at least do the two simultaneously.

By | 2007-04-04T06:19:49+00:00 April 4th, 2007|Perspectives|7 Comments


  1. Juan de la Cruz April 4, 2007 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Amen to that brother.

  2. Lance (A.K.A Spitterkat) April 4, 2007 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    why must someone be compassionate?

  3. perfectparadox April 5, 2007 at 6:49 am - Reply

    As it says in the first paragraph above, “Many times I have seen people encourage service. This is a noble and laudable goal. Service moves one down the path to personal perfection, or self-realization. It enables one to subordinate the personal in favor of the universal.”

    No one “must be compassionate.” It is a tool to reduce personal attachments in order to recognize what your core self may or may not be.

  4. Lance (A.K.A Spitterkat) April 5, 2007 at 6:53 am - Reply

    hehe nice answer

    that being said, what motivates someone to pursue such action? disregarding indoctrination

  5. perfectparadox April 5, 2007 at 7:24 am - Reply

    As you say very well, indoctrination is the most common reason for service. Ironically many schools of spirituality talk of “selfless service.” This is an impossiblity as YOU are the actor, and even the most humble person starts out doing service to feed an internal need; it makes them feel good.

    Yet through this service and subordination or reduction of personal desires, even the hardest hearted individual may learn to see things in terms of unity. This is the key, to see everything as a cohesive whole. This enables the experiencer to move in harmony with the percieved world around.

    I started in service because I was capable of getting whatever I wanted, and I still had extra energy and resources. Since I did not need them, I wanted to share them with others to make the world easier for all of us. And by the way, that included me in the “ALL” of us.

    Eventually I saw that I was feeding my ego thinking that I was “improving” the world. But that is another story for a different post.

  6. Lance (A.K.A Spitterkat) April 5, 2007 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    i understand, but in your case where you it was your particular perception (which is not common to most people) which motivated your action, what about those without this perspective, yet still desire to do so (and without indoctrination), what im asking is the cause of difference in perspective when one comes across a new experience

  7. perfectparadox April 5, 2007 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    The difference in perspective can be explained in many ways. Two are that of environment and genes-ancestral memories or past lives. For example, anthropoligists found in the 1960’s that some subjects in Central Africa had dreams of the ocean having had no contact in myth, lore, or experience with it.

    This memory is called ancestral, or referred to as past lives. Then, there are the individual experiences that each carries in the current life. As you are well aware, all of these stimuli influence a given subject.

    Thus, each different personality looks at service in a different way. No matter how you enter the path of service, you will eventually see that something exists above in beyond what you consider youself. Once you reach this point, your path will diverge from the masses of service people.

    Truly you can see something greater before you start the path of service, but until you see that your service is to change you and not the world, you will not have the perspective shift. Let’s make one thing very clear here, the universe follows physical laws. There are non-physical laws as well. It will do just fine without you, me or anyone else.

    Then again, what you think of as the universe is a function of your perspective and consciousness. Ironically, when you die, that universe dies with you, as it was only a construct of you. But that is a different question for a different time. 😉

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