A question of self

Narcissus, according to the Greeks, was doomed by a goddess—as a punishment—to fall in love with his own image, which he saw reflected in a spring. He pined away. (A very perceptive legend!)

Today "narcissist" is a term for someone with an overconcern for himself. Such an individual, Christian Science says, is passing up the opportunity of learning of his real identity. This identity is Godlike and spiritual, not mortally personal.

Maybe we become too wrapped in self-concern because we believe there is little one can do anyway, in this complex world, to help others. And that unless we look after ourselves no one else will. But privatism leads nowhere worthwhile. To be tempted by intense self-interest—and to yield—is to slide down an ever-narrowing spiral that must end in disappointment.

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Moral dimension of the intellect
February 6, 1978

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