But concern for the self has to be thrown away…and it is very deep-rooted. It is so deep-rooted that you are not even aware of it. In one of the Upanishads it is said that the husband loves his wife, not for the wife, but for himself; and the mother loves the child, not for the child, but for herself. The concern for the self is so deep-rooted that whatsoever you do, you do for yourself. This means that you are always gratifying the ego, feeding the ego, feeding a false center which has become a barrier between you and the universe.
Lose the concern for the self. If even sometimes, even for a few moments, you can lose concern for the self and can become concerned with the other, with the other’s self, you will be entering a different reality, a different dimension. Hence so much emphasis on service, love, compassion. Because compassion, love, service, mean concern for the other’s self, not your own.
But look…human mind is so cunning that it has converted service, compassion and love into concerns for the self. A Christian missionary serves, and his service is sincere. Really, no one else can serve so deeply and intensely as a Christian missionary. No Hindu can do that, no Mohammedan can do that, because Jesus has emphasized service so much. A Christian missionary is serving poor people, ill people, diseased people, but deep down he is concerned with himself not with them. This service is just a method to reach heaven. He is not concerned with them, he is not really concerned with them at all, he is concerned with his own self. Through service he can achieve a greater self, so he is doing service. But he has missed the basic point, because service means the concern for the other – the other is the center and you have become the periphery.
Try it some time. Make someone the center – then his happiness becomes your happiness, his misery becomes your misery. Whatsoever happens, happens to him and flows to you. But he is the center. If once, even once, you can feel that the other is the center and you have become just a periphery to him, you have entered a different type of existence, a different dimension of experience. Because in that moment you will feel a deep bliss, unknown before, unexperienced before. Just by making the other the concern, you will lose all misery. In that moment there will be no hell for you; you have entered paradise.
Why does it happen? It happens because the ego is the root of all misery. If you can forget it, if you can dissolve it, all misery dissolves with it.
Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. So, leaving aside concern for self, become each being.
Become the tree, become the river, become the wife, become the husband, become the child, become the mother, become the friend – it can be practiced every moment of life. But in the beginning it will be difficult. so do it for a least one hour every day. In that hour, whatsoever passes around you, become that. You will wonder how it can happen. There is no other way to know how it can happen – you have to practice it.