The person who loves himself cannot carry the ugly burden of the ego. How can he carry such mountains, such ugly mountains? He drops the ego, he becomes pure space. He loves himself so much that he cannot carry this poison inside him. He becomes full of light, empty space. And in that empty space blooms the lotus of love.
Self-love is not selfishness; self-love is unselfishness. In self-love the self disappears, only love remains. And then you have created the context. Now many, many miracles are going to happen to you; now nothing is impossible for you, because love is the magic.
You ask, “Could you give us your views on caring, compassion and service to the community?”
I have no views about caring, compassion and service to the community. My whole effort is to transform the individual. I am utterly focused on the individual. And if the individual becomes luminous, then these things come naturally – compassion, caring, service.
If you are taught service, compassion and caring, you will learn it and you will do it, but it is going to remain superficial. And it will not only be superficial, it will be harmful to you and to others too. When a person forces himself to serve others he becomes egoistic. He thinks in terms of being holier-than-thou, he becomes a very pious egoist, and he feels that he is obliging you, and he is obliging the whole world.
You can see it written all over your so-called public servants. Public servants have proved the most mischievous people in the world. They are the sources of mischief, but they make mischief behind such beautiful curtains that you cannot catch them. They serve you, they oblige you, and then they become your masters. They have served you so much that if they start exploiting you, you have to accept it gratefully. They have served you so much, they have invested so much in you, that now their exploitation has to be tolerated.
I don’t teach service – enough of it! I only teach meditation. And out of meditation, when you have arrived, there will be service. But that will be just a natural outcome, a by-product. Service is not the goal, but a consequence; so is compassion.
Buddha has said that when a man has reached the climax of meditation, compassion showers from him. Just as when you light a candle, light starts spreading all around and darkness disappears, when the light of meditation is inside you compassion radiates.
And then compassion has a beauty because it is unselfconscious. You are not obliging anybody; in fact if somebody accepts your service you are obliged. He might have rejected; he has not rejected, he has obliged you. You serve him and you feel obliged. You serve him but you don’t start asking for anything in return. It is unconditional. In fact you are happy that somebody has accepted your service.