Struggle Against the Lower Self
In order to attain the Highest Goal — Mergence with the Heavenly Father, one needs not only to enter into the Highest “Heaven”, but also to master dissolving oneself in the Consciousness of the Father.
But full-fledged love even for neighbors is not possible without the ability to look at the situation from their standpoint. And for this, we need to experience ourselves not only in our own bodies, but also as being coessential to the one (ones) we care about.
It may be small groups of loving men and women, or large collectives working in manual labor, scientific, military, religious. A good commander guides exactly in this way — by experiencing himself or herself being the whole group — one united organism, the care for the former “I” and the former “personal interest” disappears, the experience of the “I” dissolves in all the subordinates, they become coessential to the leader in his or her self-perception, the care for them prevails over the care for his or her personal things. This is the realization of the precepts “… You shall love your neighbor as yourself!…” (Matt 22:39) and “Love your brothers!… Protect them like the pupil of your eye!” (The Gospel of Thomas, 25).
People of love begin to learn it in small social groups, then in larger and larger ones. Apostle Paul suggested to extend the feeling of coessentiality to all followers of Christ and experience them as one Body of Christ headed by Christ and by the Father (Eph 1:22-23).
This kind of meditative work results in gradual growth of the leader as a consciousness. The more tender, subtle, and careful the leader’s love is, the better is this growth.
Jesus told another example of dissolving oneself in love — a meditative image of a vine. It is rooted in the Father, it has a stem, branches-assistants, and leaves-listeners that get green, rustle, and fall off. But, as a result, the vine will bear beautiful fruits, and the seeds of these fruits will give new sprouts (John 15:1-16).
The opposite of such a leader is a fool with a highly developed feeling of self-importance manifested in the form of haughtiness.
These are examples of possible leaders: a haughty fool making the life of the subordinates a nightmare, or the one who develops according to meditations described by Jesus and Paul.
These meditations are performed with the help of special meditative methods. Let me cite some recommendations of Jesus and His Apostles that can be helpful for preparing oneself to such work.
“… You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and their great men exercise authority over them. However, it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to be great among you, let this person be… a servant; and whoever desires to be chief among you, let this person be… a slave!” (Matt 20:25-27)
“… Learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly!…” (Matt 11:29)
“Who are wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)
“(Do) not avenge yourselves!…” (Rom 12:19)
“When you are invited by anyone… do not recline in the chief seat… For whoever exalts themselves shall be abased, and whoever humbles themselves shall be exalted.” (Luke 14:8-11)
“Blessed are the meek…” (Matt 5:5)
“Let no one seek one’s own (profit), but each one another’s (wealth)!” (1 Cor 10:24)
“… In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves!” (Phil 2:3)
“Take heed that you do not do your merciful deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in Heaven. Therefore when you do your merciful deeds, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do…, so that they may have glory from men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But… (let) your merciful deeds … be in secret… (Then) your Father Who sees in secret Himself shall reward you openly.” (Matt 6:1-4)
“… Any one of you who does not forsake all the (earthly) possessions cannot be My disciple!” (Luke 14:33)
“It is more blessed to give than to receive!” (Acts 20:35)
“… None of these things move me, neither do I count my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus Christ!…” (Acts 20:24)
“… What is your life? It is a vapor, which appears for a little time, and then disappears!…” (James 4:14)
“… I am torn between the two: having a desire to depart (from the body) and to be with Christ, which is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your advancement and joy of faith!…” (Phil 1:23-25)
“See that none gives evil for evil to anyone!…” (1 Thes 5:15)
“… Nor do we seek glory from men!…” (1 Thes 2:6)
“Exhort the rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in Living God, offering to us richly all things to enjoy, that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to share, to be generous, laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Tim 6:17-19).
“Avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions… for they are unprofitable and vain!” (Titus 3:9)
“… The greatest among you should be like the lesser, and the one who rules like the one who serves!” (Luke 22:26)
“Love… never says…, ‘This is mine!’ but ‘This is yours!’” (The Gospel of Philip, 110)
“It is to Me, and to Me alone, that you owe all that you possess, all that is to be found about you, above you, and below you!” (The Life of Saint Issa, 8:11)