Question: I feel that I am very selfish. What actually is selfishness?

Sri Chinmoy: Selfishness is something that does not allow us to expand. We can expand ourselves only by entering into something that is really vast. By thinking of selfishness or knowing what it is, we cannot conquer selfishness. Let us think of widening some aspect of our consciousness. If we think of joy, we will see that it will spread, because the very nature of joy is to spread. One cannot hold back divine joy; it has to expand and expand. When we think of light, we cannot be bound, although now selfishness is binding us. Pleasure and selfishness are destructive powers inside us. When we are selfish and do not want to share with others, at that time we are binding ourselves. The real joy which comes from the heart only gets its fulfilment by expanding, spreading and sharing. When you feel that you are being selfish, please try to find something within you which can be expanded or extended. Immediately you will see that it is the feeling of oneness. Why are you selfish? Just because you have not yet established your conscious oneness with someone. If you feel your oneness with someone, immediately you will be ready to give him all that you yourself have.

Right now you experience selfishness towards your friends, relatives and acquaintances. You are sincere enough to admit that you are selfish, but if you think that your friends and relatives are not selfish, it is not true. If you go deep within, you will see that there are many people on earth who are more selfish than you. If you can feel on the strength of your aspiration and meditation that your friends and neighbours are all inside you and you are inside them, then you will have established a feeling of divine oneness. In oneness there cannot be any selfishness. Who will play the role of selfishness when you feel that you and he and she are all one?

When you meditate daily, feel that you are like a bird spreading its wings little by little. When your wings are fully spread you are ready to fly. And when you are soaring with the whole sky before you, flying with your wings spread wide open over the whole world, then you cannot be selfish because the world belongs to you. The wider you can spread your consciousness, the sooner your selfishness will disappear. In order to spread your consciousness-wings, you have to do only one thing: meditate regularly, sincerely and devotedly. Meditation is the only answer. You may read hundreds of books full of all kinds of ideas on how to conquer your selfishness, but you will never be able to conquer it with books. Only if you meditate will you be able to find the way which will be most effective for you.