Selfishness and the Negative Ego
Selfishness is the product of one’s separation from his soul. The separate self has no connection to anything greater and more encompassing than itself. It sees itself as alone in a hostile world. It has no real capacity for love. If it gives, it will only do so to make it easier to get what it wants. It only serves to make itself look good. It is not interested in doing good works. It is ruled by fear, greed and desire and pursues its own agenda relentlessly.
The negative ego cannot comprehend the motives of those who have been drawn to serve others and is suspicious of those who do. Its only interest is its self-interest. It cannot conceive of altruism nor consider any action in which it will receive less than it gives. It does not know what the healthy ego is learning or what the surrendered ego has mastered. Through service, we contribute to the well-being of other people, and in so doing, we consolidate our relationship to our soul and deepen our own sense of unity.
Service and the Surrendered Ego
While service may be used by the negative ego to achieve its agenda, it is essentially a technique for transforming the healthy ego into the surrendered ego. By serving others unselfishly we pull down the Divine energies into our lives. It is the Divine energy working within our system that eventually fuses our soul with our ego. When that fusion takes place, the healthy ego dies, and the surrendered ego is born.
Those we serve may not reward us for our good deeds or even acknowledge them, but that is not the point. By serving others, we serve our highest interests, open our psyches wider to the Divine light, and quicken our growth. Inner growth is the whole point of service and is its real reward.