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The Daily Personal Redemption

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The Daily Personal Redemption

by Michael Berg - Author of The Way

All our spiritual work really has a single purpose: that is, enabling us to become true beings of sharing by completely freeing us from the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone. This week’s portion helps us to recognize that one purpose, and to express it in all our thoughts and actions. If we harbor even the slightest remnant of Desire to Receive for the Self Alone and all that is connected to it, we cannot connect with the joy and fulfillment that the Creator intends for us. Over and over we must remind ourselves of this fact, until it takes the deepest possible root in our hearts and our souls.

An ancient parable makes this point very poignantly. To celebrate the marriage of his daughter, a great king issued a proclamation. Early on the morning of the wedding, he would glance out of his palace window into the street far below -- and the first person he saw could have one wish granted, no matter how extravagant it might be.

When the day great came, the king looked down into the city and saw a man walking along the street. When the lucky individual was brought before him, the king said he could have whatever he wanted. So what would it be?

The man thought for a moment, and then revealed his wish. “Yesterday I brushed up against some poison ivy,” he said, “and it’s itching very badly. My wish is to live in the king’s stables until the rash goes away, so that I can scratch to my heart’s content.”

When he heard this, the king was amazed. “What a fool you are!” he exclaimed. “If your poison ivy rash is your biggest concern, you could have asked to see the royal physician, who would have given you a salve to immediately relieve your distress. Even more importantly, you could have recognized the poison ivy for the minor problem it is. You could have asked for anything in the world and I would have given it to you. Instead, you wanted to stay in the stables with my horses, and that is where you shall now go!”

Instead of asking the Creator to fulfill our Desires to Receive, we can ask that the Desire to Receive be removed from within us. What’s more, we can live every moment in a way that hastens this removal. Each day is a world unto itself, with it’s own tasks to be accomplished. What must be done today cannot be done tomorrow or the day after. At the same time, all our work has the shared goal of freeing us from self-serving desire. This week’s portion is a profound teaching of that principle. It is also a powerful source of spiritual energy for putting the teaching into practice.

Weekly Wisdom at

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