Dissolving the Selfishness Which
Keeps a Person Tied Down to Ignorance
Radha Burnier
Radha Burnier (1923-2013), in a photo taken around the year 1980
Blinded by greed for profit and
pleasure, humanity appears to be intent
of a self-made programme of disaster.
Radha Burnier [1]
True human progress is a journey from a state of selfishness, from attitudes and actions based on the illusion of separateness, to another dimension – which is love.  The term ‘love’, as commonly used, has little relation to the realization of absolute non-separateness that is spiritual or divine love. Love in the true sense abolishes the feeling of there being ‘others’. All existences are realized as elements of the one, eternal Reality. Enlightenment means being established in such unity; the enlightened ones do not feel they are helping others or teaching and leading others, because there are no ‘others’. Such is the end of human journey, beyond which, we are told, are other journeys.
At the beginning of this road is competitiveness approximating to the instinctive behaviour of members of lesser kingdoms. Competition for food, territory or a mate, fierce though it may be at times, is free of evil in the case of these innocent creatures. Similar behaviour at the human level is tarnished by the selfish thought processes leading to deliberate destruction, deception and other evil propensities. The human being neither enjoys the bliss, which is integral to a non-separative, unitary consciousness, nor has the innocence and peace of subhuman creatures who are not troubled by what they are doing or by  what others do; they just live as Nature reaches them to do.
The human dilemma ends when there is a clear awareness of having to proceed from the separative to the loving stage. The former is characterized by taking and the latter by giving. Dana, which is ‘charity and love immortal’, is the first of the paramitas, the virtues which enable crossing over to the superhuman level. Universal Brotherhood, which the TS seeks to propagate [2], includes many wonderful qualities, one of them being the spirit of giving, not reluctantly but with self-abandonment.
Dana involves a profoundly charitable disposition, arising from seeing ‘the beauty and obscurity’ of those other divine fragments which are struggling side by side with oneself. Generosity of the heart that does not carry hurts or grievances, a nature which naturally thinks of the needs and comforts of others rather than of oneself, a universal outlook – all this is related to dana. These characteristics must grow and dissolve the core of self-centredness and pettiness which keep a person tied down to the earthly dimension.
[1] From the article “On the Watch-Tower”, by Radha Burnier,  in “The Theosophist” magazine, Adyar, India, December 2002, p. 84. (CCA)
[2] “TS” – The Theosophical Society, Adyar. The statement is valid for the TS Point Loma, the TS Pasadena, the United Lodge of Theosophists, the Independent Lodge of Theosophists and the whole theosophical movement. (CCA)
The article “Humanity’s Onward Path” is the first part of the column “On the Watch-Tower” in “The Theosophist” magazine, December 2002 edition, Adyar, India, pp. 83-86. The text was published on the associated websites on 23 August 2022. 
Click to see other texts by Radha Burnier.
Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these revealing words: “Deserve, then desire”.