Some of the many layers of self-centeredness…
First, it is unavoidable as long as there is a belief in the idea of I. When there is such as belief – experienced as a sense of I – everything is filtered through it.
Then there is the beauty of it. There is a belief in the idea of I, and at the same time a knowing – at some level – that this is not quite true, so there is naturally a focus on it. As there is any time something is real for us, yet not quite noticed or brought into awareness. Our attention is brought to it so we can become more familiar with it, bring it into awareness, and bring what is real for us into awareness. In this case, what is real for us – although not noticed, is selflessness and that the sense of I only comes from a belief in the idea of I.
And in a similar way, what may appear as an individual self-centeredness is really universal and shared. We are really all just exploring what happens when there is a belief in the idea of I, and many other ideas as well. We are each exploring the same territory, yet in each case also with individual flavors.
Another layer is the consequences of living from a belief in the idea of I. This is something we all (with some exceptions) are quite familiar with, although also something we have not yet explore in real detail and with sincerity. When this happens, the belief starts to unravel – leaving only the ground, realizing itself as selfless – with no I anywhere, yet still functioning through and as a human being.
So we have…
Self-centeredness functioning as a filter. The belief in the idea of I filters all our experiences and our whole life.
The discrepancy between knowing what is real for us – selflessness, yet believing in the idea of I. This brings a sense of uneasiness and suffering, and also an attention to this discrepancy, which invites us to become more familiar with it and bring it all more into awareness. It invites us to explore what is real for us more in detail, which in turn – eventually – leads to a realization of selflessness.
Explorations into how it is to live from the belief in I, and many other beliefs. This is an exploration into a shared territory, universal and really quite impersonal, yet also with individual flavors.
And of course, it is all completely innocent.
There is the Ground forming itself into all there is, everything inherently empty of any I. There is the belief in the idea of I. There are the consequences of this belief. And among these consequences are the impulses to bring what is real for us around it more into awareness, which in turn leads to a realization of selflessness.
The final layer is the ultimate self-centeredness: realizing selflessness – and discovering the divine or Big mind. It is all God, all Spirit, all emptiness dancing. If an I is placed on this (as Eckhard said, only God can say “I”), then it is all I. Although since there is no Other, there is not really any I there either.