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Prologue: Bertrand Russell used the term “unselfing:” to describe the practice of going outside of yourself, your needs, and your present situation to connect with others and with things greater than oneself, in Russell’s case, the wonders of science, mathematics, and the universe. This led to a meditation on “unselfing.” For Christians, it seems particularly appropriate during Lent. I also believe that it fits the Ramadan fast for Muslims.

My “SELF” is me.

Imagine my “self” as a hot air balloon,

With many heavy rocks attached to it by ropes,

Anchoring it firmly to the ground.

The balloon is my spirit.

The rocks are my own concerns, needs, wishes, worries, desires, preoccupations,

Preconceived notions, prejudices, fears, and worries about things that will never happen.

If I am in this balloon and look down

That is all that I see,

If I look up, however,

I see the infinite sky.

And I know that if I cut the ropes to the rocks weighing me down

The balloon will soar and I will see new panoramas.

I will see others.

I will see the place I had been from a loftier height,

And see how small it is.


Cut the ropes to your own petty concerns,

And soar.

Moving higher, toward visions beyond myself,

Toward things greater than the “self” where I am,

My spirit will rise beyond the self that weighs me down.

And as I rise and soar,

What was once large becomes small,

My heart expands beyond me to embrace others,

And what was small in my spirit,

Becomes greater as it rises.

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Ahhh yes... and the air is fresh up there... carried along by the breeze . But responsibilities and needs of others brings my quick descent... as that is how I have chosen to live my life on purpose as a serving Jesus by serving others.. but I love the seasons no matter how brief to soar above it all and gain FATHERS perspective.

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Thank you Duane. You are a role model for unselfing. You don't weigh yourself down with your selfish concerns, but rise up because you attend to others and open your heart. Much love. JFB

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