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Self improvement: good spiritual practice or ego feeding?

To clarify a bit, what I mean by self improvement is what you might find in the self improvement section of your local book store. Success, empowerment, finding a mate, dieting, how to win friends and influence enemies, that sort of thing. Basically, fine tuning an imaginary ego identity. Okay, I guess I tipped my hand there. :)~

15 COMMENTS

  1. The best ones are a little of both. I suggest The Art of Loving by Rollo May. Also “Your God is Too Small” by J. B. Phillips.

  2. Could be any combination, but of course taking the position the ‘self’ exists is only a position the ego would take…;-)

  3. To even consider this question we would have to determine if you have found the self. Ego “IS” self. All selfs=Self.

  4. Well if you just ignore your problems and bury them beneath judgemental hollow beliefs then you can’t let your True Faith or Unconditional Love shine. Self-improvement is important so people can resolve their issues, and then help others.

  5. Hello philmeta,
    I feel lucky to be online same time with you!
    I think… doing something positive for oneself is time well spent, compare to blame others or do self-destructive things??
    ^.^
    Once I read some quotes of Buddha, that even someone build up ego as strong and high as a mountain, that someone might need to build up ego to realize ego is empty, so we shouldn’t judge others~
    Smart guy, wasn’t he?
    ^.^

  6. a mix of both….. When someone feels self concious about themselves and they improvethemselve, its improving their ego so they feel like they could go out there more, and better. When they improve their feelings in their god, it would be a good spiritual practice…..

  7. The Self doesn’t need improvement. And, in most cases the ego is too far gone to bother with, BUT noticing it NEEDS improvement is a beginning of discarding its thought system.

  8. I believe your question is: is self improvement good spiritual practice or is it ego feeding. If so:
    I think that if you have the awareness, the wherewithal, and the time to devote to self improvement, be it physically through exercise or mentally through meditation or study, than that indicates that you have a degree of comfort in your life and with so many who don’t all around us it is a bit self indulgent and not particularly spiritual. Ego feeding is not wrong in and of itself (if you need it, do it) but don’t confuse it with spirituality which in my opinion would be something that helps others. I can’t call someone living his life to be a genius Adonis a spiritual person unless he is using what he has achieved in a way that benefits someone besides himself. An excessive drive toward self improvement indicates guilt or feelings of inferiority or inadequacy. One would need to be disabused of these before any helping of others could be considered. There are those who try to escape guilt by devoting their lives to charity and that’s okay but I don’t think it helps them and perhaps they could contribute more to the world if they realized what a useless and self indulgence guilt is. Guilt is a lazy mans answer to responsibility.

  9. :)self and improvement? ha ha its really cool. i was think about it.:) whats there to ‘improve’ if self is already complete and perfect,without begining or end. improvement is only for the assumed person not for the self as we commoly use in psychological terms. everything we are doing right now is only for the ego. self is totally unattached with all the appearances happening here. at the same time its very neccesary to have ego in this world to function as a ‘human being’ so its ok to read all those ‘how to’ books.add more information into ur brain thats all.
    lots of love,
    joson
    i’m looking forward to read more intresting qtn and answers from you. intresting:)

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