How terribly muddling it is to know that because of our consciousness of self we end up seeking self when we think we are seeking You. Yet, humanly, it may be the best we can do. I cannot speak for others but I know in myself that my seeking is tainted by a boomerang-effect that somehow always refers back to my self to “save” my soul, “to be happy,” to be a good example, or a channel of Your light to others. In all of these there seems to be, for me, a reference back to “self” that forever keeps my quest flawed.
If the one-word answer to what we seek is love then it must be, like Yours, shorn of self and all its conditions. You certainly know of the great difficulty we, in our humanity, experience in trying to do that. That is why our desire and practice to achieve it is so dear to You.
Bernadette Roberts, in her book What is Self? talks about infants and the mentally retarded having no self-consciousness but simply viewing the world as an outside observer. Here the state of “no-self” exists but without intention, direction or disposition. In this case there seems to be no connection between losing a sense of self and seeking You. The thought thus occurs that we cannot seek You without some sense of self. It is at this point that the distinction between the false self and the true self comes in. There seems to be a direct correlation between the annihilation of our false selves and our ability to seek You. It is the false self in all its many forms that contemplates its own comfort and status thus making it a “first condition” of our love. Jettisoning the false self in all its incarnations lays bear the reality of our true self which is the reality of Your spirit within us. From this essential self the truth of love can be found and passed on.