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Anyone who wants to save his life, must lose it. Anyone who loses her life will find it. — Matthew 16:25

That’s a pretty strong, almost brutal, statement from Jesus. But it makes very clear that there is a necessary suffering that cannot be avoided, which Jesus calls “losing your very life,” or the False Self. Your False Self is your role, title, and personal image that is largely a creation of your own mind and attachments. It will and must die in exact correlation to how much you want the Real.

The Real is what all the world religions were pointing to when they spoke of heaven, nirvana, bliss, or enlightenment. Their only mistake was that they pushed it off into the next world. When you die before you die, you are choosing the Real—or union with God—over your imaginary separation from God. You are choosing “the kingdom of God” over your own smaller kingdoms. Heaven is the state of union both here and later. Only the True Self knows that.

The lasting question is: “How much False Self are you willing to shed to find your True Self?” Such necessary suffering will always feel like dying, which is what good spiritual teachers will tell you very honestly.

from Falling Upward: A Spirituality For the Two Halves of Life

emphasis mine

**

Note: This is from the book I got for Christmas.  Very good.

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