„I couldn’t do anything with that word. It doesn’t mean anything to me at all. ‚ Self-effacing.“I am taken aback. I had not expected this by any stretch of the imagination. Ten minutes before I had handed over to a group of people the photocopies of a small perhaps 15-line allegorical story, in whose short course, the personified „self-forgetfulness“ brought the resolution. I had asked them to tell what they thought of this little story, what it would spontaneously say to them. That someone could do absolutely nothing with the word „oblivious“, as if it were from another language, I had not reckoned with that. And so, at this very second, I’m faced with the very same question, „What on earth does ‚oblivious‘ actually mean? In words.“ This moment seems to last an eternity. But it must have been only three or four seconds. Silent seconds in which, inwardly helpless and outwardly pensive, I search for a retort. Fortunately, the participant redeems me with her own attempt at an explanation. „It sounds to me like… like… loss of control!“And I am baffled once again. That’s exactly it! Loss of control! How could I have missed that until now! For me, the concept of „forgetting oneself“ was always so clear! It was detachment from ego, liberation from the ballast of earthly existence, immersion in the realms of timelessness and spacelessness, drawing soul power. Recognizing the thing behind the thing. Being clear. Being truly conscious. Experiencing truth. Being at home…meeting friends, meeting family….You, on the other hand: Forgetting the self. Forgetting the self. If you look at it from the point of view of the I, you can only come to this conclusion: I lose control over myself (my I – my mind)!The participant was one of those remarkable people who have been given a highly rational sobriety by their living environment and upbringing. A sobriety that has been so deeply ingrained that „self-forgetfulness“ could be redefined exclusively as „loss of control“ in order to give this foreign word any approximate, comprehensible meaning at all. It was remarkable not because of that. She was remarkable because of the nonetheless unburied spiritual depth that found expression in much that she said – She said it then just as casually and inconsequentially as our Irma. And just as little as our Irma was aware of it. She was always convinced that she could not. But that was precisely the secret. In this relationship, she was in a constant state of self-forgetfulness. And I left her in it. Because it was good that way. Why confront her with this knowledge for no reason? Self-forgetfulness is good. Not knowing at all that you have forgotten yourself is almost something sacred.

Pain must never be allowed to guide us. Our actions grow out of the fearless knowledge of our security in the meaning, of our soulfulness and of the eternal unity of everything. We always act in love for everything and everyone. There is no inner separation. Pain alone must never guide us.

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