On “Love Self”


“Love Self” is a gentle and sweet phrase, but it can be mistaken as suggesting an egocentric love
or a selfish and narcissistic way of life with no concern for others.

When you look into the bottom of your heart, you find the most precious thing for you is yourself
and that is what every human being must feel deep down. Of course, there are some rare cases in which parents
sacrifice life for their children, teachers for their pupils, subordinate men for their chief, and lovers
for their partners. They do it because they feel their own life most precious for themselves and want to save the
precious life of their loved ones by offering the most precious thing for themselves.

In order to sustain the life, which is most precious for any of us, we must inhale and exhale air without stop,
receive heat and light from the sun, and take in food and water. We receive air, heat and light for free as blessings
of Nature, while the oxygen in the air is produced by the process of photosynthesis by plants, and the
vegetables, fish and meats we eat are obtained by taking the life of plants, fish and animals. Furthermore, there are
people who work to produce, catch, or breed them and process them into food, transport them to us and
cook them. This means we all live by consuming the result of others’ labor.

It means that, for us to sustain our life which is most precious to us, the existence of Nature, fauna and flora,
and many unseen others is indispensable. Therefore, if we cherish ourselves, we must cherish all other people and
creatures who sustain our life. Consequently, “Love Self” means “Love Others” or “Love All” including ourselves.

However, the starting point is no other than “Love Self”. Those who don’t know the importance of their own
life and cannot love themselves won’t understand that of the life of others and won’t be able to love them.

Let’s contemplate anew the significance of “Love Self” and lead the delightful and enjoyable life by becoming
the person who can love oneself, and all others in this world, including all the plants and animals, heaven and earth,
up to the universe itself.

While being sustained by the heaven and earth, I am also sustaining them in return.

March 10, 2010
Tsuyoshi Nara