You’ve come to realize, you say, that despite your best intentions your motives for spiritual work remain largely “ego-based”. It’s doubtless important to have noted this fact, but I wouldn’t brood about it. After all, Christ Himself appeals to the ego precisely in threatening damnation and promising salvation. How else could the seeming self be enticed into making an effort except on the grounds that it will benefit in some way? Of course, even while acting de facto as if everything depended on us, we must understand de jure that everything depends on God. Resolving this koan—is there any other koan?—means coming to realize that the act and the understanding are not successive or correlative or even complementary; they’re precisely the same, and must be sustained as such. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13). In other words, “It is no longer I” (Gal. 2:20) because it never was.