Only the self liberated from selfishness can bring about the new earth.

Selfish selfhood is a prison. Our prejudices and attachments to wealth and power form the walls of this prison. Our activism will never succeed unless we simultaneously leave the prison of the “false self” through mindful presence and an open heart. To transform the political and economic systems that currently dominate our lives—systems that have been skewed by the power and influence of profit above all else—we must also focus on inner transformation.

We can root this difficult work in prayers such as this one from my Sufi tradition: “O my God, you are peace, and from you comes peace, and our return is to you, to peace.” What I offer here is an extended meditation on this prayer.

The current economic system is the vehicle of the false self insofar as...

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