Sacred Selfishness: Excerpts and Resources

A Guide to Living a Life of Substance

Bud Harris defines Sacred Selfishness as valuing ourselves enough to develop into “authentic” human beings who give back vitality and hope to the people around us. It is acquiring what Emerson refers to as “character—a reserved force which acts directly by presence, and without means.”

In his early thirties, Bud was “restless and generally dissatisfied.” He was terrified that the rest of his life would “consist of going to work, meetings, church, soccer games, and vacations . . . simply adjusting to what one’s family or society describes as a ‘good life.’” This full-blown crisis led him into therapy and began a lifelong quest to become a person of substance.

Sacred Selfishness: A Guide to Living a Life of SubstanceIn Sacred Selfishness, he delves into classic quest stories to show that on the path of “renewed personal consciousness,” we must examine all assumptions about ourselves and our lives to uncover our hidden potential. True change must come from within, and no mere outer change can solve our problems.

Attaining self-knowledge both softens and strengthens us, and helps us love and appreciate life and other people. It affirms and enriches our choices of partners, vocations, and life-styles. “When the inner quest brings change, we can be comforted by knowing it’s authentic, has been carefully thought through, and values our past and other people.” This is the path of Sacred Selfishness.


Below you’ll find the first chapter from Sacred Selfishness, excerpts from further chapters, as well as The Sacred Selfishness Workbook by Bud Harris, Ph.D. with Gail Rogers, M.A.
Sacred Selfishness – Chapter 1: Captives of Normalcy
Excerpt from Chapter 2: The Call to Transformation
Excerpt from Chapter 3: At the Crossroads
Excerpt from Chapter 4: The Hidden Power in the Shadow, and Shadows into Substance
Excerpt from Chapter 5: Paying Religious Attention Through Journaling
Excerpt from Chapter 6: Dialoguing as Interrelating
Excerpt from Chapter 7: Midlife as a New Beginning
Excerpt from Chapter 8: Befriending Our Dreams
Excerpt from Chapter 9: Facing the Dark and Finding Life
Excerpt from Chapter 10: Sacred Selfishness – Learning to Love Ourselves
Excerpt from Chapter 11: Relationships of Substance
Excerpt from Chapter 12: Life Against Death

The Sacred Selfishness Workbook

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Click here to buy the Kindle Edition.

Interview and Call-ins “Inner Vision” with Dr. Nita Vallens KPFK (NPR Affiliate) 90.7 FM, Los Angeles
Listen to the Interview

For more resources from Bud and Massimilla Harris, please visit The Center for Spiritual Resources.

Quotes and Images to Share:

gold-not-hunger “When we can trust that it’s we who think, feel, and act rather than the ghosts of our parents or well-trained robots, we learn that we can also love, be in relationships, and be in the world without losing ourselves.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “The journey into wholeness means we have to learn to respect the other voice that speaks within us. It means to pay attention to our emotions, thoughts, dreams and fantasies even when they’re unpleasant and objectionable.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “Courage is the nearest star, the sunlight that can fuel our growth.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “When we overly rely on the conventional path into life, we give up not only our power, but also the urge to understand ourselves better and to make our lives ongoing creations.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D.“The process of becoming our own person begins with finding out about this shadow, for that is the only way we can learn about the molds that shaped our development.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “I have always tried to understand ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ because it seems so easy for us to treat ourselves harshly and with neglect. I believe the search for peace and joy begins with truly loving oursleves.” —Massimilla M. Harris “Like an artist we must be committed to discovering the visions, the patterns arising within us that can bring order and meaning to our lives, in contrast to the design we attempt to impose on ourselves.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “It takes more than just awareness for us to change. It takes courage and humility and the willingness to occasionally feel like fools and laugh at ourselves.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “The imperative of life is to grow and if we’re going to grow as human beings, we must ally ourselves with life, love, and courage and face the struggles that growth entails.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “Personal growth will cause a ripple effect as the growth in consciousness of enough people, one by one, can create general change, and lasting social improvements” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “Facing the negative parts of ourselves is the first step on the path to developing the sacred substance that comes from knowing ourselves. And only then can we truly understand the value of sacred versus sickly selfishness.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “Dreams speak to us in the “other voice,” the voice of poetry and symbolism, the voice that puzzles us because it isn’t the recognizable, familiar voice of our rational, literal selves. If we are seeking to know ourselves then we must be willing to listen to our dreams, to see how knowing with this other voice can teach us about ourselves and help us live more completely.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “Cultivating self-love is an odyssey with moments of difficulty and joy. It’s an excursion into knowing ourselves, learning to accept and deal with what we discover... and struggling with our fear of allowing in a little madness to set us free.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D. “New awareness is born in the moments we encounter life, for in them we can meet our truths, meet ourselves and our lives as expressions of who we are. The more aware we become the more we discover that our awareness determines how we experience life.” —from Sacred Selfishness by Bud Harris Ph.D.

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