The declaration of Jesus that whosoever will save his life shall lose it, is uncompromising. It is an eternal truth as well as a universal one. It is needed by the naïve as well as by the sophisticated. Only those who, under the strain and struggle of quotidian existence in these difficult times, ardently yearn for the peace of self-forgetting can begin to understand the first faint echo of that satisfaction which losing one's life brings. It means in plainer language that those who seek salvation in some deep, hidden, and fundamental part of themselves have to make this firm resolution that the physical, the emotional, and the intellectual activities of the personal self shall count less. They will not be able to do that unless they desire salvation more than anything else in their lives. Jesus' statement means that they should seek to liberate the life within them from the very limited idea which the personal ego forms around it and within which it remains confined to the physical, emotional, and intellectual planes alone, and bring it to function also in the intuitive-spiritual plane. It means that the inexorable condition which the Overself imposes before it will reveal itself in all its beauty, its grandeur, its peace, and its power is that they should abnegate this unbalanced interest in the lower activities of this world in which they are so totally immersed. If this abnegation leads to the extreme point of withdrawal from the world then they must even be willing to obey and to take the consequences. But since it is fundamentally an inner thing, it does not necessarily lead a man to take this extreme step--so long as he keeps his inner life and being inviolable even whilst trafficking with the world.
Such an achievement may seem very far off from human possibility and indeed we find in history that not many have either cared, or been able, to realize it, for it is far too painful to the ego. But the metaphysical truths of successive rebirth on earth and of the unreality of time should give some comfort here. The first teaches a great patience while men labour daily at the task of remaking themselves. The second teaches that the Overself is even now ever present with all, that in the eternal Now there is no futurity and that theoretically the possibility of its realization does not necessarily belong to some distant rebirth.
-- Notebooks Category 8: The Ego > Chapter 4: Detaching from The Ego > # 230