Self worship is a curse. I take back nothing I have said against it.
But my littlest is at the age where she is discovering herself. She wanders around the house chanting to herself: [Name] is my name! [Name] is my name! It makes her happy.
No one who has seen a toddler in the middle of a shrieking storm of “mine” can ever disbelieve in the natural man again. At the same time, I cannot see her waggle her eyebrows in delight when I give her an apple and croon, “this apple is mine!” and believe that the self and individuality is all wrong.
The Buddha, God bless him, got it wrong.
The self is not holy just because. That is the modern error. But there is a core of selfhood that is. It would be unholy to jettison that part of selfhood. It is, ultimately, what we have to offer God.
His joy is our joy at judgment day, when, eyes wide with surprise and delight, we croon “these blessings are mine! these blessings are mine!”