Just as a student learns not to blame others and a master learns not to blame himself

I heard this summer the idea that—

A student learns not to blame others while a master learns not to blame himself

Some truth in this strikes me. That I might start out learning not to attribute consequences to other people as a way to be fair to them. But that ultimately, the person I most dearly need to be fair to is me. That initially I might see the world as a place where others had responsibility for what was happening to me—but that ultimately I might not only invert that idea but I would also invert the idea that I was responsible for what was happening to me

Then it hit me that lots of verbs could replace blame

A student learns to forgive others while a master learns to forgive himself

A student learns to trust others while a master learns to trust himself

A student learns to inspire others while a master learns to inspire himself

The nature of these statements is profound. The world is a place where secondarily I might be doing something to you—but primarily I am doing it to me. Where doing something to you is ok, but doing it to me is ultimate. The idea that it is more primary to blame (or not blame) me than it is to blame you. More primary to forgive, trust, and inspire myself than it is to have the same effect on you. And that it is easier to do those things to you and harder to do them to me! That's why a student does them to others while a master does them to himself. Because others are only models of ourselves—we are shadows and reflections of the same Self. First I realize that you are real. Then I realize that I am real

Do to others as you would do to yourself takes on a new meaning here. It's not the case that I would do the best, highest thing to myself and therefore I will do the best, highest thing to you. When I would blame myself, I would blame you. Think of the phrase not as advice but as a statement of fact—I will do to others as I do to myself. That's another take on do unto others. If I would kill myself, do unto others means I would kill you. If I would blame myself, I would blame you. So it's much more important (and primary) to love myself first, to not blame (to forgive, trust, and inspire) myself than it is to do them to you—blaming others (or not blaming them) is sort of unimportant compared to whether I blame myself. That's why learning not to blame others is the student's task and learning not to blame yourself is the master's