Man is here on earth for this one purpose, that he may bring forth that spirit of God in him and thus discover his own perfection. The three stages towards this perfection are the following.
The first stage is to make God as great and as perfect as your imagination can. .... The second stage is the work of the heart... The first lesson that love teaches us is: 'I am not. Thou art.' The first thing to think of is to erase ourselves from our minds and to think of the one we love. As long as we do not arrive at this idea, so long the word love remains only in the dictionary. Many speak about love but very few know it. Is love a pastime, an amusement, a drama; is it a performance? The first lesson of love is sacrifice, service, and self-effacement. ... To close the eyes for prayer is one thing, and to produce the love of God is another thing. That is the second stage in spiritual realization, where, in the thought of God, one begins to lose oneself in the same way that the lover loses the thought of self in the thought of the beloved. And the third stage is different again. In the third stage the Beloved becomes the Self, and the self is there no more. For then the self, as we think it to be, no longer remains. The self becomes what it really is. It is that realization which is called Self-realization.