In her book Interior Castle, as she describes souls that have reached the fifth mansion of spiritual development, Teresa of Avila describes this spirituality as taking the form of self-thoughtlessness.  She writes this of souls who have progressed into the castle’s interior fifth mansions, “Only a few years since —perhaps only a few days — this soul was thinking of nothing but itself” (108).  For Teresa, spiritual enlightenment, the growing awareness of God’s presence within us and our experience and participation with God’s presence, is inherently selfless.  As we experience God’s presence more deeply and more profoundly, as our spiritual consciousness develops so that we are aware of God’s abiding presence within us at all times, we will find also that we will be less obsessed with ourselves and more focused on others.  A growing awareness of God’s presence within us transforms us into more thoughtful and generous people who have a heart, love, and passion for others.  We will find ourselves not thinking about ourselves, our troubles, or our needs, but instead we will find our thoughts filled with the needs and concerns of others.  As we experience God’s love within us, we will begin to be freed from our obsession with self so that we can experience an abiding love for others.  Friends, that is spiritual freedom. That is spiritual liberation.  That is release.  That is joy.  Oh that we might experience that joy!