When we are at our most aware, we are not necessarily in a mode of consciousness with which most people would identify, I believe. I know the mode I usually am in: it is one where the world is happening to me, and I am constituting a social self--even in my most solitary moments--in response to it. Outwardness, performance, and position are the boundaries of being, while the satisfaction of the body and mind's endless and everchanging menu of desires and intrigues becomes the reliable object.
To realize that another mode is possible is the gift of a lifetime, because up until such a realization, why would you seek anything else? When I am at my most connected, I am less participant in life than observer, feeling detachment from the details of the world's schedule of wants and needs. It's not that these wants and needs are sublimated or rejected; it's that they seem to be the wants and needs of a vehicle, not something pressing in on me. Nothing is as free as that feeling that the object of waking thought can roam beyond the drama of daily selfhood. One wanders through the day maintaining an inner connection, consequently experiencing every bump and scene not so much as an event to be engaged as a hue in an piece of art whose theme is service.
The wonderful thing about the Law of One's focus on service as a touchstone of spiritual evolution is how the very idea has a directional orientation embedded within it. Seeking to satisfy ourselves solely keeps us focused on selves that crave a particular mode of consciousness. Inevitably, we follow the mind and body around ceaselssly in this mode, and it is only peaceful in the sense that it is the known tumult, the acknowledged itch, the recognized pain. We rightly fear the unknown expanse within, because it will utterly destabilize us.
However, maintaining any focus on service to others requires an inner connection. In my experience, one simply cannot reliably serve if one is constantly competing with one's own desires. The detachment helps one decouple one's interests from one's persona, so that so-called "selfish" ends can simply be weighed against other ends. It is only the small monkey mind of worldly consciousness that sees any competition there; the more transcendent, service-to-others mind can abide both self and otherself.
The world wants to be the object we seek, the stick against which we measure ourselves, the gameboard we pour over and scheme to position ourseveles upon. The inner experience becomes merely peripheral, another environmental element to which we are subject. Taken to the extreme, this is the service-to-self orientation: the philosophy that the creation is something to be mastered and stabilized. But even in small doses, this empahsis on outer conditions draws our attention away from the necessity of inner connection to make good use of that outer experience.
And what is a good use? To locate the game board instead within, seeing the inner experience of acceptance, forgiveness, and recognizing genuine service as the position on the board. Detachment becomes not some rejection of the world, but simply the recognition that it is of auxillary importance, a reflection of a deeper life that is the primary object. Achieving inner connection is the means by which we live instead of a fleeting experience of novelty, and we tend to experience waking life as more of a symbolic dream commenting on our condition. The world is still happening to you, but it's not necessarily something to be responded to, anymore than we are urgently responding to everything in our dreams.
But be careful, because playing this game is bound to unravel much you have long considered settled. It is as perilous as setting out into the outer world as a newborn. The only way to "win" at that game is to abandon the other.