Does selfishness lead to selflessness?
  • I just thought I'd repost something I wrote on another forum a while back. I figure it might be of interest to some on here.

    ---

    "Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it." - Bruce Lee


    "I wish I could be ______."

    With that mindset in place we become jealous and envious of other people around us and we think that in order to have what they have we must become them through imitation.

    Sure, you may be able to fool people into thinking you are someone else but ultimately you are only lying to yourself.

    Do things because they make you happy. Don't do things because you think it'll make others happy.

    On the surface it appears to be selfish behaviour but once you are content with who you are you cease trying to take from others or shape them into who you want them to be. In that sense "selfishness leads to selflessness".

    Why take from others when you already have everything you need? You become [as Skeletor puts it] internally referenced as opposed to externally referenced.

    That guy you admire can never compete with you at being you. You've got him beat hands down.

    Fear only prohibits you from living your life.

    Don't be afraid to be seen. Don't be afraid to do.

    At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. - Lao Tzu


    ---

    My most recent thoughts on this have become a bit more "spiritual" in nature in that I feel that as egotistical "cosmic-game-playing-avatars-of-the-divine" we have to fully explore deep seated desires and address insecurities before we can feel ready to release ourselves from the cycle of suffering.

    Alan Watts talk on the "fear of enlightenment" touches on this exact issue.
  • hcehce
    Hrair
    phranky said:


    My most recent thoughts on this have become a bit more "spiritual" in nature in that I feel that as egotistical "cosmic-game-playing-avatars-of-the-divine" we have to fully explore deep seated desires and address insecurities before we can feel ready to release ourselves from the cycle of suffering.

    Alan Watts talk on the "fear of enlightenment" touches on this exact issue.



    Alan Watts says:

    "You don't want to feel it really. You're frightened of it.

    And therefore what you're going to do is you're going to get a method of practice so that you can put it off.

    So that I can say "Well, I can be a long time on the way getting this thing. And then maybe I'll be worthy of it after I have suffered enough."

    All of that is precisely postponement because one is afraid, here and now, to see it.

    If you had the nerve, you'd see it right away."


    Post edited by hce at 2012-06-12 19:01:24
  • I agree with @phranky "selfishness leads to selflessness". You have to fix yourself before you can move forward and affect others.

    For the longest time I would focus most of my energy on the others around me and how they related to me in a positive or negative way. Mostly in the negative way and blame others for problems that I had with my self and not them.

    Once I realized I needed to deal with myself first, I found my closer relationships becoming much more positive in nature. When I get angry or frustrated with anything now, I try and look at myself first instead of looking at those around me. It has greatly enhanced my standard of living and I feel like I am a calmer and more positive person in general.



  • I don't agree with Bruce Lee's "Be Yourself" manifesto. To quote Bill Cosby's punchline from a different joke - "What if you're an asshole?"
    Am I Ambivalent? Well, yes and no.
  • Then be the best asshole you can be.
  • This makes perfect sense to me. Am I wrong in saying love yourself wholly, to learn how to love all? Or another way is to forgive yourself and treat yourself with empathy, and you'll forgive and be empathetic with all?
    photo lao-tzu-field1copysmall.jpg
  • @Kamehameha that's good advice from a possibly hokey individual:

    Post edited by [Deleted User] at 2012-06-13 07:28:38
    fickbowt: "Wearing yesterday's pants - TOMORROW!"
  • I think you're making an incorrect connection between being yourself & being selfish.

    Selfishness is being concerned primarily with self, regardless of others. I can be myself and be primarily concerned with my children, with high regard for all.
  • If all we're doing is answering the question, I think the answer is "yes and no, depending on the person, where they're coming from, and where they're going to".
    "the idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving" - Boat Car Guy
  • Good to know Sai Baba is dead
    If you don't have light, you don't have sight.
  • Kind of goes back to the age old question: Is there such a thing as "idealism".

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