Sunday, February 28, 2010


When one is interested in spirituality and working to understand truth or true nature of existence, one must understand selfishness. If we do not understand it in its true sense, possibly we will remain away from truth or the real nature of existence. This is because the understanding is based on our knowledge, ideas, psychological conditionings, etc. In that sense, there is no understanding in its true sense. That is the reason truth is available only to the minds which cease to exist! The understanding is only to cease the existence of mind itself and any understanding which does this function is close to truth or reality! And most importantly, must understand that this understanding itself is due to our selfishness and is true to only for ourselves. This is because, we reach this understanding by our mind, and no two minds at this thinking level are same.

We consider the word selfishness as a bad word. Almost every one of us never likes to have the tag of ‘selfish person’ attached with us. In reality are we unselfish? What makes us to make such claim?

Any one, whose mind operates in the field of ego cannot be other than selfish, whatever be that persons activities – be it serving for oneself or serving for the deprived or serving for any community or serving for God or serving for peace or whatever it may be. It is complete selfish activity. Probably we may have to understand ‘self’ to understand this statement.

At the psychological level, the qualities with which we identify us are our ‘self’. Every one of us likes to attach as much as qualities with us or we likes to identify ourselves with as many as qualities as we can. We may like to attach the quality of education with us and try to identify ourselves as ‘educated’, whether we are educated or not in the real sense of education. When we see our neighbor is struggling, we worry for them and help them to the extent possible for us. This extent of possibility varies for each one of us. Out of this help, we derive a sense of satisfaction which is within the field of operation of our mind. Basically we help our neighbor just because we need that satisfaction, which is a pure selfish activity. We are not helping our neighbor as the neighbor really need our help, but help the neighbor for our own satisfaction of helping somebody. That is the reason for the extent of help varies with individual. With that help if we want to attach the tag unselfishness with us, then that may be the height of selfishness – our desire for ‘unselfish’ tag is built on the suffering of our neighbor.

Does it mean we should not help others if we want to be unselfish? It is not the point of above discussion. Help the needy person with the complete understanding that we are actually not helping the other person, but we are actually helping us – performing that help to satisfy ourselves, probably due to the suffering we have on seeing the suffering of others. If we are not suffering on seeing the suffering of others, we are not going to help those others. Hence the help arises from us towards stopping our suffering, not to (in real sense) stop the suffering of those others.

If this is the case, why are we ashamed of being called as selfish? It could be because we started focusing our mind only at physical level. Seldom have we asked questions beyond physical level. Even we ask questions beyond physical level, we expect to get some answers with authority, which can never happen. The possibility normally we consider for getting answers for such questions is our knowledge, which is just our ideas, beliefs, morality etc. In such case we cannot go beyond much than the physical level. Hence we are forced to stay with in the realm of physical. This could be the reason that our idea of selfishness cannot go beyond physical level. At this level, keeping some thing with us when we really see somebody is in real need for that thing is mere selfish act. Even if we are in need of some item and if we see another person is also in need of that same item, and give away that item to the other person in spite of our need for that item is unselfish. But these are at physical level. What we are discussing here is not this selfish or unselfish act. At that level, the truth is that we are all selfish and we have to be selfish until we are in the field of operation of mind. Hence we need not be ashamed of being selfish. Unless we understand this fact, we can not transcend the field of selfishness.

When one enters into this understanding, which is true at psychological level, one reaches far close in the domain of spirituality, in search of truth, in search of the real nature of existence.

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