I’m looking at how to get a good balance between looking out for myself versus looking out for the big picture, the people around me, maybe even the whole universe.
Selfishness versus selflessness.
How do we find the right balance? Now, some would say that selfishness is entirely bad, and we should be entirely selfless, and simply forget about our ego.
We can move past our ego, realize that we are part of this whole connected universe and live with that understanding.
That seems to be- it could be a good ideal, and maybe it is the right way to go, but it seems like it has a lot of challenges if we are going to be purely in the selfless state of mind where we just do not at all think about ourselves as a special person.
You know, treating myself as special versus the entire universe.
It seems like on a practical level, that’s going to be difficult.
Maybe we’d have to be part of some kind of community where everybody is very highly taking care of each other, and even to such an extreme level that we don’t have to put any extra effort into ourselves at all, but we simply share everything, and we’re taken care of.
It may be an ideal state, possibly, but it seems to me that that’s going too far.
Although I would be curious to hear if there are any ways that it could be made real.
That would be very interesting.
But it seems like for most practical regular life, we do have to have a certain amount of selfishness.
We have to treat our self- our self is somehow a “special” being.
We have to kind of give more care to ourselves then we give to the whole universe.
You know, I’ll have to be concerned about basic maintenance, the eating and the sleeping, and you know, washing myself, and I have to put extra care into these things.
And you know, what I feel about something, whether I like it or not: well, maybe that’s more important to me than, you know, what everybody else thinks.
We have to have in some way, because we’re at the centre.
Like our consciousness is inside this particular body, our particular self.
And so even if it is part of this overall universal consciousness, everything connected, and we’re just one piece of that, even if there isn’t any real division between the self and the whole universe, it’s still the part of the universe that we have the most control over.
And so just by that, just because we do have the most control over this little piece of the universe, ourselves, that means that in some way we have a greater responsibility to take care of ourselves.
So that’s what seems to me to be the right measure of selfishness, in the sense that in a way, we are kind of “the centre of our own universe”, in a way, because we’re the centre of our own consciousness.
Like we know, you wake up, and you see your own body, and you have control to move your own body, and this is the closest part of the universe to your experience, your understanding, your control.
So that’s your piece of the universe.
Even if you don’t see even if you don’t believe that you should be in any way considered better than the rest of the universe, or you don’t really believe that there’s even any real division between yourself and the universe, you’re simply another part of it: but still, because of the greater control and awareness that you have over this piece of the universe, you can kind of look at it like “This is my corner.
This is my corner of the universe.” Now, is that selfish? In some way it is putting focus on the “self”, but that seems to me to be a reasonable minimum level of selfishness.
That even if the entire purpose of this piece of the universe should be to serve the rest of it, and it’s not about making this piece of the universe better, it’s about serving everything else, there is something in this piece, ourselves, that we are closer to and that we have more power to control.
And that makes it in some way special to us.
So maybe an obvious thing, but I think even from this kind of spiritual, universal kind of view, there’s still something special about ourselves for each of us.
And that seems to me to be a minimum level of what might be called “selfishness”, but it’s just the right amount, the amount that it seems like we need at least.
So what do you think about this? Is this a right amount of selfishness? Should it even be called selfishness? Or is there a way of looking at this that doesn’t involve ego or self at all?
#centreoftheuniverse #ouruniverse #selfishness