search engine by freefind

advanced

 

Return to Meditations

 The Disadvantages of Self-Centeredness

Having an equal attitude to all people and seeing them as lovable and worthy of happiness, we now focus on uprooting the principal impediment to universal acceptance and unconditional caring, our self-centered attitude. In addition, we develop the mind that cherishes others and, based on that, love, compassion, and a deep desire to be of service to everyone.

 

We are not our self-centered attitude, which is an attitude clouding the pure nature of our minds. We and our selfishness, are not one and the same, and thus self-preoccupation can be eliminated from our minds (habits of thought patterns). By reflecting on experiences in your life, you can see how your self-centered attitude has caused you harm and thus wish to overcome it.

Notice how we try to protect our territories—physical, emotional and mental/ideas. We get very attached to them all.

Our self-centeredness:

 

1.      Makes us act in ways that harm others.

2.      Causes us to act in ways we later regret and is the root of self-hatred.

3.      Makes us overly sensitive and easily offended.

4.      Is the basis for all fear.

5.      Breeds dissatisfaction. It’s impossible to satisfy the bottomless pit of our desires.

6.      Underlies all conflict between individuals, small groups, and nations.

7.      Motivates us to do harmful actions in a confused attempt to be happy. We thus create negative patterns that bring undesirable situations upon ourselves in the future. Our current problems are results of our past selfish actions.

8.      Impedes our spiritual progress and prevents development of our highest potential.

 

An example:

Notice a situation where I protect my territory: my physical, emotional thought/mental, or my rights. I want it my way. I want my outcome or what I had planned.

 

Self-centered attitudes: “Me always first.” “Me-victorious.” “How dare you ask me; I feel imposed on…I don’t want to… Oh, poor me…I’m unsupported and unappreciated…” Notice ME, I’m the center of the universe (I want what I want, when I want it and if I don’t get it, I think bad thoughts about you.)

 

How I act (negative actions and results): An increase in anger comes up. I feel self-righteous and act as though I’m attacked. I’m right and you’re wrong!  So I yell, pout, practice addictive choices, divisive speech, etc.

 

The result: I put up a wall between others and myself. I make them wrong and make them my enemy and it builds up disharmony and separation between others and me. Then I feel inferior, guilty and stuck. This pattern reinforces a dissatisfied, complaining, critical and judgmental mind.

Notice: pleasant or unpleasant? productive or unproductive? Yuck! These results aren’t so good.  Perhaps, it would be beneficial to cultivate another pattern of responding to situations.

 

Conclusion: See self-centeredness as your real enemy and determine to let go of it.

              Copyright © 2001-2018 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!