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Oblivious Selfishness

By Karmayogi

If MAN is totally ignorant of anything, it is that he is selfish. Men are selfish and mean, says Sri Aurobindo. The only thing we can do about it is to cure it in ourselves. There is an index for being extremely selfish. That person will ceaselessly complain about every other person that they are selfish. There are affectionate families that are utterly selfless. In such families men and woman never mention what they own, or how useful they are to others.

Property, jewels, money, things will be used by anyone without reference to the individual rights. Occasionally an utterly selfish person will be born there. He will spread his empire without anyone standing in his way. Shamelessly he will expect everyone to serve his own purpose. His expectation will be abundantly fulfilled. Selfishness is dynamic, and can reach proportions of the infinite. A time will come when such men accuse all the others of selfishness. It happens when he has crossed his limits at all points of functioning.

Selfish members of a selfless family will rule the roost, as no one in the family will bring themselves to speak about it. His friends will constantly caution him and warn him of its consequences, of its unfairness, of the injustice. His one reply will be that he is serving the family to his utmost capacity. No amount of explanation will make him see the truth, as he is vital and the arguments are mental. His one grievance will be that no one around him knows his own needs and no one is selfless enough to meet them. What is blatant to every other person will not seen by him. He will be oblivious of it. There are persons who are not selfish; nor does anyone else perceive them to be selfish. They are unselfish and in some areas they are self-giving.

Suppose such a person begins to examine himself from the point of view of selfishness, he can find several areas where he is fully selfish and many other acts where he can legitimately be accused of being selfish. It is so because selfishness is all-pervasive. The very human being is created around a self, an ego. The Rishi who takes to tapas moves from his human self to the divine Self within him. Modern life in the urban areas frowns upon the ego-trips of individuals. It is a great, good sign. Active psychological Self-giving practised as an article of faith brings ones Spirit to the surface of his life.

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