Friday, September 23, 2005

I, Me and Myself

"It's all about you for you...and all about me for me..."

"That's such a selfish way of looking at things..."

"Maybe, but it's the only real way you know..."

"What makes you say that? I've seen you go out of your way to help people. What was that? Was that also about you? Of course it wasn't....it was about feelings...it was about selflessness....about the desire to do good.....life's about that....it's not just about ourselves..."

"That's so untrue. At the end of the day, life being about me for me, doesn't mean that you don't matter. But why do I go out of my way to help you and not that little kid living in the garbage bin? Why do I think up reasons justifying my behaviour in allowing him to live in squalour, while the slightest inconvenience to you would have me trying to help you in removing it? Isn't that because of the way I want to feel about myself? That is 'selfish' too, don't you see? All of us do things for ourselves at the end of the day.....it's really not about someone else."

"Ever wondered about why your parents cared for you? Ever looked at a couple and thought that way? Ever thought of all those social workers* who go into areas so horrendous that you and I shudder at the thught of them? Ever marvelled at those who work with people like lepers? What about them? Working for a pittance.....or for nothing.....giving so unconditionally?"

"Sure.....ever asked them why they do it? The answer, more often than not is, 'self-satisfaction'. So, what's that? Feeling good about yourself, when all is said and done. That feeling could come from knowing that you helped your closest friend or a destitute you never saw...it doesn't matter where it comes from. As for parents, the joy of parenting, the pride in their children, the knowledge of having their heirs is what drives them......and caring is not just a joy for them....it's a responsibility......it's not a service they render**. So, what's left? The same thing that you call selfishness.....the happiness about oneself.....because ultimately, all our actions are driven by the desire to achieve that, which we believe will make us happy."

"So, you don't think there's anything good in what these people do? There's nothing to admire in them? Nothing to appreciate? Goddamn, you have to be the biggest cynic and the most selfish and unthinking bastard I have ever met.....you're reprehensible. How in God's name can you not appreciate those people and their efforts?"

"I do appreciate them. I do admire what they do. As a matter of fact, I think they are in a way better than us, for their happiness comes from things that are removed from their own physical beings. Yet, unlike you, I do not credit this to 'selflessness'. I realise that they only do this because they derive happiness from these tasks. If these tasks did not make them happy, they'd stop as well.....and that is exactly what I am driving at. If tomorrow, you suddenly feel that your life is incomplete if you can't help that urchin, you'd do it too....so would I.....but that would still not make us any less selfish in the purest sense of the word...."

"I still don't buy that..."

"Who cares? Like I said, it's all about me for me....and all about you for you...."

PS: * I believe Shabana (Aadmi) Azmi and all the members of her clique are a bunch of hypocritical losers who shuld be shot. The real workers - the ones I speak of - are rarely seen and never heard.

* As per my mom, a child owes nothing to the parents for bringing him/her up, as the parents didn't ask the child before having one....it's their responsibility to bring up a child once they have one; a duty and not a service.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I skim a lot of blogs, and
so far yours is in the Top 3
of my list of favorites. I'm
going to dive in and try my
hand at it, so wish me luck.

It'll be in a totally different
area than yours (mine is
about keyword bidding)
I know, it sounds strange, but it's
like anything, once you learn more
about it, it's pretty cool.

If you don't mind, I'd really appreciate
being able to come back and get a
few tips and suggestions from you,
if that's alright, alright?

Thanks,
Tiffany Burrell
Keyword Queen!
ps. I confess, that's not my real picture! :-)

surya said...

this reminds me of The famous dialogue between Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad goes as:

And he said: "Verily, not for the sake of the husband, my dear, is the husband loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self which, in its true nature, is one with the Supreme Self.

"Verily, not for the sake of the wife, my dear, is the wife loved, but she is loved for the sake of the self.

"Verily, not for the sake of the sons, my dear, are the sons loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

"Verily, not for the sake of wealth, my dear, is wealth loved, but it is loved for the sake of the self.

"Verily, not for the sake of the animals, my dear, are the animals loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Darth Midnightmare said...

yes, that is a stunning piece. Yajnavalkya in that conversation, as well as the later one with Janaka. The discourse he gives in response to Gargi's questions is mind-numbing too. And I must admit, when I read that, I was thinking about what I have posted.....which book did you go through on this?

Cheers!
M

surya said...

There is this series of Publications by RK mission.

They have 10 upanisads translated into english by Gambhirananda. The original commentaries were by Adi Sankara...so, u will find most of the interpretations in the line of Advaitic thought.