Self-centeredness relates to understanding and fully investigating yourself.
Part of this is learning there is no permanent entity, figure, or character that it is constantly evolving and responding to the forces at play. It is a word which often gets interpreted the same as “selfishness.”
To understand ourselves in our fullness is to understand our interconnectedness. Those who do not take the time to explore differing aspects of themselves are not really operating from their own internally derived paradigms, but rather externally conditioned, societal ones which utilize iconic, religious, and symbolic figures to divert attention away from the self.
They are also unable to empathize with the feelings of others or understand how others might make the same mistakes they are also capable of making. This is just one aspect of an unconscious or herd-like mentality. In truth, if more people were self-centered, rather than externally-centered, there probably would be less war, racism, and prejudice existing in the world today. After all, most people who are self-oriented are interested in preserving themselves, and not concerned about going to war for false ideals or someone else’s agenda.
Mother Theresa, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, and many more are iconic figures used as a symbolic representation of supernatural forces within society. The perception of these figures is that they are super-human, or so far away from the truth of being human that we strive to cultivate our own inner super-human, divine, or Christ-conscious qualities.
The problem here is we end up living in existential shame that we are somehow lower than them, or not even capable of developing these qualities within ourselves. This creates a dynamic where we feel guilty for this and, in consequence, reactively shame others for our inner guilt, resentment, and self-loathing.
A law of the universe that is easily observable through direct experience is: “You cannot give what you do not have.” Therefore, if you are actually in tune with what you have, you can more clearly offer it to the world, moving away from an egotistical and inauthentic expression of yourself. By exploring yourself and devoting time, energy, and attention to your individual, you are actually partaking in the opposite of selfishness. In a larger sense, you are becoming more useful. Part of being of service to the world is being devoted to yourself first.
Another idea, which diverts attention away from a self-oriented model, is the concept of finding freedom out in the world, or eternal bliss. This is truly an illusion because, in truth, we will never “get there” regardless of how perfect we try to make everything externally. There will always be more steps to take, more lessons to learn, more work to do, not enough comfort, not enough money, not enough material objects, unfortunate events, and so on.
This is not the purpose of life, and the difficult aspects of experience are in existence because they are a part of the balance between the light and darkness of this world. Part of the psychological jailbreak from this psychic violence we unconsciously inflict on ourselves in the impossible quest for eternal bliss.
There is an internal decision to operate from a self-centered or internally-centered lens of perception. This is an equanimous energy and empowers us to see how things really are. This enables us to transcend materialistic and greed-centered agendas—to “see clearly.”
Another counterintuitive gem of wisdom, which is only counterintuitive because of the above-listed conditioning most of us received at some point, is accepting limitation. We are taught that this is bad, pessimistic, or even—when really, by accepting how things actually are, we become freer.
By acknowledging our limitations, we are able to move past them. If someone is in a limiting relationship and feels trapped, they must first acknowledge the reality of the situation if they want to ever be free. If one refuses to accept this truth, they literally and symbolically operate from an externally-conditioned, zombified, brainwashing place of a larger controlled agenda.
If they refuse to honor their own needs as an individual, and instead operate from an externally-derived societal context, they are only placating the conditioning received in childhood. This conditioning stressed the idea that you are selfish if you are looking out for yourself, your own needs, or explore your own interests.
Consider this example: Someone says, “It’s really selfish for you to not do what I want you to do.” This is an idea that society, many parents, or most people use as a reason to ironically push their own agenda on you, which to a clear mind is easily seen as delusion and a truer expression of selfishness.
The more in touch we get with ourselves, the more we are able to see through delusions. Historical and religious influences of guilt and shaming techniques were originally put into play from a place of fear consciousness: the idea that if people explored who they really were, the people in control might lose their power.
Part of power is the releasing our the forcing of it until we realize that we can have more control when we learn how to be relaxed about it. What is valuable in this reflection is the realization of the cycle of control and freedom from being a victim.
By choosing to become self-centered or self-oriented, you relinquish the shackles which chain you to the tyrannical rulership of the fear consciousness paradigm and boldly step into your own power—the very power they are trying to prevent you from tuning into out of their own selfish fear.
Author: Brandon Gilbert
Image: Angry Lambie/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell