Is selfishness a kind of self-attachment?

From:Voice of Longquan      Author:Voice of Longquan      Time:2018-01-19 21:47:17
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Self-attachment is an attachment to a “solid self”, which is the origin of all afflictions. Selfishness refers to a variety of self-centered behavioral characteristics, which derive from self–attachment. It is displayed especially when one seeks to advance one’s personal interests at the expense of others’ interests. To overcome selfishness is relatively easy, yet to break free from “self-attachment” is very difficult, and requires an insight into the empty nature of all phenomena.

Q: Master, recently I have been feeling bored with whatever I do, not knowing what I love to do or what I am able to do. I know this state of mind is not healthy, but I just can’t get over it. Life is so boring. Am I in a state of depression?

A: Actually, intelligent and thinking people are more likely, compared with others, to encounter a sense of inner void and indescribable gloominess, because they feel that their ultimate inner needs are unsatisfied. They are perplexed by questions such as where they come from, where they’ll go, what the meaning of life is, and so on. This is actually a need in terms of faith. Only when we have a faith that transcends  reality, can we obtain the most profound motivation in  life. You can  get to know more people and different lifestyles. For example, you can participate in charitable activities to help people in need, or make friends with those who have a religious faith to observe their  way of life. Then, apply what you’ve learned to your own life, and contemplate on your experiences and feelings.


Q: Master, I’ve been working in my current position for over three years.  Because of my outspoken speech, I never get a  promotion. Yet, for lack of courage, I always put up with it. Now I am fed up with this situation  and don’t want to endure it any more. What should I do? How should I deal with a bunch of snobs? Please give me some instruction.

A: In a team, the most welcome member is one who is competent and good-tempered, and whose actions speak louder than his or her words, while the most unwelcome person is one who is incompetent and hot-tempered, and whose actions fail to live up to his or her words. If you find faults with everybody around you, you are the one who should do self-examination and self-reflection. To improve yourself is far better than to blame others.


Q: Is selfishness a kind of self-attachment?

A: Self-attachment is an attachment to a “solid self”, which is the origin of all afflictions. Selfishness refers to a variety of self-centered behavioral characteristics, which derive from self–attachment. It is displayed especially when one seeks to advance one’s personal interests at the expense of others’  interests. To overcome selfishness is relatively easy, yet to break free from “self-attachment” is very difficult,  and requires an insight into the empty nature of all phenomena.  

   

Q: Master, is it true that a person who has broken free from self-attachment does not dread loneliness or need others’ company and can live alone happily?

A: If one has no attachment, he or she lives free from mental impediments  – fear, deluded thoughts, and distorted dream-thinking; ultimately, he or she breaks free from the cycle of life and death. The eradication of attachment feels like a traveler setting down their heavy baggage after a long journey in which their skin was split, their flesh was torn and their burden nearly crushed them.  Without attachment, we will feel extremely relaxed and light-hearted. 

Editor:Bella Liu
Tags:selfishness, self-attachment

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