Selfishness is really a terrible evil; at least that is how others see it in you whether or not you see it in yourself. From an alligator point of view licking your chops, you are only being good to yourself in seeking fulfillment and gratifying your gigantic ego’s greedy needs.
YOUR GROWING EMOTIONAL EGO NEEDS ARE ALWAYS WICKED, and offer fair game for the other hungry manipulator alligators who seek gratification and a sense of power. Any relationship based on need and greed is a living hell. There are never any winners no matter who seems to be on top.
Perhaps you now see that before you can resolve any of your emotional responses to anyone or anything, you must first become objective to your own motives and your own particular set of hungers and prejudices. At that point the way you see life changes.
The way people react to you changes also, and you will be surprised to find out that most, if not all of your morbid emotional feelings, spring from the frustration of your will and/or your own selfishness laid upon others.
THERE CAN BE NO FRUSTRATION WITHOUT WILLFULNESS. Frustration indicates willfulness. Frustration is proof that your will is involved in a manipulative way somewhere down the line. It makes no difference what that willed thing or goal is, whether it is love, money, position of importance, a job, or simply a happy home you never had as a child.
The emphasis on that goal causes you to leave your principles behind and become subject to the goal object.
The more objective you are the more clearly you can see selfish, egocentric motives lurking behind everything you say and do. You will also see that it is what you expect and do not receive that makes you so upset, and it is what you do get that makes you more frustrated, hungry, selfish and demanding.
Remember that selfishness has two upsetting, provocative sides; it is both seductive and cruel. Here are some examples of how attitudes bring about emotional stress in yourself as well as in others.
A mother reacts badly to her son’s school grades. The secret reason for her emotional upset arises from the fact that she is living through her son and trying to make up through him the sense of failing in her own life.
His poor grades threaten the pride she wishes to take in him. Like every dyed-in-the-wool ego maniac, she believes that her child is supposed to reflect HER glory to the world, and he does not. Hence mother’s will is frustrated and she becomes desperate.
This causes her to feel resentful and this resentment in turn fuels her determination to force him to succeed in school. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize that through the pressure, she is projecting into her son her own secret failing which she is seeking to cover up by making it good in him.
"The more objective you are the more clearly you can see selfish, egocentric motives lurking behind everything you say and do."
So the son reacts, rebels and fails. He even finds a perverted sense of ego accomplishment and satisfaction in thwarting his cruel mother’s goal. But MOTHER’S attitude is behind MOTHER being upset. Add to that mother’s blame and stubbornness.
Vast amounts of emotion are also needed by guilty egos who escape reality through being enveloped in sensations of security. So the more wrong you are, the more you find yourself living in a state of anxiety without knowing why and without there being an obvious external cause.
Can you understand these two primitive causes for emotionality, one rising from the other? One system of upsets comes from real threats, while the other arises from wrong attitudes.
But take a good long look at the bottom line of attitude and you will see that it is attitude alone which sets you up to react and overreact to life’s real stresses. Wrong attitudes render you sensual instead of sensible, and that sensuality is what makes you more and more sensitive to real stress.
Pride then transfers the relationship from your True Self to the conditioning of the world.
It is the desire for some kind of ego benefit or advantage that brings you to the threshold of disobedience, dishonor and disadvantage. Soon you find yourself reacting negatively to the cruelty behind the smiles and deceit to which you once reacted to positively.
What has the power to make you feel good also has the power to make you feel bad.
What now has the power to make you feel inferior embodies the same false spirit of that which originally made you respond greedily and with vanity! It need not be the same person through whom the shock originally came.
To take you captive and subject you to humiliation, that person need only discover and hold out to you, your secret need or wish.
Without Grace with which to conquer fear and inferiority, you are forced to outrank your tormentors, trying to place them in the same unfortunate position as you are in.