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Author Topic: Life is an ego trip controlled by your desires?  (Read 7827 times)
Eliaz
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« on: March 28, 2013, 23:33:11 »

Is life just an ego trip that is controlled by your desires? I mean, everything in our life is made up by desire, desire is the thing which is ruling the universe. And the ego, every human being, which have an ego, does everything just for his/her own good, for his/her own ego. You are kind to others because YOU feel good when you are kind to other people. Parents want their children to be successful because THEY will feel good when they're successful.  You get into a relationship because YOU feel good when you're in a realtionship and when someone is giving YOU love. You donate money to charity because YOU feel good when you donate money to charity. You try to make other people happy because YOU feel good when you see that they are happy. You want justice in the world because YOU will feel good if there were justice in the world. See where I'm getting here? Everything you do in your own life, you do for your own good, always. Is this how it all is? Are we just running towards our own desires looking for our own ecstatic life trips, always running towards our next desires? I mean we're always desiring something, want to astral project? - a desire, want to go heaven after you die? - a desire, want to become enlightened being? - a desire, children? - desire, rich? - desire, not living for your own desires? another desire, you always running towards your desires, so when does it all end?
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Szaxx
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 00:00:10 »

If you were over 50 you'd not be posting this. Life is giving and helping others because you CAN. This ego trip is what commercialisation wants you to believe. You do as they say and they get rich. Its a farce and I wish the majority of the worlds population actually see it for what it is.
Industrialized as we are the planet suffers greatly. Take away the greed for profit and you'll see a better world.
I understand your message and its up to everyone to change it. De-programming this ego is the hardest thing to do. We all like our gadgets...
Gold star for pointing this out.
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 00:00:10 »

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Eliaz
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 00:23:10 »

Hello Szaxx, I'm way below 50, but I don't think you got my message right. What I'm trying to state is, if you can look at the source of every action in your life, is the source for that action just created in order for your own sake/ego? You said that "life is giving and helping others because you CAN" But why? Why do you want to help and give? I mean, you do it for a reason right? When you give and help others it gives you a happy feeling inside yourself, or am I wrong? That feeling you are reaching for, which you can only get by helping others, is there a reason why you are seeking that feeling? And by helping others it lets achieve that feeling for a moment, right? That feeling you get when you are helping others, what if you are helping others for the sake that you can feel that feeling, once again, kinda like a drug. It opens up something inside you. So in the end, are you really just helping yourself, or helping other people?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 00:36:24 by Eliaz » Logged
Szaxx
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 00:49:19 »

I often help others for no gain. It's something that makes them happy, it fixes a dilemma they're stuck in. It saves them extortionate costs that would take food away.
In the rare event I need help they would return the favour if they could. It works fine and makes a community function. Money isn't everything. Having respect for each other is.
It's not an ego or goody two shoes thing either. Its more making things work overall, a sort of I'll feed you because you cant feed yourself then the return is they'll feed me when I can't feed myself. No-one starves, metaphorically speaking.
Con men and those 'whats in it for me' types are alone in this endeavour. Lessons to be learned.
I suppose one good deed deserves another is apt.
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Eliaz
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 01:16:54 »

Yes, you help others for no gain, but, there must always be a reason why you are helping others, just like everything else you do in your life have a reason behind it. What if that reason you have for helping others, really is helping yourself, so in that case you help others to achieve that reason you have for helping others (Might sound a bit confusing) Let's look at a example: My father want's me to be happy and have a happy future, and there is a reason for that, he want's me to be happy and have a wonderful future because I am his child and he loves me and he gets happiness from me. But does he really want me to be happy? Or does he want me to be happy, so he can be happy when he sees that I am happy? He wants me to study hard so I can get a good future, but why? Does he really want it for me or himself? Is the source of that desire really just he's own desire and not my desire? He is happy when he sees me working hard towards my future, but is he really happy for me, or himself? He think's he is doing everything for his children, not himself, so that they can have the best possible future in this world. But is the source of that reason, and that desire in reality just for his own sake? So that he can feel happy and proud when he sees that his children are happy and proud of their lives. I guess I have a hard time expressing exactly what I mean. I mean, everything you do in life is controlled by your own desires. If you want to help someone you have to have the desire to help someone, and there is always reason for that desire to occur, and thats why helping other people simply just becomes a desire that you unlock in yourself.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 01:28:50 by Eliaz » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 01:16:54 »



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Astralzombie
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 01:49:04 »

Hello Elias. You expressed yourself just fine and Szaxx completely understands you.

It's nice to see the youth taking an interest in philosophy. Look up the price equation and you'll get your answer. You're essentially saying that everything we do boils down to serving a selfish purpose but you're making a lot of assumptions. Why do you think it would be odd for a father to want his child to succeed without consideration or thought to his own happiness? Even if you were correct, what exactly is wrong with that?

If I feel good for helping out people who desperately need my help, where in that do you find fault. Are you suggesting that this would be a better world if we felt bad for helping others?

When we do good, we feel good. And guess what? We want to do more good. Where is the motivation to do good if we don't feel good in return? Do you see what I'm doing? I'm in a circular argument just as you were.

Again, it is refreshing to see the youth ponder something other than X-BOX. I bet your parents are proud of you and you should feel good about that. I'm sure they do. wink
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Eliaz
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 02:10:10 »

Hi there, I don't even have an X-box  smiley
Quote
"You're essentially saying that everything we do boils down to serving a selfish purpose"
Yes, that's exactly what I mean.

Quote
If I feel good for helping out people who desperately need my help, where in that do you find fault. Are you suggesting that this would be a better world if we felt bad for helping others?
I see no fault in that, but what I'm trying to point out is, people tend to belive that when they are helping other people they are not doing this for themselves. But what if that is the case? That you are actually just helping yourself when you are helping other people. A desire to help others, is a desire you have, and in order for you to fulfill that desire, you have to help other people, so you are just helping other people in order to fulfill your desire.

Quote
When we do good, we feel good. And guess what? We want to do more good. Where is the motivation to do good if we don't feel good in return? Do you see what I'm doing? I'm in a circular argument just as you were.
That's what I mean, you do good to feel good, some feel good by doing bad, and do bad. Some feel good by pushing other people down, some feel good by bringing other people up.
What I'm trying to figure out is just this, is everything we do really just for our own sake? Every action, every decision, every path you took, everything you ever did in your life, did you do for your own good, for your own sake of happiness?

« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 02:12:07 by Eliaz » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 02:18:54 »

Did you look up the price equation yet? It proves mathematically that every act of kindness is an act of selfishness. You can stop wondering. It has already been pondered and proven as much.

The real question is why is this true and not is it true.
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Eliaz
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 02:38:51 »

Did you look up the price equation yet? It proves mathematically that every act of kindness is an act of selfishness. You can stop wondering. It has already been pondered and proven as much.

The real question is why is this true and not is it true.


I'm reading into it now. Why is it true? I think it is for us to evolve to a more and more perfect state of life.
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Lionheart
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 06:18:20 »

 If giving, sharing and helping others makes me selfish.

 Well, then call me selfish!  grin

 It's not going to change!  wink
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Astralzombie
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 06:41:20 »

If giving, sharing and helping others makes me selfish.

 Well, then call me selfish!  grin

 It's not going to change!  wink

I'm with you on that. Two months ago, this stuff bothered me but now I don't care. If doing good is selfish then call me selfish. I'm perfectly fine with that.
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Szaxx
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2013, 13:55:07 »

A perfect example of this occured this morning. After shopping I came across a car in the middle of the road. A group of people I don't know were looking frustrated. I approached the stopped car and could have gone on my way.
I noticed a small dog trapped under the car and pulled up. Two other random guys did the same.  One a cyclist in all his colours. The poor dog was alive and stuck fast.. We lifted the car up manually and it was a heavy lift. Then a guy moved the dog to safety. The police came too.
The dog was cut but seemed ok. I helped and went on my way after been given thanks.
One act of random kindness...
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LightBeam
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2013, 04:57:43 »

Because behind every element of your equation is LOVE. And love is the very base and reason of the existence itself. Without love and positive/constructive thinking there will be no progress. Absence of joy, good feeling, motivation of any sort = emptiness, stillness, nothingness.
It seems like your equation portrays the end result labeled as "selfishness" as something negative. There are many instances where people would sacrifice their lives to save others, and sometimes these people don't really believe in the afterlife. How would you label that good deed? I think that the feeling after a good deed only provokes a sense of connection and togetherness, rather than self righteousness and distinction of one's self.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 05:55:56 by LightBeam » Logged
Lionheart
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2013, 05:43:00 »

Because behind every element of your equation is LOVE. And love is the very base and reason of the existence itself. Without love and positive/constructive thinking there will be no progress. Absence of joy, good feeling, motivation of any sort = emptiness, stillness, nothingness.
It seems like your equation portrays the end result labeled as "selfishness" as something negative. There are many instances where people would sacrifice their lives to save others, and sometimes these people don't really believe in the afterlife. How would you label that good deed? I think that the feeling after a good deed only provokes a since of connection and togetherness, rather than self righteousness and distinction of one's self.
I wish we had a "Thank Button" here. This is a post that is definitely deserving of it.  smiley

 
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Astralzombie
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2013, 06:23:37 »

Hi lightbeam, I too loved your post.

The equation just describes a mechanism at work to help physical survival. It does not and will not ever have anything to say about spirituality. No one law or principle will govern both except love.
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LightBeam
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2013, 06:51:40 »

also the definition of selfishness is " placing concern with oneself or one's own interests above the well-being or interests of others"; however, the first feeling when I see a person in need is a CONCERN about their well being. I act spontaneously. I don't stop and think "Hm, I am going to feel real good after that, I am going to help"
No, I do it because I feel empathy, I feel the other person's pain. I want to ease their pain. And yes, If I succeed I will feel good, but because I will be happy for THEM. So, there is a contradiction between the definition of selfishness and fact that the reason behind most good deeds is the CONCERN for others.

P.S I am excluding from the equation those sick bastards who donate to charities because they are going to write them off, or there will be a publicity about their "generosity" ; or religious people who help because God will see that and bless them and ensure a place in heaven, because that's just pure wrong. 
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Szaxx
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2013, 08:15:22 »

Nice words Lightbeam,
Being selfish doesn't enter this at all. It's the concern, alleviating their fears, moving their thoughts away from unnecessary misery.
It's not personal gain thing. Its an OVERALL gain thing. The more 'happy faces' there are the better the overall emotional state.
Its removing that bad feeling from the air.

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Eliaz
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2013, 16:32:04 »

Because behind every element of your equation is LOVE. And love is the very base and reason of the existence itself. Without love and positive/constructive thinking there will be no progress. Absence of joy, good feeling, motivation of any sort = emptiness, stillness, nothingness.
It seems like your equation portrays the end result labeled as "selfishness" as something negative.


I'm sorry but what I think you are speaking about is desire, not love. Without a desire to progress there would be no progress. Remove desire from and the world and the world would stop, nothing would ever change, nothing would ever happend. Desire is the reason we are moving foward each day, you have a desire to eat, a desire to live, a desire to reproduce, a desire to grow better as a human being, a desire to make a change to the world, a desire to make a living, people are even desiring things for the after life, heaven is just another desire place. Love is an emotion that is controlled by your desires, just like everything else in your life is controlled by your desires. Even this post I'm writing right now is because of my desire. Most of your desires occur from an automatic process, you get hungry, your body feel a desire for food and you eat. I think of desire like a human compass moving the body and mind around all the time. I'm not labelling selfishness as negative, I do not label anything which exist in nature as negative, I love nature with all my heart for its beauty and balance.

Quote
There are many instances where people would sacrifice their lives to save others, and sometimes these people don't really believe in the afterlife. How would you label that good deed? I think that the feeling after a good deed only provokes a sense of connection and togetherness, rather than self righteousness and distinction of one's self.

Yes, and this is just another desire for his own self. If a man could not live with the idea of letting a child die before him and not having done anything to save his life of course he would risk his life for the child. But that action, and that desire was made inside of him, for his own sake, for his own good conscience.

Quote
also the definition of selfishness is "placing concern with oneself or one's own interests above the well-being or interests of others"; however, the first feeling when I see a person in need is a CONCERN about their well being. I act spontaneously. I don't stop and think "Hm, I am going to feel real good after that, I am going to help"
No, I do it because I feel empathy, I feel the other person's pain. I want to ease their pain. And yes, If I succeed I will feel good, but because I will be happy for THEM. So, there is a contradiction between the definition of selfishness and fact that the reason behind most good deeds is the CONCERN for others.

P.S I am excluding from the equation those sick bastards who donate to charities because they are going to write them off, or there will be a publicity about their "generosity" ; or religious people who help because God will see that and bless them and ensure a place in heaven, because that's just pure wrong. 

Yes, this selfishness that I'm writing about is not something that people notice or think about. I think people manipulate each other all the time without even knowing it or thinking about it, it's kind of like an automatic process for your own wellness and survival. Yes, you act spontaneously, but feelings also fire up spontaneously, don't they? Well, aren't you just acting out your feelings? If you feel the other persons pain, don't you also ease your pain in the process? And yes, you may feel happy for them, but that happiness is still made inside of you, and filling your body with happiness, even if it is feeling like you are feeling happy for the other person, that happiness is inside of you making you feeling good and happy.
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LightBeam
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2013, 16:47:20 »

selfishness is perceived as a negative human trait. Perhaps what are you describing should be called something else. Again, the definition of selfishness is just the opposite of the act of good deed.

about Love and desire, I think Love arrives first. I have desires because I love, not the other way around. You cant have a desire to love if you don't know what love is in the first place
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Eliaz
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2013, 16:56:27 »

selfishness is perceived as a negative human trait. Perhaps what are you describing should be called something else. Again, the definition of selfishness is just the opposite of the act of good deed.

about Love and desire, I think Love arrives first. I have desires because I love, not the other way around. You cant have a desire to love if you don't know what love is in the first place

Selfishness = For your own sake / well being, that's what I mean.

Yes, love and desire is indeed two different things. I think love grows inside of you and you act out your love with the help of your desires, your desire is simply acting out your love into the world.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 16:58:43 by Eliaz » Logged
LightBeam
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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2013, 17:06:47 »

Selfishness = For your own sake / well being, that's what I mean.


"For your own sake", but not exclusively. If my act involves a concern of the well being of others as well, that does no longer fall under the core definition of selfishness. We probably have to invent a new term lol.

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Eliaz
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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2013, 17:25:11 »

"For your own sake", but not exclusively. If my act involves a concern of the well being of others as well, that does no longer fall under the core definition of selfishness. We probably have to invent a new term lol.



Hmm yeah, you are right. I think something like "Selfgenerous" could work out Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2013, 17:58:07 »

Hi Eliaz; I guess the major issue that I am seeing with the claim that "All actions are undertaken because the agent believes they will benefit emotionally" is that it is too broad, and applies to literally everything, and is therefore unfalsifiable, untestable. No matter what a person's motivations were, or the situation, you could say, "they did it to feel good".

Suppose something were missing from your house, and you asked me where it was, and I told you it was on the back of the moon. Now technically, you can't visit the back of the moon easily to check, so regardless of what the object was, I could be right. But the fact that I could say "back of the moon" for the location of literally any lost object, and you could never prove me wrong, does not automatically mean that I am right, and that there is a massive garbage dump of lost items on the dark side of the moon.

So you see, being unfalsifiable is really a liability for an arguement too, because being untestable does not render it necessarily true, just potentially true.
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Eliaz
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« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2013, 18:26:38 »

Yes, of course. I'm not saying that this is the absolute truth as we can never know the absolute truth, we can only speculate as human beings. But as I look more and more to the origin of ones action, or to the origin of my actions, and if I am to analyze them, I see more clearly and clearly that everything I do, I do for my own sake. And yes, sometimes I make mistakes which brought me no good, but only bad and this is where regret comes in, where I learn from that action not to bring that upon me again. I'm not saying that this is how it is, period. My mind is always open for other options, I'm simply stating that this is how I am seeing it right now and if something else can convenience me that this is not how it is, I will change my views, but there is nothing yet that has.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 18:36:37 by Eliaz » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2013, 18:37:45 »

I think you guys just over think this whole thing and just can't consider the possibility that we, who are all selfless, caring, loving etc. personalities, have this very "selfish" motivation deep down in our core to make ourselves feel good.
I mean, it is funny how people react when they are forced to think outside of their comfort zones and how their beliefs about themselves stops them from even theoretically admitting the possibility of something that doesn't fit into the picture they have about themselves.
I don't always look for what's in it for me when I help someone, but I can't recall a single case when when helping someone out didn't make me feel good or leave me feel satisfied at least a bit. So, all I am saying that  for me there is always this feel good aspect to it, no matter what the price or the gain is.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 20:33:37 by rain_88 » Logged

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