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An article about the nature of unselfishness.

Submitted: June 20, 2016

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Submitted: June 20, 2016




I've had some conversations about this topic with myself primarily but also reading up on this topic from other sources. The question to me has been what the nature of unselfishness really is? With unselfishness I mean extending the will to not only serve oneself but also to serve others.

One can truly recognize unselfish behaviour when one sees it. It is projected as acts, thoughts and emotions (Among other things) that is to the interest of others separate from oneself.

But what is the cause for this impulse to extend the will to live for others also?

When true unselfishness works I think it is an extension of personal power. To gain a powerful presence. To actually serve others but to do it in pure self-interest. An unselfish drive that takes over when base needs are satisfied. One actually serves but it is an act of freedom. To expand this freedom to also free others (Or other choices of action).

Soren Kirkegaard thought about the subject in similar terms. Unselfish service in the purpose to gain individual happiness. I agree on some points. But what is the cause of this happiness? What I have concluded from introspection and analysis of human relations is that it is a means to gain individual power. In the same way as described by Friedrich Nietzsche. Working for the benefit of man to become a god in a wider social context. To serve humanity to its own gain but never loosing in the process. Quite the opposite.

And when unselfishness absolutely doesn’t work is when it's about self-sacrifice. This is the Christian variant of unselfish service. Working for other people's gain to the loss for the unselfish individual. And this "unselfishness" is not truly unselfish. As it is based in thought and not the qualities of an enlightened individual. An enlightened individual is doing the absolute opposite.

This was the one thing I never understood about organized religion. As organized religion is about unselfishness for the most part but that organized religion also could be inverted. Instead of being a mode of control it could also be a tool to extend personal power.

And that means spiritual enlightenment.

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