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Be really selfish || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
3 min
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Question: Is it alright to be selfish?

Speaker: Clearly understand this. What do you call as ‘I’ ? What do you call as the ‘self’?

‘Selfish’. The word ‘self’ is important. What you call as the ‘self’ and what you call as the ‘I’ are two very distinct entities, very distinct.

One is that what the brain thinks itself to be. The second is what you really are. So there are actually two self’s. One, the false self, centered in the brain. The other is the real self, which is intelligence. This false self borrows its identities from outside. So what does this false self say? It says, ‘I am a Hindu, I am a Indian, I am a student, I am a IITian’. All identities are borrowed from outside. In short it says, ‘I am A’, and this A is something borrowed from outside. ‘I am A’ and A is F(time and space), A is F(t,x) where t is time and x is space. A is the function of time and space.

‘I must earn, I am a daughter, I am handsome, I am intelligent’. Something coming from outside, that is the false self. ‘I am Rajan, I am Naren, I am Mohit’. Something coming from the outside, an identity borrowed from the outside, that is the false self and it is centered in the brain.

Then there is the real self, real self which does not say, ‘I am A’. I just says, ‘I AM’. It does not attach any object to itself. I just say, ‘I am and I will remain irrespective of any object’. So when you come to the word selfish, it depends. If you are referring to the false self then being selfish can be quite problematic because in the false self there is great insecurity, fear, violence and everything. Whereas, if you mean the real self when you say selfish, then being selfish is beautiful. So it totally depends on which self you are referring to.

Most people live in which particular self? The first one, the brain centered one, and hence selfishness is a dirty word. Because the self itself is false and when the self is false, selfishness would be false.

But if the self is real, then selfishness is wonderful. Getting it?

Listener 1: What is selfishness for the real self?

Speaker: What are the characteristics of the real self?

Listener 2: It does not relate to an object.

Speaker: Yes! And Truth, Joy, Freedom, Love. So when you are selfish in the real sense, then you would be truthful, joyful, real and loving. How does it sound?

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

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