Category Archives: self-interest

Someone asked, “What do you do to practice self-compassion?”

I don’t think in terms of a practice of that. In a deeper sense, compassion or love is a unitary entity and when we really love it radiates out to all naturally and without ego effort includes a right sense of self, or self-esteem—this latter is not the same as “self love.” See my blog post for further development of this: The Paradox of Self Love.

Love is undermined by self-hate, but self-love is not the same as self-esteem and it is a mistake, I think, to emotionalize about loving oneself or to focus on that. See the exposition of the issue here: What the Self-Esteem Movement Got Disastrously Wrong | Dan Sanchez

There is actually some research on this theme: Does Self-Love Lead to Love for Others?, and it concludes with:

“Does loving oneself lead to loving others? The answer is not the simple “ yes ” often noted in popular discourse. In fact, the opposite is often the case. Self-love as operationalized as narcissism is linked to game playing and selfishness in romantic relationships.Narcissists look to relationships as a source of power or control — not as an arena for experiencing and expressing commitment.Narcissism does not lead to loving others in any interpersonally positive sense of the contrast, the implications of self-esteem for loving others are generally positive but are still mixed. High self-esteem individuals may be resistant to negative experiences of love sickness. How-ever, they may also miss the highs associated with manic love.These individuals also report greater passionate sum, the ego can be as much of a hindrance to romantic relationships as it can be a help. Individuals looking to experience love may be best served by turning out toward the other rather than turning in toward the self.”

 

 

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Popular Appeals

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We should be cautious of a teaching that is popular.  Mass acceptance often means the truth has been diluted or inverted.  A truly fresh and uplifting teaching is unlikely to appeal to large numbers because the appeal must be based on non-egotistic appeals that are not popular.   The teachings of the great religions of the world were not popular at the time they were founded.  After centuries of debasement, obscurations and distortions—only then did they descend to a popular level.

 

image loosely based on the book Truth and the Dragon by Elsa Bailey