Tuesday, August 26, 2003

lose your self, gain energy

note that many of the wisdom traditions inform us that when we self-lessly serve the world, we get MORE energy. self-less service is just that, serving others without any expectation of benefit to oneself -- which is energy-consuming. think about how much time and literal energy we expend thinking about "what is in this for me? what do i get if i do this?" Nasty, right? God, it drags me down when i do that shit and i do it way too much, it seems.

Now, this is not the doormat, "use me i am worthless thing." this is the deal that incredible people like Mother Teresa did or that my spiritual teacher do. they love and serve others, with no sense of ego, with no concern about "what is in it for them" and they have boundless energy. Ammachi sits and hugs people for hours. she doesn't eat, she doesn't go to the bathroom, she gives, and gives, and gives...if only I could do that.

this even makes sense sociologically. self is something that is social in nature. as such, it is a product of the culture that we are part of. think of the culture that we are part of. think of how draining it is. think of how free you would free if your self didn't matter. not that your body doesn't matter, but that all of the fears, the emotional stuggles, the gooey emotional crap that we get entangled in doesn't matter. think how much MORE energy we would have to make things different for more people. freedom? damn, i think so.

when time allows i will post a paper i had intended to write for a sociology conference i am attending in october. it is called, "no self, no problem" and demonstrates how sociological thought of the self is similar to Buddhist thought about it. Buddhists, however point out that living wihout one is true freedom. contemporary sociologists have NOT had this realization, though.

Needless to say, i think that they should.

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