All inherited moral laws taught me that being selfish is the least desired thing. But when I grew up, I learned that this is the most desired option, your mind recognizes when it comes to relative success. Relative success is a success in comparison with some other success referred as benchmark. That is how we earned grades, placements and promotions. In one of my earlier posts “Self Concept” I had argued the meaning of being selfish. And in that context, I’d advocated being selfish is good. Let me keep that separate for a while in this discussion. With all known meanings of selfishness, achieving anything is not adequate to make you happy, as there will always be someone or something as a benchmark to rate your achievements.
If you closely observe history of evolution of human, you will be convinced that selfishness is in our DNA. That is why contentment or fulfillment, inherently, never comes to us. Instead, we brand people with contained or fulfilled, just because of his or her invisible aggression. In this sense contentment is just a philosophy which is difficult to attain. Human beings can not be contained. That is why we are coded for either growth or decline. There is no stagnation. You may check this with physical and mental performance. This is also true in the performance of a relationship or love.
Selfishness and love are inversely correlated. You can not have both simultaneously. If you feel that you have, check the meaning of true love. True love is unconditional and most of us are in love of convenience in which we search for some or other needs. Take the example of great love stories of the past. Why most of those love in the stories triggered at first sight itself? Why selfishness, the demon inside, could not took over to check whether hobbies, thinking and understandings of each other are in right place or not?
So if you are keeping yourself away from contentment to grow more and more, you start making choices for yourself. You start gaining your insatiable demands in installments and start losing the gain of personal and love life. We must understand growth is a must for both personal and professional desires. Remember, there is no stagnation, either a growth or a decline.
So, how would you define the fulfillment of never ending desires? And how would you assess the gain if the desired fulfillment is achieved? I wonder that the extreme of fulfillment is like having everything. That is the point where you need nothing and nothing is available to create a need in you. At this point having everything or having nothing seems equal, leaving no difference for comparison.
Let us discuss the argument made in my previous post “Self Concept”. If I modify the definition of selfish to make it more inwards, towards real self, the inner self, the self who needs to be elevated, I may conclude that being selfish is good. Here, we need to understand the difference between an activity for a self desire and activity for inner self. ‘Bhagvad Gita’ throws some light on this topic in chapter 3 verse 17; “One who remains ecstatic within the self; the self illuminated and fully satisfied within the self only; activities do not exist for him”. Here ‘activities’ is referred as activities for fulfillment of desires.
2 thoughts on “Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss?”
The title of this post is taken from the quote mentioned by Kiran Desai in ‘inheritance of loss’