SELF-OBSESSION or “See how amazing I am”

I wonder why ANU chose this topic!!

Blogging and Facebook have been identified as expressions of self-obsession!

Having said that at some stage all of us do exhibit notions of self-obsession. It has been
defined as “the act of being constantly preoccupied with the thought of yourself and everything in this world that involves you or should involve you. A self-obsessed individual is someone who just can’t help thinking and talking about themselves”.

In the olden days, before Internet and blogging, anybody who went on and on about themselves was branded boring. Today there are hundreds who read this narcissist
stuff alright. We used to call it sharing our experiences, especially with the younger generation, so that they would not repeat our mistakes. As you get
older there is no one to share your stories, angst.

So, we tend to go on about our lives, brag a little about who, what, why, where and how we are. We love to boast about ‘my son the doctor/engineer/ big boss’ and our ‘daughter who is saving the world’ (Not mine please!). We do tend to think that our grandchildren are the smartest kids in the block and will single-handedly find answers to current problems.

We  just think that everything is about us, that the shenanigans of politicians, personalities and players of sports has a direct impact on our lives and we rant and rave about their behaviour.

Do we stop and genuinely ask somebody how they are or just wait for a break in their talk to launch into our own problems?

Do we empathise with people and try to imagine a situation from their point of
view or state of being?

This feeling is called Asaucham in the Gita. It is one of the eighteen values discussed.

  • Self-obsession or selfishness is forgetting that I am a part of the total.
  • Selfishness occurs when I see in myself non-consideration for the needs, wants and happiness of others.

You can rid yourself of the asaucam of selfishness when:

  • I can programme myself to be alert to the needs and happiness of others around me and find ways to be considerate.
  • I can do an act which will compensate some selfish omission and commission on my part.

The whole existence of life is happening because of the give and take between people and the ecology and environment; i.e. all creation.

The animal kingdom, plants, the panchabhuta or five elements all contribute to this existence.

Like water evaporates from the ocean and becomes clouds and comes back to earth as rain, everything in life is a continuous flow.

Whatever I receive should not stagnate – knowledge or wealth should be shared and given to everyone without bias.

We require our hands to eat. Only if our digestive system functions properly, then the food is assimilated and is converted into energy, which flows to the hands as nutrition and gives strength.

Similarly we need to take care of animals, plants; be aware of ecology, harmony
and balance in nature for our well being.

Selflessness can be developed in all interactions with others and with the environment.

Selflessness can be cultivated when you focus on the needs of all others and then your selfishness turns into selflessness.

The example for selflessness is camphor. It is a resin of a tree, burns brightly and illuminates the surroundings. It cleanses and fumigates the air. Yet after it burns out, it
leaves no residue, not even ash—just a fragrance. We light camphor in front of
our deities to constantly remind us about extinguishing the ego!

However, self-reflection is advisable…what is popularly known as navel-gazing! Humanity has always had a great interest in itself. Self-reflection leads to inquiry into the human
condition and the essence of humankind as a whole. It is related to the philosophy of consciousness, of awareness and a great desire to merge with the divine which we call Moksha!

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, DeliriousGaelikaa,  GrannymarMagpie11,  Nema, Noor, Ordinary Joe, Paul, Maria the Silver Fox, Rummuser , Will Knott, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get different flavours of the same topic.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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6 Responses to SELF-OBSESSION or “See how amazing I am”

  1. conhake says:

    I really wrestled with this one and did a much worse job of it than you did! Your ideas on the topic are clear and to the point, vulnerable and sturdy at the same time. Nice balance!


    • padmum says:

      Conrad: What a compliment—I don’t merit it…many of these ideas have been taken from Swami Dayananda and his disciple Swami Paramarthananda…I am their disciple. In fact RR is a much more learned person in this respect.

      I have written simpler versions of Swamiji’s explanation of the 18 values–Value of Values is his book. I wrote on these topics to help a Value Meditation Class.

      In India we believe that the Goddess of learning and knowledge Saraswathi comes and sits on our tongue (here on my fingers) and guides us in expressing our thoughts. I am truly blessed this way to have the power of words.


  2. Grannymar says:

    I could have done with the Goddess of learning and knowledge sitting on my fingers with this topic. The page and mind were blank two hours before I was due to post it.


  3. Delirious says:

    You are right that many of us may seem to be interested in others, but are just waiting for the opportunity to turn the conversation toward ourselves. I read once that most of us, while listening to another person talk, are usually spending most of our listening time decidiing what we will say when we get a chance. I really want to develop more of a selfless attitude, and really learn to care more about others!


  4. Narsiss…, knarciss…, narrsici… too difficult to spell. Hence the use of the easier to write term “blogger”.


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