TED Conversations

Johnny Atman

Psychotherapist & NLP Trainer,

This conversation is closed.

How can a human being overcome selfishness, the idea that one is separate from the rest of humanity?

In an action, we usually have a target (goal) a means to achieve that (a method) and resources. Should one of the components be out of line, or not supporting the other two, the action would be a failure as harmony would be broken. So every component supports the others, every component lives for the others. When this alignment is achieved, the Archer is satisfied, releases the arrow from the bow and the target is hit. How can we live for one another and align our hearts for the benefit of all humanity?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 4 2013: Johnny,
    You present this idea as if every human being perceives him/herself separate from the whole, and in my perception and experience, there are lots of people who perceive our interconnectedness.

    We are all different as individuals, and in my perception, it is important to be aware of our "self", without adversely impacting others. We cannot take care of anyone else unless we take care of our "self". We cannot give to others, something that we do not have in and for our "self".

    That being said, with mindful awareness, we can be aware of how we can take care of our "self" and others. We can be aware in every moment, to the best of our ability, how our words and actions impact others, and weather or not we contribute to the whole. We can encourage and practice the idea of interconnectedness, and discontinue presenting the idea that it is a "normal" belief that we are separate:>)

    How can we align our hearts for the benefit of all humanity? I believe our hearts are already aligned....we need to recognize and remember:>)
    • thumb
      Oct 5 2013: Hi Coleen, thatks for the input and I thank everyone who so kindly contribute.I do, as many topics in life are assumptions yet to be tested, and unless we test them, they become rigid beliefs without a fact that may support them. Obviously, the ones that are interconnected are the exception. I look at the world I live in and see beauty and tragedy coexisting.
      I am not against either as the paradox of living is difficult to fathom. Tragedy and beauty seem to shaddow each other. Beauty is ungraspable which is tragic in itself, and so is Truth. As a child, I recall once catching a firefly. In my fist, it's flicker died. As soon as I released it, the flicker came back on. I have learned a great lesson, that Reality, Love, Truth are ungraspable. But they are perceivable. That is all. The "self" as I understand, is a story that seeks to perpetuate in time, a narrative that seeks, from a core value basis, to act, in accordance with those values. Tragically, everyone has slightly different values, which at times clash, thus creating conflict. One can agree to disagree, as long as one does not impose one's values on others. I guess, our factual needs are common, we have needs that are biological and we have the need to relate and connect. My question would be where does the need end and greed begin? I look at nature, and I see animals gathering enough for the winter. They do not have bank accounts, yet they seem to do fine, according to nature and capacity to provide. But what about us humans? http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/10/michael-moore/michael-moore-says-400-americans-have-more-wealth-/
      • thumb
        Oct 5 2013: I agree with you Johnny, that life is an exploration. I do not agree that "the ones that are interconnected are the exception". I see a LOT of people in our world recognizing our interconnectedness, and I like to focus on that. I also see beauty and truth in our world, and focus on that as well. What we focus on expands.

        It is valuable to be aware of how we might change our world for the better, and I'm sorry that you believe reality, love and truth are ungraspable. What we believe becomes our reality. I don't perceive it as tragic that we have different values, because, as you insightfully say...."many topics in life are assumptions yet to be tested". Life is an exploration, and I agree to disagree with your perception of the life adventure in some respects.

        The squirrels and chipmunks DO indeed have "bank accounts" in the form of gathering food for the winter, and I observe every day, their ability to horde WAY more food than they can eat in the winter months. I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I'm simply observing nature:>)
        • thumb
          Oct 5 2013: I am not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me as I do not feel I am in any sort of pain. And if I was, I am responsible for it therefore the sorry is with me and that is fine too.
          We are obviously talking about different things, when we talk about Love, Truth and Beauty. The Love, Truth and Beauty that I am talking about are not temporal thus cannot be grasped by thought, which is the product of time; yet can be perceived by a mind that in which desire has come to an end.. You talk about Love, Truth and Beauty as a product of belief, which is temporal, conditioned, culturally derrived and therefor conflictual as people's beliefs about these concepts are also different. Such concepts, as noble as they may be, can only result in strife.
          We cannot help but agree to disagree, on certain points, therefor we will never fully meet. So what is in the way of us fully meeting?
          Have you ever opened an account with Squirrel Savings Bank?
      • thumb
        Oct 5 2013: Johnny,
        I do not feel sorry for you. I wrote..."I'm sorry that you believe reality, love and truth are ungraspable". I know your feelings are your own choice and responsibility.

        I talk about truth, beauty and love as these qualities are understood by most people in our world who feel connected. I do not grasp these qualities only with "thought". They are embedded in every cell of my body, heart and mind. The love I share with people is not "conflictual", as you say, nor does it "result in strife".

        I feel connected with you and everyone. If you choose to NOT feel that, there is nothing I can do about it, and as you insightfully say...you are responsible for what you choose to feel, and how that manifests into your life experience. On that we agree.
        • thumb
          Oct 6 2013: A poem cannot be explained, a feeling cannot be argued. There will always be certain things not fully graspable, so we will take calls of our heart.
          I shall never try to explain why I love that smiling face of yours Colleen neither you can put reasons behind adoring this monkey! :D
        • thumb
          Oct 6 2013: I am not entirely certain that our feelings are our choice. When you describe something coming from deep within, or seeming to be embedded in every cell, I understand this because I have this same feeling. But I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to analyze to its roots.

          There may be those who do not have this sort of deeply rooted love even for people they do not know or who do not have any feelings for ANYTHING that seem to them to come from deep within..It is similar to the way some people have an intensity others do not and cannot understand. If some people do not have this sort of disposition "built in," I don't know whether they can choose to feel this way. I can see someones not being able to understand a condition of life he does not feel.
      • thumb
        Nov 3 2013: Dear Pabitra, you are special:>)

        I CAN indeed put reasons behind adoring the monkey that is you:>) From our very first interaction here on TED a couple years ago, I KNEW that you were not just another pretty face. You express yourself with respect and kindness, which is important. We agree on some things, and we disagree on some things, and that's ok. That, to me, is a HUGE, very valuable connection. I think we do not feel separate from each other?


        Fritzie,
        I believe EVERYONE has the ability to connect on many different levels. The question is....do we want to? I believe the possibility is there with ALL people, and it is a choice:>)
        • thumb
          Nov 3 2013: I understand that is your belief. I simply do not know the extent of variation among people.in this respect. For example, autism exists as a spectrum and is connected to understanding of, communication with, and feeling about others. There is possibly more than choice involved.
      • thumb
        Nov 3 2013: I don't totally understand either Fritzie. I know a few children labeled autistic, however, and my experience, is that when we are willing and able to meet them where they are, it is possible to connect:>)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.