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Are humans inherently selfish? If so, should we try to resist this nature?

I have some reasoning for one answer, but I'm wondering what you guys all think about this subject and your reasoning.

As always, feel free to ask for clarification!

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  • Feb 23 2014: When babies are first born, and for the next 3 months or so, they do not possess a concept of self. But at about 3 months of age a baby starts to form such a concept, that is a concept whereby he/she is distinctly separate from the world. It is this concept which results in conflict of all kinds, it is the cause of psychological fears and so on. It is this which allows so-called selfishness whereby a fear of the destruction of the self drives inherently selfish behaviour to the detriment of others and the rest of the world. To overcome this state one has to return to the mind state of a baby before this self arises. Certain forms of meditation are designed to do exactly this. In other words once this state has been allowed to dwindle away what remains is a radical type of human being with compassion at the core. This would change human society dramatically.
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      Feb 24 2014: Boy, they DO! Newborn babies are quintessential Selfs.

      You just do not remember -- but if you try to recollect your very first impressions of your existence here, you might "come back" and sense this very overwhelming blissful feeling of Self - you do not need any ID or any name...

      Every animal feels it within. I trust that this crucially important primordial sense of Unique Self is unseparable from one's life.

      However, while growing up in our human society this very instinctive precious Self-recognition is getting suppressed by some artificial Identity glued to everyone by social "establishment". Our IDs and names are not our Selfs but we must accept these conventions for playing our made-up social games, rules and roles.

      Yes, I'd love to see our society to get somehow improved creating more peaceful communications among ourselves and with nature.

      If we would be able to recognize our unique Selfs as we do it in our early childhood and sense again our nature's given primordial freedom of being unique individuals, we, perhaps, could establish better ethics and morals. We would not need to fit and play and mimic non-existing collective prototypes of our society, but be our Selfs.

      Self is a quintessential "nucleus" within every living form without which no individual life would be ever possible.

      But SELFISHNESS, shall not be confused with a vital sense of Self. Selfishness is our defensive act (often driven by desperation or fear) when we feel that our Self is manipulated or in danger..
      • Mar 17 2014: Vera, Thank you for this --
        Your statement fits here -- "Boy, they DO!... Newborn babies are quintessential Selfs."
        " You just do not remember -- but if you try to recollect your very first impressions
        of your existence here, you might "come back" and sense this very overwhelming
        blissful feeling of Self..."
        ===
        Vera, It brought me a flood of memories... I was still being held in my Mother's arms
        as she talked with a neighbor lady one day... She said that I didn't talk yet, and that
        I was too young to do so.

        Wow, I still remember how mad I got !!!... I screwed up my face and screamed loudly
        that I could talk... See?... I tried to explain that the words just wouldn't come out right.

        That was 75 years ago, and sometimes the words still won't come out right.
        Go figure...
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          Mar 17 2014: Frank, Your story overwhelmed me..

          I'll share with you with my own experience, tonight. (Must go back to my work right now.)

          Cannot thank you enough for your post !
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          Mar 18 2014: Must confess, I have never felt "home" in my body... I still strongly feel that the body is NOT my Self. I always tried to hide that feeling from others. Some years ago, my friend, biochemist, who was working on that project on brains at that time, said to me: lets scan your strange brain - lets see why you see and think so differently from the rest.. I remember I answered right away - be my guest, but I'm NOT THERE. He smiled but did not really understand that I meant exactly what I said (you cannot find me in that brain).

          Where is Self? It is a fundamental question that we shall answer before analyzing anything else.
          /I'm trying to publish this topic on SELF - but ted editors are very restrictive in some ways ./

          Our very early childhood memories, I think, are the most presious revealing the very powerful sense of self. But these sensations are so easily forgotten.

          The most powerful reminder I had had happened when I was overdosed with those anesthesia drugs
          for a heart terrible tast. Are you familiar with any sort of out-of-body experience?

          That was the most striking and sudden transformation of reality I have ever felt since my very early childhood , when I tried to put up with my very new to me little physical body..

          I was above the operating room at first, saw everything without using my corporeal eyes. Having no slightest interest in my body laying down there, instantly, I turned into the most pure form of Self being nowhere, helpless in deep dark, bodiless, shapeless but ready for something unknown, ready to grow my pure Self into something new!

          Hard to talk about it here and fit in such a tiny space for the post. Self is like a powerful Nucleus of Life. I believe that it creates its own "home" - mind or soul - with its own universe. That is where it lives.

          I have a lot to say about HOW we create our inner realities and why we must be very limited and never perceive that objective to us world. Did I confuse you?
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          Mar 18 2014: Frank, your story is fascinating. "Wow, I still remember how mad I got !!!... I screwed up my face and screamed loudly
          that I could talk... See?... I tried to explain that the words just wouldn't come out right.

          That was 75 years ago, and sometimes the words still won't come out right.
          Go figure.."

          I think, our human, made-up (symbolic) language is extremely superficial and therefore, ultimately confusing. We are trying to express ouselves with words and still barely understand one another.

          As a very young baby you had this super ability to communicate without using artificial language, it is close to what we understand as interacting with others "telepathically" or directly, as all animals and plants do it in any distance. Your mother could not hear you at all, because she could only be "tuned" to pick up conventional made-up words. The rest of her deeper existence was blocked by her shallow physical sense-perceptions. She could only hear you crying, but she could not comprehend the reason.
      • Mar 17 2014: So i believe that the concept of self comes gradually, parcialy still in the womb, but it comes from experiences good or bad, and thats why the selfshness starts even before the concept of self is entirely formed
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          Mar 20 2014: Raymond,
          This is a reply for another comment of yours that does not have a reply option.

          Your comment...
          "I remember i had saw something before about the formation of ID and EGO, something like that
          It was pretty much like what Frank said, but i dont remember seen any date like 3 month
          Its more about the baby learn diference about what is one thing and what is other, the same way he learn to reconise the self as something diferent of the "exterior world"
          It is close related to pscicology and artificial inteligence "

          There is no question in mind Raymond, that babies learn one thing or another at different stages of growth. I had the pleasure of observing my own kid's growth, and it is a wonderful experience.

          I do not believe, and there is no evidence presented so far on this thread, that says babies "distinctly separate from the world" at age 3 months.
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      Mar 13 2014: Is it possible that at this same stage in a babies life, though, they also form the mush important idea of compassion? Am I a greedy person for believing that it is alright to act on my compassion for others only because that is what gives me good feelings and rewards. How else would I know that I am doing the right thing for someone else if I do not reap some of the same feelings as they do when I do something kind for them. We tell someone that they look pretty because we know what it feels like for someone to tell us that we look pretty and when we say the same to someone else, we have such strong understanding of the other persons position that we actually feel good too (empathy/sympathy).
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      Mar 13 2014: Frank,
      You write..." But at about 3 months of age a baby starts to form such a concept, that is a concept whereby he/she is distinctly separate from the world. It is this concept which results in conflict of all kinds, it is the cause of psychological fears and so on. It is this which allows so-called selfishness whereby a fear of the destruction of the self drives inherently selfish behaviour to the detriment of others and the rest of the world."

      I have never heard about that theory....that a baby at age 3 months forms a concept of being "distinctly separate from the world". At 3 months, a baby is still very dependent on care givers for support and survival, so it doesn't make sense to me that they would form a concept of being distinctly separate. Are there any studies or research to support that idea?
      • Mar 18 2014: Colleen, this is from the other Frank, Frank Barry...

        I must agree with you (with appreciation of course). Such a nice smile...

        I don't believe a baby at 3 months or even 3 years can form a concept as involved
        as being "distinctly separate from the world"... As I recall, I had a sister that I avoided
        when my Mother wasn't looking out for me... But that was survival... Not selfishness.
        I think that all God's creatures have survival mode built in... Maybe from conception.
        I never truly trusted my sister all my life, and that started young, 3 months sounds
        about right... There was something there, in the back of my mind, that told me to
        be careful dealing with her... And, I always have. Call me foolish... I like safe...
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          Mar 20 2014: Hi Frank Barry!
          I've done a little search, and I cannot find anything that supports the idea that there is a theory that 3 month old babies have a "concept whereby he/she is distinctly separate from the world."

          I don't know why Frank Bierbrauer's comment got so many thumbs up, because it doesn't seem to make any sense, he has not provided any research/study to support the idea, and I cannot find anything that supports it.

          It makes no sense to me that a 3 month old, who is dependent on others for survival would develop a concept/feeling that s/he is distinctly separate from the world....makes no sense....oh.....I said that already!!! ! I think it would be very difficult to be that needy and feel that one was distinctly separate.

          I also believe all creatures have an instinctive survival mode....sorry you had to use it with your sister!
        • Mar 20 2014: Colleen,

          I remember i had saw something before about the formation of ID and EGO, something like that

          It was pretty much like what Frank said, but i dont remember seen any date like 3 month

          Its more about the baby learn diference about what is one thing and what is other, the same way he learn to reconise the self as something diferent of the "exterior world"

          It is close related to pscicology and artificial inteligence
    • Mar 21 2014: Very wise, I achieved a certain level of selfishness after losing everything, and my selfishness today remains totally immaterial and only in which to preserve my personality I believe myself having the right to judge people and have an opinion in everything that affects me and my surroundings,. and this noble class of selfishness is the reason human rights exist and it should remain

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