Anthony

Posted Wednesday, December 6, 2023

2mo

INTJ

8w7

8

7

Selfishness

If a man chooses to hold onto his integrity when faced with the choice between his integrity and a momentary reward, is this an act of self-sacrifice? No. Maintaining one's own integrity is one of the most selfish acts he can commit. If a man loves his work and is fully committed to it, getting a great sense of personal worth, excitement, and pride from his work, is it an act of self-sacrifice if he chooses to continue the work he loves instead of taking a job which promises him higher pay? No. A man's work is his fundamental means of controlling his survival; and creative work is his primary means of achieving self-esteem and pride. If a man loves a woman--loves her totally and completely, not superficially--if he loves her total essence and appreciates her on the deepest level of his being--is it an act of self-sacrifice to want to ensure her happiness even if it causes him to abstain from that which he truly wants? (Think, for instance, the old addage: if you love someone, let them go.) No. It is not self-sacrifice. He has recognized that her value to him is greater than the cost (the pain and discomfort) he must endure in her absence. He may be anguished if he has to lose her, but feel a deeper sense of wholeness in knowing that he has released her from his pursuit in service of the fact that she *is* of such an immense value to him. Were a man to treat equally the concern for the happiness of a woman he cared not at all for and one he loved deeply, *that* would be an act of self-sacrifice. But if he cares for a woman's happiness *because* he is in love with her, that is not a selfless act, but the most selfish attitude he could have for that woman. It is selfish *because* he is motivated by *his* love for her. *She* is a value to him, and he is merely acting in the service of *his* values. To say that love is self-sacrifice is a horrendous contradiction. To love is to value. A value presupposes the answer to the questions: of value to *whom*? and for what? To love requires that the value is a value with reference to the one who loves--for the purpose of and in total context of one's own existence--for the achievement of one's own long-ranged happiness. To love is to value, and to value means to value relative to and for the purpose of one's own happiness. To state that one can love without reference to one's own happiness is to state a contradiction--to speak of values without reference to and dropping the context of that on which it logically depends--the fallacy of the stolen concept. If you love somebody, it can only be in the total context of your own happiness--selfishness. If you are not concerned with or eager to renounce your happiness, what you experience is not love, but self-repudiation.

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