As the “sense” of self acquired life through our identification with something, then it was “thought” that this “self” needed to be controlled to live in society, as a group.
The “group” acquired greater importance over the “self” and thus, religions and moral teachings fully embraced the duality of the individual versus the collective or group.
In that context, to be selfish meant to think only about the benefits of the individual and not the benefit of the group.
That is a childish consciousness which brought about the conflict between the existence of “good and evil.” That is the same consciousness which brings about the conflict between the individual and the collective.
Please be aware that the origin of embracing the self and being “selfish” as well as denying the self and being “self-less,” originates in the belief of the existence of “self.”
As we have shared in many articles already, the “self” does not exist as everything moves continually. It is just a perception. There is nothing static in an ever-changing world. Life changes all the time.
In a different consciousness, to be “self-less” is neither to benefit one side and not the other, but to live in that spontaneity beyond the duality of “benefit” and “non-benefit” and to be part of the flowing current of the Universe.
It is impossible to predict the behavior of someone who is self-less, for his behavior is in tune with the need of the time.
The above could be misrepresented by individuals who are not being honest. The above will be misunderstood if someone is looking for a static formula of what is “good” and what is “bad.”
That is why it is better to indoctrinate someone into the “black and white” mentality. It is easier and safer.
We cannot recognize what is to be self-less until we are completely aware of the self in all aspects of living.
Without that experience, to be “self-less” will be understood under the same “black or white” mentality.
That is, to deny the self in all aspects with the belief that this is to be “good.” That is why saints have sad faces. 🙂
It is neither in denial or in indulgence how we know virtue. We need to go away from duality itself to see something different.