The Opposing Force to Love
When we talk about human concepts, we often encounter the word “greed.” It is a word used to signify an intense selfish desire for something. Greed is associated with many concepts; one can be greedy for money, power, knowledge, control or even food and drinks. It always signifies a lack of satisfaction and contentment, a desire for more that seems endless. Greed leads people to places where they have no consideration for others, and beyond that, even themselves. Like with most things, getting to greed is not like a switch; it is a journey. Whether as a person or a society, there is a progression to greed.
Greed has selfishness at its core, and if analyzed, is the ultimate incarnation of a selfish nature. Selfishness often is viewed as a preoccupation with self, but selfishness goes beyond that. It goes against the very notion of loving and believing in yourself. There is nothing wrong with belief and love for yourself; in fact, it is commendable.
Believing in oneself requires an understanding of one’s capabilities, potential and limits. This understanding lies in one's meaning and purpose, and to harness it fully, one needs a guide. The guide has to be selfless enough to show you who you are, and again; Love comes into the equation. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way (not self-seeking); it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing (evil), but rejoices with the truth. With love, one will correctly believe in themselves as they develop virtues required to discover who they are.
Alright, so if selfishness isn’t solely a preoccupation with self, then what is it? Selfishness is the opposition to selflessness; therefore, it is the rejection of selflessness. If so, selfishness is a rejection of meaning and purpose the way it exists. Selfishness is a lack of contentment and satisfaction with one’s /others/things meaning and purpose. Selfishness drives one to dictate or project their self-defined meaning and purpose to existence.
Love promotes a selfless nature not only for external existence but internal existence as well. This is the balance that love provides to existence; internal and external, the preservation of meaning and purpose, as it is, in both. Consequently, it can lead you to the true meaning and purpose of all, including self.
If a selfish nature opposes a selfless one, then selfishness rejects meaning and purpose the way it exists; creating an issue as one gets into opposition with existence itself. The opposition is from the fact that one is rejecting how things truly are. Due to this, one falls into an ocean of infinite perceived alternatives as one has no guide. There is satiety in the truth, as it is a constant that cannot change; the randomness that expresses itself in a selfish nature means one will never be satisfied as you are living a lie.
Greed is the ultimate incarnation of selfishness and lies in opposition to love. It's not the opposite of love but the rejection of it. Just as there is an element of love in all selfless acts, greed is present in all acts of selfishness. Greed is impatient and unkind; greed is envious and boastful; it is arrogant and rude. It insists on its own way; it is easily angered and resentful; it rejoices with wrongdoing(evil) and rejoices with lies. With this truth, one can observe greed in play. A parent is greedy when she compares her child unfavourably to another. A person shows greed when they covet or take things that don’t belong to them. A person exhibits greed when they are unfaithful to their spouse or sleep with multiple people. A person is greedy when they call themselves or another stupid. A person has greed when they abuse and murder. A person is greedy when they reject forgiveness. All acts of greed not only hurt others but also hurt you in the process.
Greed cannot bear, cannot believe, cannot hope and cannot endure through all things. How can it, when it is random and doesn't guide you to the truth. Structures can be built and thrive around greed, but they will eventually crumble due to their own nature. The crumble can happen gradually, but the system eventually will fail as it diverts from its meaning and purpose. Such structures favour the greedy, and even then, not all greedy people are guaranteed to benefit due to the randomness.
So the question here is; if selfishness is random, and there is a belief that our existence is technically random due to evolution, then shall we really endure? You will hear statements like: “We are just stardust!” “Life has no meaning!” “We give meaning to things!” Do all these show a selfless nature, or is it the projection of humanity’s greed, a deep need to dictate?
The randomness in our lives is of our own making. Reality is not random otherwise there would be no existence. A simple fact that things are not random proves that at its core, existence is selfless in nature and has no selfishness. Therein lies the truth, all the randomness we encounter in everyday life is due to greed, and greed is not from existence; it is from a conscious choice of rejecting love, rejecting existence.
Is it really that bad? One may ask themselves. Yes. Most of the articles in our Consciousness and Morality series have explored the consequences of greed, evident in history and society. Look around you, can you see the greed? Look inside you, have you embraced any element of greed in your life?
Love illuminates your meaning and purpose and can therefore express it, growing you to your full potential. Greed will darken your meaning and purpose and therefore suppress your potential, dampening you. Greed will make you fall from your glory; your full potential can only be unleashed when grounded on love.
The popular song, “demons” by Imagine Dragons, has a hook that states, “No matter what we breed, We still are made of greed, This is my kingdom come.” The song was released in 2012 and was very popular. With over 4.1 million copies sold and 944 million views on YouTube. Songs resonate deeply with us, not only due to the beats, but also the words and emotions embedded in them. This means a popular song can tell you what lies in the collective unconscious of people.
Quick homework, listen to your playlist or a song that keeps playing in your head and observe the similarities in the message, the words. What is your unconscious trying to show you?
Our world has accepted structures built on greed, leaders and people who promote greed through culture and social norms. That’s just how the world is, it is said; however, greed is in opposition to our very nature of love, and that’s why it has a detrimental effect on an individual. Children show us our very nature, and that's why they are hardwired towards bonding and attachment, towards love. To be like a child is to go back to our very nature of love.
Greed will leave you with emptiness, dampening your meaning and purpose. Embracing love will mean that the world will not favour you, it will reject you, as its constructed meaning opposes love, but existence will not oppose you. Through the practice of love, one will find enduring peace that bears through all.
So, the question is, do you want to choose love and overcome the world?