Evil & Good Selfishness – Sri Yogananda

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During the past 4 weeks we have watched Greece battle with the IMF, The German and French Banks, the politicians and finance ministers for a better deal. They have not succeeded. Even with their brave determination at a solid “No” vote in last Sunday’s referendum, they still look like they will be worse off than before.  And no matter what we might think of Greece,  as being irresponsible, the ordinary people who probably were never in a position to be other than what they are today, continue to suffer horrendously, under austerity measures that are ruining expectations in Europe for any reasonable recovery.  Banks, it seems, can be bailed out. People can’t.  Greed has given way to a new lower goal that beggars belief.  It’s called Evil  Selfishness.


Sri Yogananda, wrote often about human greed. He called it Evil Selfishness. This is how he describes it.

Evil selfishness is that which actuates a man to seek his own comfort by destroying the comforts of others. To be rich at the cost of another’s loss is ignorance, and is against the interests of the higher individual Self of the persons who engages in such selfishness. To delight in hurting others’ feelings by carping criticism is also evil selfishness. Evil Selfishness carries a huge karmic debt, that has to be paid back. (Bankers included.) 🙂

True and good selfishness motivates a man to seek his own comfort, prosperity, and happiness by also making others more prosperous and happy. Evil selfishness hides its many destructive teeth of inevitable suffering beneath the apparently innocent looks of temporary comfort-assurances. Evil selfishness encloses one in a small circle and shuts out the rest of humanity. Good selfishness takes everybody along with one’s own self into the circle of brotherhood. Good selfishness brings many harvests – return services from others, self-expansion, divine  sympathy, lasting happiness, and Self-realization.

To avoid the pitfalls of evil selfishness, one should first follow and establish himself in the pattern of good selfishness, wherein one thinks of his family and those whom he serves as part of himself. From that attainment, one can then advance to a practice of Sacred selfishness, or unselfishness in which one sees all the universe as himself.”

Now is this black and white to you? 🙂

11 thoughts on “Evil & Good Selfishness – Sri Yogananda

  1. Funny how nearly every moral platform there is in human experience points out the problem of greed. (For Christians, “love of money” is said to be the root of all evil.)

    And yet, here we are, mired in our material wealth sensibilities. It’s no wonder the world is in the state it is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. the truth of “things” has not yet hit us yet. We are skidding down the road to destruction, i would say.. thanks for your comment.

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      1. I fear the same thing. It’s impossible not to correlate the state of the world with the growth of materialism (the matter of causation is more complex). Perhaps the problem is that “things” are so compelling and immediate. Or maybe it’s just ignorance. Dickens famously presented the children of Ignorance and Want in A Christmas Carol (1843). The problem certainly isn’t a new one!

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        1. Europe was way better in my view without the Euro Zone. You cannot mix lemons with honey-cake (Greek honey cake) and have a great party. Southern Europe does not dance to the same tune as the North, not sure it will want to.. Eve, thanks again.

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          1. Heh, that’s almost certainly a Bad Idea! One of the greatest problems with the USA is the difficulty of trying to govern such a large and diverse country. The problem is balancing the views and attitudes of the Northeast versus the Deep South versus the West Coast versus the Midwest versus several other distinct areas with distinct sensibilities.

            Consolidation and centralization may make sense from economic points of view, but they don’t really reflect the human spirit’s tendency to be diverse.

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          2. We need growth in Europe, but not the Chinese type of throw-away “stuff and tinsel.” We need new technologies to work for us, also a new way of living well, while learning to become better castodians of the Earth. There are so many areas we can improve in but due to globalization, and old “spent traditions” of doing things in a 1900 century way, we are not improving. Instead there’s austerity that fails miserably. The initiative to move towards change just isn’t happening. (I guess because the corps. and govns. don’t want it.) This century might well be the one in which we actually stagnate and whither like poorly fed plants. The century that sees us go back in time to the dark ages. Eve

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    1. well, from where i am in europe it appears to be all shades of grey at the moment for Greece. Such a great shame. Just like the ghosts of WW2 have come back to haunt us once more and for the same reasons. We should all be watching this horror show and learning from it. Best Eve

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